Virtual Reality is something that’s incredibly interesting to me as someone who likes to play video games. It’s the first place that people saw an immediate use for the technology: achieve the immersion that game developers have been chasing for so long by literally strapping someone into the video game, Matrix style. It’s also no surprise that Virtual Reality is interesting to marketers. The ability to totally immerse someone in a world could provide endless opportunities to expose the consumer to new products, new ways of thinking, and new ways to represent your brand. We’ve seen Ford use limited VR technologies with 360 videos, and other brands have shown heavy interest Virtual and Augmented reality (don’t forget Pokemon Go and how brands everywhere tried to find the perfect way to capitalize on the flash sensation). More and more brands are finding ways to make VR accessible to people, Samsung and Google doing their part to develop ways to integrate their phones into VR headsets, while Apple seems to have a huge interest in augmented reality.
Facebook, having bought Oculus (a leading VR developer with few competitors), has made it a priority to develop the Oculus platform to provide as many kinds of opportunities and experiences for as many kinds of people as possible. Mark Zuckerberg and his team have been working on a way for brands to build full websites that work in VR, not just applications for gaming or other virtual reality experiences. This allows brands an incredible opportunity to reach their customer base and instill value, and depending on how big you want to dream, you could think about the realities of brands opening their own virtual e-commerce spots with the ability for the user to traverse the store from their living room. Facebook has also been working on developing conference rooms where you can enter via VR, and maybe have branding all around you. The frontier is largely unexplored because the technology is ever developing, but the first brand to figure out the best way to leverage VR to reach their customer base will win. Big.