Will VR become marketing reality?

16th June, 2016

Since the virtual reality (VR) issue of The Drum Creative Works landed on Alchemy’s doorstep, I’ve been itching to try out the Google Cardboard headset that came with it. So this afternoon I Velcro-ed in my phone and off I went swimming with fishes (and surfacing alive!), nosying around an aeroplane and fighting alongside The Avengers… and all while looking rather stupid sat at my desk!

There were times when I had to close one eye to maintain the virtual reality and I couldn’t help but feel that Google Cardboard was a bit Heath Robinson in comparison with all that whizz bang virtual reality!

VR

Stepping out of these amazing virtual worlds created for the likes of Thomas Cook, the Avengers and The New York Times/GE, I’m echoing the thoughts of many contributors in this edition of The Drum.

VR is a brilliant medium for brands to tell much more exciting stories and is already upping the ante in the customer engagement stakes. These 360 worlds immerse the customer’s senses and create an experience that should stay with them – for a while at least. With gamification already a hit in the marketing mix, VR is a natural progression in the move to brand entertainment, rather than just marketing.

Of course there are issues to be ironed out in virtual reality, like the cost of tech for the consumer, amalgamating animator and filmmaker skills and the creation costs for marketers, but even this year VR is set to have its first billion-dollar year according to Catherine Turner, commenting in The Drum.

So it’s clear that VR will be an enormous asset to the marketer’s toolkit in the very near future, but whether it transforms the marketing world is yet to be seen.

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