In my opinion, virtual reality is set to become the content marketing trend for 2017.
Many of the tech giants are making a play to dominate this space. Today Sony has launched its Playstation VR, which is compatible with the existing 40m PS4s already in use.
This comes hot off the heels of Google’s VR launch last week, when it released its first own-brand smartphone Pixel and Pixel XL, along with its Daydream View VR Headset and controller.
Google is taking its VR offering to the next level and is going head to head with Sony’s PS and Samsung’s VR Gear.
The tech giant’s product manager for VR, Andrey Doronichev, said that the new Daydream headset, made of lightweight wearable fabric, builds on its existing VR product.
Cardboard is a great way to get introduced to VR with short experiences, but we designed it without a head strap for a reason: for quick, bitesize experiences.
By contrast, Daydream is designed for long term, high quality VR, for a much more immersive and richly interactive experience.
With the tech and electronic giants investing heavily in the hardware, it’s only a matter of time before there is widespread consumer adoption of VR headsets.
So what does this mean for content marketers? It’s simple, consumer demand for content on these platforms will dramatically increase, and VR will become another channel to reach audiences on.
Many brands have already begun dipping their toes in the VR scene, with great success.
Here I’ve picked some of my favourite examples:
Jaguar used VR to promote its position as the ‘official car of The Wimbledon Championships’ this year.
It created a VR experience for tennis fans to “fly” into Centre Court and “feel” what it would be like to be the current British Champion Andy Murray stepping on to the historic court.
This campaign also won the Steve Wozniak Award for Tech Excellence at this year’s Masters of Marketing 2016.
Volvo created a VR experience to launch its CX-90. It gave the user a cockpit view of the vehicle and allowed them to take it on a virtual test drive.
It showed off the features of the car, and sold out its first run of orders in two days of launching.
Celebrating the centennial year of Yosemite National Park, National Geographic teamed up with President Obama to bring the national park to life for the many people who have never been.
It enabled the viewers to really connect with the national park
The New York Times
The editorial team of the New York Times have been experimenting with using VR in reporting and storytelling for almost a year.
Last year it sent every NYT subscriber a free Google Cardboard headset along with a link to its most celebrated VR film Displaced, about the 60m people who are driven from their homes due to war, which garnered two awards at the Cannes Lions festival in France this year.
The US TV channel NBC teamed up with Samsung Gear VR to create some unique coverage of this year’s Olympics.
It filmed 100 hours of VR coverage, including 360-degree videos of the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as covering events such as basketball, gymnastics and beach volleyball (to name a few).
Unfortunately embedding has been disabled on this video, but you can see it on YouTube.
Marriott Hotel Group
The international hotel group Marriott created a teleporter machine (like an old-fashioned telephone booth) using this technology.
It invited people from the streets to step inside and put on the headset, where it transported them to far off lands (where it happens to have hotels).
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