2016 is an important year for Virtual Reality (VR). According to a recent study by Toluna for LSA magazine, the French are ready to enter this world of VR…
Let’s start with the definition of virtual reality, this is “All the technologies and systems that give man a feeling of entering the synthetic universes created on the Internet” According to Jean Segura, a specialist in synthetic imagery and virtual use. Virtual reality makes it possible to perform a certain number of actions defined by one or more computer programs in real time and to experience a certain number of visual or auditory sensations.
Brands have every interest in taking an interest in VR technologies, as VR represents a great marketing opportunity on many levels. We’ll also look at examples of experiences brands create and their marketing objectives in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the French’s expectations about VR, as it has generated some excitement among consumers in recent months. According to Toluna, 90% of French people have heard of it, but it should be noted that only 50% have an accurate idea of its content…
Many expectations of consumers about virtual reality
Yet according to Toluna, 70% of French people want to try VR for a variety of uses: video games, leisure, shows and television come first (more than 50% of the responses). Another use cited: the possibility of choosing a better one before buying. We will come back in more detail on this issue of the future of e-commerce and the various business opportunities offered by this new medium.
Of those questioned, realistic and immersive vision is the first advantage over conversation, while 3D doesn’t seem necessary to consumers.
Despite this interest, the French see several breaks: visual fatigue comes first (more than 50% of responses), then price, headache, and disconnect with reality.
In addition, the French expect the development of virtual reality in various areas in the next 5 years: first video games and movies, then apartment tours, tours and TV shows (sports, entertainment). And only 2.6% of French people say that this technology will fail.
There are a large number of headsets and glasses on the market, but two of them are attracting consumer attention: Samsung’s Gear VR (25%) and Sony’s PlayStation VR (24%). Of those interested in these devices, 20% want to spend less than 50 euros, which risks limiting them to inefficient and comfortable devices. Most consumers (over 60%) will want to pay between 50 and 250 euros, which moves them away from more sophisticated products like the Playstation VR, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Marketing objectives associated with virtual reality
Brands are aware of the interests of the consumers and the possibilities offered by this new marketing medium. This technology, which is both a channel, a support and a platform, today makes it possible to stand out from the competition and achieve a range of objectives, from pure brand awareness to direct marketing. To achieve these goals, brands will need to:
- Bring in some added value through quality ingredients;
- invent a story that evokes emotion;
- Mastering technology for a seamless experience;
- Be consistent with their image and status.
Example first: attracting a goal, experiencing medical realities
VR allows certain areas of activity to renew themselves and become more attractive. For example, education. Students lose interest in the school and traditional teaching techniques, and clearly pay less attention to the subjects being taught to them. With VR, it is possible to provide a more immersive experience for students, along with some form of entertainment. Teaching becomes more fun and therefore more efficient. For example, it is possible to recreate historical events or to practice more advanced experiments in scientific disciplines.
Virtual reality is therefore a tool that should be considered for all training, in all schools. All you have to do is have the right equipment, convince teachers and train them in this new teaching approach. Here’s a recent example in the medical field: the one proposed by Medical Realities, allowing the first surgery to be experienced in virtual reality. On 14 April, aspiring doctors were able to live a unique experience by following a full distance training course with 360° videos.
Example 2: Selling Different, the IKEA Experience
New business uses are emerging because of new technologies, and vendors need to adapt to them. With Virtual Reality, we are seeing a change in sales on multiple levels. VR becomes a sales support tool and makes it possible to deliver experiences with high added value. Being able to try out an unlimited number of individual products in a store is a real advantage, with Ikea’s example being important.
The Swedish company has actually conducted an experiment with personal kitchens in partnership with video game specialist Valve. It has also partnered with HTC since the application worked through the HTC Vive headset. Simply put, users can choose from 3 kitchen models and change colors, dimensions, etc. Note: Ikea already plans to remove the application at the end of the summer, this pilot experience aims to garner feedback from customers and possibly launch a more engaging experience later.
Example third: transmitting values, the TAG Heuer Experience
With VR brands can communicate their values more deeply and promote their products, especially at events such as trade fairs. Take TAG Heuer, a leading brand in the watch industry. On the occasion of the inevitable event of the Baselworld sector, the brand offered an experience based on its values, namely innovation, sensibilities and quality. With virtual reality, you have to create quality content and stand out from the crowd, which is not necessarily obvious.
Indeed, the production of 3D content, which makes it possible to create complete universes at 360° (as opposed to capture, for example), remains a major challenge for brands. Along with these should be experts mastering the challenges of VR. 909c, TAG Heuer’s consulting agency, initiated and supported the project for over 6 months. A custom VR headset was also made in the image of TAG Heuer specifically for the occasion.
A few words about the experience: A universe specially designed to immerse the user in a unique situation that evokes an unforgettable feeling. Designed as a roller-coaster combining motion and 360° contemplation, this universe traces the history of the brand’s most emblematic collection, the Carrera. The movie “Carrera Story” will also soon be available in a special 3D format in the movie library of the Oculus Store on the Samsung Gear VR for even more sensitivities!
“Why You Have to Try the Crazy Experience of VR Headsets” – Virtual Reality.com
“2016: a significant year for virtual reality” – Prese-Citron
“25 Uses of Virtual Reality for Marketing” – Aruko
“VR: The Eldorado of Event Communication for Brands” – Journal do Neto
“TAG Heuer presents its watches in virtual reality” – Stuffi
“Virtual reality is now in retail. Proof from 5! “- LSA