In case you missed it, one of America’s largest family owned businesses and fast food chains, Chick-fil-a, recently launched a virtual reality themed commercial during the Grammy Awards. Riffing off their “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign, the eatery’s new agency, McCann New York, is turning to 360 degree and Virtual Reality technology for their initial campaign with the iconic brand. The agency enlisted the talents of leading VR studio Framestore to create rather humorous experiences featuring what else but VR-headset donning bovines spreading the word about “VR”.
They’re a rather comical series of ads which are hoped to achieve one of the brands’ key goals: “to engage with guests in new and interesting ways.” Seems like they’re ‘mooing’ up the right tree as brands leveraging 360 degree & VR are not only viewed more positively and forward leaning but also consumers feel more connected to brands that sponsor VR. Furthermore, ad units that feature this type of content are also proving to be not only highly engaging but also very effective when it comes to brand marketing on mobile.
It’s worth noting that up till now, most of the 360 and VR experiences created by brands have either been more experiential in nature or simply 360 videos released on social media. On the experiential side we’ve had notable experiences like Marriott’s Transporter back in 2014, HBO’s Game of Thrones “Ascend the Wall” experience at Comic Con 2015, and Merrell’s Trailscape at Sundance 2015 – to name just a few. On the social media side, we’ve had the likes of Liberty Mutual Insurance, GMC, Oreo, Clash of Clans, Star Wars and numerous others create 360 videos and post them to social media in hopes they’ll be seen.
Now while experiential 360 & VR experiences can be very impactful and there have been dozens of 360 brand videos that have garnered tens of millions of views on social media outlets, for a marketer, these distribution channels for 360 & VR content lack one big detail – reach. However, with the advent of display ads that can feature 360 degree content with one-touch VR mode, we can expect to see more and more brands using 360 virtual reality and taking them to the next level – namely as rich media ad units that are viewable on-browser and in-app.
So as we brace for a digital future that goes from being sprinkled with 360 videos on social media to having a full on deluge of 360 ads – we thought we’d honor the brands that have boldly gone where none had gone before with the included infographic. Seeing as these brands were first movers when it came to trying out 360 & VR content for marketing, can we expect these brands to make the next logical step and use these highly engaging technologies for advertising? One can only hope!