The Art of Brand Storytelling in Virtual Reality

The art of brand storytelling is a mystical thing, often spoken about in hushed tones in pockets of the online marketing sphere. If done well, it can cement your brand in the hearts and homes of your audience, in ways which adverts could only dream of doing.

“By handing over viewing control to the audience, you immediately make your story more personal”

With the advent of upcoming technologies and VR headsets like Google Cardboard rapidly making their way to the mainstream, there are now more ways than ever to tell your brand story in a connected world and Virtual Reality could be your perfect partner.

It can add an extra layer of immersive storytelling and engagement to your tale and help communicate your brand message from a different, more relatable point of view – something we chatted about recently in this handy little guide. By handing over viewing control to the audience, you immediately make your story more personal and let them experience the journey of how your brand got to where it is today, from a first person perspective. With this kind of engagement readily available to brands looking to take on a slightly different format, VR is the gateway to relevant and relatable brand storytelling.

The Art of Storytelling

One such brand, bravely going where no brand has gone before, is luxury Tequila manufacturer, Patron. Looking to communicate their brand story of how they’re cultivating the next generation of Agave and give viewers a glimpse into their rich heritage, they used VR to craft an origin story fit for the finest headsets.

“A short, sweet experience, leaving you with a lasting impression of their brand”

With a bee’s-eye-view of their world, they used a mix of real life footage shot with a 3D drone and animated elements, to unveil the secrets behind how their much-loved Tequila is made. Keeping the narrative straightforward, they could take viewers from the growing fields, to the Agave house where the magic happens, in full 360 degrees surround –  a lesson in how VR can enhance simple storytelling. It communicates the passion, ambition and craft of Patron, in a short, sweet experience, leaving you with a lasting impression of their brand and no bitter taste in the mouth. Well, unless you don’t like Tequila.

The Art of Giving

Another brand paving the way with their forward thinking brand storytelling is ethical shoe company, TOMS. Known for giving away a pair of shoes to those who need it, for every pair they sell, they are the pioneers in the art of giving in a digital age. They wanted to communicate their story in a different way and show their customers exactly how they contributions they make, affect the lives of others. As part of their ’10 Years of Giving’, they allowed viewers, through the magic of VR, to see what it’s like to go on a TOMS Giving Trip.

“VR can be used to give something back to the people who support your brand.”

Transporting you to a village in Peru, you were able to witness first hand the remarkable work their Giving Partners do and spend some time with the children who actually receive the shoes. It not only communicates their brand story in a very effective and emotional way but demonstrates how VR can be used to give something back to the people who support your brand.  Rather than simply telling someone how you started and what your brand does, why not show them and let them become part of the story. The art of giving shouldn’t be underestimated.

The Art of Experience

 

From Peru to a tropical Paradise, the final part is the art of experience – expertly demonstrated by Marriott Hotel’s latest VR venture. Marriott’s ‘Teleporter’ does exactly what it says on the virtual tin. Travelling the States with a sci-fi looking tube, straight from a Star Trek sequel, Marriott allowed viewers to step inside the Teleporter and find themselves transported to the other side of the world. Whether they were teetering on top of a skyscraper, or wandering the plush interior of a hotel lobby, it communicated to customers in an engaging and highly immersive way, precisely who Marriott were.

“A story is sometimes better shown or experienced for yourself, rather than told”

By harnessing this future technology to showcase the future of travel, their brand story became a fondly remembered experience for viewers, rather than a quick, consumable, piece of content. And with the addition of heaters and wind jets inside this sci-fi-style booth, it transformed from a virtual film into a very real, 4D experience. It’s a clever example of how a story is sometimes better shown or experience for yourself, rather than told. Next time, why not consider virtual reality at the start of your marketing strategy? You might find you can engage with your audience on a new, more interactive level.

With so many strands to this in depth art, brand storytelling has the opportunity to evolve into something which is highly relevant and even more relatable for the modern, connected audience. In our world of social media and augmented, many sided realities, VR could be the tool to tell your story from a fresh perspective and who knows, you could very well be sipping virtual cocktails from a teleporter in no time.

If you’re looking to craft your own virtual reality experience, why not drop us a line for and get ahead of the curve by having a read through some of our top tips to help you make the most out of your brand storytelling:

  1. Make the most of every angle: VR can help you craft a more immersive experience – particularly if your audience can explore ordinarily, un-explorable angles. Optimise every view of your experience to help communicate the bigger picture.
  1. Make it memorable: Create something which feels like an experience. Your viewer should be able to consider it almost like a memory – something they want to refer back to. Include content they can’t see anywhere else.
  1. Don’t underestimate your story: Brand stories are at the heart of a product. They’re the reason it exists so don’t underestimate that. People want to hear about how things began – don’t be afraid to tell your story.
  1. Experiment with the format: In telling your story, consider how you can take the already established format and do something a little different with it. Adding a 4D experiential element, like smells or sensations, could elevate your brand’s tale.

 

Amy Durrant

Amy Durrant

Amy is a copywriter and all round creative type at Pebble Studios. With bundles of agency experience at Karmarama and her past life as a music, technology and design journalist, she has a love for all things creative.

Creative, Pebble Studios

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