DIGITAL INTERACTIVE SERVICES
Ways in which VR And AR Stand To impact advertising, marketing, and PR
Sitting on my couch on a lazy Sunday morning, I browse through my news feed, and stumble upon an ad for running shoes. Hmmm…. I could do with a new pair. Sipping my morning brew, I click on the ad and come upon a couple of interesting options on the website. But how would they look on my feet? Wait a minute. It looks like I can try them virtually. I just must take a picture of my feet and share it on the website, and the shoes get superimposed on my picture. So cool! I find the right size, click, and buy. That must be the fastest shoe purchase I ever made, given that I am a picky shopper. This kind of rich experience is possible because of technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and they are going to be game changers in the world of advertising and marketing.
VR and AR are evolving by the day. Marketers and advertisers are willing to extend an arm (or a camera, as the case may be) and experiment with cutting-edge technologies as they scramble to build their brand in the metaverse and increase consumer engagement. There are many ways to do this.
- Interactive and immersive experiences: To engage with Gen Z and millenials, brands need to go where the audience is already present. By becoming part of popular online games, brands can interact and engage with young consumers. For instance, the luxury fashion house Gucci partnered with Roblox to create Gucci Town in the Roblox metaverse. When gamers purchase Gucci clothes for their virtual avatars, they unconsciously imbibe the brand and the understated elegance and talk to other Roblox avatars about their brand. Nike has partnered with Roblox to create Nike land, where gamers can compete in various mini-games and purchase the latest digital products offered by Nike. With AR, companies can directly interact with consumers. For instance, Snap used AR to advertise their show “Bringing up Bhabie” on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, which let users scan a QR code and bring the character to life on their phone. This kind of advertising brings the product directly to the user’s device, offering infinite possibilities to advertisers and deep engagement with consumers.
- Rich shopping experiences: Want to try on some new makeup and see how it looks on you? Or maybe you want to change the rug in your living room! Brands are leveraging VR and AR platforms* to elevate shopping experiences across the board. Popular Swedish furniture maker, IKEA, employs both VR and AR to democratise shopping with the Virtual Home Experience. Shoppers can use the in-store VR application to visualise colour combinations, get creative with furniture configuration and fabrics, and think out of the box. The company has also created an app, IKEA Kreativ, which exploits AR and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for intelligent virtual redecorating, allowing the user to delete the existing furniture and replace it with IKEA furniture.
- Public Relations (PR) reimagined: Mailers, press releases, photographs and videos are all nearly passé. With so much content available, businesses need to constantly reinvent themselves to build their brand. Leveraging VR for virtual tours can offer business journalists a completely new perspective on the company culture and an in-depth understanding of how the company works. With virtual storytelling, brands can give users personalised and connected experiences. There are several brands across industries that are getting creative with VR. These range from Samsung’s virtual world Samsung 837X, which models its flagship New York City store, to McDonald’s VR Zodiac Exhibition, which showcases the Chinese Zodiac. AR and VR offer the possibility of highly personalised and unique advertising and marketing campaigns. Brands can literally place themselves in the user’s hands and offer rich interactive experiences with try before you buy options that are more likely to lead to conversions. The advertising and marketing landscape is set to transform with the rapid evolution of AR and VR and brands will need to devise the best ways to engage with consumers and capture their interest. Well, that’s enough musings for the day. Let me track my package and see if it’s dispatched yet. If only I could get into the warehouse metaverse and talk to the dispatcher to speed things up. As you can see, I am a consumer with high expectations!
*For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.