I won’t talk you through the importance of incorporating virtual reality (VR) into your marketing strategy.
That I will However, it is to share some fun facts about VR and show you nine examples of this technology being used to market a product or brand.
- The consumer and enterprise VR market revenue is expected to reach $6.71 billion by the end of 2022 and reach $12.9 billion by 2024.
- The worldwide Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality market size is expected to grow by more than USD 220 billion between 2021 and 2028.
- By the end of 2022, sales of virtual reality hardware and software are estimated to generate more than $6.4 billion in revenue.
- By the end of 2020, the number of virtual reality headsets sold is expected to reach 82 million, a 1,507% increase of the expected totals for 2017.
Virtual reality is growing in adoption, and it’s worth considering adding it to your marketing channels in the coming year.
What is VR?
Virtual reality, short for virtual reality, is software that immerses users in a three-dimensional virtual interactive environment, usually through headsets with special lenses, to simulate a real-life experience. Many virtual reality experiences take place in 360 degrees.
While movies, for example, allow the audience to experience the film as if they were a character in the scene, companies use virtual reality to demonstrate and promote their products to potential customers. In fact, many industries have found a use for virtual reality to transport people to places they should travel or simply imagine.
Before we dive into some examples of companies that have used VR for marketing, it’s worth noting that virtual reality has some key differences from another term you may have heard before in the same field: augmented reality. The video below explains the key differences.
Looking for inspiration for your own VR marketing campaign? Look no further. Below are nine of our favorite VR marketing campaigns and how they’ve served your company’s marketing strategy.
Examples of virtual reality (VR) marketing.
- Gucci Town
- Sephora Trial Kiosk
- Wendy’s and VMLY&R: Keeping Fortnite Fresh
- A Tribal Past: Bear River, One Nation: What Can the Eel Teach Us?
- Adidas: Delicatessen
- Lowe’s: How to for Holoroom
- Boursin: The Sensorium
- Toms: Journey of Virtual Gifts
- DP World: Visit to the Caucedo facilities
1. Gucci Town
High-end fashion house Gucci recently launched Gucci Town, a virtual world within the Roblox metaverse. Players can explore the town, learn about the history of the house, and connect with other people in the game.
The interactive elements of Gucci Town are mini-games, navigable art exhibits, and the Gucci store where people can buy clothes for their Roblox avatars. When users wear the clothes they’ve purchased, they can spark conversations with others who are curious about the unique items, and as a result, be inspired to visit and discover what the city has to offer.
2. Sephora test kiosk
Beauty retailer Sephora has kiosks where visitors can virtually try on makeup products on their faces to make sure they’re happy with how they look before making a purchase. These kiosks are a valuable marketing tool that provide a unique hybrid experience to help customers get the most out of their in-store visit.
Although Sephora allows physical testing of its products, not everyone may want to do so, so kiosks are an additional option. It’s also beneficial for customer satisfaction, as people can see exactly what the products look like ahead of time to make sure they’re spending money on what best suits them and their needs.
3. Wendy’s and VMLY&R: Keeping Fortnite Fresh
Wendy’s created an engaging VR marketing experience within the virtual world of Fortnite, leveraging the native game related to their business: beef. Fortnite players would transport beef to the freezers of nearby restaurants and earn coins when successful.
To make it a more relevant experience for the brand, Wendy’s commissioned its marketing agency, VMLY&R, to create an avatar that resembled its mascot, Wendy. The company streamed on Twitch, where viewers could watch Wendy’s new avatar break into restaurants and destroy freezers:
During the broadcast, mentions of Wendy’s on social media increased by 119%, and a quarter of a million viewers watched it for a total of 1.52 million minutes. Viewers also began breaking freezers within their games, tweeting about the stream, and commenting on the channel’s comment thread.
As a commercial or native ad, the goal of the campaign was to remind the public that Wendy’s makes an effort to serve the freshest beef to its customers, which is why it was so relevant that users received coins the faster they could transport the beef in freezers. .
