When global news platforms, such as The New York Times, announce they could soon be delivering daily news stories via virtual reality updates that viewers can literally ‘drop into’, you know VR in Marketing is going to be big.
Right now you need little more than a $15 Google Cardboard headset (or a mere £99 buys you the new Samsung Gear VR headset).
And with such a proliferation of headsets on sale in 2016-2017, VR in Marketing is set to rocket right into the mainstream.
Here are 3 reasons why marketers should be planning for VR in their 2016/2017 plans:
1. Rapid consumer uptake expected to challenge TV viewership
Goldman Sachs predicts that the adoption of Virtual Reality could follow an ‘accelerated uptake’ pattern. It won’t be long before headsets such as Oculus Rift are truly mobile and wireless – more like a pair of sunglasses than goggles, says Oculus Rift CEO, Brendan Iribe
Goldman Sachs suggest the VR market will outpace the TV viewing market within 10 years.
2. Brands such as GE, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Merrell footwear are already making VR ads
VR ad (virtual reality advert) placement on social media sites allows viewers to experience a walk over a rickety bridge (to test shoe comfort) and a 360-degree experience of a lively (Ritz-Carlton) hotel party. And direct mail seems an obvious channel to send certain customers free Google Cardboard viewers with targeted downloadable ‘brand experiences’. Just think of the personalisation – a Center Parcs family pack vs. empty nester pack.
3. Consumers become creators too
Just as we have become content creators with blogs, news feeds, reviews and film making, enabled by the new user-friendly virtual reality video creation tools, consumers will be making their own immersive 360-degree films to share in their communities.
And brands should be in the space where these consumers are creating and sharing content.
We believe that those brands investing to stay ahead of the curve and deliver more interesting brand experiences will be the ones that win.
As GE’s Global Head of Marketing, Linda Boff, says: ‘start experimenting… If we can take this tech and make it a business application, that’s huge.’ (The Guardian)
A more engaging media channel will be difficult to find. Virtual Reality is here. And waiting to be embraced by brands.
Have you planned for VR in Marketing yet?