2016 was the launch year for VR and these marketers got it right before anyone else – this is how you do VR at the start of VR.
Star Wars – Trials on Tatooine
While not really an ad for Star Wars, giving people a chance to become a Jedi-Knight and use a lightsaber in VR has to be one of the most engaging ways to connect a brand to a real life experience. Download this mini game for free on Steam.
Hiking across a ricketty bridge high on a mountain side is not something that many people would want to do in real life which is exactly why Merrell hit a homerun with this campaign. By combining real elements of a rope bridge with virtual reality, they put guests into the action in the one place that they know their products shine through. This is a prime example of how experienced based VR marketing is going to help sell products.
In a trial of VR by Marriott Hotels, a 4D sensory experience was created to ‘teleport’ guests to different destinations including beaches in Hawaii and downtown London. The brand created the virtual travel experience delivered via a specially crafted ‘travelling teleporter’, which toured eight US cities last September. The phone booth-shaped structure featured the Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset, wireless headphones and a suite on 4D sensory elements.
Marriott Hotels brand marketing VP, Michael Dail, said the exercise was about giving the next generation of travellers “the clear cut notion that more amazing travel experiences are coming and to encourage them to co-create the future of travel with us on TravelBrilliantly.com, where their best ideas enter Marriott’s innovation pipeline”, he said. “Together, we are pushing the limits of what is possible.”
The Lowe’s Holoroom is a virtual reality home improvement design and visualization tool that empowers homeowners with an immersive, intuitive experience in the room of their dreams. Visualizing a home improvement project is hard – the Holoroom is here to help.
The Lowe’s Holoroom was introduced in 2014 as the first concept from Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and was available for six months in two Toronto stores. The next iteration of the Holoroom was available in 19 stores across the U.S. beginning in November 2015. Lowe’s Innovation Labs will continue to refine and evolve the experiences as technology continues to evolve and we gather real-time feedback from customers and employees.
IKEA VR Experience
The IKEA VR experience lets you walk in an Ikea kitchen, where you can open doors, walk around and explore the space. IKEA even added the ability to cook their famous meatballs in the VR kitchen. Check it out on Steam.
Timeless 360° Time Machine
Sony Pictures and Corus Media partnered with Toronto-based Virtual & Augmented Reality Innovation Agency, MetaVRse to create a unique, one-of-a-kind launch activation that used 360° photography to transport guests back in time to an iconic scene from the new show Timeless where the Hindenburg is exploding above your head. Once taken, guests were emailed their photos and could interact with the photo on a large touchscreen and also see themselves in virtual reality for the first time.
Old Irish – Journey to Ireland
Old Irish, a craft beer hailing from the Eastern European country of Georgia, decided to have some fun blurring the line between virtual and reality. Their video proves that sometimes it’s not what happens when you put on the virtual reality goggles that matters — it’s what happens when you take them off: This mind altering activation put a VR headset on people and while they were taking a 360° Virtual Tour of Ireland, a complete irish bar was assembled around them so when they took off the headset they were in an irish bar without moving at all.
Lexus partnered with VR company, Rewind.co to create at the world’s first VR Car Configurator and Simulator for the Oculus Rift DK2 headset in alignment with the new Lexus NX launch campaign.
The experience was created for Visualise and Amaze using the latest CGI virtual reality technology which immerses the user within a virtual world where they can fully configure an NX to their own specification and then take it on a test drive through an alternate dimension, which mirrors that of the campaign seen on all other media. The reaction of a first time user is all we need to see how successful the experience has been.
Tom’s “Giving Trip” in 360°
This story-based 360° video takes you on a journey to Peru where you see exactly how Tom’s one-for-one shoe program impacts the lives of school children in underprivileged countries. This short video gives a great impact to how the brand is helping the world.
Boursin Sensorium is a fantastical tour of a magical fridge filled with life-size celery, garlic and onions (the key ingredients in Boursin cheese). This 360° video is best viewed on a Google Cardboard, GearVR or Google Daydream, but is just as impactful on a phone.
Nissan Micra VR Tiltbrush: Savant Stephen Wiltshire Draws Nissan Micra in Tilt Brush from Memory
Stephen Wiltshire, a British architectural artist who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, has garnered fame for his ability to draw detailed recreations from memory — oftentimes of complex cityscapes he’s only viewed briefly.
In a new ad for the 2017 Micra, Nissan puts his chops to the test. But instead of equipping him with his usual arsenal of pen and paper, in this case, Nissan tasks him with authoring his recreation in VR using Tilt Brush, which he’s never used before. Talk “Stephen is not able to filter anything,” says his sister in voice-over. “He absorbs everything. Detail is the highlight to his drawing.” Stephen recreates the nuances of the car in stunning detail using VR as his artist tool.
Jimmy Fallon’s Virtual Reality Pictionary
Using the popular VR title Tiltbrush via HTC Vive, featured guests Michael Che of SNL’s Weekend Update and Andrew Rannells of Girls went head-to-head in a game of futuristic Pictionary in VR.
After selecting a random number hung on a wooden board, the players were tasked with drawing their chosen subject in a 3D space via Tiltbrush. It was then up to their partners to guess the correct answer within the allotted time. For the sake of simplicity, the ‘artists’ held only the painting brush and not the palette controller that’s used to switch through different colors, textures, etc. The segment was a perfect example of how virtual reality can be as much a social experience as it can an isolated one.
White House 360° Tour with the Obamas
Michelle and Barack Obama take you for a virtual reality 360° tour of the iconic White House. Produced by the always amazing Felix & Paul, this 8:30 video gives some history and insight into what life is like in the most famous house in America.
Augmented Reality Dollar Bill
This genius app idea can be used with any American one dollar bill and uses augmented reality to show the white house in 3D complete with Presidential helicopter. Touch parts of the house to learn more about different presidents.
Marketers, take note: this is the beginning, you can and will do better, and we would love to help. Connect with me and let’s start working on your next project together: firstname.lastname@example.org