Here's How Big Brands Are Capitalizing On the Virtual Reality Trend

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Whether we are ready for it or not, virtual reality is causing marketers to turn their heads and take notice of its ever-growing presence. With the birth of technologies like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, and the more affordable Google Daydream View, it's a clear sign that VR technology is not a fad that's going away anytime soon. 

Here are a few ways big brands are taking advantage of VR to elevate their customer experience.

1. Tom's

Be it a product or a service, marketers are always on the hunt for the next big thing that offers an unforgettable brand experience. Something shareable and clickable, and something customers want to return for. Take for instance, Tom's Shoes, the company that pioneered the “buy one, give one” model you see so frequently nowadays.

In their California flagship store, Tom's hosts a virtual reality chair that allows customers to experience the shoe donation process for themselves. It brings the whole mission of the company right to the shopper's eyes, helping them connect with and immerse into the brand ethos.

2. Game of Thrones (HBO) 

Television darling Game of Thrones (HBO) has introduced a new VR exhibit on their “Ascend the Wall” tour, the multi-sensory, traveling experience that launched in 2014. 

By placing fans inside the show, HBO succeeds in making participants feel like they have an active role in the story. This cutting-edge application of VR was a no-brainer for a show that receives a cult-like following.

3. The New York Times

Ah, the Gray Lady. The NYTimes is synonymous with storytelling and this household name brand is doing everything right when it comes to VR implementation. Even as far back as 2015, the Times pioneered VR marketing when they delivered over 1 million Google Cardboard glasses to Sunday home delivery subscribers. 

They followed it up with a second delivery in 2016, providing viewers with a unique and different perspective with which to view (and consume) the news. Ultimately, good marketing is good storytelling, and with a decline in physical subscriptions, the NYTimes is using VR to innovate their storytelling methods without sacrificing those valuable at-home deliveries.

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