Effective Ways Brands are Using VR

A follow-up on some of our recent blog posts

By Mackenzie Moffitt

Working in the realm of technology definitely has its quirks. One of those quirks is that it is a constantly evolving field with people exploring new and innovative ways to utilize the technology as it comes into the mainstream. At Wired Productions Group, we are always looking for emerging technologies and seeing how they’re being used so that we can stay on top of the game and create premier audio/visual packages for our clients.

One of the things propelling us forward is reviewing how other companies are incorporating these technologies into their events. We explore the techniques that they use and try to showcase unique things that we see others doing in order to paint the canvas and therefore inspire our customers.

Earlier this summer, we saw the boom of the Pokemon Go app and became intrigued by virtual and augmented reality and what it holds for the future. Then we explored how NBC was going to utilize the same technology in their broadcasts of the Olympics. In order to keep up to date on both of these topics, we recently discovered some of the successes of VR and AR, and in the case of NBC, some of the setbacks. We’ve put together this follow-up to keep you posted on this rapidly growing field of technology.

Fashion in a Virtual World

Last week we showcased LDJ Productions, the masterminds behind the enormously illustrious New York Fashion Week. During this event, one designer in particular, stood out with her use of technology to enhance her show. Specifically, virtual and augmented reality. Designer Rebecca Minkoff incorporated this popular technology in two ways (and no, it wasn’t by collaborating with Pokemon Go creators to release legendary digital critters on the runway).

Minkoff offered a full 360 degree live VR broadcast of her show to her fans who couldn’t snag one of the tickets to the actual show. This allowed for an audience to engage digitally by viewing on their own time, whether they were in their pajamas at home or on the subway.

More interesting though, Minkoff and her brother partnered with a app that allowed users to upload a photo of themselves and “try on” all of the clothes being showcased on the runway. This use of augmented reality is potentially the future of fashion. The Minkoff siblings are hoping that this feature will be widely adopted by fashion retailers across the globe. If it were to take off, the simulated fit would let users decide if they like how something fits prior to buying and would decrease the return rate of clothing.

NBC Packs the Punch with Tech, Forgets Traditional Broadcasting

In our post a few weeks ago, we were excited about the different technologies that NBC was planning on showcasing in their coverage of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. What we did not expect was the tanking of their ratings during the Olympics.

So, what happened?

In the past, most people have watched the Olympics in real time, live, on their televisions at home. NBC, in its effort to beef up the VR and other technology on their mobile app, made the decision to air what was closer to a highlight reel than actual 24/7 coverage. The first error of many was the decision to show the opening and closing ceremonies on a tape delay, frustrating viewers who ended up seeing images on social media without the ability to see it live.

“In an environment with social media, to believe that you can hold back the story is not achievable. You can’t really judge other people’s markets but I think for us, the expectation is always going to be that every event will be live.” – Peter Hutton, CEO of Eurosport, the broadcasting agency in Europe which now has rights to air the Olympics starting in 2018.

Eurosport, the same company that aired the tennis U.S. Open, says they don’t want to criticize other networks, but also firmly stands by the decision to air sports live, rather than on a tape delay.

NBC did make great use of VR for its Samsung mobile users, but other users who don’t pay for a cable package had trouble even accessing the events that they did air on television. Other criticisms an overrepresentation of the commentators during the games, resulting in what, for some, was a distraction from the real point of the Olympics…the action.

Hopefully, in the future, the takeaway for NBC is to more fully incorporate the technology that they’re featuring alongside the live show, rather than making the tech and the broadcast mutually exclusive entities. This will allow a wider user base to enjoy a live presentation of some of the world’s most exciting sporting event.

What Did We Learn?

The gist of this follow-up is that as we feature fascinating new technology, we will also try to continue to show new examples of how its being utilized. This is best done by both showing successful examples and examples that fell short. The Wired Productions crew wants to be at the forefront of learning about state-of-the-art technological advancements so that we can be as informed as possible and to inspire you, our clients.



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