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by Phil Birss
2 min read
Virtual Reality: Are you ready to immerse yourself?
Author: Phil Birss
Posted in Technology on 22nd June 2016 12:00 pm
Every few months there are articles asking if this is the year that virtual reality will hit the mainstream.
So what’s new in 2016 that means that this could finally be the year? Or is it still too big a step both in terms of financial investment from marketers and emotional investment from the audience?
There are finally mass-market headsets on the market that are achievable to the average user and cost less than a smartphone. The Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard are already available and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR are all hitting the market in 2016.
Gaming has never been bigger. Gamers are continually looking for a more immersive experience and with gaming becoming a more popular entertainment amongst a wider spectrum of audience types, this could be the drive that pushes virtual reality into the mainstream. As gamers come out of their bedrooms and into the living room, their headsets could follow and lead to virtual reality becoming part of other entertainment such as TV, film or Internet browsing.
Content marketing continues to be one of the strongest and most authentic methods of promoting a brand. Virtual realities powerful storytelling capabilities mean it can have a genuine impact on the success of a campaign – particularly in engaging an audience.
Virtual reality technology lends itself well to experience categories and brands are starting to see the impact expanding the user experience can have on closing a sale. Thomas Cook saw success allowing customers to experience New York City through VR and saw a 190% uplift in New York excursions revenue.
Car companies have also offered virtual test drives and clothes shops have used virtual changing room experiences. If companies begin to see an impact on their bottom line then it is likely there will be an increase in the use of virtual reality.
The use of virtual reality in the mainstream is increasing but it is still very experimental. The majority of brands are still priced out and will likely not see enough ROI, meaning money will likely be spent on other marketing channels as it stands. But it is an incredibly exciting area – and one year it really will be the year of virtual reality!
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