Google Cardboard: Marketing with Virtual Reality

 
 

What is Google Cardboard?

Google Cardboard is here! What is it exactly? At first glance, it looks like a small, plain, piece of cardboard with random lenses and a magnet attached. Combined with your smart phone and a few simple folds, it morphs into a personal pair of virtual reality goggles.

Once folded into the rectangular goggle shape, a smart phone is then placed (with a specially designed Google Cardboard app running) inside the cardboard structure. The next step? Prepare for total virtual immersion. Google Cardboard viewers can experience a variety of apps and experiences in a sensory captivating way: 360 degree, 3D, virtual reality view.

Google cardboard wireframe

Through both choosing the Google Cardboard apps of their liking (which can be downloaded free of charge from Google play), and selecting from differing looks, shapes and sizes of the cardboard available for purchase, viewers can create their own personalized and relevant virtual reality. Per Google, “Cardboard aims at developing accessible virtual reality (VR) tools to allow everyone to enjoy VR in a simple, fun, and natural way. The apps are built to display 3D scenes with binocular rendering, track and react to head movements, and interact with apps through magnet input.”

The Marketing Piece

Incredible, right? Now, that you’ve been introduced, let’s talk about leveraging this new technology and what this means for marketers. Google cardboard opens exciting new doors with endless possibilities and marketers need to be ready to pounce on the opportunity! Companies and brands that get involved with Google Cardboard will be able to target their consumers with a personalized virtual adventure based on the consumers’ likes and preferences. It also gives brands and companies another interesting and relevant touch point to communicate with consumers and nurture their interest in the product or service being offered.

Other benefits to running marketing campaigns with Google Cardboard include:

  • Customer Centricity – This shows that your brand or company revolves around the consumer and caters to their needs: meeting them where they are and delivering information, offers, product tours, and other communications in a way they want to digest it
  • Complete Immersion - Consumers will be able to totally immerse themselves in the journey/experience in an interactive way enhanced by appealing to multiple senses…specifically sight and sound. In today’s world of multi-tasking, this is beneficial because the viewer’s full attention is focused on the virtual reality your brand/ company has created and what is happening in it.
  • Brand Recognition – Research (such as found in Chapter 3 of Developing Virtual Reality Applications: Foundations of Effective Design by Alan B. Craig, William R. Sherman, Jeffrey D. Will) has suggested, virtual reality experiences create memorable encounters and therefore consumers will feel a stronger connection to your brand or company and are more inclined to remember/ recognize it going forward.
  • Innovative - A new and attention grabbing way to market the product or service.  It also gives consumers a chance to view and get excited about your product without having to physically be in the room with it.
  • Word of mouth - Gets the buzz going about your product or service!

 

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While Google Cardboard is fairly new on the market, a few companies have begun running campaigns with it. One example is The North Face, the outdoor apparel brand. As detailed in an article on MobileMarketingMagazine.com, The North Face, collaborated with Jaunt to create an app for Google Cardboard that transports viewers to Yosemite National Park and Moab, Utah to explore and experience the terrain beside The North Face athletes Cedar Wright and Sam Elias. The virtual reality experience of the app uses vivid video and audio to feature The North Face athletes prepping rope, climbing and setting their plans for the day at some of America’s most beautiful landscapes. The ultimate goal for this Google Cardboard marketing campaign? “The North Face and our athletes are always looking to bring people into our expeditions and spark people’s interest in getting outdoors,” said Aaron Carpenter, vice president of marketing for The North Face. Spark the interest of the outdoors and rugged activities, increase sales of outdoor apparel. To read more about this story click here.

 

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