Three Things VR is Doing Right for The Mainstream Consumer
Did you know that there will be over 900 Million VR users in 2017? It’s obvious that VR is making strides, but, it still has a long way to go before it’s considered mainstream to the casual consumer.
Think about this: one of the most successful VR campaigns comes from Mini Cooper, which brought in 315 percent of projected site visits, garnered 4.2 million views, and increased brand favorability by 11 percent. However, Mini Cooper’s audience for this targeted campaign was aspirational creatives- just the type of person to be interested in a 360 video experience.
Now that’s great for Mini Cooper, and wonderful for those “aspirational creatives,” but what has to happen in the VR industry before your audience jumps on the VR train? Let’s take a look.
Social Media and 360 Video
The New York times has always been on the forefront of documentary VR. Just in late October, they unveiled a Daily 360 program, which brings their viewers to a slice of life somewhere in the world via a 360 Video. These videos are posted on their Youtube Channel, Facebook, the NYTimes Website and NYTimes app. They can be viewed in a smartphone, tablet, or on a computer screen.
There is a lot of promise for this project to make an impression and bring 360 Video into the mainstream. At the core, Daily 360 utilizes easy-to-use social media to distribute these 360 videos. Meeting potential viewers where they are and on a platform they are familiar with gives the New York Times the edge to familiarize their audience with 360. In the end, their content is completely accessible.
Additionally, posting 360 Videos every day means that there will be a variety of viewers. NYTimes does not have to rely on one Hero Video that’s a smash hit to bring in a spike of viewers… that ultimately trail out. Instead, the organization’s scheduled drip of smaller content will bring in channel followers who can experiment with viewing VR on a variety of documentaries.
Next step? A social platform that lets viewers browse in headset.
Gear and Platforms Partner with Brands
Another successful aspect of the New York Time’s VR campaign was the partnership with Samsung. They provided Gear 360 cameras to the New York Times visual journalists so they could capture the daily VR content.
This is the key: brands want to create Virtual Reality. Virtual Reality headset companies want to sell headsets. Success clearly lies between the partnership of 360 companies, content creators, and content distributors. This will familiarize all parties with the needs of the entire industry.
Bundling VR Headsets and Phones
Something completely undeniable is that everyone is attached to their smartphone. American Adults spend at least one hour and thirty-nine minutes on their phones every day, as reported by CNN. The phone is the intersection of information, entertainment and communication for 80% of Americans.
That’s why it comes at no surprise that a staggering 98% of headsets sold last year were made for mobile phones. Certainly the Samsung Gear and HTC Vibe were among the top five most popular, but the Google Cardboard crushed the competition, selling 84 million units all around the world.
This means that the cheapest options are going to be where the typical consumer experiments- but mid level phone based devices is how these users will graduate into a more immersive VR experience.
Certainly, VR isn’t mainstream just yet, but all the innovations are set in place to make sure VR isn’t just a passing fad. Take advantage of that and get familiar with the technology while you can.
Leah Eder is the Marketing Coordinator for Video Production Company Green Buzz Agency. She reports on the latest trends in VR and Video Marketing.