On November 22nd, the 5th and final Real World Virtual Reality event for the year was held at the Loop Project Space and Bar. The aim for the evening was to educate the marketing and tech community about virtual, augmented and mixed reality marketing and monetization.
Speakers highlighted a range of applications for Augmented Reality and showcased Virtual Reality tools like Google Tilt Brush and the NRMA Crash Car Simulation.
Leah Bunny also launched Virtual Soup – the first official database in Australia for VR/MR/AR companies, freelancers, events, equipment suppliers, news updates and more.
Forecasts were made on the night about the future of VR. Kate Richardson of Red Engine spoke of the industry’s “exponential” growth.
Leah Bunny, who has extensive experience in digital marketing, cited McDonalds Happy Meal VR Headset, Unicef 360 and even Pokemon Go as various examples of campaigns, which have successfully embraced the immersive potential of Mixed Reality.
Kate talked about Telstra’s For the Fans, a program of VR videos, which leveraged the brand’s sponsorship assets (footballers Tim Cahill and Adam Goodes and ballerina Dimity Azoury) to enhance Telstra’s positioning as a world-class technology company and frontrunner in the VR space. For the Fans reached a unique audience of more than 3.7 million. Kate also touched on EDIE, which is a VR app that allows users to experience the reality of dementia.
Meanwhile, Ben X Tan’s NRMA Crash Car Simulation was used to distinguish between the safety features of a modern vehicle and a model 30 years older to illustrate new cars as far safer.
These four speakers highlighted, with their diverse applications, the way that VR and AR is being used to educate, entertain and inspire.
VR and AR differ from more traditional forms of advertising because of their immersive nature. Users are able to engage on a more meaningful level with content and, in turn, are more receptive to messaging from brands.
Scott O’Brien, Humense co-founder, spoke of children who, after being exposed to simulations involving whales, developed false memories about their own experience of whales (50 percent of children who experienced swimming with whales in virtual reality thought the experience was real) which holds vast implications for digital media’s capacity to influence.
Pokemon Go is a perfect example of a brand that has capitalised on the immersive nature of AR. Its $440 million grossed revenue pushed Pokémon Go ahead of a number of Hollywood blockbusters. By drawing players into an exciting, augmented world, brands like Australian bananas, the Pancake Parlour and Chobani yoghurt were able to leverage the characters and locations to promote their own products and brand.
Scott O’Brien also noted the way VR and AR are encouraging humans to return to their natural posture, with experiences built around natural modes of interaction. People who sit at desks and develop back problems are now able to shift their attention from their computers and phones to the real or simulated world around them.
The Real World marketing session provided invaluable insight into Mixed Reality’s capacity to change human behaviour and consumer interaction. The evening was sponsored by Visual Playground, Virtual Soup, The Foundry, CommBank, The Brooklyn Brewery and Loop Project Space and Bar.
The next Real World Virtual Reality session will take place on Tuesday Feb 21st, 2017 and will be focused on music in Virtual Reality.
Written by Nicola Nemaric