A New Reality for Destination Marketing
by Alex Drainville
The past few decades have treated consumers to a multitude of technological developments that threatened to change the world. Despite promising outlooks, many failed to find footing and fell into the oblivions of history.
However, virtual and augmented reality are primed for exponential market growth over the next decade. Virtual reality — the full immersion of one’s self into a visual, aural, and in some ways physical environment, as well as augmented reality — the overlaying and manipulation of virtual information in the real world, show great promise for full market integration and pose an opportunity to redefine how consumers select the products they buy and the places they go.
The travel industry in particular continually seeks to engage with prospective tourists through dynamic mediums, meaning it requires constant attention. On the surface, tourism is the purchase of tickets, flights and lodgings, but what consumers are truly buying is an experience — one they can take home. Virtual and augmented reality platforms can immerse a traveler in an environment before a journey even begins.
As advertisers, we relish an opportunity to capture a new mode of storytelling, dropping travelers directly into a landscape, and (sometimes literally) taking them over the edge when deciding where and what they want to experience next.
Always a marketing pioneer, Facebook has spent billions on VR headset producing Oculus stating, “we see the beginning of a new platform.” Companies like Expedia are utilizing 360º content to offer interactive walk-throughs of hotel rooms, while car companies are transforming banner ads into virtual windows, allowing consumers to tour vehicle interiors by moving their phone around them.. Matoke Tours Uganda allow prospective travelers to try before they buy with a virtual travel brochure complete with hot-air balloon rides and meet and greets with gorillas.. Even countries like the UK and Germany have integrated VR technology into their marketing campaigns, receiving substantial return on investment since its inception.
Our team at FourthIdea understands the vitality of being technology leaders in every industry and have made a significant investment in VR & AR technology. While lack of consumer education to VR & AR remains high, we recognize that barriers to entry — prominently platform price and applicable usage — will soon decrease, making it crucial to not be left behind when these technologies recognize market potential.
More importantly, the core attributes of these platforms resonate with our approach to the creative process.
VR & AR provide a brand new way to view the world we share, and those we share it with. The authenticity of this experience is what makes it so uniquely special. Every creation, achievement, interaction, message and perception will be deeply personalized and emotional to a level that has never been rendered before.
Through VR & AR, we are capturing this profound relational quality, connecting our clients with their audiences in new, exciting and genuine ways. We’re prepared and confident to face the dynamic technological landscape. Within the virtual, we will find something very real.
Niagara Falls USA Travel Guide Augmented Reality Spread:
Download the LayAR app to try on screen.