Before new media came old media. Or did it?

Print. TV. Radio. Are they really so-called ‘old media’? As someone who grew up with the expansion of new media, I saw it take over our newsrooms and we now see VR take the helm as ‘The Big Thing’ 

But hang on a minute. Does that make the old new media just the old media? And what about old, old, ‘traditional’ media? I bet cup and string sales took a dive when the first newspapers were produced.

First of all, forget the old and new tags. They just don’t work in a world where social media is an ever-evolving behemoth – even in terms of AI. Balls have zero, apparently. Google it, if you don’t believe me.

Of course, a successful brand campaign doesn’t separate media into different boxes. It’s all part of a crucial mix that is carefully designed to deliver results. After all, isn’t that what really matters?

So, VR is part of the mix and here at Laduma, we keep VR at the forefront. On it’s own, VR is a wonderfully rich experience that takes the user far beyond the limitations of two-dimensional, or even three-dimensional video.

To coin a phrase, VR stimulates parts of the brain that other mediums cannot reach. The immersive nature of VR fools the user into believing they are inside the world within the headset. From there, context becomes hugely important in creating a positive recollection of that experience. Good context, good experience. 

But that alone is not enough. VR has to create a buzz. An expectation that others will know about it, experience it and of course, take in the desired message from the client.

Brand activations will bring people closer to the VR experience, but they have to be told, informed, and more importantly, excited about it. That is where traditional media (yeah, I know, THAT phrase) comes into play.

Take our work alongside Sure, an official partner of Everton FC. We filmed Ross Barkley in a VR sequence that showed him taking free kicks at the Everton training ground. The aim was to show the user how it feels to stand in a Premiership footballer’s shoes.

It worked. Oh boy, it worked. As part of a co-ordinated brand campaign, Sure was able to connect with consumers that perhaps, it wouldn’t normally reach. Radio, newspapers, TV, all played a key role in this. They spread the word about Ross Barkley’s amazing VR video. People watched it, enjoyed it and gave Sure a thumbs-up. But the key is, without the role of traditional media in reaching those users, the VR experience wouldn’t have taken on crucial momentum.

Then there was our work with MLS club LA Galaxy. As part of a multi-year agreement, we created a series of fully immersive 360-degree 3D VR experiences with players Nigel de Jong, Ashley Cole, Gyasi Zardes, Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane.

 There was a brand launch, of course, where fans were invited to view exclusive content prior to the start of the 2016 MLS campaign. Held at the Stub Hub Centre in Los Angeles, the launch event attracted thousands of fans. 

But there was more than that.

The VR series was an extension of the club’s 2016 “This Is LA” campaign, which featured lifestyle photography of the team’s players, staff and supporters throughout their home neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles.

In addition to the virtual reality series, Laduma and the LA Galaxy created high-definition 2D media and content for fans, highlighting unique perspectives and voices from around the club.

Laduma was also a presenting sponsor of the “LA Galaxy Goal of the Year,” an annual video contest that asked fans to vote for the best LA Galaxy goal of 2016. The competition was featured solely on the LA Galaxy website and consolidated all of the best goals for the season.

Like the Ross Barkley campaign, our work with LA Galaxy was featured on TV, radio and print across the world. Our exclusive Steven Gerrard interview, for example, generated over 20,000 views on Youtube alone.

So the key, as with any successful brand / VR campaign, is planning. Identify the key objectives, show how VR can deliver a desired experience and illustrate the role of traditional media.

VR isn’t here to take over the world. It’s here to be part of it, and to give people an unforgettable experience. Working alongside traditional media is key to that mix.

Old media, new media – it all has a role to play.