A Guide to Integrating VR in Marketing: Examples and Best Uses

Safalta Expert Published by: Samyak Jain Updated Fri, 02 Feb 2024 06:45 PM IST


VR technology aims to create a lifelike 3D representation or environment that is perceived as genuine and can be interacted with realistically. While we are not yet at the level of total immersion seen in The Matrix, the latest generation of head-mounted devices, games, and virtual experiences can provide a highly realistic sensation.

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In the ever-changing world of marketing, it is crucial to be concise to capture people's attention. This is where Virtual Reality (VR) comes in as a revolutionary tool that is revolutionizing how brands engage with their consumers. In this piece, we will explore the impact of VR on marketing and how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy.The AR and VR sector in India is estimated to generate revenue of ₹US$759.9m by 2024, with a projected annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 11.39%, resulting in a total industry volume of ₹US$1,170.0m by 2028. Among the different segments, AR technology holds the largest market share, with a volume of ₹US$237.0m in 2024. According to projections, the rate at which users adopt technology is estimated to reach 42.1% in 2024 and is expected to increase to 49.8% by 2028.

The industry is being driven by the increasing utilization of virtual reality in fields such as education, healthcare, gaming, and entertainment.

Source: safalta

The VR hardware sector, particularly head-mounted displays, holds the largest share of the industry, followed by VR suits and content. This piece will explore the reason for VR's popularity in marketing, provide a few examples, and discuss the most effective methods to utilize it.

What Is Virtual Reality?

VR technology aims to create a lifelike 3D representation or environment that is perceived as genuine and can be interacted with realistically. While we are not yet at the level of total immersion seen in The Matrix, the latest generation of head-mounted devices, games, and virtual experiences can provide a highly realistic sensation. While being conscious that you're in a digital world, it can still be quite enjoyable to engage with the environment using typical body movements. This can be achieved through motion controls that track your hands, fingers, and even facial expressions using various headsets.

Top 20+ Virtual Reality Education Companies

In virtual reality, you can select objects, throw them, build things, crouch down to examine something up close, or lay back and observe the stars. You can even look behind you, while still keeping your focus straight ahead like you would with a traditional monitor or television, providing a unique experience.
This is achieved by using a virtual reality headset, various types of controllers, and different types of trackers so that the game or experience can track your location and actions.

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Table of Contents:

1. What is VR marketing?
2. Benefits of Virtual Reality for Marketing
       1. Product demos

       2. Immersive experiences
       3. Emotional Engagement
       4. Gamified fun

       5. Offer virtual products
       6. Interactive touchpoints
       7. Remote showcasing
       8. Enhanced Storytelling
3. Examples of VR marketing
      1. IKEA: Shop for new furniture 
      2. Volvo: Virtual Reality Test Drive
      3.  McDonald’s: Happy Goggles
      4. Lensekart
      5. Merrell: Trails cape
      6. Interactive touchpoints
      7. L’Oreal Paris: Makeup Genius

      8. Gucci Town
4. Disadvantages of VR in marketing

5. What the future holds for VR marketing

What is VR marketing?

Virtual reality marketing, also known as VR marketing, refers to the use of virtual reality technology in advertising and promotional activities for businesses. This technology creates a simulated environment that users can engage with, typically through VR headsets or other immersive devices. In the marketing world, VR is utilized to enhance the consumer's experience, create a more captivating and memorable interaction with a brand, and provide a unique way to showcase products or services. Utilizing virtual reality (VR) to promote your device can take on various forms. For example, instead of reading a text, you could experience a 3D digital presentation that tells and shows you the information in real-time.

Utilizing virtual reality headsets, 3D settings, and interactive content, VR marketing aims to captivate and engage viewers with a brand's message or products. Unlike traditional marketing methods such as TV or print, virtual reality allows consumers to actively participate in the campaign, resulting in a highly personalized and impactful experience.
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Benefits of Virtual Reality for Marketing

1. Product demos

Marketers can utilize VR to create detailed 3D demonstrations of devices, providing customers with a lifelike and immersive experience. This allows customers to examine features and capabilities without having to leave the comfort of their room. This technology makes it simpler for potential buyers to examine cosmetics up close before deciding to make a purchase. It will be especially beneficial for those in remote areas who wish to try a product before going to a physical store.

Virtual product demonstrations are advantageous for salespeople who have limited access to the actual product they are selling. This is especially true for car dealerships, who may only have small models and limited color options available on their lot. By offering virtual demos, customers can get a sense of the car's appearance before making a purchase.
Best Example:
flipkart also provides a VR setup so that before buying anything like a TV or any other decorative items, Customers can Check or feel whether it is suitable or not.

