How to Engage Your Viewers With Full-Sensory Virtual Reality
If you’re considering a VR campaign, it’s vital to keep this in mind: the human experience isn’t just influenced by visuals. It’s enhanced by all of the senses. Virtual reality is supposed to imitate life. If you want to provide a truly immersive VR experience that achieves this goal, you’ll have to think beyond the 3rd dimension.
4D elements like sound, smell and movement complement your VR marketing campaign because they connect your branded content to the experiences and feelings of your users. It’s proven that a multi-sensory experience influences consumer behavior. In fact, research shows that 85-95% of consumer decisions occur on the subconscious level. With the number of VR number of users predicted to go up to 171 million by 2018, brands have to consider using sensory stimuli in their VR campaigns to take advantage of Virtual Reality’s unique ability to influence their customer on that subconscious level.
But how have companies incorporated sensory marketing into their VR campaigns to make their content stand out? Read on to see what methods worked for other brands!
High quality audio is an effective feature because it has the ability to create a certain mood, which allows users to feel further absorbed into your content. Patron innovated the auditory experience in its VR marketing campaign by implementing 3D binaural audio, which captures sound from all directions. The surround sound method causes your users to feel present in the setting. And when you’re creating VR, immersion is the end goal.
Patron’s VR experience gives users the behind-the-scenes production of Tequila. As users explore the Patron Hacienda, they hear workers singing on the agave fields, making them feel as if they are on the tropical fields watching the traditional preparation of Tequila. An Oxford study shows that sound impacts our perception of the tastes of food and beverages. The surrounding audio makes viewers imagine and even crave the taste of Patron’s product. They are also then more inclined to feel connected to the intricate Tequila-making-process.
Linking binaural sound to your VR will add a distinctive tone to your material. If your product is created in a rich environment, you can take advantage of sound just as Patron did.
It is proven that smell is more associated with memories than visuals and audio. Invoking emotions is key when trying to make your branded content unforgettable. By tieing scents with 360-degree visuals, Marriott enhanced its VR travel experience, “Traveling Teleporter”, which transported participants from a London skyscraper to a beach in Maui.
With the smell of the ocean, palm trees, and coconut oil, Marriott created a life-like atmosphere that made travelers feel like they were on a luxurious vacation. We remember smells with 65% accuracy after an entire year, according to a Rockefeller University study. So the next time one of those VR-travelers smells the sea breeze, they’re likely to remember Marriott and its relaxing vacations services. Not only that, but these customers are will subconsciously associate the actual, exciting sensation of traveling with Marriott after experiencing the hotel’s VR.
If your company has attributes that can be linked to a particular emotion or experience, smell can be an effective tool that reaches your audience viscerally. Your incorporation of smell will cause users to become nostalgic and link positive memories to your material, resulting in a strong brand presence.
Movement is the easiest way to produce a dynamic setting for your users. Rather than blatantly advertising, you can attract users and trigger their subconscious feelings by taking users on an adventure VR. Merrell, a hiking footwear company, made TrailScape, which worked in tandem with 4D elements to promote their new hiking boots at Sundance 2015.
Merrell added wind, a shaking ground, and an unstable bridge to accompany their VR visuals based on a treacherous hike in the mountains. Users could physically feel every thrilling visual as they freely wandered in the interactive, dangerous environment. It is proven that the sense of touch is connected to beliefs about a product through physical and psychological feelings. The next time users go on a hike, they might be more likely to relate outdoor adventures to Merrell and its hiking boots.
The campaign was so impressionable that conversations about the company increased by 900% during the event and stayed high throughout the month. The physical motion during the experience instigated the adrenaline-rush like emotions of users, leaving them intrigued about Merrell. If you have content that’s adventurous and exhilarating, having a “walkaround” with your VR is a great way to grab the attention of thrill-seekers.
Brittany Nguon is a Content Marketing Intern for Green Buzz Agency. She reports on the latest trends and techniques on video and Virtual Reality Marketing. If Marriott wanted to put her on a beach, she would happily go.