Advertising Using VR

Advertising Using VR

For my review, I decided to take a look at how advertising can use VR and if it is possible for companies to use VR to help sell their products/services. Since I am going in the direction of advertising/marketing for my future career, I thought it would be neat to be able to take this opportunity to explore what kind of future VR has in advertising. The article I chose to review is titled “What Virtual Reality Will Mean for Advertising”.  It was written by Aaron Lubar in June 2016.  Lubar works with VR at Google and is the Head of Partnerships. The intended audience for this article could be a wide variety of people.  It could be advertisers looking to shift directions and head into a much more immersive, engaging way to advertise to their intended audiences. Or it could be people just looking to see the different ways that VR can be used in the very near future. This article touches on a little bit of everything. I believe that is what makes this article successful, the fact that it touches on many aspects of VR. How it can be used, what the future looks like for VR, is what makes it an appealing article to many different audiences.

This article starts out by talking about how VR in the past used to be this sort of science fiction, it just seemed so wild to think that we would ever be able to create such an immersive setting using our smartphone devices. However, that fiction has now become a reality. Lubar mentions how VR can actually transform our daily lives, by the way we communicate, to how we spend our down time. Brands and companies are now really starting to see just how widespread and impactful VR can be on an audience. They are wanting to create their own VR videos to reach their target audience and give them a different feel for their brand/products by taking themsomewhere else. Certain companies have already gotten a head start on being some of the first to create their ownVR.  For example, Cadillac is already using VR to create some of the first virtual dealerships. The article then goes on to talk about how in the not so distant future, cameras will be capturing everything in VR and it will change audience’s lives. How? By being able to take them on the court of a NBA game, or front row at a Beyonce concert. Lubar says VR is the closest thing we have to teleportation.

This article is experience driven by talking about all the potential opportunities VR has in the near future and how many people will be able to be in a place they would never be in if it wasn’t for VR. Lubar’sarticle doesn’t use emotion within it, but I don’t feel that it needed to.  I think keeping it to the point and touching on different aspects of the future of VR in advertising made it a great article.  This article is very appropriate for VR because it is discussing the future of it.  By talking about where it was a few years ago, to where it is now, to where it will be in a few years down the line makes for a very intriguing read. The only weakness in the article would be that it was a little light.  I feel as though there could have been a lot more discussed and the topics could have been more in depth as well. Overall, I thought this article was an informative, interesting read.

 

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/virtual-reality-advertising/

 

VR Story Review- “I Struggle Where You Vacation”

On May 16, 2016, RYOT published the short film “I Struggle Where You Vacation,” a VR film set in Puerto Rico that focuses on the island’s worsening financial crisis as American legislators remain inert, jeopardizing the wellbeing of Puerto Rico’s American citizens.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto and produced by Zahra Rasool and Marc Janks, this socially conscious film perfectly follows the socially driven philosophy of RYOT.  RYOT states in its manifesto that it is a “citizen, not an enterprise” and that the company does not “pretend to hide behind neutrality, [they] care about what happens to the world;” this mandate to evoke change through empathetic storytelling can be felt through even the title of the film, “I Struggle Where You Vacation”.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s address to Puerto Rico on May 1, 2016.
Before the story even begins, it is successful at evoking an emotional response, telling us that the people in places where we vacation to go through genuine struggles and hardships- humanitarian, economic, legislative, and environmental hardships- and especially the places located in developing countries. Although this story focuses on Puerto Rico, the message in the could easily have been set in almost any part of Latin America, Africa, parts of Asia, or even the struggles of native Hawaiians. Thus, from the title the audience may experience guilt (and perhaps indignation and anger in regards to said guilt, as demonstrated by most critics of the short film), sympathy, shock, and hopefully empathy.
The story begins with a broadcast of Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s address to Puerto Rico on May 1, 2016 about the island $70 billion dollar debt. In this VR story, we see his address through a television screen, and thus, we are made to feel as the people of Puerto Rico as they watch their governor “foresee that the crisis will [worsen].” The following scenes alternate between the lush beauty of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican culture, as well as pictures of the island’s worsening conditions. In one scene in the first minute of video, executive director of ENLACE Caño Martín Peña, Lyvia Rodríguez, talks to the audience as we are immersed in the area of the Martín Peña channel: one second we are on the shores of the lake, the next second we are on dry land. As Rodríguez tells us, the river is an important part of environmental health of the island and a crucial resource for citizens.
Flooded classroom in Ramon Vila Mayo High School.
When asked how the Washington response to Puerto Rico makes him feel, community leader of the Caño Martín PeñaJosé Pagán, responds “Like a second class citizen. The message you get from Congress is F*** Puerto Rico. […] And it’s real sad to hear that from supposedly the biggest democratic country in the world.” We see his response juxtaposed with festive Puerto Rican music (mostly of the Bomba and Plena genres).
Puerto Ricans march: “If you keep abusing, you’re gonna get a strike!”
Similar scenes and similar speakers follow throughout the film to great: through the 360 mechanism, the audience is immersed not only in pictures of crises, such as flooded schools, and lavish scenes of the culture and environment, but also to images of marching Puerto Ricans celebrating and protesting the struggle. At the end of the film, Representative of the Popular Democratic Party, Manuel Natal, reflects upon how Puerto Ricans, specifically working class Puerto Ricans have contributed to the debt. “I’m not one to say that all of our problems are created by our relationship with the US, but I’m one to affirm that most of the solutions, if not all, are limited by our current relations.” And thus, the video ends, and we are left on a mountaintop beneath the Puerto Rican Flag.
Puerto Rican flag over the mountains.

