Virtual reality (VR) is a pretty cool concept, but it still has a ways to go. Despite the development needed to make VR truly immersive, it’s a growing market that’s predicted to generate $29.5 billion in revenue by 2020 with an estimated 82 million headsets sold. With the increase in consumer usage, VR is becoming a domain that has unlimited potential uses — not the least of which is marketing and building brand awareness. In this ever competitive global market, the ability for brands to tell stories and set themselves apart is increasingly necessary — and what could be a better way than an immersive story? Here are some creative ways industries are already using VR in their marketing strategies:
VR in Tourism
The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales uses VR to show consumers a glimpse of what visiting their destinations is like, either through the use of an Oculus Rift (for full immersion) or by viewing 3D videos on their website. They also have VR headsets available at their locations for visitors stopping by.
VR in Real Estate Industry
Some realtors are now mapping homes for VR tours, taking the hassle out of driving from house to house only to decide it’s not what you’re looking for. The real estate company Matterport has already mapped one million houses since 2011 and offer these virtual tours with 3D video and VR experiences using GearVR, Oculus Go, and Google Cardboard.
VR in Retail
Home improvement and decor stores have started utilizing VR in a big way. Retail giants Ikea, John Lewis, and Lowes have incorporated various VR marketing strategies. Lowes has a particularly impressive setup with their in-store Holoroom, which allows customers to experiment with their projects in a virtual space. If you don’t live near one of the 19 Lowes locations that have a Holoroom, they also have an augmented reality option so you can see what the projects look like in your own home.
Other Clever Ways Companies Have Utilized Virtual Reality in their Marketing Campaigns
At Christmas time, Coca-Cola created a virtual ride where users using an Oculus Rift could experience a ride in Santa Claus’ sleigh. In Sweden McDonald’s is trying out their own form of Google Cardboard headsets in their Happy Meal Boxes. The happy meals come with a game that simulates skiing, and the “Happy Goggles” themselves can be reused. Yet another major company, Volvo, has started offering a virtual reality test drive of their XCgo SUV for those who don’t have a dealership nearby. This has brought a more modernized feel to a company that has been struggling to stay relevant, while also beginning a trend that may be the standard for car companies in the future.
Have you seen a particularly cool use of virtual reality in marketing? Tell us about it in the comments!