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Lesson 2: Guide to VR

Let me share the VR guide from Mbryonic.

Today you’re going to see what we’ve spent hours researching and writing: Our Guide to Virtual Reality for Marketing and Advertising. First, we’ll show you everything you need to know about VR until now.
 Then you’ll see examples of top brands using Virtual Reality in different markets. Finally you’ll see how to develop your own VR applications.
Let’s dive right in.

2016: The Year of Virtual Reality.

HTC, Oculus, and Sony are all planning to release their consumer headsets making this the most exciting year for virtual reality yet! Our exclusive guide will breakdown everything you need to know about virtual reality applications for business.

This includes marketing, education, events, and promotion. You’ll learn how to produce apps for VR and what kind of a budget you’ll need. We’ll even show you the development process with never before released details on our commissioned VR projects.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality Background

Virtual Reality is an innovation in human-computer interaction that is going to make big waves in how we experience the digital world in the coming years – thanks to the combination of a new generation of light inexpensive devices and advances in mobile technology.

Virtual Reality or VR has attracted a lot of attention since Facebook invested $2bn in buying Oculus the maker of a crowd sourced VR head mounted display. Since then Google, Sony, Samsung and Microsoft have made multi-billion investments in this technology and there are several high profile consumer launches expected in H1 2016.

You experience VR using a head mounted display. The headset covers your entire vision totally immersing you in a computer generated 3D world. As you move your head it tracks your movements and updates the display – tricking your brain into thinking you are in a real place.

Devices

Today, there are two main types of VR HMDs that are available.

Desktop VR

Desktop VR offers the cutting edge in terms of high fidelity VR experiences. The Oculus Rift is the best known of these types of headsets, but competitors are due on the market early next year. They contain an in-built display but rely on an external PC to drive them which is connected via a cable.

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The headsets retail for around £250-£300, but you need to factor in the cost of the PC which typically brings the cost up to £1,400. We have these and can hire units to you for special events.

Mobile VR

Mobile VR combines regular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 with special optics to bring the cost and availability VR to the masses.  The advantages are both portability and lower cost with the tradeoff being the level fidelity and complexity of the content that can be provided.

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Headsets retail for anywhere between £5 and £150 but once you add the mobile phone the overall system cost is nearer £500-£600. Examples include: Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Zeiss One.

Why use VR?

From a brand perspective VR offers the opportunity to make deep more meaningful connections with your audience. It’s already been used by many of the world’s leading brands like Nike, Ikea, Volvo, Redbull to create impactful campaigns.

It solves a number of problems that brands typically have:

  • Outreach fails to engage with their customers
  • Customers cannot remember their marketing campaigns
  • Little or no competitive advantage over their competitors

This is how it solves them:

  • Immersive – users wearing a headset are completely immersed in your content meaning fewer distractions and more attention on your message.
  • Impactful – the direct nature of VR means the intensity of experience is greater than traditional media generating strong emotions in its users and proven to result in behaviour change.
  • Memorable – our brains are built to remember events linked to locations, this means that VR experiences have a much longer trace in the user’s memory.
  • Novel – with high media and public interest in VR early adopters can benefit from favourable media exposure for their spend currently.

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What is VR used for?

VR has lots of great applications but we feel that the media works best in the following contexts:

Experiences

Put your audience at the heart of the action. Whether it is test driving a car, flying a jet or playing world class rugby VR is the next best thing to being there. Why not capture your next marketing event in 360 surround video to give others the excitement of a launch event?

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Redbull offers VR experiences alongside it’s extreme flying races so fans can experience what it is like to be in the plane

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Wear the Rose places the user at the centre of the national rugby team’s training session, commanded by coach Mike Catt

Exploration

VR can transport you to real or imagined places instantly. Take clients on a virtual walk around an apartment or hotel suite that may not even be built yet, do a tour round your factory or office place. Or why not transport them to a virtual showroom to view your latest products?

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Marriott created a 4D sensory ‘Transporter’ that transported guests to a beach in Miami. It toured six cities.

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Tommy Hilfiger Store gave their customers a front seat at their fashion runway presentation and could buy any items they liked.

Education & Training

VR is set to revolutionise education allowing students to virtually attend centers of learning, museums and galleries from around the world. In journalism, VR’s ability to see the world through another’s eyes allows for new empathetic possibilities. Research by Stanford University around environmental education showed VR can trigger real behaviour change.

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For the United Nations General Assembly delegates were transported to Za’atari refugee camp near the Syria border.

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VR allowed children to experience a historical re-enactment of The Apollo 11 mission to the moon and let them feel like what is was to be launched into space.

Entertainment and Gaming

Of course there is no better way to experience entertainment than through virtual reality. The games and movie industries are investing millions to create the next generation of immersive entertainment. The creative possibilities of storytelling is just getting started.

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For Game of Thrones, HBO created an experience that allowed users to ascend the wall in famed elevator

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The Void are opening up a global network of theme parks in which friends can run around a real environment battling monsters and exploring strange worlds.

Developing for VR

Video vs CGI

There are two approaches to creating VR content.

We can shot video on specially constructed camera rigs that use multiple cameras pointing in different directions. This is then ‘stitched’ together in post-production and effects like 3D can be added. This is played back in a compatible off-the-shelf or custom made viewing app.

We can also use realtime computer graphics (CGI), like those found in video games, to generate interactive content like games, training programs and other bespoke applications. We build an app and then deploy on a PC or mobile, either over the internet for distribution or install it directly on machines to be used in kiosks.

Both approaches have benefits and constraints and we will recommend the best one based on your particular use-case.

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Design

Virtual Reality is a new media format and has unique properties over film and traditional computer interaction. At it best VR is a life-changing experience that people won’t forget, however if done badly then it can leave users confused, frustrated or even nauseous. Appropriate considered design is vital in creating a good VR experience and luckily we have extensive experience in this area.

We have talented designers, audio artists, 3D modellers and developers at our fingertips so you’ll get the best results for your campaign.

Deployment

We expect a large amount of VR headsets to be in the market over the next years.  App Stores for devices like Oculus and Samsung Gear VR already exist and apps downloaded and purchased. However given the low number of available units it is still usual for VR to be experienced at events where the necessary equipment is provided. We have a number of headsets and PCs that can be hired for your event.

Source: Mbryonic