Guido Rosales is the former Integrated Marketing Director for The Coca-Cola Company Europe.
He is currently the Co-founder of the Top Line Marketing Consultancy.
For me the first questions that all marketers must ask before rolling out a VR campaign is WHY this will help to achieve my marketing or business goals. The worst thing they can do is to embrace a new technology just for the sake of being cool or fancy. This will go against the value generation for the brands (wasting resources: money and time) and even worse, they could dilute the brand story and brand message.
If VR will help amplify the Brand Story in a compelling way, creating a unique experience for our consumers, we should move forward and think how the brand can maximise the opportunity in a region or at a global level.
The main considerations marketers should be aware of are:
1) Focus on the brand message and brand story, then think how VR will help amplify it.
2) Connect your story will other consumers touch points and use VR to maximise the experience. This experience must be so impactful that people will be able to talk about it. This will help spread your brand conversation (earn media).
3) Think if you can execute the experience at the point of sale or in the retail environment.
4) If the experience will reach a limited amount of people think how you can make others be part of it (amplify it through YouTube, Instagram or other social platforms).
5) Create buzz connected to the brand message and brand story rather than the technology
6) If you have one chance, one opportunity to launch this at the same moment in all the markets, do it, you will create a lot of earned media and buzz
You must understand what the needs and motivation of people are. Then, you must understand what social tension is affecting societies. To be honest, these are generally the same across the world, e.g. uncertainty, anxiety, stress, inequality, discrimination etc…
As soon as you understand this, you must be able to build a relevant message. This message must be connected with your brands story and the brand must give a point of view whilst being brave enough knowing that this point of view could polarise – which is okay. In conversation there are people who will engage with what you are saying and others who will reject your message.
Remember when Apple launched the ‘Think Different’ campaign, it was very provocative and disruptive message at that moment. They gave their point of view (they didn’t even show any product) and they connected deeply, emotionally with many people who embraced the message.
As I said before, for me the main challenge is understanding why we are going to do this. If this will help the brand to achieve the Marketing goals, generating value for the business and a love for the brand, it would be perfect! The other challenges are going to be how you can escalate the experience (replicate regional or globally) and how you can amplify the brand message with other touch points.
I’m going to be consistent on what I said – if this allows the brand to achieve its marketing goals then great! I believe that Coca-Cola’s aim was to engage with teens in a unique and in a different way and sell more six pack or twelve pack of coke. At the same time, this innovative campaign will help position Coca-Cola as a leading edge brand. The other important question is about the content that the brand deliver in that experience and that content must be connected with the brand story.
Remember, this must not be about the tool, this is about the message and the experience that the brand will generate using that tool.
It is easy to see how VR and AR can support various industries and sectors such as:
Automotive – Allowing you to have the experience of testing the car without going to the retailer, just in your house or at an event.
Travel & Tourism – You can easily sell a cruise experience or a luxury trip to a remote place
Machinery – You can explain how the machine works and how it was built to your customers
Entertainment – Feature this technology during shows, museums, sporting matches, music shows etc…
The list of industries could be endless. At the end, you need to understand how this will support your business, if it will be relevant for your brand to amplify the message, if it will create value and love for the brand and if it will be worth to invest later for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness of the tool.