Strength in Numbers: 2017 NBA Finals Chapter 2 Review

Strength in Numbers: 2017 NBA Finals Chapter 2

Watch the trailer here:

Strength in Numbers – The 2017 NBA Finals

This VR Story allowed its viewers to experience game footage, post game coverage, and player interviews all in virtual reality. This 360 video was published by the NBA and Oculus, and was produced by M SS NG P ECES. This video is intended to be watched on a VR headset, as I was unable to find it available in any other medium. This was a  successful use of virtual reality, and this is because the camera was placed where no fan could go before. Examples include shots from behind the backboard, the players locker rooms, press boxes, and even inside LeBron James’ private limo he takes to the games that are played in Cleveland. This video used a few storytelling techniques, the first being a omniscient narrator, who walks us through every step of the storytelling process, then the NBA and M SS NG P ECES did a wonderful job of camera placement, and camera movement, as every camera movement and angle was well thought out and executed properly.

Screenshot taken from http://mssngpeces.com/projects/virtual-reality/strength-in-numbers-the-2017-nba-finals/.

Overall, this VR story takes us through the 2017 NBA finals. Specifically, chapter two covers game three and game four of the NBA Finals, along with the warm-up and press conferences before and after each game. We are given the opportunity to experience these games from remarkable angles, and even sit in one one-on-one interview with NBA players Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry. This story used a story narrative structure with some minor adjustments. I am specifically reviewing Chapter Two of this four part mini series, this means that the beginning and the end were both left open, knowing that in the NBA finals there is more to come. This added to the astatic of the VR story as it makes the viewer want to learn more, a perfect ending for a mini series with more to come. The characters of this story were the participants in the 2017 NBA finals and the players of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. These characters drove the story solely because they are the biggest names in the NBA, and naturally emotion is directly ties to sports. This 360 video was full of emotion because even if the viewer is not invested into these two teams, there are reaction shots everywhere and the crowds reactions are powerful enough to drive emotion. This video is location driven as we were able to view outside shots of both cities (Cleveland & Oakland). This video is also experience driven as attending an NBA finals is not something that most are able to experience in their lifetime, and finally it was also character driven as the characters presented  are some of the biggest sports names in the entire world.

Image taken from http://mssngpeces.com/projects/virtual-reality/strength-in-numbers-the-2017-nba-finals/

THE VERDICT 9/10

This video was appropriate for VR because it puts the viewer in places that are either very expensive to get into, or it took its viewers into locker rooms and behind the scenes areas that are generally off-limits to both fans, and media. The video flowed very smoothly and the conflict of the two teams battling to become world champions added to the overall success of this VR NBA Finals story. The only weakness of the story that I had come across was the camera angles were always at eve level with the NBA players. This was a slight weakness in my eyes because instead of looking at LeBron James like the giant he is, we looked at his from eye level and it did not do his 6’8” 250 pound frame any justice. If the camera would have been placed at an average 6” we still would have seen everything we needed to and the viewers would have gotten a better sense of how big these NBA players truly are. Overall, for NBA fans, this is an amazing experience and one that should be viewed by all who consider being fans of either of these two teams, or even fans of the NBA as a whole.

VR Story Review Eagles Defensive Line 360 Video

I decided to pick a story review on the Philadelphia Eagles defensive linemen. This was produced by the NFL using 360 video on some recent games the players had played during the 2016 NFL season. The video was posted on November 24th 2016, the videos of highlights from games were games before that date that were used for this 360 video. After watching the video I was very happy with the types of shots they were showing, involving in game action of the defensive linemen, the background of that they do outside of football and their workouts during the week to prepare for the next game on Sunday. The audience they are showing are hard core true football fans that wonder what players talk about during games, what their strategy is to prepare for the next play or game if the video is showing a current game or practice. The only thing I was not impressed with or kind of got annoying was how quick they were to show the next scene and how they just jumped right into the next slide without a going to black screen. I would say that would be the one thing I would suggest to improve if they were to make another type of video like this.

After they introduced the defensive linemen for the Eagles, they jumped into a game against the Redskins and showed a video of one of the players rushing Kirk Cousins and he talked about if you aren’t pumped up enough for this game then you need to find something else or get ready to play. The proposed of this video was to show fans the lifestyle of being a NFL football player and see how their weeks are stretchered. We see what practices look like on certain days of the week like Wednesday’s and Thursday’s from the video we saw, for them to be better prepare for their next game on Sunday. We see what days like Monday and Tuesday are more for weight rooms’ days for the players to get a good workout in before they start practicing on the field starting Wednesday. After practice, some of the players will go to a charity event or go to a community event and help out the community by giving out food, play with the kids for them to get exercise. From what I see from this video and hope others have also notice this, but we see the type of personalities and loyalty of these players on helping the community, how much they love the city they play for and just what they think about practice on to improve their skill sets and become a much better player on and off the field.

 

They used a lot of emotion from players’ frustration, happiness or aggressiveness during games, practice or working out to improve their body. If they didn’t show emotions from the players, I think that could be a big factor of this video being from great to ok if they didn’t show emotion. I believe they did a great job on this video of showing the players, introducing the players we should be watching, what the players go through during the week before their game on Sunday and how loyal they are to their city by helping a cause with their community.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH52zn8d1gI

ScareFest 360 Experience

Virtual Reality coverage of the tenth anniversary of ScareFest, an independent local convention in Lexington, Kentucky that has grown into the largest of its kind in the nation. Come experience three days of paranormal celebration!

Editor: Tabitha Olatoyan

Photographer: Rafael Silva