How Second Realities are Changing Marketing As We Know It
Virtual reality has the ability to place you in a world that you never would have been able to experience in the comfort of your own living room. For the past couple of years, virtual reality has been gaining steam because of it's immersive qualities. Even though it is still a developing medium, marketers have started implementing it into their strategies.
Marketers have struggled in the past to get consumers' attention using banner ads, pre-roll video and pop-ups. In an oversaturated digital landscape, there’s a better chance that audiences view ads as annoying rather than helpful. The challenge has been to create content that engages the consumer so they don’t even realize that it is advertising. Virtual reality becomes a solution to this problem.
The proof is in this statistic: 62% of consumers say they would feel more engaged with a brand that creates a virtual reality experience. When virtual reality invites users to interact with a brand in a new way, consumers' curiosity spikes and interaction rates increase.
In addition, 71% of consumers believe a brand is forward thinking if it uses virtual reality technology in its marketing.
However, incorporating virtual reality with no real goals or objectives won’t be advantageous. You need to apply virtual reality technologies to a story that would be enhanced by it. Industries that do well with virtual and augmented reality are travel & tourism, film, home design, education, gaming and event industries. In other words, virtual reality brings to life experiences that are engaging, personalized or useful and educational.
Some marketers have recognized the benefits of virtual reality and have utilized the technology already. An example of successful virtual reality marketing is The Extraordinary Honey Bee film by Häagen-Dazs. This was a success because it used VR to deliver an experience that wouldn’t have been able to be delivered through regular video. It also tells the brand’s story as Häagen-Dazs has been supportive of bee conservation for almost 10 years. Another example of successful utilization of VR is Expedia’s VR film that takes you through Norway. This film delivers a unique experience and teaches users what to expect when traveling to Norway.
Marketing expert, Sarah Hill, made it clear when she said, “ The world is no longer flat. The internet is fast becoming a place you step inside. Just as you had to make your site responsive for mobile, so too will you have to make it responsive for virtual reality.”