Welcome to the Matrix: 3 Ways Virtual Reality Can Change Your Brand Experience
“You take the blue pill –- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -– you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
When the Matrix series exploded on to the scene in the early 2000s, we all had our collective minds blown away by the concept of visual reality. Once largely the domain of science fiction, virtual reality is one of the most exciting technological developments of our time, especially if you’re in marketing.
VR applications are already pioneering advances is sectors from healthcare to education and financial services. But, how can virtual reality help the marketer reinvent brand experiences for consumers?
At the heart of every marketing lesson is the idea that your consumer must feel what it’s like to use your product. From the Madison Avenues days of advertising to the Social Media led advertising of today, everyone is trying to make their consumers feel what it’s like to use a product, or to tell as immersive a brand story as possible. Virtual Reality can literally help you do this. With custom made video content that can be delivered through VR headsets, it is possible to give consumers an immersive experience of exploring your brand world. Travel consumers transported to distant lands without setting foot on a plane. Virtual reality is ideal for educational audiences – imagine walking through iconic historical events, or exploring new worlds on a spaceship, or even learning about the human body by taking a virtual ride through it. Those who have tried it out will definitely swear by the sense of wonder and delight that VR experiences generate. The possibilities are endless, and we’re just at the beginning of this new age.
Everyone likes to win. Borrowing a key insight from the gaming industry, consumer psychologists theorised that people are more likely to engage with branded content if it’s delivered in a fun, incentivised manner. As seen in the last few years, most brands will attest to the fact that this theory works. Consumers love racking up points, moving up levels, and engaging with branded content that tells a fun, gamified story. Imagine how much more engaging this gamification would be, in a virtual environment. From FMCG to the finance sector, brands can create virtual reality game shapes, where customers can complete missions, explore and collect items and even shoot at ‘enemy’ characters. These gamified journeys can be designed for consumers to experience individually via VR headsets in the comfort of their own spaces, or as part of activations and onground events at festivals, malls, and even on-the-go!
Imagine this. You’re in a virtual gamified simulation. Say, on a spaceship. You’re walking around, wearing the VR gear and you’re amazed by how real it all looks, even up to that slight feeling of vertigo when you look down at the earth from a cubby window. Definitely, a great virtual experience. But what if, you could add elements from the real world into this virtual scenario? What if you reached out and picked up, say, a lightsaber in the simulation, but then, to your surprise you feel like there is actually a lightsaber shaped object in your hand. You swing around what feels like a regular piece of plastic in the real world, but in the virtual world you see in your VR gear, you’re seeing an honest-to-god lightsaber that’s so real you expect Luke Skywalker to come looking for it. And if we did introduce another person into this phygital simulation, you could reach right out and high-five him, for real.
Real objects and sensations in the real world, meets fantastical experiences in the virtual; the kind of brand experiences you could create…imagine that.
If you’d like to meet us and discuss the possibilities of what we can do for your brand, we’re just a click away.