In our current overcrowded market, it is becoming increasingly challenging to fight for individual’s attention, therefore it comes as no surprise to see the emergence of new innovative ways to engage and communicate with your audience.

Technology which has dominated many industries, including the automotive and gaming industry, is Virtual Reality, providing a fresh, innovative way to promote your brands key messages and ideas. The virtual space delivers complete immersion into a 360-degree experience, opening up an overwhelming wealth of possibilities to communicate with your audiences on an interactive level.

The History of VR

Although some may be surprised to hear, Virtual Reality is not a new concept. Businesses, as well as individuals, have been trying to bring the technology that was originally discovered by Charles Wheatstone, to the market for over 60 years. VR has become a powerful storytelling tool allowing brands to narrow the gap between virtual and the real world. With the trend debuting just only a year ago, the gap is drastically getting smaller, and VR software is well on its way to becoming increasingly lifelike.

Although Virtual Reality is becoming increasingly popular, globally, it is still a relatively new concept with only a small proportion including it in the marketing and selling of their products and services. VR is however advancing, creating more financially viable headsets for the mass market – the possibilities are only set to grow.

So, how is this shaping the world of marketing and advertising?

How Brands Have Used Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality as it is today, is only used in certain industries, including the entertainment, automotive and advertising industries – and is progressively becoming a regular sight at exhibition stands. The virtual space has provided brands with the opportunity to test new prototypes in a cost-effective way, without the need to develop actual versions, which can be time consuming and costly.

In the automotive world, Volvo used the Google Cardboard headset to simulate an experience of the XC90 luxury SUV, allowing users to virtually test drive the car.

Mercedes also included the latest trend, in the marketing of their new SL model. They used it to create a virtual drive experience along the Californian coast, providing viewers the opportunity to look at the cars interiors features.

Virtual reality is changing the way brands communicate with their audiences at exhibitions – dramatically increasing interactivity and consumer engagement. Seat is one of many brands embracing VR on their stands, staging an interactive press conference experience at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, allowing viewers an insight into the new Ateca concept.

As well as the Automotive industry, VR is leaving a strong footprint on the luxury travel industry, with Emirates using the technology on their exhibition stand at ITB Berlin in 2016, to develop a user flight experience of what it’s like to travel in first class.

Virtual Reality is no longer a fantasy, it has become reality. The boundary between virtual and the real world is increasingly beginning to blur, and therefore brands, big or small, need to embrace it to turn potential leads into prospects. If you would like any guidance in planning and creating immersive, fun and informative exhibition stands, don’t hesitate to contact Identity at letstalk@identitygroup.co.uk for more information.

Michael Gietzen
Michael is Identity’s Managing Director, a role he earned due to his exceptional leadership skills and keen attention to detail.