Greetings once again, fellow buzzers! We have discussed some of the current trends in emerging media, and we have discussed some of the future direction of emerging media as well. To accompany our discussion with the future, I want to discuss an area in the future of marketing which I am most excited for, and that is the area of virtual reality.
Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation that allows the user to experience an environment as if he/she was actually there. I am convinced that virtual reality is going to be a wonderful marketing tool in the future. Some companies have already been utilizing the technology. One great example of this is the shoe company Tom’s. Tom’s has a great gift-giving mission, where the company gives away one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of Tom’s shoes that are sold. In one of their flagship stores in California, Tom’s has a virtual reality chair which is provided for customers to use. The chair uses special VR technology to simulate a gift-giving trip to Peru, to showcase how great of an experience it is to visit children in need, and provide them with much needed footwear. The VR chair encourages customers to want to be a part of the experience by helping them be able to donate more to such children in need.
Another great example of using virtual reality for marketing comes from The New York Times. I love how VR technology is being used to market a traditional form of media such as a newspaper. The New York Times sent out Google Cardboard viewers to many of their Sunday Edition subscribers, and provided them with a digital movie that they could download. After the success of this event, they sent more viewers to their most loyal digital customers, and provided them with another VR video, this one an in depth look at the planet Pluto. Could you imagine if National Geographic would start to implement the same technology, and would send their subscribers Google Cardboard viewers that would give subscribers the simulation of visiting all of the places that National Geographic photographs and films? I can just imagine how much subscriptions would follow spike if they decided to follow the same trend that was started by The New York Times. What a fantastic way to see and explore the world, without ever having to leave home!
Virtual reality is a technology that is just starting to make some real noise in the world of marketing. It is such a fun and engaging form of technology. I can’t wait to start using a virtual reality headset when I go to a travel agent, and am thinking about booking a trip, and get to experience a sneak peak at my resort by using some VR technology. This will be continue to be a growing trend in emerging media and marketing and it is incredibly exciting that we are all going to get to experience it!