knowing a new technology is going to be important for business is one thing; developing a great use case for it is entirely different.
In the 90s, with a heightened fear of missing out, CEOs rapidly commissioned the creation of company websites to make sure they were keeping up with what was showing itself to be the new ‘must have’.
Cut to the early 2000s, the attention was on mobile apps. In those early days, with new technologies quickly evolving, business leaders weren’t sure what practical use a website or app was going to have to their business — they just knew they needed one. The results? Most of the early websites and mobile apps just weren’t all that great – often not designed to solve any real problem or provide any real or tangible value to users. But hey, the CEO could tell the board they had one.
VR: the new ‘must have’?
Jeremy Bailenson, head of Stanford University’s virtual reality lab, remarked that “Most things don’t work in VR.” It’s true, not every application a creative marketing team might want to throw at VR works, but when it does, it can be remarkable and there are a number of industries nailing it.
Construction, design and real estate
VR is already enabling real estate pros to showcase properties, both built and unbuilt to potential buyers from anywhere in the world. VR allows them to immerse themselves in a virtual environment and experience its finest details, not only interior layouts and specifications, but also property locations, views, and surrounding neighbourhoods.
As a result of early client interaction with a new environment, designers are becoming better equipped to create what clients want and greatly reduce gaps between their expectation and eventual reality.
Marketing and advertising
With a unique ability to go beyond ‘showing’ products or stories and have viewers experience them, VR has delivered an entirely new toolset to marketers and advertisers. Studies have shown VR to deliver a 27 percent higher emotional engagement and 34 percent longer engagement than 2D content, so for those already using images or videos to tell their story, it’s a compelling new option.
VR gives consumers more control, allowing them to lead their own experience, progressing through the design story at their own pace and choosing to take their own detours – yet all within parameters set by the designer.
Numerous brands including Jaguar, Coke, Etihad Airways, Audi, and The New York Times have rolled out experiential marketing campaigns using VR. From enabling people to virtually experience the luxurious surroundings of Etihad’s first class airline cabin, to placing them on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, VR is enabling marketers to interact with their customers in more unique and personal ways than ever before.