2. Immersive experiences

Virtual reality provides an incredibly realistic and engaging experience for its users. Through the creation of 3D virtual worlds or environments, marketers can transport customers into unique scenarios.
• Travel promoters provide digital tours of locations to encourage audiences to plan a trip.
• Retailers offer a digital retail experience, allowing customers to access the store from any location in the world.
• Sports team promoters provide supporters with online gatherings featuring their favorite athletes.
• Architecture firms showcase their building projects to major investors with great practicality.
An enhanced feeling of being fully engaged makes it simpler for consumers to discover brands. If executed successfully, a high-quality virtual reality experience could lead to increased sales and customer devotion over time.

3. Emotional Engagement

Virtual reality advertising has the power to elicit positive emotions. Whether it's the excitement of a simulated roller coaster ride or the tranquility of a virtual journey through a beautiful landscape, VR can create deep emotional connections with consumers. This emotional connection can result in a significant increase in brand loyalty and customer retention.

4. Gamified fun

People of all ages enjoy playing games, and smart marketers are already taking advantage of this. It is a great way to increase engagement and time spent with the brand.
Exm.1: For some time, Ferrari has been using its F1 racing team to promote car sales. However, budget car companies can now imitate Ferrari's approach by creating racing video games. This allows car enthusiasts to spend hours driving virtual cars while being exposed to the company's branding.
Exm2: " The game "VR Warzone Showdown" is a high-energy virtual reality battle game that takes players to advanced battlefields for exhilarating and all-encompassing fighting experiences. With the use of VR headsets, players are transported to a virtual warzone where they engage in exciting battles, tactical gameplay, and team-based action”.

5. Offer virtual products

Fashion advertisers are discovering that their brand may be just as desirable in the online realm. Every year, people spend billions on digital products, including clothing, footwear, and accessories. Digital fashion allows users to express themselves in a similar way to how they would in the physical world.

6. Interactive touchpoints

Marketing professionals in the retail industry are now implementing virtual reality in their brick-and-mortar stores. The incorporation of interactive elements in the store not only prolongs customers' stay but also provides educational information about the brand.

7. Remote showcasing

In today's world, brokers can showcase their properties to potential investors globally, thanks to advanced technology. This allows potential buyers to virtually explore any location, saving them the hassle and expenses of traveling.

8. Enhanced Storytelling

The core of captivating marketing lies in storytelling, and VR takes storytelling to a whole new level. Companies have the opportunity to create captivating and emotionally captivating plots that allow consumers to immerse themselves in the brand's story and actively participate in it.

Examples of VR marketing

1. IKEA: Shop for new furniture

In 2019, the popular furniture company IKEA released a new mobile application called IKEA Place which enables users to visualize how furniture will look in their homes before placing an order. The use of VR technology by IKEA allows customers to build and visualize kitchens and other spaces before making a purchase. This entertaining feature allows customers to envision the appearance of their home.

2. Volvo: Virtual Reality Test Drive

Volvo used virtual reality technology to offer users the opportunity to test drive the XC90 using their phone and enjoy a simulated "weekend getaway" through an app. The virtual test drive gives users the feeling of being behind the wheel as they journey through a mountainous landscape. This feature allows users to embark on a virtual adventure and immerse themselves in stunning 360-degree scenery. Additionally, the technology allows users to explore the car's interior using Google Cardboard.

First and foremost, even if individuals do not possess a Google Cardboard headset, they still have the option to enjoy the app's features. Primarily, individuals can still experience the app's features even without owning a Google Cardboard headset.

3.  McDonald’s: Happy Goggles

McDonald's has utilized the power of virtual reality to engage its youthful audience by transforming a content-packed meal box into a VR viewer similar to Google Cardboard. These "Content Goggles" allow kids to play an entertaining and educational game called Slope Stars, immersing them in the world of virtual reality. This strategy has made VR more accessible to the general public, as the viewer can be created at home by repurposing small editions of the content meal boxes.

4. Lensekart

Lensekart, an eyewear company based in India, aimed to offer customers an easier way to engage with their products and services. To achieve this, they opted to use a virtual reality (VR) approach in their retail strategy. Program-Ace was tasked with developing a Google Cardboard application, featuring a lifelike virtual storefront with a wide range of products.

5. Merrell: Trails cape

The Trailscape by Merrell takes users to a challenging landscape and allows them to embark on a hiking journey through the mountains. It uses motion capture technology to create an immersive 4D experience while navigating a virtual world.

Through the use of a well-known virtual reality headset called Rift, users can immerse themselves in a simulated environment complete with tangible features such as rope bridges and various challenges including landslides. Merrell utilized this technology in their Trailscape campaign to promote their new Capra hiking boots. By tapping into the excitement of their adventurous audience, Merrell brought cutting-edge experiences directly to them.
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6. Oreo: Discover the 3D world filled with cupcakes

By using virtual reality, individuals can enter Oreo's 'Wonder Vault', a location brimming with towering cocoa hills, flowing milk streams, and fresh variations of Oreo cookies. The mere thought of it makes our appetites ravenous.

