You’ve been hearing the terms VR and AR thrown around at the water cooler and probably mentioned in headlines quite a bit in the past year. Do you know the difference? And have you thought about using either one of these fairly new technologies in your marketing efforts? If not, you should and here is why.
Virtual reality (VR) means blocking out any visual sense of the real world and puts your audience in the middle of a new one – think of a VR headset. It is on track to be the next big wave in tech. Augmented Reality (considered to be a kind of VR) offers a nice blend of both the virtual and real worlds – think of the Pokemon GO app.
Simply put, Augmented Reality (AR) was created because it gives people the opportunity to experience extraordinary things that would be impossible otherwise, or very hard to achieve at the very least. So why not use it to do some good?
VR and AR, often combined with a social media channels, can open the door to exciting ways to encourage donations and grow non-profit organizations.
1) Using the VR experience to help children:
Pencils of Promise builds schools in developing countries. Their goal was to increase donations at an upcoming gala. Using a VR experience with headsets, they virtually took attendees to Ghana and showed them what it was like to attend school there, which in turn created an incomparable emotional connection that inspired higher donations. Watch it for yourself. Be sure to drag your mouse across the screen for the full picture.
- Pencils of Promise was able to raise $1.9 million at their gala, way more than anticipated.
- The video was viewed nearly two million times on their Facebook Page, greatly increasing awareness of their program.
2) Using AR and social media to watch a coral reef thrive or die:
Paper Triangles created a unique AR experience in conjunction with Los Angeles Industry Gallery, with the proceeds going to The Hydrous nonprofit. This exhibit used real-time tweets to either create or destroy a coral reef complete with swimming fish. Tweets containing hashtags like #recycling or #conservation made the reef thrive, while tweets with #coffee or #brunch created trash in the reef, destroying it. What do they have against coffee you might wonder?
Well, the goal wasn’t to call out food or our morning java as a culprit for destroying the oceans, but instead, it was designed to make people consider — on what — their online conversations are focused.
Paper Triangle says we “swim” in data every day, but we don’t always do something with it. This experiment not only raised money, but it also provided an opportunity to visualize data by experimenting with a new way to display the white noise of content and the endless information. Really cool, right?
3) Using just social media to celebrate heroes:
DoSomething.org used Snapchat to publish a series of snaps to promote their Everyday Superheroes campaign. “Snapchatters” were encouraged to send a card to someone who makes the world a better place. The experience begins with a story of Ricky looking for a special way to show his appreciation for Puppet Sloth. Step two: He is encouraged to download an Everyday Superheroes card and give it to his Puppet Sloth. Finally, Snapchat followers were enticed to be a part of the story and to join the campaign themselves by making a card to depict someone who is doing great work in their community as a superhero.
- DoSomething.org is staying top of mind with younger generations on their turf. (86% of Snapchat’s users are between 13 – 37 years old.)
- It reinforces DoSomething.org is a cool and creative brand.
- The organization increases its database as followers join the campaign.
- Exclusivity and urgency are leveraged since snaps disappear within 24 hours.
- Participants share the campaign with their friends – creatively.
Looking forward, VR is sure to play an even bigger role in our lives from everything to choosing the right furniture for our space to dramatically improving our healthcare. Now time to imagine what you can do with this fascinating technology! RRD is doing some really cool stuff with AR; let me know how we can help you along this journey.