Fuse Friday’s brings you the latest and greatest from the world of branded entertainment from OMD’s content specialists. Every Friday, we’ll be immersing you in the very best campaigns from Australia and around the globe as well as bringing you up to date with what’s been keeping the team here busy. Enjoy!
You know you work in media when you hear that Facebook have just acquired a virtual reality headset business and you instantly start thinking of what this means for brands.
Facebook’s $2billion acquisition of Oculus VR, a maker of virtual reality goggles, is Zuckerberg’s latest attempt at making social media more immersive than ever – a 3D virtual world giving you the sense that you’re actually there, rather than living vicariously through the static images and videos of friends. Imagine watching a movie without peripheral vision – completely immersed in what’s in front of you and blocked off from all reality. That’s essentially what it would be like only as your head moves, the vision reacts accordingly.
In short, what it really means is that Zuckerberg is safeguarding the future of Facebook. A strategic play on his part – by putting his dollars in a virtual reality basket he is making a solid statement about the future of social media and putting Facebook at the forefront of that future.
“Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face to face – just by putting on goggles in your home,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook.
It’s a future based on consumer crave-ability for interaction, sharing and experience that’s as close as possible to the real thing. Aside from that, there’s little else we know about what this will actually look like or how Oculus will integrate with other devices. But, there’s no doubt we’ll soon be getting heightened feelings of FOMO as our friends’ images and videos are slapped right in our faces (literally). What I like the most is how this will transform Facebook chat, making it possible to feel like you are really talking “face-to-face” with friends and family who are miles away – something that no other technology has yet mastered!
But…what does all this mean for brands?! Well, brands will also be able to talk “face-to-face” with consumers, except on mass. As the experience of social media becomes more immersive so will brand experiences. The ability to tantalise people on mass with the experience of a product/service without taking it to them in ‘real life’ will be more enhanced, much more effective, more meaningful, more emotive and from a consumer’s perspective – pretty darn cool!
Apply this to some of the most popular content we’ve seen circulating the social sphere in recent times to get a sense for how interesting it could be. For example the Oscars selfie, The Ship Song project, Coke’s vending machine or Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ song (perhaps not interesting in some cases but rather more annoying).
Execution wise, I think a key for success here for brands is the production of POV shot content, so that people are engaging as the main characters and are not just by-standers in the virtual world. We always like to encourage consumer interaction to enhance experiences and now we can just make them the hero of the content – it doesn’t get much more interactive than that!
Overall, I’m excited to see what Zuckerberg does with this but for now, this is very much a play for the future so let’s not hold our breath.