The Two Words On Everyone’s Lips: Virtual Reality

27th Jun 2016 | Posted by Laura Bevan Laura Bevan's picture

There was one thing that was completely inescapable during this Cannes Lions festival. Not bottles of rosé, not sunburnt ad execs, not even the infamous Gutter Bar. It was virtual reality.
 
But the killer question on everyone’s minds: is VR just a marketing fad, due to go the way of QR codes in time?
 
The impassioned answer at Cannes was ‘no.’
 
Talks throughout the week showcased so many amazing applications for this fascinating new technology – from psychologists using VR to cure people of their phobias to charities using it to increase donations.
 
A truly inspiring story that was the talk of the town at Cannes was the case of Charity: Water, which started a recent fundraising Gala in New York by asking all attendees to use VR headsets to watch a nine minute video about Selam, a 13-year old girl who lives in Ethiopia and had to walk for miles each day to reach her nearest source of water.
 
The emotional video brought people on Selam’s journey, and showed them the moment of elation when a water well was finally constructed near her house.
 
That night, donors committed to giving $2.4 million, much more than Charity: Water had ever anticipated. 
 
The power of VR is in its ability to democratise the human experience and completely change the way we look at the world. Brands have started, and will continue, to sit up and take note of this unique platform to totally immerse customers in product experiences.
 
In a world where consumers increasingly value experiences more than possessions, it’s easy to see how VR can open up a world of opportunities for engaging consumers in an entirely new way of marketing.
 
Research from Goldman Sachs predicts that by 2025, revenue from VR will overtake that of TV advertising. That’s a fundamental shift from the prevailing focus of marketing spend, and it has the power to transform our industry. We owe it to our companies, our clients and ourselves to be at the forefront of this innovation and embrace its adoption.
 
I’ve listed some great examples of VR for anyone who wants to find out more below. Believe me: this is impressive stuff even if viewed on a standard webpage!

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