Immersive media - virtual and augmented reality - offer significant opportunities for brand promotion and the sale of products and services, but also to engage and retain customers, both B2C and B2B.
Virtual and augmented worlds are the ideal context for creating experiential marketing opportunities, thanks to strong sensory, emotional and perceptual stimuli. Famous examples are virtual tours in tourism and real estate, or augmented simulations in furniture.
US experts say that virtual reality is a dream for marketers, because it offers them the opportunity to have their customers entirely immersed in the world of the brand. The first formats of immersive On Line advertising campaigns are therefore being developed.
One area particularly supported by virtual applications is institutional marketing: thanks to virtual educational and entertainment applications, institutions are able to effectively communicate their goals, values and services.
International marketing, in particular the search for export partners, can also benefit from immersive solutions, applied for example at trade fairs. Thanks to applications for virtual reality headsets, customers and resellers can teleport remotely to the company and discover its products, structures and production processes.
The most recent developments in BioMarketing use virtual simulations to carry out market research and objective surveys of users' reactions to products or services.
Carraro LAB has been developing pilot projects and immersive marketing campaigns for international brands and institutions in Italy and abroad for years. The virtual and increased case histories created by Carraro LAB cover numerous contexts of operational marketing: advertising campaigns, events and fairs, competitions and loyalty activities, institutional initiatives.
New digital advertising formats allow to engage the public with virtual and augmented reality.
The message of the ADV campaign becomes an immersive experience of the brand or product, in which the public can interact at 360 degrees.
Carraro LAB has created some of the first On Line advertising campaigns in virtual reality, for example the launch of the TV series "Games of Thrones" with a 360-degree spot or the Hermes campaign to promote the exhibition "strong and fragile" with virtual images in gigapixels explored on mobile with Gyroscope.
After web 2.0, characterized by social media, the next phase of the Internet will be characterized by the new dimension of immersive media. The new WebVR and Web AR standards make it possible to develop a new generation of websites, virtual shops and 3D catalogues. A first example of virtual websites are those created in company offices with Street View technology by certified Google Maps photographers.
Carraro LAB has developed some important case histories in 3D web design: the virtual platform of Expo 2015, the virtual tour of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, the 3D site of 1000 Miles.
An augmented reality case history for the promotion of a 3D product is "Hello Robi" by Deagostini, in which an AR Packaging solution was used.
Trade fairs play a key role in international B2B marketing. In this context, immersive installations are becoming a significant trend, and visitor engagement solutions are also being developed, such as Oculus rooms - areas open to the public with virtual reality viewers - or 360-degree projections. Carraro LAB designed the immersive setting up of Casa Italia at the Eurasia summit in St. Petersburg 2016, the Vr Points of the Murgia and Stelvio parks, the immersive installations for Homi in Fiera Milano and for Sky Italia in the village of Valentino, the exhibitions "Rivivi Expo 2015" and "Sport Vr Experience" for Arexpo, the Oculus Room "Being Leonardo" for Skira.
Virtual and augmented reality show a strong affinity with the videogame sector: a virtual reality viewer is experienced by the public as a playful experience. Hence the opportunity to develop virtual gamification formats, such as the "house of black and white" game for Sky, which invited fans of the TV series to "put their face" in the virtual environment of the Games of Thrones. McDonalds' "future farmer" edutainment challenges the user to learn how to become an innovative farmer. Advertainmnent's exploratory formats are the "find Foody" contests for Expo 2015 and “1000 miglia explorer” competitions created by Carraro LAB.
The world of Educational Marketing, which includes corporate events and congresses, is also using virtual reality.
A very important case in the congress sector in Italy is the Unicredit Talk, in which the introduction of relationships with content for virtual reality viewers has been experimented for the first time, as well as 3D maps as animated sets updated in real time, applied to the themes of agriculture and tourism. The virtual simulation of risk is a relevant format for the security sector, adopted in the Justice Hall by Safety 21. Also for security, we must mention the course of fire-fighting in virtual reality, made for Saef. Also for Marketing activities from companies to employees (Business to Employee) Carraro LAB has carried out virtual reality interventions, for example in the context of company open days: Prysmian with the virtual visit of the cable-laying ship, Atm with the 3D trip in Milanese transport and for the shareholders' meeting CoproB the presentation of the sugar industry. In particular, these are oculus rooms open to employees and families.
Major social media already support virtual and augmented reality formats. Youtube and Facebook display 360-degree videos, while Facebook Ar Studio allows you to create augmented reality content. Carraro LAB has carried out Immersive marketing initiatives in social media, including 360 videos of the Mercedes Benz "1000 miles explorer" competition with over 3 million views.
On Facebook it is possible to create "virtual try on" experiences: to make the consumer virtually wear clothes or accessories connected to the brand.
Another innovative format of immersive social marketing are the 3D posts, always on Facebook, but real virtual reality versions of the social media themselves are being developed, which go beyond the known paradigm of Second Life to make VR and AR experiences of daily interaction between users and with companies.
For some sectors, the most suitable to develop particularly attractive rich content, virtual reality opens up the possibility of developing an effective content marketing strategy. The Brand - private or public - becomes a "publisher" of contents able to attract visualizations and viralizations on the web. An emblematic sector is tourism. Carraro LAB has created immersive contents for Dolomiti Superski, Umbria Region, Lombardy Region, Marche Region.