The first time I saw a 3-D film was in the ‘glory days’ of 1986. I recall leaning back in a red velvet theater seat to watch Captain EO by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Michael Jackson. I remember thinking … I don’t want it to stop! I want to see what’s going to happen next. The experience was so surreal, vivid, and clear. It added another dimension to my reality.
With a passion for the arts I soon learned how Coppola used depth of field and colors to theatrically drive the performances of each scene. The story and creative vision paired with a new medium resulted in an experience no audience would ever forget. 3-D has come a long way since Captain EO and audiences now enjoy 3-D films as a standard practice.
Similar to the 3-D revolution in the 1980s, 360 VR has that same attitude in 2016. It’s taking audiences places we didn’t think were possible.
In 2016, a 360 VR experience allows us to go in any direction we want. It essentially means we have eyes in all directions. The control is up to the audience. I think more than ever people want to discover and explore the impossible. It’s a direct challenge to the entertainment industry: You can have my attention and engagement if you give me something I haven’t experienced before!
Okay, so if that’s the challenge, now the industry needs to find a way to create content that matches this new/unknown experience the audience desires. And … Just because the 360 VR technology exists doesn’t necessarily mean the experience is going to be off the charts. The story, content and technology all need to align synergistically to create that Captain EO magic.
The first time I saw 360 VR was from a hip hop video on the NY Times VR APP #VRTJ. This was a new experience that put me inside and in control of a music video. I was interacting in real-time; looking for hidden things, discovering what was going on with the lyrics and choosing how far I wanted to go with this experience. It was somewhat comparable to a video game, but instead of a fictitious ‘player’ in the game, it was actually me!
As a marketer specializing in integrated campaigns, it’s my job to find the sweet spot between entertainment and advertising and to create enriched experiences people enjoy through the ever-expanding available communication channels.
Do you know why this is important to marketing?
For consumers, we want to inspire the same feelings I had from Captain EO and the NY Times VR APP #VRTJ. Earning their attention, engagement and providing that new/unknown experience they crave. For brands, it’s loyalty and advocating stories consumers want to experience and grow with.