The next post in our series of Blogs from the Victory Square family comes from Roger Perry of Flo VR. Flo provides immersive and interactive VR ad experiences that aim to completely immerse the viewer into the brand experience, allowing them essentially to become the star of the ad. The Flo VR AD Tech platform has an active user network of 200M monthly viewers throughout North America.
Thanks in large part to rapid advances in information technology, the world now finds itself far more interconnected than ever before. In the past, those interested in exploring distant lands or learning about different cultures through immersive experiences would have to physically travel great distances to experience unique cuisines and locations. However, with access to resources like Google and YouTube readily available, it could be argued that these concerns have become outdated. Yet, it has become clear in recent years that the rise of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can put these concerns to bed permanently.
VR and AR are related technology but differ slightly from each other. For example, virtual reality typically consists of fully immersive experiences made possible by a specialized headset that users wear, while augmented reality typically overlays specialized graphics onto the physical environment that currently surrounds participants. Regardless of these slight differences, the premise of these technologies remains the same: to connect people to sights, sounds, and experiences that would not otherwise be possible to create in an affordable manner.
The implications of this kind of technology are vast. In fact, we are already starting to see impactful applications of this technology throughout various important industries worldwide. Doctors and surgeons are utilizing virtual reality to prepare themselves for complex operations with a level of detail that was previously inconceivable. Automotive manufacturers are utilizing augmented reality to create a new and improved generation of HUD (i.e. head-up display) for consumer vehicles. While these are important developments, the award for the most intriguing application of VR and AR goes to the field of marketing, which has already developed numerous different experiences for consumers to interact within.
Virtual reality and augmented reality both combine to represent one of the fastest growing fields within the current technology landscape. This trend is sure to present all industries – and especially marketing – with unique opportunities to introduce their offerings to novel customers while simultaneously building their brand loyalty. Consider a virtual reality or augmented reality experience that appeared in every way to be a traditional video game product, but instead is an immersive form of modern marketing. This approach could be thought of like a high-tech version of sponsored website articles, which have risen greatly in popularity over the last few years thanks to their ability to capture the attention of their audience while at the same time effectively communicating a particular brand’s message.
While this may seem far-fetched, it is already being pursued by many different companies. In a sense, this is a natural next step for advertising content, as ad agencies and companies alike must work to keep up with the cutting edge of interactive technology to ensure that their message continues to resonate with consumers. It is of paramount importance that companies work to capitalize on the growth of immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality, as their very growth will likely render traditional advertising methods (such as television ads) less effective in the long run.