7. L’Oreal Paris: Makeup Genius

With the use of virtual reality technology, L’Oréal offers customers the opportunity to experiment with various makeup looks through its Makeup Genius app. The app enables users to partially try on and explore pre-selected makeup looks. This also serves as a safe alternative for testing makeup during the pandemic, as it eliminates the need to physically go to a store to try out cosmetics. The application is easily accessible and compatible with both mobile and desktop devices. Makeup Genius allows users to receive personalized recommendations and notifications for new L’Oréal beauty products.

8. Gucci Town

The fashion brand Gucci launched a virtual world on the Roblox metaverse, catering to fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Users were able to engage with other fashion aficionados, explore artwork, purchase virtual identity items, and participate in mini-games.

Disadvantages of VR in marketing

Cost: Creating a compelling and top-notch virtual reality experience requires a significant investment of both time and money.
Lack of shared experiences: Virtual reality headsets are limited to single use, making group experiences a competition for advertisers.
User experience: Despite being widely used, there remain various issues associated with VR headsets, such as motion sickness caused by the combination of movement and visual effects.
Lack of mainstream appeal: Currently, primarily early adopters are the most likely to embrace VR technology.
Lack of standards: Content that is compatible with one headset may not necessarily be compatible with another, making it difficult for marketers to ensure their content is viewed by as many people as possible.

What the future holds for VR marketing

A large number of small business owners may believe that VR technology is too expensive for them. However, that is not always the case.Numerous VR marketing options can be found for free on social media platforms such as Instagram, which serves as an excellent starting point for understanding how technology can enhance your brand. As mentioned in the statistics presented in our post, it appears that VR will undoubtedly become a significant contender in the field of sign marketing.The question you need to ask is whether you continue with traditional methods or, like many successful brands, you choose to become a pioneer in your field.
With the constant evolution of technology and communication, VR is becoming a crucial aspect of brand-consumer interaction. Its ability to create captivating experiences, increase engagement, and connect with a global audience is revolutionizing marketing. Brands that embrace virtual reality are not only keeping pace, but also leading the way in a new era of immersive advertising. Prepare yourself, because the future is here, and it's in the form of virtual reality.

What industries use VR?

There are numerous industries that are making use of or profiting from the implementation of VR. These encompass:
•           Automotive
•           Logistics
•           Construction
•           Retail
•           Education
•           Healthcare
•           Real estate
•           Manufacturing
•           Tourism
•           Gaming

What is Virtual Reality (VR)?

Virtual reality is a technology that creates a computer-generated, simulated environment where users can engage with a three-dimensional world using specialized equipment such as VR headsets or gloves.

How is VR used in Marketing?

In marketing, VR involves creating immersive experiences to engage and connect with customers. Companies utilize VR for showcasing products, hosting virtual events, educating consumers, storytelling, and other methods to enhance customer experiences.

Why should brands use VR in their marketing strategies?

Virtual reality offers unique benefits, such as immersive simulated experiences, heightened engagement, customization, and global reach. It allows companies to create unforgettable interactions, differentiate themselves from rivals, and form stronger relationships with their audience.

What are some examples of successful VR marketing campaigns?

Some examples include IKEA's virtual kitchen space for exploring household appliances, Red Bull's VR aerial pursuit for a thrilling experience, and Mercedes-Benz's customizable car exploration through their Virtual Showroom.

How does VR enhance storytelling in marketing?

Virtual reality technology enables brands to convey their stories in a more engaging and interactive manner. Through VR, users can actively engage with narratives in a three-dimensional space, resulting in heightened emotional connection and a memorable experience.

How can VR be integrated into virtual events and product launches?

Companies have the ability to utilize VR technology in order to host virtual events and unveil new products, enabling participants to contribute from any location in the world. This creates an engaging and interactive experience, fostering a feeling of inclusivity and excitement.

Are there any privacy concerns with VR in marketing?

Similarly, privacy concerns exist for any technology. It is important for marketers to be transparent about how they collect and use information. By implementing secure and ethical practices, they can ensure a positive customer experience and address privacy concerns.

What is the future of VR in marketing?

The future of VR in marketing looks promising, with continued advancements in technology. As VR becomes more accessible, brands are likely to explore new creative ways to engage consumers, making it an integral part of innovative marketing strategies.

How can businesses get started with VR in their marketing efforts?

To start, businesses have the option of collaborating with VR creators or establishments, investing in VR equipment, and identifying specific scenarios that align with their marketing goals. Carrying out trial projects and gathering feedback from users can help enhance and improve VR experiences.

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