Virtual Reality (VR) has been used in marketing for years now, especially inside conferences, but have you thought about all of the different ways to leverage the immersion of VR to convince users to interact with your brand?
What is Virtual Reality?
Let's start from the beginning. Virtual Reality, or VR for short, is a technology that uses a head-mounted display (HMD) in combination with 3D screens and head tracking to show the user images that trick their brain into feeling immersion.
Basically, it allows the user to feel as if they are inside the game. This is a very unique feeling that amplifies the sensations felt during gameplay.
Chances are, you've probably already used a "Cardboard VR" solution, where there are no controllers and the user is usually sitting down. While this is definitely a valid form of VR, it is quite outdated as it only offers 3DoF tracking. What that means is that you are only able to look around, moving in your physical space does nothing.
What is modern Virtual Reality like?
For the sake of timeline, let's look at one of the most powerful devices out there, the Meta Quest 3. This device offers so much more than the traditional cardboard devices that it's difficult to even place the 2 devices in the same category.
First and foremost, this is a standalone device. No more are the days of clunky cables and needing a powerful gaming PC to power the experience. Devices like the Quest 3 can be completely self-sustained by using incredible mobile chips such as the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2.
6DoF Tracking (Roomscale)
What this means is that users are now capable of actually physically walking around inside the virtual environment. This includes movements such as jumping, crouching, walking, and running. However, physical space can be a limiting factor. Still, adding this new layer of freedom removes one of the biggest nausea-inducing factors.
Controllers And Hand Tracking
Users are no longer bound to not being able to interact. Spatial-tracked controllers are now a battle-tested solution that most games and experiences use as a primary source of user input. Players are now able to reach out and touch, grab, and throw things around.
Not only are controllers available, but controller-less hand tracking is also an option. This solution requires a well-lit environment without much clutter in the background but can be an amazing experience nonetheless.
Inside Out Tracking
Much of this was already achievable through a computer-tethered VR device such as the HTC Vive, however these devices required outside-in tracking. If you've worked with a Vive before, you remember the lighthouses, small infrared camera devices that are used to track the controllers, and the headset in space. This used to require physical adaptation of the space as users needed to attach these "cameras" to the corners of their rooms. This is no longer required as newer devices utilize cameras embedded into the headset in order to track the user's movement and hand gestures.
120hz Refresh Rate
The quest 3 can reach up to 120 high-resolution frames per second being displayed to the user. Cardboard devices were restrained to the user's phone's refresh rate, most of them being limited to 60 or even 30. Low refresh rates are one of the biggest nauseating factors of the cardboard.
What do modern Virtual Reality Games look like?
Take Assassin's Creed Nexus as an example. This is currently one of the most advanced games available for the Meta Quest 3. We are no longer in the beginning stages of Virtual Reality, think bigger!
How to use VR in your Marketing Campaigns
Here are a few examples of how to use Virtual Reality to generate brand experience, branding opportunities, and user interactions.
Activations in Conferences & Events
If you need an eye-catching way to interact with attendees, making a visually interesting VR game might be a great way to generate user interest and fill your stand with curious individuals. In this case, you could make an arcade game with a local leaderboard, and each day, the best-performing player receives a reward.
Publish a free Native game
Everybody loves free games. By developing and publishing a free game on the Meta Quest App Lab and SideQuest stores, you can reach a lot of unique players from all around the world. By integrating the game with analytics software such as Firebase (Google Analytics), you can be sure that your campaign was seen by millions and brought in results.
These games don't have to be huge million-dollar budget games, a simple yet good 5 to 10-minute free experience may already be enough to generate good results. See Eden Unearthed, an Advergame made for a Netflix show.
Publish a web VR-based Experience
While WebVR games are notoriously simpler than native games, they are a lot easier to distribute. Publishing a game on HeyVR can be a great way to get users to play your game without requiring them to download and install it. With some luck, the game can even appear on every user's browser home page as the Meta Quest browser suggests users with relevant WebXR experiences.
If you are looking for a unique approach to your marketing campaigns, Virtual Reality can be a great tool to fill the void. There are several different ways to distribute the generated content even going as far as embedding the experience into an existing website.
VR has finally reached a point where it is not an unknown technology anymore and now offers millions of monthly active users, eagerly looking for new experiences.
This, however, is a difficult and expensive market to get into as a company and should best be handled through a trustworthy partner. If you need help getting started, Yellow Panda Games is a specialized service provider working primarily with mobile, web, Virtual, and Mixed Reality. Get in contact now and let's build your most innovative marketing campaign!