Virtual Reality (VR ) is exciting, fresh, rich and much more. It opens up new dimensions of interaction & engagement which brands have been constantly seeking. There have been several examples of VR being leveraged to enhance the experience over the years.
But, the traction has been tepid, compared to the opportunity most of us had predicted when VR first broke in a few years back. The nascent evolving technology, device dependency and costs lent itself to use cases which were
The challenges for adopting VR have been around the devices - cost, low penetration, evolving tech and the UI/UX challenge - with limited skills and learnings yet evolving, there are few who can create impactful experiences at a reasonable cost.
But, the larger challenge for marketeers is not in the tech, device costs or adoption.
1. It's not about transposing video into VR :
For marketeers who have been making videos, designing banner ads and now dabbling with voice, the 360 degree format of VR offers a new method of storytelling. It's a whole new 3 dimensional world which both stimulates and heightens customer expectations.
The additional 3rd dimension of sight, coordinated sound and even touch, offers a much wider and richer canvas for storytellers and marketeers. It also requires them to unlearn and learn the method and manner in which they would like to render the experiences!
2. What can really be enhanced?
What is it exactly that you're trying to differentiate/enhance with VR which couldn't be done earlier? It's important to be able to focus on the sensory aspects which are closest to the brand and it's experience. VR in it's current form, is also a 'closeted' experience, requiring users to wear special devices. This also means that consumers are going to have a heightened sensitivity and expectation from the experience.
3. The Difference between making movies and advertisements
Contrary to popular belief, these are extremely different sensibilities and styles. The two are radically different in their approach to storytelling and visualization. VR is a whole new ball game. This would require creative professionals from different worlds to collaborate and create meaningful experiences. You would do well, reaching out to professionals from industries you may not traditionally consider, including gaming.
4. The Design Challenge
There is a huge paucity of skilled designers and programmers in this space. As is the case for most emerging technologies, invest in the time in discovering them and ideally create a long term relationship, a team who would work with you through your learning journey
5. Ribbon Cutting
The VR world is strewn with brands who have botched up attempts, in their hurry to launch! Don't do it well. Implement spectacularly!
6. Co-Create with consumers
Define the target group you would like to engage and most importantly, involve them in the design and development process. The results can be remarkably different!