When it comes to traveling, I’m very picky about my hotel room. It’s really what makes or breaks my vacation. So if I end up with a not so clean room or even a hotel that’s super run down, I’m dying for my vacation to be over. Sounds a little bit dramatic, but it’s true. That’s why whenever my husband and I are planning a vacation, I read and analyze every review I can find of different hotels. I also pore over every picture of each hotel – including those provided by the hotel itself and those posted by people on review sites. It’s a seriously time consuming task that’s all an effort to piece together everything about the hotel that I can get my hands on just to get a complete view – a 360 degree view – of my desired destination.
Now, because of the ability to use new technology like 360 VR for travel marketing and advertising, consumers like me have a new tool at their disposal which can make shopping for everything from travel to cars easier and possibly even more fun! That’s because 360 VR technology, when applied to today’s digital display ads, enables brands to showcase more product, deliver more compelling brand storytelling messages and it facilitates product sampling and demos. No other ad technology or content platform offers this much immersion and engagement along with the opportunity to just explore products and brands more. Let’s take my experience, as an example, to see how applying 360 VR for travel advertising can improve the consumer shopping experience. Take a look at the 360 VR ad below.
Notice that you start out at the hotel lobby. Now move your device or use your mouse to drag the image in the ad to reveal more of the lobby. In the upper right hand corner of the ad you see an icon to expand the ad and you select it. The ad goes full screen (can be viewed vertically or horizontally) and you explore more of the lobby. You can truly sense what it feels like to walk through the hotel’s revolving front doors, you note the majestic beauty of the vaulted ceilings and grand chandeliers and you are taken in by the boundless luxury the hotel espouses to posses in their property descriptions.
As you explore, more hotspots start to appear encouraging you to book your stay and tour other parts of the hotel like the lounge, pool, and even one of the suites. Select “View Club Lounge” and you’re transported to a 360 degree view of the Club Floor & Lounge area which is well suited for business travellers. For someone like me, the most important view will be that of a room so I’d select “View Suite” to get the complete picture of what a guest room looks like. I like what I see! Next I take a peek at the pool and I’m convinced – it’s time to book my stay. All I have to do is select the “Book Your Stay” button and I’m then taken directly to a reservations page where I can book my trip. This is certainly much easier than having to pull together enough 2D pictures and reviews to get the true picture of whether or not this is a hotel that meets my standards!
Now imagine if we think bigger and leverage 360 VR in other ways than just as a traveling tool. Think of how 360 VR will change the way we shop for clothes or even buy groceries! And for bigger purchases like cars, apartments, or houses, 360 VR can help you narrow down your search by allowing you to virtually test drive a car or virtually tour an apartment or a house before deciding on your favorite choices. There’s really no limit to what we can do with 360VR and it’s exciting to think about the many opportunities and innovations this technology will bring.
With all this in mind, it’s worth reminding advertisers and marketers that we’re living in exciting times because there’s so much we can do with 360 and VR when it comes to the realm of advertising. Never before have we had at our disposal an ad technology that was capable of immersing consumers at this level. So what are you waiting for? It’s time you start leveraging 360 VR ads today!
P.S. Want to learn how to properly use 360 VR for travel? Download our ebook below!
Also published on Medium.