Using Virtual Reality for Marketing and Outreach

Kirk Loftin

              It’s getting harder and harder to grab people’s attention these days. How can you compete when they’re being bombarded with marketing in every aspect of their lives? How do you make your company or product stand out? People are four times as likely to watch a video than read an article with the same content, and visual content is forty times more likely to be shared on social media than other types. Words aren’t enough, it helps to include graphics, images, and video content.

               Initially in the 1990s, internet ads were seeing up to a 40% click-through rate on their ads. Today, that number can be as low as 0.06%. What is something new, different, and exciting that companies can do to help drive traffic and spread their brand/product/name? There’s been some real success with using Virtual Reality (VR) in marketing. 81% of people that try VR would recommend it to friends, and if the returns for the new film Ready Player One are any indication, people love everything VR. Some companies have already had success experimenting with the new technology.

               So, who’s doing it? VR has lots of different applications for companies, non-profits, and even governments. It can be used for training purposes, to recruit new and better talent, or to drive tourism to Abu Dhabi. Lowes created helpful do-it-yourself home improvement instructional VR experiences. The New York Times created a Virtual Reality experience for some of their stories, including the ability to immerse yourself in a 360-degree view of places like refugee camps from across the world. Hospitals can test surgery students to see if they’re ready to operate.

               Volvo created a VR test drive for their Volvo XC90 car, and the response was incredible. The marketing campaign received over 238 million PR impressions, with 4 million video views, and a half-million views to their web page. Arguably most importantly, the entire first run of XC90s sold out in less than two days.

                The good news is that this amazing technology isn’t a pipe dream or scenes from a silly sci-fi movie. It’s readily available for your organization from animation companies like Ctrl Shift VFX out of Houston, TX. They can craft 3-D Tours and VR demonstrations so that potential clients don’t just see your ad (and ignore it), but rather can fully immerse themselves in an actual experience that’s so much more memorable than a normal print ad or commercial. Their services include headset VR, a website version, and a mobile VR version, with the ability to insert interview-style videos and animated graphics inside the VR walkthrough. Ctrl Shift VFX is ready to craft a VR solution personalized for your company’s needs so you can create a real, emotional connection with your clients.

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