4. A Tribal Past: Bear River, One Nation: What Can the Eel Teach Us?
In collaboration with Oculus, Jessica Cantrell created a 360° film project where tribal members shared their stories and reconnected youth with their community’s past.
It was a form of community storytelling that leveraged an emerging virtual reality tool to market the story and help members of a historically marginalized community learn more about their culture.
5. Lowe’s: Holoroom Instructions
Anyone who has been through the angst of being a first-time home buyer knows the unfathomable power of paperwork and finances to undermine the fun of designing or decorating a new home.
That’s why Lowe’s decided to step in and help homeowners (or DIY enthusiasts) with a virtual skills training clinic that uses HTC Vive headsets to guide participants through a visual and educational experience on how to improve the home.
Now, customers can embark on their do-it-yourself renovation dreams without paying for a professional and with the education they need to succeed on their own.
6. Boursin: The Sensorium
Cheese brand Boursin created a virtual reality experience to take users on a multi-sensory journey through a fridge to shed light on their products’ flavor profiles, pairings and recipe ideas.
The goal? Raise awareness among UK consumers about the distinct taste and selection of Boursin products.
While the VR delivery 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.
7. Adidas: Delicatessen
Adidas partnered with Somewhere Else, an emerging technology marketing agency, to follow the mountain climbing journey of two extreme athletes sponsored by TERREX (a division of Adidas).
And what good is mountain climbing for the public if you can’t give them a 360 degree view of the ride?
Spectators could follow the climbers, Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller, literally rock by rock and climb with them. You heard that right: With a virtual reality headset and two sensory remote controls in each hand, viewers could climb Delicatessen Mountain alongside Rueck and Miller.
According to Somewhere Else, this VR campaign served to “find an unforgettable way to market TERREX, [Adidas’s] line of outdoor clothing and accessories.” What the company also did, however, was introduce viewers to an activity they might never have tried and spark interest in the experience.
Check out the campaign trailer below.
8. Toms: Journey of virtual gifts
Toms, a popular shoe company, is known for donating a pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer buys a pair. This charitable developer found a new way to inspire its customers to donate: with virtual reality headsets.
Blake Mycoskie, Toms founder and main shoe donor, narrates Tom’s virtual journey with one of his colleagues.
As they chronicle the story of Toms’ foundation, their VR experience takes viewers on a journey through Peru, where Blake and the Shoe Giveaway team visit a school of children who are about to receive much-needed shoes for the first time.
What Toms’ VR campaign does so well is something that cause-driven organizations around the world struggle to do: show donors exactly where their money is going. Even without a VR headset, the video below gives you an intimate experience to put Toms on your list for your next shoe purchase.
9. DP World: Visit to the Caucedo facilities
DP World is a global trading company that helps companies transport goods around the world. As the company opens new terminals, however, they need a way to show their customers what the DP World property has to offer.
DP World’s Caucedo facility in the Dominican Republic is just one of several DP World properties using VR to promote its large and often mysterious ships and landmasses as they pop up in a community.
Trade logistics isn’t an exciting industry for everyone, but that’s exactly why a 360-degree tour of DP World’s terminal is so valuable here. Show people how effective, safe and crucial these properties are to certain businesses, without forcing them to put on a helmet and walk the harbor itself, and you can get massive community support.
Navigating VR in Marketing
As you read this, you might be thinking, “Why should a small business marketer like me be learning about high-priced VR campaigns?”
Well, although virtual reality may be too expensive for many. marketing budgets, is increasingly abundant in society, as it grows, we see a handful of brands taking advantage of it for product promotion and virtual storytelling. And while you may not be able to create a VR-based campaign, you can gather some great insights from marketing innovation, content marketing, or visual storytelling that can give you other ideas on how to better engage with your digital audience.
Want to see how other emerging technologies will affect your marketing? Check out A Practical Approach to Emerging Tech for SMBs: AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, IoT and AR/VR.