Augmented and Virtual Reality 2022: Changing the Way We Market

The world looked on, perplexed and disturbed, as the strange video whizzed past all other content on our social media feeds, taking front and center.

Online responses were a mixed bag of amusement and discomfort. The announcement seemed to come out of nowhere and be everywhere all at the same time. You know the one – Mark Zuckerberg’s creepy video presentation of Facebook’s name change to Meta.

In case you missed it, Zuckerberg came out with a doozy, explaining not only Facebook’s rebrand but also its new vision: a self-proclaimed pioneer in the Metaverse.

Amidst the uproar of reaction articles, tweets, TikTok videos, and hilarious Icelandic parodies, the business world is divided on what to make of it.

Maybe because it is an uncharted territory or just too reminiscent of The Matrix, business owners are missing a golden opportunity. The Metaverse market is projected to grow by over 75 billion dollars in the next four years alone.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are taking the world by storm. They will change the way marketing, advertising, and PR are done forever.

If your business hasn’t gotten on board yet, it’s time. Here’s how to not get left behind.

The Web 2 Win

“Pic or it didn’t happen.”

The phrase is still an apt description of our culture. Web 2, or the social media paradigm, has captured and maintained the most coveted prize in the marketing world: the people’s attention.

If something doesn’t live somewhere on the internet, we doubt its truthfulness.

Most of us live on our phones, scrolling for nearly a third of our waking hours—which translates a third of our entire waking lives. And the marketing community knows it.

Television only had the power to advertise to us when we were at home. The advent of social media brought an endless stream of algorithmically tailored, digital billboards to our workplaces, schools, bars, and even (especially?) our bathrooms.

All through our smartphones.

But digital marketing realities are changing again, and this time, we aren’t just going to look at the internet; we are going to live on the internet.

Virtual Reality IS Reality

Some hesitancy in the world of marketing’s approach to virtual reality and augmented reality is a failure to understand what made Web 2 work. Social media isn’t “the real world,” sure, but if it is a fantasy, we sure do spend a lot of time immersed in a fantasy. Fantasy has become an integral part of our lives.

Web 3 is a catch-all term for the next phase of online digital media. It focuses on plunging us deeper into the digital world (VR) and bringing the digital world into the non-digital world (AR).

Either way, a time is coming when we won’t have to stare at our phone screens to see uniquely tailored ads or digital marketing.

The virtual and non-virtual worlds will be so intertwined that life, love, and commerce in one domain will demand engagement with the other. 

For example, ”going to work” will be more than a binary choice between pandemic era options of working remotely or commuting to the office. With VR, people will be able to go to work at a digital office as the avatar version of themselves without their physical bodies ever leaving the couch. They will attend virtual meetings and interact with their fellow employees’ avatars.

The same will be true of bars (online avatar mingling spaces), comedy clubs, concerts, dates, and more. People will enjoy real human experiences in a virtual world.

With advances in wearable technology, the digital world is also jumping into ours with increasing regularity.

Life in the Metaverse

You can see a journalist’s preview of an admittedly premature virtual landscape in her Metaverse experience video.

While spending 24 hours with a virtual reality headset on is not recommended for anyone’s general wellbeing, the journalist was able to show the world what life and work in the Metaverse look and feels like right now.

She went to a digital office and had meetings with her fellow employees via their avatars. She socialized with strangers all over the world. She even watched a live comedy show with friends.

All of this to say, if we haven’t accepted this inevitable collision course of the digital and non-digital realities, we are living in a fantasy.

A Blended Reality

Through the power of VR, people are playing the most challenging games of ping pong ever without an actual paddle in hand, a table in front of them, or even a human opponent.

They’re sweating afterwards.

They play against computer programs in technology like the Oculus Quest 2, and the experiences feel real.

The haptics in the controllers creates the illusion that players are making actual contact with the ball. The way the little orb buoys in the air and flails into the net at breakneck speed when they slam it feels the same as real-life games.

The feelings—anger at losing, satisfaction at winning, and dismay when the fun is over—all feel real.

This is just one example of how VR constructs an engaging, immersive experience, enlisting the use of at least 3 of the 5 human senses.

Anyone worth their salt in advertising, marketing, or PR knows that what you make people feel is the most important thing. And the way to incite feelings in people is to engage as many of their senses as possible. To immerse them in an experience.

VR and AR aren’t going to take people out of the non-virtual world, they are going to bring a variety of new experiences into the non-virtual world. AR and VR are an opportunity to engage people’s senses like never before.

The New Era of Marketing

Businesses are now able to manufacture marketing experiences that incite stronger feelings than ever possible in the 2-dimensional space of smartphones and computer screens.

If businesses want to succeed in the new era, they have to meet people where they are. In the virtual world, the non-virtual world, and the places those worlds overlap.

One great way to do this is to learn how to craft marketing, digital marketing, and experiential marketing from the best in the business with an event or activation.

You may want to learn the principles of marketing in this brave new world. You might want to immerse your teams in an engaging, multi-sensory, handcrafted experience that will elevate them to the next level in business. Whatever you are looking for, Big Bold Thinkers has the expertise and courage to help you develop marketing, advertising, and PR that will work in all iterations of the Web.

Big Bold Thinkers knows how to blend the cutting edge with the tried and true. They offer marketing consulting and support, immersive marketing events, and innovative digital marketing to help you grow your business and learn the principles that will guide your team into a bright future.

Big Bold Thinkers are future-focused and always paying attention to the advancement of technology that will change the way people engage with businesses and make decisions about products or services.

AR and VR are just two of many exciting new ways that people will be experiencing Web 3.

Big Bold Thinkers wants to help your business get there first. So that, by the time the masses arrive, you are already there in the Metaverse, ready to welcome them and show them what they’ve been missing.

Brave New (Virtual) World

I’m sure you still have a million questions about how this new world is going to work. What are the best practices? How can we learn more?

Well, for starters, your business is going to need a tool belt full of strategies for marketing and advertising in the world as it is now and for the world just over the horizon.

Don’t wait and try to play catch-up when virtual reality and augmented reality have completely changed the world. Get the knowledge you need for marketing the right way in the current paradigm, for marketing in the future paradigm, and for navigating the transition between the two.

Getting Started

You can start here to learn more and get the latest developments in the industry. If you are ready to take your business marketing, advertising, and PR to the next level with innovative marketing realities, Big Bold Thinkers can help with that too.

The world of tomorrow is already here. Don’t let fear or uncertainty keep your business from evolving and thriving in the next stage of online engagement.

Contact Big Bold Thinkers today, and watch your business reach greater heights than you ever thought possible… in every reality.