A few months ago my partner Don Goldberg got a Google Cardboard viewer and was showing it off around the office but was not getting much of a rise out of the team. Maybe we all thought Virtual Reality was too far out there and the hype of Oculus Rift was overblown. Fast forward to early November and I got a Google Cardboard viewer packaged with my Sunday New York Times at home (yes, we still get the Sunday Times!). I downloaded the app and was immediately transformed. Being in the visual storytelling business, I knew that a seismic shift was beginning. Video was no longer just video. VR transformed the story, brought the user (me) into the story, and created an experience that everyone in my family was amazed by. With the price point of the Cardboard viewers it would not create a barrier for marketers to reach their audiences, even in the b2b world.
To quote Google’s news release from October: “Google Cardboard is bringing virtual reality worldwide. Starting today, the Google Cardboard app is available in 39 languages and over 100 countries on both Android and iOS devices. Additionally, the Cardboard developer docs are now published in 10 languages to help developers build great VR experiences. With more than 15 million installs of Cardboard apps from Google Play, we’re excited to bring VR to even more people around the world.”
The conversations inside our agency quickly moved to figuring out how to make VR a reality for our clients. Virtual reality could be the next medium for us to do creative storytelling. As a company focused on visual storytelling married with advanced development (see our work for brands like Workday, Adobe, and Jones Lang LaSalle), it was the perfect storm.
Fast forward two months and today we are designing a digital briefing center in Virtual Reality. We are marrying up our creativity, advanced video capabilities, and cutting-edge app development to help an enterprise software company more effectively tell its story. We see virtual reality as more than games and entertainment. We see it as a platform to tell stories in a fun and engaging way.
From what I can tell there are very few agencies doing virtual reality. We are diving in headfirst. With the launch of Google Cardboard we have an opportunity to help our clients tell their story like never before. That is the business we are in and that is what sets us apart.