The holidays are coming, and I'm feeling cheerful.
So, I'll do you a solid: I won't lecture you on the importance of incorporating virtual reality into your 2018 marketing strategy.
But, in the spirit of giving, I will share the following fun facts:
-By 2020, the economic impact of virtual and augmented reality is predicted to reach $29.5 billion.
-By 2020, the number of VR headsets sold is predicted to reach 82 million -- a 1507% increase from 2017 predicted totals.
In other words: Yeah, VR marketing is a thing you need to think about.
And if you're seeking inspiration, look no further. Here are five of our favorite VR marketing campaigns.
5 VR Marketing Examples to Inspire Your 2018 Strategy
- Key Technology: VERYX Food Sorting
- Defy Ventures and Within: Step To The Line
- Limbic Life: Project VITALICS
- Lowes: Holoroom How To
- Boursin: The Sensorium
1. Key Technology: VERYX Food Sorting
Key Technology, a manufacturer and designer of food processing systems, created a Virtual Reality demo that would allow attendees of the Pack Expo food packaging trade show to experience a detailed, hands-on look at how the company's VERYX digital food sorting platform works. It was part of a comprehensive B2B campaign to grow brand awareness among a target audience of food manufacturers, and VR gave participants a highly unique look at what exactly the process looks like inside of the machine.
While this 360° video doesn't completely replicate the experience, it does indicate the differentiating way brands within such B2B industries as manufacturing can leverage VR to immersively demonstrate their sophisticated technologies and capabilities.
2. Defy Ventures and Within: Step To The Line
When I attended Oculus Connect in October, the most memorable experience for me was, by far, the event's VR For Good exhibit: a showcase of creative work that used Oculus and VR technology for social- and mission-focused ventures.
One such example of that work was Step To The Line: A short film (that was immersively viewed on a VR headset) documenting the lives of inmates at California maximum-security prisons. It was created by Within, a VR storytelling production company, in partnership with Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship and development program for men, women, and youth who are currently or were formerly incarcerated.
With this unique watching experience, viewers were able to uniquely see what life is like within the walls of these correctional facilities, from the yard, to the cells, to the conversations that take place there.
3. Limbic Life: Project VITALICS
For far too many people, injuries, age, and disease can diminish mobility and equilibrium to the point where walking ranges from extremely painful to nearly impossible.
That's why the folks at Limbic Life created the Limbic Chair, in partnership with the VITALICS research being conducted by RehaClinic. Pairing this special chair with a Gear VR headset allows users to more intuitively move their bodies (thanks to the chair's combined neuroscience-based and ergonomic design) while virtually experiencing day-to-day experiences with a rehabilitative use of their hands and legs.
While the research is still underway and no definitive conclusions have been drawn, I had the opportunity to use the chair at the 2017 Samsung Developer Conference and speak with the chair's creator, Dr. Patrik Künzler.
"Patients enjoy being in the chair and the freedom of movement it allows. They enjoy VR a lot, especially the flying games," he told Samsung Business Insights. And not only can the VR technology help them physically heal, but it also contributes to emotional rehabilitation.
"When they get up from the chair," Künzler said, "they’re in a good mood and feel happy.”
Learn more about the conceptualization behind the Limbic Chair from Künzler's TEDxZurich talk below.
4. Lowes: Holoroom How To
Anyone who's gone through the existential angst of being a first-time buyer knows the unfathomable power of paperwork and finances to undermine the fun of designing or decorating a new home.
That is, until you walk into one of 19 Lowes stores that features the Holoroom How To VR experience.
If you're lucky enough to have any money leftover to pay a professional to renovate your home, well, good for you. But for the rest of us, the next stop is the world of do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement, which comes with its own hefty dose of stress.
That's why Lowes decided to step in and help out homeowners -- or recreational DIY enthusiasts -- with a virtual skills-training clinic that uses HTC Vive headsets that guides participants through a visual, educational experience on the how-to of home improvement.
5. Boursin: The Sensorium
I'll be honest. I recently pledged to give up dairy -- okay, 48 hours ago -- and I already miss cheese, a lot.
You can imagine my glee, then, when I discovered that cheese brand Boursin once created a VR experience to take users on a multi-sensory journey through a refrigerator to shed light on its products' flavor profiles, food pairings, and recipe ideas.
The goal: to raise awareness among U.K. consumers of Boursin's distinct taste and product selection.
While the VR installment was part of a live experiential marketing campaign, the rest of us can get a taste -- pun intended -- of the virtual experience via this YouTube video.