AmCham Shanghai’s Marketing and Media Committee hosted a workshop on Virtual Reality (VR) and its impact on marketing at the Haworth Organic Workspace on April 26. Pasi Helin, partner at digital production company MediaMonks, spoke about how VR allows advertisers to build immersive and interactive experiences that can be “better than reality.”
VR immerses a user inside a virtual world or experience, typically through the use of a head-mounted display that is often connected to headphones, controllers and other devices that let users navigate through a specific experience.
The industry is expected to break the US$1 billion barrier in 2016, and to reach US$80 billion by 2025, according to Helin. Business Insider estimates that shipments of VR headsets will grow at a 99 percent compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2020 and will create a US$2.8 billion hardware market by 2020, up from an estimated US$37 million market this year.
He spoke about several new developments in the VR marketing world, emphasizing that 2016 is a breakthrough year for this latest technology. Samsung launched its Gear VR headset at the end of 2015, which sold out on the day of release; Facebook started taking pre-orders for Oculus Rift VR headsets in January; HTC’s Vive VR headset was released this month and Sony’s PlayStation VR is rumored to be out this autumn.
Helin spoke about some specific MediaMonk case studies, including a project promoting the Chrysler 200 in 2014. Beneath the Surface is a four-minute VR video using the latest Oculus Rift headset. Users are immersed in a rendering of the Chrysler 200 on an audiovisual tour of the car. Each part of the car “floats” above the user and reassembles as it would in the factory.
Helin believes that VR offers an “incredible opportunity for brands to change how people interact with their world,” and claims the “possibilities are endless.”
To learn more about the Marketing and Media Committee visit their website.