Virtual reality — the future for brand-to-consumer storytelling?
Virtual reality, a fairly new thing for most, is a 3D reality of an environment that imitates physical presence in places that exist elsewhere in the world or in an imaginary place. Mostly known as a new platform for video games, virtual realities are also becoming very popular in marketing and journalism, with the potential to be the new form of storytelling. You can experience virtual realities with a pair of Oculus glasses or with something as simple as a Google Cardboard. With this technology, you can watch videos to see, connect and experience life elsewhere in the world on a completely different level.
Can you imagine what life is like as a nine-year-old in South Sudan, displaced by warfare? Well, now you can – thanks to the New York Times Virtual Reality app, which shares the stories of three children in eastern Ukraine, Syria and South Sudan.
Can you imagine what the life of a ballerina is like? Or what about an experiential virtual reality where you walk into a store, try on a winter jacket and take a quick trip to the South Pole? A North Face store in South Korea created a virtual experience for its shoppers to experience what it would be like to wear the jacket on a dog sledding ride.
With these novel uses of a just-as-novel technology, consumers have the opportunity to be completely transported. If advertising can pull at the heartstrings, virtual realities can impose more literal experiences – be they emotional, tactile, or the like – on people. Point of purchase tactics have immense potential for growth with VR, as do activations and other brand-to-consumer interactions, something we specialize in here at CBC. With North Face exemplifying the trend of brands using technologies to engage on closer, more intimate levels with consumers, we’re eager (and, honestly, a little wary!) to see what’s to come.