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Virtual and Augmented Reality: What Brands Need to Know

VIRTUAL AND A リ GMENT 三 リ REALITY WHAT BRANDS NEED TO KNOW by @MDGadvertising After years of anticipation, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are finally having their moment. Research firm Gartner picked VR and AR Why? In large part because many their top strategic digital technology brands are still unsure about what VR trends of 2017, and communications and AR are, how they can be used to giant Edelman dubbed them the most engage consumers, and what the future important technological breakthroughs size of audiences will be. of the past year. To help better understand the However, despite all the attention and technologies and the scale of the praise, more than half of marketers say opportunity, here's a quick primer on they still don't fully understand how the the essentials of virtual reality and technologies apply to their business. augmented reality for brands: What Are Virtual and Augmented Reality? Is There a Difference? Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, virtual reality and augmented reality are not the same thing. The two technologies are similar in that they provide highly engaging digital experiences, but they differ in both experience and delivery. VR WHAT IT IS: WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: The virtual reality experience is immersive. It takes over the senses-via 360-degree The goal of virtual reality is to simulate a real-world-or imagined-world- experience in digital form. VR aims to video, surround sound, etc.-and makes transport the user into another realm. the digital feel real. HOW IT'S DELIVERED: Most, though not all, VR experiences are via headsets. These can range from pricier hardware like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR to Google's $15 Cardboard. AR WHAT IT IS: WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: Augmented reality seeks to enhance The AR experience is reality, but better. experiences by using digital methods to The user is not taken away from their overlay information/content over the world, but rather has their world real world. The goal is to add to, not supplemented with additional text replace, what's happening. and visuals. HOW IT'S DELIVERED: AR can be presented in a number of ways, from kiosks to enhanced glasses. A mobile device/app-with its GPS, camera, etc.-is currently the most common method. What Can Businesses Do with Virtual and Augmented Reality? Virtual and augmented reality sound exciting from a technology standpoint, but do they have business applications beyond entertainment and gaming? Absolutely. Here are just a few ways they can help brands of all types deliver better products/services and marketing campaigns. VR AR PRESENT INTANGIBLE SHOW HOW THINGS LOOK EXPERIENCES: IN CONTEXT: From tours of planned real Allow consumers to visualize almost estate developments to trade any situation, from how a hair color show visualizations of will look on their head to whether a in-development products. couch will fit in a real room. MAKE THE INACCESSIBLE DELIVER GEOGRAPHICALLY ACCESSIBLE: RELEVANT INFORMATION: Give consumers a sense of what they Engage consumers with the right can't get to, whether that's faraway content for their location, from travel experiences or hard-to-attend restaurant recommendations to in-person events. where the nearest dentist is. SIMULATE EXISTING EDUCATE AND EXPLAIN: SITUATIONS: Demonstrate anything in context, Help both staff and customers from the best way to assemble understand/master hard-to-replicate products to how your services are experiences, from complex surgeries delivered in real-world situations. to flying first class. What Are Some Specific Examples of How Brands Are Using VR and AR? While both virtual reality and augmented reality are still in their infancies, marketers are already finding all sorts of creative ways to deploy the technologies. Here are a few examples of how brands have been using VR and AR recently: VR COCA-COLA created an Oculus Rift MARRIOTT presents VR experience that takes consumers on an experiences of hotels around the immersive sleigh ride with Santa Claus world, including London and Hawaii, through different towns. and allows potential travelers to experience the properties from afar. TOM'S, which gives away a free pair FORD delivers a virtual reality shoes to someone in need for every pair gaming experience to showcase purchased, takes people on a VR trip to the cutting-edge technologies in Peru to see one of the villages that's its Edge vehicle. been helped by its charity. AR RAY-BAN'S virtual mirror allows WALGREENS' Aisle411 apP a user to see what sunglasses will guides customers around stores, look like on their face by using their helping them find where products are phone's camera. located and presenting promotions. NORTHERN LIGHTING'S app lets LACOSTE'S LCST app lets users consumers see what its lighting scan trigger images available in products will look like in the context of stores to try on products and interact their own homes. with company content. Are VR and AR Now Mainstream? Will They Get There? The best way to describe the current state of both virtual and augmented reality is as "emerging," since marketers and consumers are just starting to embrace them. ( VR Only 8% of brands are However, 21% of brands are CURRENTLY USING INTERESTED in implementing VIRTUAL REALITY virtual reality (AR Only 7% ARE USING and 25% are INTERESTED AUGMENTED REALITY in implementing augmented as part of their marketing efforts reality as part of their marketing efforts in the near future Why aren't AR and VR being adopted more widely right now? Technology executives say the biggest challenges are: Inadequate content Reluctance Technological offerings about new tech limitations As more content is created, as consumers get comfortable, and as the technologies improve, the VR and AR markets are predicted to jump in size: NUMBER OF VR HEADSET USERS WORLDWIDE 2015: 6.5 MILLION 2016: 22.5 MILLION 154 MILLION (projected) 2020: Goldman Sachs predicts that by 2020, the combined virtual and augmented reality market will reach $120 BILLION IN REVENUE. So, what does all that mean for marketers? Ultimately, that VR and AR are much more than just fads. The technologies, while still evolving, are set to have a transformational impact on both how people experience the world and how brands interact with consumers. mdg SOURCES: ADAGE, AUGMENT, FORBES, GARTNER, EDELMAN, FORRESTER, HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, IDC, MBYONIC, PERKINS COIE, TOUCHSTONE, UPLOAD, YES LIFECYCLE MARKETING, YUME. Twitter: @MDGadvertising

Virtual and Augmented Reality: What Brands Need to Know

shared by MDGadvertising on Sep 28
After years of anticipation, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are finally having their moment. Research firm Gartner picked VR and AR their top strategic digital technology trends of 2...


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