As marketers, it’s our job here at Zero Degrees West to deliver innovative campaign content that can engage, create conversation and ultimately get your product noticed. When it comes to reaching the consumer on a digital level, right now there is nothing more engaging than Virtual Reality, but with it already being at risk of sounding like last week’s news, does it really have the lifespan to withstand being just another fad? And, more importantly, should marketers still consider it as a worthwhile investment for promoting their brand?
At Zero Degrees West, we have been exploring VR as a way to enhance our clients’ campaigns for a few years. Back in 2016, it became a source of content for both our Lights Out and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation marketing drives, receiving notable praise across the board. And we weren’t alone; since the infamous Oculus Rift landed on the market back in 2014, a whole host of brands have been turning to VR to create ever more engaging marketing experience. This year alone, 30% of consumer-facing companies are predicted to include VR as part of their marketing strategies. But the big question is, how can virtual reality stay interesting?
In the past year, we have seen the world of VR developing in exciting ways. The growth of group VR has quashed any belief that VR is an “anti-social” medium. At their latest F8 summit, Facebook launched virtual reality arm, Facebook Spaces, giving users the chance to “meet” face-to-face in an interactive virtual world. Aerospace company Lockheed Martin’s Field Trip To Mars showed exactly how powerful the group VR experience can be, and by also eliminating the need for headsets, this opens up a whole new avenue of more experiential OOH marketing.
So we can see the innovation is there, but are there lasting rewards for brands? It seems there are according to VR speaker Alexander Schröder:
“New technologies come and go. Only the ones that create an added value for consumers or businesses break through. VR will change the way people interact with brands… Customer service will be more personal than ever before… Communication and storytelling will become more important to connect people, products and brands.”
And there are already signs that VR is changing brand perception. According to Greenlight Insights, 71% of consumers think a brand is forward-thinking if it uses virtual reality.
Like any significant innovation, there will obviously be sceptics. However, we at Zero Degrees West encourage an open mind. There are clear signs that there is more to come such as Mark Zuckerberg’s $3 billion investment into developing the technology. The Facebook CEO assures us that VR is only in its infancy, “It’s going to take five or 10 years of development before we get to where we all want to go,” and this is coming from a man who managed to increase the number of followers on his flagship platform by 18% last year, albeit it being in its 14th year.
We take the potential of VR pretty seriously here at Zero Degrees West and it’s electrifying to think just how huge the scope is for this ever-evolving technology. The best is certainly yet to come and we can’t wait to discover new ways we can elevate our clients’ campaigns to epic new heights… minus the vertigo of course.
Here’s a selection of the top VR we have loved so far:
Tilt Brush and the RCA – Creating art in a whole new dimension;
Dreams of Dali – Step into the mind of history’s most famous Surrealist;
The Displaced by NYT – An incredibly powerful and moving use of VR storytelling.