Virtual Reality has great potential in many markets and industries, one of which being marketing. Companies have already begun exploring the new marketing possibilities the tech brings. In a recent article in StreamingMedia.com, three such industries where highlighted. Medical applications of VR and sports VR have already been explored, but a more novel approach was also shown. Carnival, an American-based cruise holiday organiser, has used the technology to market cruises. Specifically, it has been aimed at client who had never set foot on a cruise ship before.
Carnival’s VR plan
In the article, director of social media and branded content at Carnival Stephanie Levitt-Esposito explains the appeal of VR marketing. “You can’t really sell a cruise in 140 characters, so when the opportunity to use 360-degree or VR video and distribute it on social platforms came about, we knew it was something we had to try,” she says.
Levitt-Esposito explains further that the VR content was aimed at newcomers to give an impression of what a cruise would feel like. Part advertising and part guided tour, the video created for Carnival by Arnold Worldwide and Helios Productions contains a variety of shots. The video ranges from tours of the rooms and the pool on the cruise-ships to aerial shots (Carnival has complimentary helicopter rides).
Carnival does not have hard data on whether or not this campaign was effective. However, Leavitt-Esposito says in the interview that it is likely that the company will make more VR content. “Within the first few days, we saw so many people saying, ‘This is so cool!’ Tagging their friends, telling their friends, ‘Hey, check this out! This is what we should do on our vacation.’ We were really happy,” she says.
VR videos on Facebook, where the Carnival content was shown, is not new. Companies ranging from Nvidia to Pizza Hut have experimented with the tech. Should this new form of advertising prove effective however, expect to see more of this in the future.