VR was once something you could only find in science fiction. Today, VR not only exists but it has advanced applications in various sectors. While the most obvious uses are in the video game and entertainment industries, marketing is another sector that VR is significantly impacting.
What Are the Applications of VR In Marketing?
Digital marketing is now an essential part of any marketing campaign. Using technology to get word of your product to the right people is more effective than traditional print advertising. When used as part of the digital marketing strategy, virtual reality can actually be exceptionally effective as a marketing tool in the following ways.
VR can become a powerful asset for your marketing campaign when used alongside other advertising tools. Ads in VR can be personalized to your audience’s tastes and interests, giving them a more immersive experience with your product or service. They’re perfect for hosting on a trade show floor or a website.
Virtual reality can also be applied in the ecommerce and online shopping industry. Using VR can make your clients feel like they are in an actual store, interacting with your products from the comfort of their homes. You can even set up your virtual store to demonstrate how the product works.
Virtual Conferences and Events
Holding an event for the release of your product is a great way to give its premiere an air of gravitas. However, setting up such an event in a physical setting can be both time-consuming and costly — additionally, you can’t be sure news of the event will reach everyone in your target audience.
Virtual reality allows businesses and organizations to reach as many people as possible by allowing them to hold events in the digital world. These events let people join from anywhere in the world as long as they can access VR services. These events can also be as interactive as you want, allowing people to chat directly with you or other individuals for a more social experience.
Companies Using VR Marketing Now
Many well-known companies are currently using virtual reality marketing strategies for various purposes. Here are a few examples.
The New York Times
The New York Times uses virtual reality technology to allow members of their premium service to experience news stories more immersively. Their first venture into this field was when they partnered with Google to release a VR film called “Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart.” Google allowed New York Times members to use the now-discontinued Google Cardboard, a disposable VR headset.
The New York Times would continue to use VR technology to create films such as “The Displaced,” a documentary on the effects of war on refugee children. Since then, the New York Times has become one of the most well-known entities in the VR space — with their virtual reality stories becoming a powerful draw to their subscription service.
To promote the TERREX outdoor gear brand, Adidas started a virtual marketing campaign that revolved around a VR experience called “Somewhere Else x Adidas: Delicatessen.” This experience allowed viewers to follow professional free-climbers Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller as they climb one of the most challenging mountains in Corsica.
The experience is fully interactive, simulating the experience of climbing after Rueck and Miller as they scaled the mountain. Customers used controllers to navigate through the experience, scaling the mountain themselves one handhold at a time. The campaign represented the creativity and ruggedness of the brand.
Automotive companies have gotten into the virtual reality craze by designing VR test drives for many vehicles. Once considered a novelty, VR test drives are now a powerful marketing tool for car companies in the 21st century.
VR test drives have become extremely popular during and past the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with companies like Volvo turning them into full online events. Competitors like BMW and Ford also plan VR marketing campaigns based on VR test drives.
VR Might Be the Future of Marketing
VR has many applications for the marketing sector. These possibilities will only grow as technology becomes more advanced. Soon, VR tools will become a staple of digital marketing strategies.
Devin Partida is Editor-in-Chief at ReHack Magazine and editorial contributor at AR Insider. See her work here and follow her @rehackmagazine.