In 2012, the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted virtual reality display unit, was conceived by a young head-mounted display enthusiast named Palmer Luckey. He simply wanted to build a unit that would be better and more affordable than what was on the market at the time and provide gamers an immersive way to play video games. He could not have possibly predicted what would happen years down the line.
In March 2014, Facebook announced that it had purchased Oculus VR, the company behind the Rift, for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in Facebook stock. The social media company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has expressed nothing but confidence in the decision. He believes that the Oculus Rift will change not only the medium of video games, but the world itself.
Since then, there has been an explosion of speculation among people in a wide variety of professions on how the Oculus Rift could affect their operations. Those in the marketing field especially have been bitten by the VR bug as analysts are scrambling to think of innovative ways to market products and services to the public using the capabilities of the Oculus Rift. We at SLS Consulting have our own ideas on how fully realized VR technology could shake the foundations of marketing in the near future.
Only the creatively bankrupt will think of using VR tech to shove ads in people’s faces. Instead, ads will be replaced by guided, immersive experiences. A Corona ad may involve a virtual tour of a pristine beach. A BMW ad may put you in the passenger seat of their latest model in a road trip simulation. The possibilities are endless. In the age of the Oculus Rift, companies will not just sell fantasies, but place consumers directly in them.
How will VR tech affect marketing for people who don’t sell products, but services, such as attorneys? Personal injury attorneys may be able to provide virtual “face-to-face” consultations to disabled people who are not able to leave their homes without great inconvenience. Practice area pages may contain instructional virtual scenarios that teach people what to do in an emergency situation, like a car accident. There are many ways in which law firms can promote themselves through VR as long as they’re inventive.
Do you have any ideas of your own on how the Oculus Rift could be used to bring about innovation in marketing? Please share them with us on our Facebook page.