The launch of the Apple Vision Pro, with the accompanying hype that we have come to expect from Apple, has reignited the discussion about immersive technology. Is this the future of marketing, or is it still too early?
The myth of unattainable technology
It is often thought that immersive tech is far away, unaffordable and only for early adopters. The Apple Vision Pro, with a price tag of €4,200, contributes to this idea. However, there are already numerous forms of immersive tech that are currently relevant to your target group, and that you can use today:
AR filters on social media
The most popular social media platforms make it possible to apply filters to your face or your environment. Perhaps the most famous filter is “Dog” from Snapchat, which gives you dog ears and a big dog tongue. Filters have now become a permanent ingredient in the daily social media use of Gen Alpha, Gen Z, and even millennials.
These filters are created in software developed by the platforms themselves. There is Lens Studio from Snapchat, Meta Spark for Instagram and Facebook and Effect House for TikTok. This software is available for free and makes it possible to develop filters for commercial purposes.
- Nike: The popular shoe store launched an AR filter on Snapchat that allowed users to virtually try on different sneakers.
- Gucci: The famous fashion house created an Instagram filter that let users try on a virtual makeup look.
- L‘Oréal: This cosmetics brand launched an AR app that helps users choose the right foundation color.
Immersive shopping and entertainment experiences
With the arrival of WebGL and the increasingly powerful hardware in laptops and phones, immersive 3D experiences have become an indispensable part of today’s internet. These types of experiences can live directly in the browser or be offered as a downloadable app.
- IKEA: The Swedish furniture giant offers an app that allows customers to place furniture in 3D in their own homes.
- Disney: The entertainment company created a VR experience that transports visitors to the world of Star Wars.
- The North Face: This outdoor brand launched an interactive showroom where customers can climb and hike virtually.
A new phenomenon that is taking over the marketing world. CGI stands for Computer-generated Imagery. This is where computer software is used to create still or moving images (particularly 3D). Think of the later Jurassic Park films, the average superhero films and Lord of the Rings. This technique is no longer just for major Hollywood studios‘s, but can be used by anyone with a decent computer.
CGI video‘s are used to generate interesting content for social media, a number of examples:
- Samsung: The electronics giant launched a CGI video that shows the workings of their new 8K TV in a spectacular way.
- Netflix: The streaming service uses CGI to promote several popular series, most recently “Grizelda”.
- Blizzard: The game developer created a CGI trailer for their latest game in the world of “World of Warcraft” that brings the game world to life with astonishing visuals.
The power of immersive experiences
The power of immersive experiences lies in their ability to:
New dimensions to explore: Unlike traditional 2D screens, immersive experiences create a 360° environment where your target group can move freely and interact with your brand. Consider a virtual tour through your product range or an interactive game that conveys the values of your brand. Image, sound, smell, touch and even taste can be used to create an unforgettable experience.
Tell compelling stories: Storytelling is a powerful tool to touch emotions and create a deeper connection with your target group. Immersive experiences are perfect for telling stories that take your target group on a journey, from the idea phase of your product to the end result, or on an adventure in the world of your brand.
Blurring the boundaries between digital and physical: Immersive experiences can seamlessly integrate the digital world with the physical world. Customers can experience products virtually in their own environment, or they can use interactive installations to learn more about your services.
Engaging the environment and the user: Location-based technology and wearables make immersive experiences even more realistic and relevant. Customers can get information about your products in store, or they can use VR glasses to take a virtual tour of your factory. And one step further: they can produce “try” in AR. Think of trying out furniture in your home with the IKEA app, or trying out make-up products on your face.
The future of marketing: AR and immersive tech
The possibilities of AR and immersive tech are huge. Think of interactive billboards, virtual try-ons, or even completely personalized marketing campaigns that respond to the consumer’s environment.
Apple is known for their knack for popularizing an industry. The Vision Pro may be a niche product now, but with their usual “late mover strategy,” AR glasses could become the norm, just as iPhones and AirPods have.
The future of marketing is immersive. Companies that are already experimenting with immersive tech will have an advantage over the competition. Start small, measure the results and keep an eye on developments. The future is closer than you think.
There’s no need to break the bank right away. Start small with a pilot, experiment with different formats and measure the impact on your target group. This way you learn what works and what doesn’t, and optimize your immersive marketing strategy.