Virtual reality has presented marketers with a novel solution to age-old roadblocks of trying to reach the consumer and hold their attention. The ability to fully immerse the consumer in content leaves ‘virtually’ no room for distractions. Sensory experiences in context of a location makes marketing campaigns more memorable and more likely to impact consumer behavior. Many leading companies have had their foot in the door in this new medium for marketing for a few years now. McDonald’s created a Happy Meal box in Sweden that folds into your very own Google Cardboard VR set, called Happy Goggles. Now the toy you get with your Happy Meal is the box itself.
Other companies like Coca-Cola and Volvo are also in the game with immersive video experiences, like riding on Santa’s sleigh as the big man himself, or test driving your next car. However, one company is taking VR to new heights, and it’s not who you’d expect to be an innovator in this field, Marriott. Marriott partnered with Framestore VR Studio (the CGI masters behind Gravity) to create a futuristic marketing experience unlike any other. The Teleporter combines VR with a 4D experience to transport the consumer to Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach in Maui and to the top of Tower 42 in London.
Check it out for yourself:
Marriott took their set-up around to 8 cities in the U.S. and gave thousands of people the opportunity to travel to their fantasy destination with no suitcase, no travel agent, and no planning. All you need is 100 seconds during your lunch break and you can mark these places off your travel bucket list.
But is this expensive campaign encouraging consumers to travel to these places once they’ve seen them, smelled them, and even felt them? The metrics aren’t out yet to determine it’s effectiveness in that aspect, but perhaps Marriott has another end game in mind. Maybe this immersive VR experience is the beginning of a new form of travel: a safer, hyper-realistic, virtual teleportation to a destination of your choice. Will this marketing campaign develop into a new, technologically advanced market for travel? Or have the executives behind this campaign just been watching too much Total Recall?