Creating VR Guidelines for your brand

(created w/Christian Colasuonno)

Introducing our client into the VR world is scary, but also exciting. Brands need to play in the space wisely and not just litter the landscape and run away. The brands that invest in VR as a new channel and not an execution will succeed.

Opening the door to this world is the next smart step in a history of toe-in-the-water trials into newer platforms (1st Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter handle, Instagram account, Tinder Profile (?) etc etc)

We also need be careful of the “Walmart Black Friday Syndrome”… where once we open the door, everyone comes rushing in — trampling bystanders and security guards. This is troublesome, especially with global brands who have several partners and subsidies. VR ideas comes from all angles.

To that end, We have begun to create these guidelines for our brand to distribute… Would welcome feedback and any additions from our peers.

or steal some of it — it will make us all better :)

Without further adieu —

1. Just because it can be done with VR, doesn’t mean it should be done with VR. Know when your content is best for 360 video vs. VR vs. Digital video — try to make something that has nuances to be interesting in each of the formats.

2. Put the end user somewhere they could not have been otherwise, but they want to be — this is the primary rule of everything we initially make. We need to align with real moments when YOUR BRAND is on a stage, use VR to take people to that moment so they can experience it by being in the middle of it. (“Where can we take them that will be surprising and informative?”)

3. Remember, we are making an experience, not an advertisement -Put someone where they can have a unique experience, courtesy of YOUR BRAND, not somewhere only so that we can advertise to them. We also must be steadfast on what we want someone to do next. This is a new comms channel, figuring out how to leverage it will need focus.

4. Demonstrate emotion and intensity with what we create. These are stories we want to tell, and then we want someone to tell someone else about the story so they can also experience it.

5. Keep it snackable (Hate this word, but it works) ; this isn’t a long duration platform — at this point, nothing over 2 minutes. If you feel you need more than 2:00 you might consider breaking it up into shorter, easily digestible pieces. This is part attention span, part file weight on someone’s device.

6. Pull your user into your story, make them have a physiological response to get involved — you want someone to become physically invested in the experience, things like turning to look at something barely out of frame, or using sound properly to make them turn around are great ways to start. Also, find your balance on physical well-being of consumers. Physical well-being is still a thing to consider in this medium.

7. Remember, sound design is your friend — Give them a great reason to actually put on headphones and turn the volume up.

8. Think visually about displaying information — put how fast we are going on the screen as a graphic vs. thinking someone will zoom into the instrument panel.

9. Use eye-level viewing angles when possible — Someone is holding a VR player up to his or her eyes, so their eye level is that natural point we should start at.

10. Stay up to date on what everyone else is doing.

11. Track everything. As the medium grows, analytics is catching up and so therefore, is optimization. We’ve liked what these guys have to offer —

12.Create. Launch. Measure. Learn and improve upon everything we do.

Originally published at on March 24, 2016.