Virtual reality – what it means for your brand

Virtual reality – what it means for your brand

It’s still early days, but virtual reality is quickly gaining mainstream attention. Global search interest on Google grew by nearly four times in the last year. So what will a future with virtual reality mean for advertisers?

 

Virtual reality (VR) used to be the stuff of science fiction. Today, it’s become a true reality. With a simple piece of cardboard, we can now turn our smartphones into virtual reality headsets. Google has shipped millions of Google Cardboard viewers to help bring the VR experience to everyone. And, viewer in hand, there’s no shortage of content to watch. Every single video on YouTube can be viewed in VR, making it the world’s largest library of VR content.

 

The technology has the potential to change our daily lives—from how we communicate to how we spend our leisure time. It’s early days, but it’s already happening, and now is the time for brands and creators to understand what it all means.

 

Film used to be the most immersive storytelling medium. But even with the best, highest-resolution TVs, you’re still just watching. You’re not there. The promise of VR is what the industry calls “presence”—the feeling that you’re really somewhere else. VR cameras like Jump can capture the entire experience of a place—every corner, every angle. In the not-so-distant future, cameras like these will be capturing experiences all over the world. What does this mean for audiences? How about access to the best seats in the house at any event— front row at the Beyoncé show? Or the chance to visit the most beautiful places on earth, from the comfort of home? It’s the closest thing we have to teleportation, enabling deeper engagement than has ever been possible.

 

Virtual reality is no longer a novelty. It has real applications for brands today. But is it worth pursuing? Here are some questions brands should consider before investing in VR technology:

 

Will VR give viewers an experience that they otherwise couldn’t have?

The subject matter should truly take advantage of the medium—transport people to a place, immerse them in a world, and compel them to explore.

 

Could you give shoppers a better feel for your product?

According to a study from Ericsson ConsumerLab, shopping was the top reason worldwide smartphone users were interested in VR, with “seeing items in real size and form when shopping online” cited by 64% of respondents. This doesn’t just apply to retail brands. Cadillac is already using VR to create virtual dealerships.

 

Will your recording environment be rich with things to see?

If you’re shooting in a simple white room with nothing on the walls, probably not. If you’re at a sports event or a music festival, there’s likely plenty to see.

 

Will viewers want to continue watching beyond the initial “That’s cool” moment?

It can be a challenge to get viewers to stick around after a minute or so. Make sure you have a compelling hook that will keep them engaged.

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