VR news, insights, rants and rambles

VR Marketing—Part 1: Introduction

By Paulo Tromp
July 25, 2016

Although the concept isn't new, virtual reality (VR) technology hasn't really taken off until recently. VR is more than a trendy buzzword. It’s not merely an evolved way of watching movies or playing video games. It’s a new hardware platform, a new medium.

Some of the most recognizable global brands have already created hugely successful campaigns using virtual reality. They include Nike, Red Bull, IKEA, Volvo, and the New York Times.

What is it about virtual reality that has fired the imagination of the world’s leading marketers?

They know that branding is about building meaningful emotional connections between consumers and brands. It’s about powerful storytelling. And no medium does this quite as successfully as virtual reality.

Virtual reality breaks down the wall between your potential customers and the story you want to tell about your brand.

It provides the user with a sense of "presence"—the illusion of being physically present in another place. Under such conditions, emotions and reactions are heightened in a way marketers using other media can only dream of.

Virtual reality also enables audiences to become active participants instead of passive spectators. They can look at wherever they want and interact with the virtual world in ways not possible before.

What for you would be the more memorable brand experience, reading about a new car, or slipping behind the wheel and taking a virtual test drive? That’s what Volvo did to rave reviews as part of the launch of its new XC90 SUV.

Would you be more likely to book a holiday after reading a brochure or taking a virtual tour of an exotic destination? No contest, right? International hotel chain Marriott clearly thought so, hence the creation of its 4D sensory "Transporter" that whisks potential guests away on globe-trotting virtual tour of six cities.

These are just two of a growing list of innovative ways canny marketers are putting virtual reality to work. As these examples demonstrate, stories and messages are a lot more impactful when prospective customers can actually experience them.

Isn’t it time you started harnessing the power of VR to tell your brand’s story?

I’m here to help you do just that. New technology, like a new country, can be pretty daunting, even to experienced marketers or travelers. Consider me your trusted guide to the exciting world of virtual reality.

In a series of articles over the next few weeks, I’ll lead you step-by-step through everything you need to know to take you from VR rookie to running your first VR campaign like a true pro.

I’ll explain the differences between terms like virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) and 360 degree videos. I’ll introduce you to the equipment used to capture virtual reality content and the gadgets your customers will use to relive those experiences. We’ll explore real-world examples from a wide range of sectors, giving you plenty of ideas for the best approach to take with your brand.

Buckle up and put on your VR headset. It’s going to be a thrilling ride!

Coming up next...

Part 2: What is virtual reality and what is not.

About Paulo Tromp

Paulo Tromp is CEO and Creative Director of VRMADA, a virtual reality agency dedicated to creating beautiful, memorable experiences enabling brands to connect with their audiences in new and unique ways. Some of his clients include BMW, JCB, L'Oréal, MTV, Philip Morris International, Telefónica, Toyota, and Vodafone.