In our first of a two-part series on Virtual Reality, we explained the basics of Virtual and Augmented Reality. It can be easy to assume you understand these topics when your newsfeed is flooded with announcements regarding VR’s advancement. However, simply being exposed to this new technology is not the same as getting to know it. Companies must delve deeper to understand the intricacies of how Virtual Reality works, and how it differs from similar technologies in advance of it disrupting their industry.
While Virtual Reality is already impacting the technology and gaming industry in a huge way, it is only a matter of time before it impacts other industries as well. Take the marketing industry as an example. Marketing is no longer revolving around creating a lot of content just to “get your name out there.” It is now crucial to create a story that your target audience connects with, and VR brings new meaning to story creation as well as connection.
Storytelling is an obvious one, but what other industries are being affected by Virtual Reality?
According to an article in AdAge written by George Sefo, currently only 8% of brands use VR for advertising. As for their competitors, 35% surveyed said they either have no intentions or have reservations about using the VR technology. 57% said it does not apply to them. Even though the current VR advertisers may not seem like a big threat, 8%, at essentially its infancy, reflects the long term potential.
But how are companies advertising through VR? In the past, content creators were able to create a story frame by frame through videos, photo sequences and traditional advertising strategies. With VR, there are active participants who are able to look and go wherever they want within the story. This creates a huge challenge for content creators, as they now have to build story worlds instead of storylines. A great example of this immersive advertising is shown through Haagen-Dazs “The Extraordinary HoneyBee” VR experience. Through this compelling story, consumers are able to fly around and live the life of an imperiled Honey Bee.
Entertainment, travel, fitness, and art will all feel the effect of VR. For entertainment, people will be able to walk their way through live movies where the storyline changes according to where they are within the story world. Children will be able to experience the awe of the Eiffel Tower or the history of Rome through VR long before they will be able to travel the world. Instead of needing to drive yourself to yoga class, you will be able to immerse yourself in a live yoga class in the comfort of your own home. This is the future of VR, and why it has such confident growth expectations.
Fashion brand icon, Dior created VR experiences where people around the world can sit front row in one of their exclusive fashion shows. The VR experience Haagen-Dazs created uncovered their care for the current decrease in the Honey Bee population and placed them in a relevant category for anyone else who cares about honeybees. This is how brands will gain attention and commitment from their customers as VR continues to expand.
While small businesses will need to wait until VR technology becomes less expensive to use and easier to create content for, large brands should consider VR now to stay relevant in the future.