Have you ever shopped for a new car? It often goes like this – you find a model you love and take it for a test drive. Afterwards, you leave the dealership feeling as if the car was designed and built for just you.
Typically, you then find on the way home that the streets are filled with similar cars. Often in the same colour you want!
Looking back, your perspective was changed at the dealership and during the test drive. You were sold. In your mind, you already owned the car and therefore saw yourself and the world differently.
This relates quite easily to Virtual Reality.
The most common challenge we see at Laduma is how to create this product awareness and urgency in the minds of potential customers. Filmed correctly and with the right expertise, VR can give anybody in the world a virtual test drive of a product or experience. VR empowers brands with the ability to give customers – or potential customers – a visceral and perspective-changing experience.
So, how do you leave that person feeling like your product or experience was meant for them?
There is a world of difference between seeing a Facebook advert or blog post about a product, against actually putting on a VR headset and being transported to an experience. With VR, you can match that feeling of leaving a dealership after a test drive. This will make potential customers feel as if they’re truly experiencing a product.
The challenge was to show a few hundred surgeons the simplicity of working with Edwards’ heart valve device. We also needed to show one of the key benefits of the product – that patient recovery time is significantly reduced.
With the carefully placed 360° stereoscopic cameras that Laduma has designed, we showed surgeons performing a flawless heart surgery. Our VR camera rigs gave surgeons who watched the content a 360° experience of the operating room, with a depth of view they had never seen before.
Alongside three-dimensional graphics of the patient vitals and compelling explanations of the procedure from surgeon interviews, we captured the surgery successfully. That was only half the story, however. Two weeks later, our team flew back to film the patient at home, playing with his grandchildren, mowing his yard and doing the outdoor activities he loved.
The surgeons walked away from the medical conference with a similar feeling to that of the test drive I mentioned earlier. The first-person perspective of VR made them feel as if they were in the operating room, completing a successful surgery. They were also able to see the healing power of working with Edward’s heart valve product. The patient was active, happy and grateful as we gathered the final piece of the experience.
Overall, VR can provide product awareness and urgency for purchase because it appeals to three different parts of the human brain.
These include the reptilian, which is where primitive instincts come from. Neocortex for higher-level thinking and the limbic system for emotion, behavior and motivation.
The reptilian part of your brain can be easily fooled by VR. Tis why watching a sequence filmed from a height can give some people vertigo. At the same time, others will feel uncomfortable when a character in a VR video enters their personal space.
The fact that VR is immersive essentially fools the brain into believing you are inside the world you see within the headset. This perception ignites – amongst others – your limbic system.
Once this happens, information and experiences are perceived in the context of the VR sequence. Contextual memories help to recall information later on. When the limbic system is ignited and the brain believes you are within the VR sequence, emotional engagement follows. From that, memories are strengthened and moods reflect those emotions.
The effect of good VR on the neocortex is a very ‘real’ feeling that you are present in the setting and location. Bottom line, film great VR and you tap into how our brains perceive the world around us. This is how you change a potential customer’s view. Give them an experience that they won’t forget. Film a product or experience with 360° cameras designed to take your customers there.
Your ‘there’ might be a destination for vacations, a courtside seat at a sporting event or a medical device that will revolutionise how a debilitating disease or ailment is treated.
In each instance, VR allows your customer to reach a level of product awareness and urgency they have never felt before. Much like seeing the car you want to purchase on the road after a test drive. They will see in their mind’s eye their next family vacation at your destination.
Their next season ticket purchase will be all they think about when they watch ESPN. The doctor will not stop thinking about the VR experience he watched of your revolutionary medical device.
By Mike Santiago, Laduma Vice President of Business Development