Dominic Collins knows a thing or two about the power of new technology.
And the good news is he’s one of the speakers at this year’s Future of Digital Marketing event, where he’ll be giving an insight into why marketers need to care about virtual reality.
As Senior Consultant at Jaunt - a virtual reality production company based in California – Dominic spearheads the business’s marketing strategy, collaborating with brands and agencies to deliver ground-breaking and immersive cinematic experiences.
Despite the likes of Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear recently providing a more accessible avenue into the world of virtual reality, it remains a somewhat mysterious and even off-putting idea for some.
But according to Dominic, the biggest challenge facing the VR industry is not nonchalance towards the concept itself, but merely a lack of awareness that the technology is out there.
VR can become more accessible for the everyday consumer – they just need to find out about it, that’s all.
Most people have a smartphone that can already power amazing stereoscopic VR content, and the content itself is growing in quality all the time.
As well as accessibility, Dominic believes that valuable content is the key to its success in future.
He suggests that there is little danger of VR going down the same fateful route as 3D television, as long as there is as much emphasis on what is being created as there is excitement about the platform itself.
VR is a different experience than watching video in 16:9. And historically, it has only been when there has been enough quality content that a technology has taken off – take HDTV or IMAX for example.
People will only be willing to invest in the kit if the great content is there to justify it.
The question is – does this type of content offer any real value to those outside of the gaming and movie industries?
As Jaunt’s project for The North Face proved, there is huge potential for travel and ecommerce companies in particular to utilise the technology for original content marketing campaigns.
In its collaboration with the outdoor clothing company, Jaunt travelled to the stunning landscapes of Nepal and Yosemite National Park, offering customers their own virtual experience of a professional’s climb.
During the multi-sensory, 360-degree journey, the brand and its products were brought to life in an authentic and thrilling way.
Alongside larger and well-known brands, there have also been examples of VR from companies you might not necessarily expect.
One of the best cases of experiential marketing from last year was from soft cheese giant Boursin.
Instead of setting up a bog-standard tasting experience, it included a VR element to simulate the experience of flying inside a fridge.
Of course, continued scepticism towards VR is going to be unavoidable – it can often be seen as a gimmick or something that is used as a vehicle for hype.
However, providing brands ensure a compelling narrative, there is clear potential for a whole new world of native advertising to explode.
And for companies like Jaunt, this spells guaranteed success.
Telling stories is something that has always been at the heart of human existence, and we’re helping define and build an entirely new way of doing it. It’s awesome!
Find out more about why marketers should care about virtual reality by attending the Future of Digital Marketing conference on June 7th.