Virtual reality (VR) marketing seems to be catching on much faster than many had anticipated. While VR enthusiasts continue to speculate as to when the technology will be consumer-ready, brands have skipped straight past this stage and begun using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display’s (HMD) second development kit (DK2) as a tool to advertise products, movies, TV shows, cars and more. One of the most prominent campaigns to use the device comes from Mountain Dew, a company which predicts that VR’s relationship with marketing is only set to strengthen.
At least that’s what the company’s director of brand marketing Jamal Henderson thinks. Speaking to Ad Week, Henderson noted the strengths of this type of marketing. “When you think about the consumer—and it all starts with the consumer—they’re consuming more media,” he said. “In our feeds, we want to see more content. The more we can be a part of that editorial and a part of the feed and not disruptive pre-roll, I think that’s the way for our brand to tell our story.”
In Mountain Dew’s VR experience user put on an Oculus Rift DK2 to find themselves skating alongside pro skateboarder Paul Rodriguez for two minutes. “Brands that target millennials are going to be in that ‘lean-in experience’ space,” Henderson explained, further nothing that the Oculus Rift “is the next iteration of that. I 100 percent think that this is where brands are going. I just hope they don’t do it as fast as we do.”
Judging by the current landscape, brands may have already caught up with Mountain Dew. Digital production studio Framestore recently opened its own VR section where it continues to work on projects such as Game of Thrones: Ascend the Wall. In fact the studio is teasing the reveal of two more experiences this month. VRFocus will follow any and all applications of VR, including VR advertising, reporting back with the latest updates.