I’m really excited for what it does for content & getting new experiences to people. It could, eventually, change film making and how lead actors are brought in to ensembles as you can start to walk through worlds at your leisure. The Google Cardboard end of the market is the most interesting as it allows people on mass, right now, to access VR. If we had one of these for each pupil in schools, how we educate children will change for the better. Immersive, engaging and able, for the charity sector, to really show young people issues and connect them to abstract causes. What is life really like for a 8 year old street kid in Bangladesh? Now we can take you there and let you explore their homes & lives in a new and intimate way.
The brands behind the development of the products is why VR should be on everyone’s horizon. Facebook, Playstation, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Google; the collective brain power behind it and their competitiveness will drive innovation up and costs down over a much quicker time period than previously.
Everything that it can do for gaming or entertainment, it can do for brands. Imagine playing in a 360 degree football match on FIFA 17 where you are on the pitch with friends instead of the birds’ eye view. Now add in an ai version of Lionel Messi for Adidas at the World Cup and you can see how a flatter TV campaign becomes an experience and creates deeper impact and connection. Why look at pictures to see if a hotel or resort is for you when you can walk around it for yourself? I do think that if VR takes off like this in a real way, then we may see the productisation of other senses in marketing. If I can walk around Bilbao, for example, in VR, why should I visit? The comms element may really bubble up the smells, tastes and real experience of the sun on your skin, rather than the places you can see. It’ll be an interesting time to see how consumers adapt to VR.
I still think we are in the beginning stages for brands. The first step has to be mass adoption and learning what the behaviour is with the head set on & the context in which they are being used. The possibilities are endless but this is the first step. Of course now it can be good for one-offs, stunts or exploratory messaging, but without the context it will be difficult to properly put it in to marketing plans. 3D is a bit of a dud, so this is vital for VR’s adoption and growth.
I liked Samsung’s Years & Years gig & TopShop’s London Fashion Week runway work showing how technology and can get people access to key events that they never normally could have. I love the idea of combining Facebook Live and Oculus Rift (for example) as a way of musicians selling tickets for virtual stadiums and finding a new revenue stream. The demand is there (we had non-VR versions of this in Habbo during the late Noughties), and now technology and deliver the experience properly.