Technology is becoming more and more sophisticated, and so are consumers. That’s why it isn’t enough to engage them — you also must surpass their expectations. Therefore, you should consider incorporating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into your marketing strategies. Let’s explore the definition of each, examples of brands that are doing it right, and whether small businesses can partake.
What’s Virtual Reality?
With virtual reality, your sights and sounds are cut off and replaced by a virtual, computer-generated environment. The environment could be anyplace — you could be transported to a tennis court, facing your digital opponent, or you could be in a fantasy world, complete with dragons and elves. Virtual reality envelopes you in 360 degrees and three dimensions so that you feel like you’re fully immersed in another universe. In many instances, you’re able to navigate through virtual reality experiences and use your hands to manipulate objects.
What’s Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality uses technology to overlay (or augment) sounds, graphics, and text over the real world. You’re not transporting to another dimension — you’re bringing aspects of it to your world. Whereas virtual reality most often requires a headset, you can experience augmented reality by simply holding up your phone while running through apps.
Virtual and Augmented Reality in Marketing
The economic impact of virtual and augmented reality is predicted to reach a staggering $29.5 billion in 2022. Why? Because they create lush, immersive, and interactive user experiences and enable consumers to get up close and personal with your product or service. When used correctly, virtual, and augmented reality could improve buyer awareness, offer better personalization, and speed up the purchasing process.
Examples of Virtual Reality in Marketing
TOMS is a shoe company that’s best known for donating a pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer makes a purchase. They upped their “One for one” slogan by incorporating virtual reality into their marketing strategy.
The TOMS Virtual Giving Trip allowed viewers to follow the TOMS team to Peru through a four-minute virtual reality film, chronicling a visit to a school of children who are about to receive their new shoes. TOMS set up this experience across their retail shops and trunk shows, and it was a hit because they successfully appealed to the emotions of the audience.
Oreo: The World of a Flavoured Cookie 360°
Here’s a fantastical example of how virtual reality can play up to your imagination. Using Google’s Cardboard headset, Oreo allowed viewers to dive into its “Wonder Vault,” a place where its cookie flavors are dreamed up. You travel through milk rivers, cocoa mountains, and life-sized Oreos to see how their Filled Cupcake flavored Oreos are made. It’s a fun campaign that was an excellent awareness campaign for a new product launch.
Examples of Augmented Reality in Marketing
While home decorating, in theory, is delightful and fun, it’s anything but easy. You have to break out the measuring tape and mentally exhaust yourself by envisioning how certain pieces of furniture would look in your home. Thanks to augmented reality, this is no longer an issue.
With an app called Ikea Place, you can scroll through their catalog of more than 2,000 products, hold up your phone, and then use the camera to place digital furniture around your home. You’re even able to see what a fold-out sofa would look like when it unfolds into a bed.
As mentioned earlier, consumers are more sophisticated than ever — meaning that they’ve also become more demanding and want to be able to get information as quickly as possible. That’s why AMC Theaters made sure that their app included elements of augmented reality. If somebody sees a movie poster, they’re able to open the app, scan the poster, and find out everything they need to know about the film, including release dates, the trailer, and who’s in the cast. They’re even able to purchase tickets and book seats if the film is already released.