Through a Looking Glass — Brands and Virtual Reality
There is a lot of conversation about virtual reality (VR). The truth is most people (and brands) don’t [yet] understand the full potential and use of virtual reality, however some folks are doing an incredible job with the technology. Speculation points out that the VR industry will be a $90 Billion (with a ‘B’) sector by 2020. Currently, 75% of Forbes’ most valuable brands are also implementing some form of VR/AR (augmented reality).
One thing that is an area ripe for brands to participate in that doesn’t have as much of an overhead as completely producing costly original content is brand integrations. There are lots of exciting things happening in the space so I wanted to point out a couple great examples of original content, as well as some existing brand integration opportunities below.
(Real world brand tie-in): In a small bar in London sits a menu at the bar with a cocktail called “The Origin.” If you select this drink, you’re given the option to take a virtual reality experience that takes you over the Highlands to show you where (and how) your scotch drink has been made. Afterward, a virtual bartender makes the Dalmore 12-year-scotch drink and sets it right in front of you. When you remove the VR headset, the actual bartender has placed the drink in front of you to connect the experience back to the real world. (Reuters)
The reason this works; 1. It’s a surprise and delight moment (and optional) since nothing about VR is listed on the menu. 2. It’s a bar near movie and performance theaters…people will likely have a few extra minutes to spare and are potentially looking for a new sort of experience if they are already going to a movie/show.
(Virtual world tie-in): One company currently making waves in the VR space is TheWaveVR (pun intended). TheWaveVR currently has $6.5 million in funding and is creating a communal VR + music experience where users can come to see “live” music or even become the DJ themselves (anyone remember Turntable.fm?) Below is a video example, but honestly nothing can compare to checking it out yourself. Please reach out if you’d like to arrange a demo: email@example.com
A basic product or brand integration would be to offer a round of virtual drinks (vodka Red Bull anyone?). A current working feature of the platform includes offering your friends within the virtual rave “party favors” which affect that particular users visuals temporarily.
Another personal favorite is the first virtual reality game show Kiss or Kill from Rlty Chk. Within this game you can be the host or one of the two contestants (think Jeopardy). The catch? You have playful distractions to distract your opponent including cream pies, a sledgehammer and more. The winner of the gameshow is given the option to kiss or kill the opponent. If they choose kiss, their points are saved. If they choose kill, the two opponents go into a virtual boxing match until one player loses and their points are set to zero. There are lots of fun brand opportunities including product integrations, advertising or even development of original IP.
If you’re interested in getting the low-down or VR 101 on what’s happening in the industry, feel free to reach out … Daniel@btfl.life or visit btfl.life for more info.