Virtual Reality is still a relatively undiscovered field for companies and marketing experts. It’s a fun trend that young people might enjoy playing with, but outside of video games and specific movies made for virtual reality, there aren’t a lot of examples of companies using virtual reality to generate cash. However, this is all about to change. Today’s thought leaders are already taking advantage of Virtual Reality for their brands and making cool stuff. Here are three brands who are already wowing us with their VR content.
Volvo’s Virtual Test Drive
Volvo was one of the first companies to explore virtual reality from a marketing perspective. In late 2014 they developed a virtual test drive that is compatible with Google Cardboard — one of the cheapest and therefore accessible headsets for customers.
The test drive experience let customers feel what it was like driving through picturesque windy roads while exploring the German countryside. It was a perfect way to reach customers who didn’t live close enough to actually get behind the wheel of a Volvo at a dealership. For reaching an untapped audience and creating a brand experience, Volvo gets an A+ for this content.
The New York Times Video Series
Few publishers have the sheer reach and audience of the New York Times. It’s easily one of the most wide-read and mass distributed paper in the United States — if not the world. This means that it’s the perfect way to introduce people to the world of VR, thus turning this technology from an expensive toy to a content platform for the average consumer.
Recently, the New York Times started creating video content with the help of popular authors. Their newest creation is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Lincoln in the Bardo tells the story of Abraham Lincoln visiting his son’s grave and encountering the ghosts that lurk there. It’s a captivating way to bring people to VR who might not have understood what could be done with it before.
Game of Thrones “Ascend the Wall”
One of the great things about VR is its ability to combine visual and audio with other senses. This is what the creators of the Game of Thrones traveling exhibit played with when they created “Ascend the Wall,” which allowed participants to climb into a cage that would bring them — virtually — to the top of the wall at Castle Black. Participants actually felt rumbling as if they were in an elevator and felt cold air as they “ascended.” The exhibit has traveled far across the world as far as Singapore.
The Game of Thrones creative team plans to continue taking advantage of VR and even created a special viewing experience for their 2016 season. Soon VR might be the new viewing normal.
It’s exciting to see companies stretching the limits of what VR can do, especially because we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so far. There’s so much more than can be done with the technology that we’re in for a lot of good marketing over the next decade.
Image via Flickr by nan palmero