we are constantly astounded at the possibilities that virtual reality is presenting us with. And why shouldn’t we? All of us at some stage have daydreamed of sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Suddenly our childhood dreams do not seem so distant anymore and therein lies the potential VR presents us with -- to actually find ourselves in the adventure rather than just watch someone else go through it.
There’s science to back this up too. The Narrative Transportation Theory states that people can become lost in a character driven story thru empathy and mental imagery. When we empathize with the characters in a story, we feel as if we are experiencing the events ourselves, we lose track of time, experience strong emotions and in general, feel as if we are in the world of our characters -- and that’s precisely what VR/360 videos enable in a far more tangible way.
Early attempts with the tech are already yielding fantastic results. In December 2016, Charity:Water, a New York Based nonprofit that provides clean water to villages throughout the world showed a 360 video in VR for fundraising. The video was of a 13 year old girl in Africa who got clean water for the first time. The experience was so powerful that guests actually began to cheer and some even had tears in their eyes as they took of their headsets.
To a company trying to convey an experience to prospects, the opportunities here should be readily apparent. Here are 3 major ways VR can help your brand stand out...
#1 Virtual Reality CRM
VR has lots of salespeople excited. The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) stated in a report that VR storytelling will emerge as one of the most preferred methods of digital advertising thanks to its ability to tell immersive stories. While the internet has allowed us to connect with people anywhere, it lacks the personal touch that comes with speaking to someone. With VR based CRM, salespersons will be able to create highly customized experiences for their prospects and meet them "virtually" anywhere! In fact, Salesforce is already betting big on how VR will enable salespeople to visualize data and drive better engagement.
# 2 VR Powered Internal Communications
VR presents new and exciting opportunities to disseminate knowledge within a company. VR powered training has the potential to be just as good as real, hands on training, with added advantages.
For starters, training in real life has the inherent risk of things getting out of hands. Training accidents are some of the most common there are, especially when dealing with heavy machinery. With VR you can ensure that your new recruits practice their skills in a safe environment, where they can learn from their mistakes without any potentially fatal consequences.
Also, instead of having supervisors spend hours training new recruits, a VR training app can be played as many times necessary to ensure your employees have perfected a skill.
Many organizations such as NASA have already found great use for VR in helping their people get a better understanding of the job, its nuances and stresses.
With virtual reality and 360 videos, more powerful interactions can be created between management and staff. New recruit can strap on a VR headset for a virtual tour of the company. The possibilities what VR can help you accomplish here are endless!
# 3 VR for Branding and Marketing.
Greenlight Insights, which tracks trends in immersive media, recently found that most consumers held brands that were using VR and/or AR. Their report states 71% consumers thought companies using VR were forward thinking. Another 53% stated they are more likely to purchase from a brand which sponsors a VR experience. This is only one of many such studies that prove VR and AR have captivated the imagination of the public.
VR & 360 are also a readymade fit for many industries. Enterprises in automobile, tours and travel and real estate sectors are ideally placed to use VR to power their sales initiatives. Companies such as Audi and Volvo have already released 360 VR videos to showcase their products.
Case in point, we recently created a 360 tour for Fourscout, a network security tools creation service.
These are but a small fraction of what virtual reality and 360 videos present us with. As the technology matures, we will see more applications and ways to drive engagement so we at 360 Pro Films are definitely excited about what the future is holding for everyone.