Five 'don'ts' to consider if you are thinking of using VR

In the past two years we've seen many VR experiments that have enabled brands and agencies to claim that all-important status of 'world first', but VR is no longer a gimmick.

VR won't make a bad idea good, warns Solomon Rogers
VR won't make a bad idea good, warns Solomon Rogers

Now it is about giving consumers access to exclusive content, engaging or educational content, or helping consumers with the purchasing process by allowing them to ‘try before they buy’.

If you’re thinking about trying to harness the power of VR, here are a few 'Don’ts' to consider...

Don’t jump on the bandwagon
Entering into VR with no real purpose won't deliver any ROI. But VR that’s done right is powerful. In terms of an experience that can transport someone in a unique new way, there’s nothing like it.

It's an opportunity to put consumers inside a brand to connect to its core values. It's the next generation of storytelling, so much more immersive than any former digital experience. What makes it so powerful is that the audience is completely captive: there’s no checking emails or social media once you’ve put on a head mounted display, you are totally immersed.

Don’t think VR will ‘fix it’
VR is not a golden ticket to great content… it doesn't make a bad idea good, and it definitely doesn't make bad content good. In fact it will probably make it worse. VR has a time and a place.

Don’t forget that the experience you are creating is fully immersive
VR is very different from a 2D experience; the narrative is essential and everything should be done for a reason.

Don’t worry about distribution
Arguably it will take a while for VR to become mainstream, but in the meantime Facebook and YouTube both support 360 video so it’s easy for people to access content, and there are already HMDs available for around £50 that run off your smartphone; even John Lewis stocks one. This year will see the release of the heavyweight HMDs, then we’ll see the demand for content really take off.

Don’t be scared about budget
Yes, true VR created in a real-time game engine is not cheap, but 360 degree video, for example, is an affordable gateway into VR.  If something is worth filming in 2D, then 360 content is now becoming a natural extension.

Suddenly you’re giving people access to footage they’d never dreamed of seeing or experiencing and it’s easily accessible on a smartphone. As hardware and software products continue to evolve, the medium will become less pricey, enticing more brands. These VR films bring audiences closer to the narratives than ever before, and people truly ‘feel’ like they are there in the moment. VR could even be a source of revenue if brands decide to sell their VR experiences and apps rather than give them away.

Solomon Rogers is the founder of REWIND:VR

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