Virtual Reality is not dead, it's here to stay and is very quickly moving beyond a “cool technology” that an entire campaign rests on, to become a valuable component in integrated communications and maybe a little bit beyond that.
Here's an important question, how can we harness the full commercial potential of VR, so it’s not simply a gimmick, but an effective tool for engagement with consumers, resulting in stellar sales success?
As technology advances, the way it is applied is crucial in ensuring its relevance and continuity. There are lots of examples of tech that simply died, after being very well received following the initial hype – think Microsoft Kinect, Google Tango, even 3DTV!
While Virtual Reality is certainly not dying away, how we use it to effect and drive content will be the key to ensuring its evolution.
“Talking about VR is like dancing about architecture”, Chris Milk
this is probably the best way of expressing how complicated the subject is, but in a simpler form, VR, like any channel, is a window to another world and what you show and how you show it is what makes the difference.
The technology was patented in 1962 and as it advanced, so did the way in which it was used. There are various examples of how large brands have invested billions in VR content and technology before coming to disappointing conclusions, and being embarrassed by the results, hence they started blaming VR for “not working”.
However, we must not confuse “not working” with “not understanding.” For many, creating a VR experience was simply confined to shooting some 360-degree content, but this approach showed a real naivety and lack of appreciation of the increasingly sophisticated tech-savvy audience.
For today’s marketers, enter the VR territory unprepared and you’ll find out very quickly that the rules of 2D digital content production do not apply.
Put simply, whatever the device – mobile, tablet, laptop or VR headset – it’s the quality of content that matters the most when it comes to audience engagement that’s going to effectively translate into brand adoption or subsequent purchase.
Some straightforward questions need to be answered before embarking on the VR journey, the most obvious one being, “why am I using VR – general awareness, product placement, an invitation?”
Also, “how is the audience’s experience going to unfold – through being entertained via gaming or simple engagement?”
Great examples of how VR has captured the imaginations of audiences and brilliantly conveyed the essence of a brand and its products include, Perillo Tours who launched Perillo Travel VR.