In a world where technology is growing at exponential rates, marketers and brands are now trying to wrap their heads around virtual reality. What started as something geared towards the gaming industry is now presenting itself as a useful tool for creating greater brand awareness and in educating consumers. While we’ve just started to skim the surface of VR’s marketing potential, multiple brand pioneers have discovered creative ways to use the technology to further their business. Virtual reality allows brands to experiment by showcasing product attributes, informing consumers and showing first-hand how a brand can fit a lifestyle. Take a 3-D look at how a few consumer brands are standing out amongst a highly competitive market.
A pioneering spirit is one of the main facets of the Patrón brand and what better way to tell the Patrón origin story than through a VR experience? Patrón’s Virtual Hacienda Tour turns consumers into the Patrón bee as it flies through the Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, recounting the tequila’s origin story. The brand invented a drone system mounted with seven Go-Pro cameras to evoke the feeling of flying through the fields of the distillery, and used 3-D sound mechanisms to capture the full virtual reality experience. The brand noticed the educational opportunity that VR presented and got creative with how to provide consumers with an origin story of their brand.
As a consumer brand that’s also aligned with the travel industry, Merrell saw a unique opportunity for marketing its products through VR. The brand’s most technically advanced hiking shoe to date, the Merrell Capra, launched along with the first ‘walk around’ commercial VR experience. The Merrell Trailscape challenged adventurers to hike through extreme scenarios like trembling bridges in the mountains, simply by using an Oculus Rift headset. This thrill-seeking approach helped the brand redefine its voice and its reputation of being just a shoe company into a reputation that’s experience-focused.
“How much cheese is too much cheese?” According to cheese supplier, Boursin, there’s no such thing. When Boursin recognized their brand awareness was relatively low, they pioneered a virtual reality campaign to reach a new generation of potential cheese connoisseurs. Combining multiple senses through VR, the Boursin Sensorium toured consumers through a fridge fully stocked with Boursin cheeses and pairing snacks. The campaign launched at a shopping center and visited regional food festivals. The clips were filmed for easy sharing on social media through the hashtag #BoursinSensorium and an on-site photo booth captured consumer experiences as though they were part of the action inside the fridge. Boursin’s VR efforts resulted in 98% of the consumers recalling their immersive experience and in a 36% increase in consumers buying the brand.
This shift in modern marketing shows that inspiring consumers and eliciting emotional reactions lies in the value of simply starting a conversation. Through virtual reality, brands can now maintain consumer attention and overcome the barrier of creating engaging and immersive content.