virtual reality documentary toms experience giving trips

Using VR To Tell A Story

Featured image courtesy of TOMS.


Everyone wants to hear a good story. All successful advertising follows an engaging narrative. Strong, efficient VR content can be narrative driven, too. VR is inherently interactive, immersive, and intriguing, which can make a narrative even more compelling.


You can use your VR content to convey to your audience who you are, what you do, and what you believe in. All, without outwardly selling them something.


Who You Are

Consumers form bonds with brands in the same way they do with people. So, forming a positive relationship with your consumer is important to the success of your company and campaign.


And, what is one of the things people form bonds through most? Stories.


Start by sharing your origin story with your audience. Building a strong persona through a narrative comes from a focused mission statement and rich backstory. Stories are fuelled by details. And, details are what make stories personal.


Show the audience what your company is and what it’s evolved into since the beginning. The gritty details help humanize your company and make the story more relatable. By setting up your history, you can assure your consumers of the future and what they can expect from you.


Keep in mind, VR consumers are still looking for interactive content. Tell your story in an interesting way that keeps the viewer engaged and interested. Ways to do this could include taking your viewer on a journey through the history. Rather than the physical office space, take the viewer on a journey through temporal space. Come up with a creative way to travel through the time while discussing your company history.


What You Do

In order to target the right audience, you still need to be able to show them what you do. The trick here is to show without selling. It’s easy to fall into the selling pattern. The difference between showing and selling is based in the way the story is told.


Selling focuses mainly on the product features or the specifics behind the service you offer. It’s important for customers to know this information, but not so much in creating a compelling narrative. Showing through your story means that you are sharing the experience of what you do. VR allows for a unique opportunity to create a stronger empathetic connection between your mission and your viewer.


A great example of creating an empathetic connection through VR is Unicef’s “Clouds Over Sidra” documentary.



This video does a great job of inspiring empathy in the consumer. With organizations like Unicef, it can be difficult to form an intimate connection with the people the company helps. With VR, you are able to truly experience what it’s like for Sidra and her family on a deeper level. The viewer feels as though they know her after exploring her life first-hand.


What You Believe In

This relates closely with who you are. Examples of what you believe in could include experiences with past clients or projects you are particularly proud of, stories that truly reflect you. TOMS, the shoe company, does a great job of combining all three of these elements. In this 360 virtual reality video, the company takes you through the process of distributing shoes in Peru.



This VR experience takes you on the “Giving Trip.” You are virtually transported to Peru as they distribute shoes, but simultaneously explore the company’s narrative. From past to present to future, TOMS shares its mission and identity with the audience.


This video is very successful in showing without selling. The product — TOMS shoes — are never explicitly advertised to the consumer. Rather than showing what the shoes can do for the consumer, TOMS shows what the shoes can do for others.


It’s a compelling narrative and an exceptional use of virtual reality. The emotions the audience feels during the journey to Peru are only heightened by the immersive feel of the 360 video.


Be Yourself

Overall, the most important thing you can do in creating content that resonates with viewers is by being yourself. It’s a cliche we’ve all heard at one point or another, but it’s true. Show your audience the core of your company values and it will make for a stronger narrative.


Keep in mind the importance of creating VR content with purpose. But, high-quality, purposeful VR content with an engaging story can be a great decision for your brand.

Katie Murray a Marketing Intern for Green Buzz Agency. She reports on the latest trends in Video Production and Video Marketing. She is always looking for a good story.

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