I won’t introduce you to the importance of incorporating virtual reality (VR) into your marketing strategy.
what am i will What I will do, however, is to share some interesting facts about VR and show you nine examples of the technology being used to market a product or brand.
- Consumer and enterprise VR market revenue is expected to reach $6.71 billion by the end of 2022 and $12.9 billion by 2024.
- From 2021 to 2028, the global augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality market size is expected to grow by over USD 220 billion.
- By the end of 2022, virtual reality hardware and software sales are estimated to generate more than $6.4 billion in revenue.
- VR headset sales are expected to reach 82 million by the end of 2020 1,507% increase Total forecast from 2017.
VR adoption is growing, and it’s worth considering adding it to your marketing funnel in the coming year.
What is virtual reality?
VR, short for virtual reality, is software that immerses the user in a 3D virtual interactive environment—usually through a headset with special lenses—to simulate a real-life experience. Many VR experiences take place in 360 degrees.
Movies, for example, allow viewers to experience movies as if they were on set, while businesses use VR to showcase and promote their products to potential customers. In fact, many industries have discovered the use of VR to transport people to places they might have to go or just imagine.
Before we dive into some examples of businesses using VR for marketing, it’s worth noting that there are some key differences between virtual reality and another term you may have heard before in the same field: augmented reality. The video below runs through the main differences.
Looking for inspiration for your own VR marketing campaign? Look no further. Here are nine of our favorite VR marketing campaigns and how they can serve a company’s marketing strategy.
Virtual Reality (VR) Marketing Examples
- Gucci Town
- Sephora Try-On Kiosk
- Wendy’s and VMLY&R: Keeping Fortnite fresh
- Tribal Past: Bear River, One Nation: What Can Eels Teach Us?
- Adidas: Deli
- Lowe’s: How Holoroom
- Bulson: Sensory
- Toms: Virtual Giving Tour
- DP World: Caucedo Facility Tour
1. Gucci Town
High-end fashion brand Gucci recently launched Gucci Town, a virtual world within the Roblox virtual world. 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, a browseable art exhibit, and a Gucci store where people can buy clothes for their Roblox avatar. When users wear their purchased clothing, they can engage in conversations with others interested in unique items, inspiring visits and discovering what the town has to offer.
2. Sephora Try-On Kiosk
Beauty retailer Sephora has kiosks where visitors can virtually test makeup to make sure they’re happy with how it looks before buying. These kiosks are a high-value marketing tool that provides a unique blend of experiences that help customers get the most out of their in-store visits.
While Sephora does allow physical testing of its products, not everyone is willing to do so, so kiosks are an added option. It is also good for customer satisfaction, as people can see exactly what the product will look like ahead of time to ensure they are spending their money on the product that best suits them and their needs.
3. Wendy’s and VMLY&R: Keeping Fortnite fresh
Wendy’s has created an engaging VR marketing experience within the virtual world of Fortnite, leveraging the native gameplay associated with its business: beef. Fortnite players deliver beef to freezers in nearby restaurants and earn coins on success.
To make it a more brand-relevant experience, Wendy’s commissioned its marketing agency VMLY&R to create an avatar that resembles its mascot, Wendy. The company then went live on Twitch, where viewers could watch the new Wendy avatar break into the restaurant and destroy the freezer:
During the live broadcast, Wendy’s saw a 119% increase in social media mentions, and 1.52 million minutes watched for a quarter of a million. Viewers also started smashing freezers at their games, tweeting about the stream, and commenting on the feed’s comment thread.
As with commercials or local ads, the campaign’s goal is to remind viewers that Wendy’s strives to provide customers with the freshest beef, which is why it’s so important, the faster users receive coins, the faster they’ll be able to have beef delivered to the freezer.
4. The Tribe’s Past: Bear River, One Nation: What Can Eels Teach Us?
Jessica Cantrell partnered with Oculus to create a 360° film project in which tribe members share their stories and reconnect young people with their community’s past.
It’s a form of community storytelling that leverages emerging VR tools to market stories and help historically marginalized community members learn more about their culture.
5. Lowe’s: The Holoroom Guide
Anyone who has experienced the anxiety of being a first-time home buyer knows the unfathomable power of paperwork and finances to ruin the joy of designing or decorating a new home.
That’s why Lowe’s decided to step in and help homeowners – or casual DIY enthusiasts – with a virtual skills training clinic using HTC Vive headsets to guide participants through a visual educational experience to learn about home improvement.
Now clients can start their do-it-yourself renovation dreams without paying professional fees, and with the education they need to succeed on their own.
6. Posing: Senses
Cheese brand Boursin has created a VR experience that takes users on a multi-sensory journey through the refrigerator to illuminate the flavor profile, food pairings and recipe ideas of its products.
Target? Raise UK consumers’ awareness of Bursin’s unique flavours and product options.
While the VR part is part of a live experience marketing campaign, the rest of us can experience (pun intended) a virtual experience with this YouTube video.
7. Adidas: Deli
Adidas teamed up with emerging tech marketing agency Somewhere Else to track the mountaineering trips of two extreme athletes sponsored by TERREX, a division of Adidas.
If you can’t give the audience a 360-degree view of the journey, what good is climbing a mountain for the audience?
Spectators can follow climbers Ben Rueck and Delaney Miller up the climb. You heard that right – using a VR headset, with two sensory remotes in each hand, viewers can climb Delicatessen Mountain next to Rueck and Miller.
According to Somewhere Else, the VR event aims to “find a memorable way to market TERREX, [Adidas’s] Outdoor clothing and accessories collection. “However, what the company also does is introduce viewers to activities they may have never tried before and instill interest in the experience.
Check out the event trailer below.
8. Toms: Virtual Giving Tour
Toms is a popular shoe company known for donating a pair of shoes to a child in need every time a customer buys a pair. This charity developer has found a new way to incentivize his clients to donate – wearing a VR headset.
Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoemaker at Toms Tom’s Virtual Giving Tour and one of his colleagues.
As they describe Toms’ founding story, their VR experience takes viewers through Peru, where Blake and the shoe delivery team visit a school where kids are about to receive the shoes they need for the first time.
Toms’ VR campaign has done so well that it’s what cause-oriented organizations around the world strive to do: show donors exactly where their money is going. Even without a VR headset, the video below can provide you with an intimate experience that puts Toms on your next shoe shopping list.
9. DP World: Caucedo Facility Tour
DP World is a global trading company that helps businesses move goods around the world. However, as the company opened a new terminal, they needed a way to show customers what DP World’s properties had to offer.
DP World’s Caucedo facility in the Dominican Republic is just one of the properties DP World has used VR to promote its large and often mysterious ships and landmasses popping up in the community.
Trade logistics isn’t an exciting industry for everyone, but that’s what makes a 360-degree tour of the DP World Terminal so valuable. Show people how efficient, safe and important these properties are to certain businesses – rather than having them put on their hard hats and walk through the port itself – and you can get a lot of community support.
Navigating VR in Marketing
As you read this, you might be thinking, “Why would a small business marketer like me want to learn about high-priced VR campaigns?”
Well, although VR may be too expensive for many people. Marketing budgets, it’s becoming more and more abundant in society, and as it grows, we’re seeing a handful of brands leverage 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 content related to marketing innovation, content marketing, or visual storytelling that can give you additional ideas on how to better engage with your digital audience.
Want to see how other emerging technologies will impact your marketing? Check out a practical approach to emerging technologies for SMB: AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, IoT, and AR/VR.