As the technological revolution continues to transform on a daily, if not hourly basis, creativity and innovation through multimedia devices have allowed marketers to leverage new technologies, such as augmented, virtual and mixed reality to generate immersive brand experiences and interactive advertising. Such an application enables consumers to experience products and spaces in originative ways- leaving plenty of room for creating emotion and raising awareness.
Research has shown time and time again that emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as those classified as “highly satisfied customers” (HBR). They buy more, exhibit less price sensitivity, visit you more often and pay attention to your communication channels. In 2016, Harvard Business Review reported that the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond customer satisfaction and connect on an emotional level.
Creating emotion with Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Reality
AR, VR and MR technologies are set to change how consumers view the world. Which in turn is forecast to generate a new paradigm of how consumers interact within it. Such advancements have prompted brands to reevaluate the experience they want to give their customers as AR and VR continue to increasingly blur the lines between the real and digital world.
Virtual reality, in particular, has proved to be effective in its capacity to elicit different types of emotions and engulf users in realistic, immersive and interactive environments- of which derive a sense of presence. The higher the level of engagement is reflective of the level of ‘presence’ in a VR environment.
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An emotive campaign led by Cancer Research implemented this technology to connect with its customer at the Hampton Court Palace flower show. It featured a VR ‘Life Garden’ to remember those who left gifts in their wills to the charity. Since the garden exists in virtual reality, it could hold well over 100,000 flowers. The campaign was made possible since it utilised real-time data and converted donations into visible tokens of gratitude.
Harness the emotive power of immersive virtual reality to truly engage, motivate and get into the minds of your audience. Storytelling through VR can be an effective way to transport an audience in time and space to elevate emotional responses. This method was used to tell the influential life story of Nelson Mandela by Robin Sharma. He wanted his audience to think about how we remember him, and also try to think about what his journey was like.
A VR story of Nelson Mandela (Mesmerise Global)
Textbooks can teach us a great deal about history, but taking an audience back in time is a powerful and emotive learning experience. This particular story was told in a conventional auditorium with Robin Sharma speaking about the life of Nelson Mandela. The room then begins to dissolve and Mandela’s prison cell grows around the player. From here, various pieces of media being to play taking the audience on a motivational and deeply emotional journey.
Raising Awareness with Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Reality
Climate change, human trafficking, social injustice, endangered species; all subject matters in immediate demand for awareness. The list goes on, but for such issues, it has been traditionally difficult to raise awareness and generate change. The technological and social media age has aided our ability to share messages and call for action on a wide scale. But we can take it further by leveraging the immersive experiences of virtual reality.
For many, ignorance is bliss and there simply isn’t a problem until they’re exposed to their detrimental effects. Through the power of VR, transporting yourself into the endangered rainforest, under the contaminated earth’s oceans, or across continents can have tremendous effects on our awareness and resultantly, our actions.
Sea turtles have been roaming the oceans for the past 100 million years. Today, their future is uncertain. 6 of the 7 species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered. A dedicated team in Burmuda rescues and rehabilitates these creatures and has utilised VR technology to invite people from around the world to help save Burmudas turtles. See their journey as they dive back into open waters and don’t forget to look around!
According to an International Labour Organisation report, 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2017. To raise awareness, the Radical Empathy Education Foundation (FEEF) used a VR called TRAPPED to produce a VR detective story. The program puts you in the shoes of Lisa, a 14-year-old girl who is lured into trafficking. As the story unfolds, you discover things about Lisa that help you see how someone like her could fall victim to human trafficking. The initiative is to raise awareness and prompt change.
Augmented and Virtual reality technologies are sensational tools that go far beyond the gaming industry. Its ability to bring people together, to feel the same thing and to realise the importance of our collective actions is immense.