Top 5 Most Innovative Virtual Reality Marketing Campaigns

Virtual reality (VR) is becoming the future of entertainment and gaming through the creation of simulated experiences and artistically-rendered environments. Thanks to virtual reality headsets, or even just your phone, you can now be transported to immersive worlds. But what if I told you that the use of virtual reality stretches beyond the realms of gaming. 

Since the creation of virtual reality technology, its potential use in the marketing sector hasn’t gone unnoticed. A number of large companies have started creating marketing campaigns using virtual reality to provide their customers with the closest possible experiences with their products and services without them being there in reality. The flexibility and innovation that comes with virtual reality has resulted in some increasingly creative marketing campaigns that have paved the way for the future of digital marketing. 

Here’s our pick of the top 5 most innovative virtual reality advertising campaigns.

 

5. Oreo

Oreo was early on the hype train when they created this 360 degree interactive experience which marketed their new cupcake-filled Oreos. By using your finger or mouse on the video you can look around as if you were in the dream-like world, but by using YouTube’s virtual reality setting and a cardboard-made headset, its innovation really shines. 

As you move through a whimsical Oreo portal, you are teleported to a magical world full of chocolate rivers as you experience the creation of these new cupcake-flavoured Oreos. This campaign uses this creative immersion to ensure that viewers experience this chocolatey wonderland with the view of wanting to take a bite out of the freshly made Oreo travelling in front of them, while also taking a swig of the chocolate river beneath them in pure Willy Wonka style. This sense of hunger was ultimately the driving force behind the direct targeting of this new product.

This fun marketing campaign allowed them to reach over 7 million views on YouTube, portraying a creation that, at this time, many people had not experienced before. 

4. Samsung Gear VR Headset

Samsung is a big name in the virtual reality market, partnering with Oculus to create the Gear VR headset. This connects with your Samsung phone to provide a next-level immersive experience with added controllers to allow users to move their hands within the immersive playing space too. 

To market this headset, they partnered with NASA to create a 4D Lunar Gravity VR Experience in New York City in 2018. Users wore a Gear VR headset while in a suit and harness, as they experienced an immersive moon mission. 

Let’s be honest, everyone has dreamt of walking on the moon, so this campaign was undoubtedly a success, the visual and physical experience emphasising the power of Samsung’s VR headset, as users explored the gravity-defying interactive journey. This marketing campaign really was out of this world.

3. Audi

We’ve all been bored out of our minds in the backseat of a car on a long journey. Audi focused on this in 2019 as they created a virtual reality experience called the ‘Holoride’. As back seat riders put on their virtual reality headsets, their Audi’s location, speed, braking, and acceleration is logged and used to simulate a motion synchronized journey. 

This innovative marketing campaign allowed Audi to appear unique in the car industry, with customers investing in an Audi vehicle with the additional reasoning of their kids trying out this creative tool. 

This could become increasingly popular in the near future as Holoride creator, Nils Wollny, left Audi and made Holoride its own company not long after Aldi’s success, now targeting the entire car industry. Partnering with companies such as in-play advertising business, Admix, could result in an even more detailed motion synchronized journey, linking with your GPS to portray local businesses as you travel past them. 

However, if like me you can’t even read in the back of a car without feeling ill, entering a virtual world instead might require a sick bag.

2. Walmart

This Walmart virtual reality experience might look familiar to you thanks to it recently becoming viral due to the introduction of the Metaverse. These memes poked fun at virtual reality shopping while also contradicting it with a video of a VR shopping game where the player is absolutely obliterating the items and bowling customers into space within the store. The meme video is linked here as I’m sure that explanation has undoubtedly enticed you enough to start frantically searching the web for it.  

However, let’s talk about the original Walmart virtual reality experience though. In collaboration with Mutual Mobile and Oculus, Walmart created an entirely virtual shopping experience, allowing users to pick up items and view their details and prices. They then were instructed to put these in their virtual trolley, ultimately checking out with multiple items in an easy, innovative way. 

This was a vision, not an entirely working virtual shop, but it emphasised what was possible with the Oculus VR headset, as well as advertising Walmart’s creative outlook and many product deals. Although it hasn’t aged too well, this idea was one of the most innovative VR campaigns of its time.

1. Adidas

Adidas used virtual reality to target it’s football fan market with their campaign not surprisingly called The Adidas Football VR Experience. At a selection of Adidas stores, customers were able to don a headset and foot sensors, and participate in a virtual football match by taking free kicks and penalties with a physical football. The innovative use of a foot sensor allowed the ball within the virtual world to react realistically to the different styles of kicks from users. This campaign at least made you feel like the next Ronaldo, and who would turn that down?

What’s more, users were also able to make video clips of their experience, ultimately sharing them on social media and, in turn, marketing this campaign for Adidas too. 

This campaign both drew people into Adidas stores, and gained attention on social media, emphasising, if used correctly, how powerful virtual reality can be in the world of digital marketing.

That’s it! That’s our pick of the top 5 most innovative virtual reality marketing campaigns so far. What’s your take on virtual reality? Should it be used as a major tool in marketing? Let us know!