ABOUT: I’m an ex-corporate guy turned filmmaker turned VR junkie! I was doing Marketing at General Mills, and even though I had a great job, I knew that I wasn’t living my true purpose. So, in March of 2002, I left the corporate world behind and opened Point in Time Studios. I built up a team of like-minded, talented individuals and we started producing videos! After a while we broke into VR and started creating attention-grabbing, immersive VR videos for our clients.
How did you guys get into VR?
– The first time I tried on the Samsung Gear, I was instantly hooked! I was able to sit courtside and watch Lebron “hoop it up”, and I knew that this was, in fact, the next evolution of interactive media! I knew at that moment that I had to be a big part of it!
What is it like working with you guys?
– We provide the Hollywood Experience for our customers. We understand that this may be their first film project, and we want it to special for them. From the very beginning, we provide the highest level of personalized service, from our initial strategy session to continuous, weekly phone calls and emails to keep them in the loop. We also provide them with several milestones, so the client knows when they can expect each iteration of their project. Upon project completion, we make sure to celebrate with our client by providing them with a personalized gift.
How would you describe your company culture?
– We are fun, hardworking, dedicated, and team focused. We all work hard and play hard together! Some projects require long days and creative problem solving, so we like to unwind as a team with rock wall climbing excursions, escape rooms, and random Nerf gun battles!
What is your company’s core expertise?
– Our core expertise is VR/AR for Real Estate. Even more than that, we can simplify complex projects and deliver quality projects before our deadlines. We picked this niche because we have a passion for architecture and beautiful design.
Do you offer any type of satisfaction guarantee or revisions of completed work?
– Yes, we are not done until our customer is 100% satisfied! We want our customers to be as proud of their VR project as we are!
Can you explain to me why I should invest in a VR marketing campaign?
– Video has saturated the advertising world, pushing companies and marketers to look for new ways to capture a viewer’s attention. Virtual reality video has breathed new life into the stale video. They are eye-catching and promote interactivity between the viewer and the video through clicking and dragging or eye movement. VR video works well for the real estate and technology industries. Virtual reality allows people to see a unit without having to tour it in person, awesome for potential buyers who are out of town or if the building is still being built. Virtual reality is also perfect for explaining complex ideas – such as technology. For example, we have a client who wanted to have people take a journey as if they were a 5G signal starting from the semiconductor to a person’s phone to effectively explain how 5G works.
What is your best tip for a brand looking to launch its first VR experience?
– Find the right virtual reality studio to work with. They should be able to guide you through the process; help you adjust your idea to make sure it fits with your brand’s vision and that the concept works with VR. Working with the right studio could mean the difference between having a successful virtual experience and your brand abandoning virtual reality all together.
What sort of VR experiences do you think we will see in the future, in terms of marketing?
– Companies are already working on incorporating haptics in the virtual experience. Although these haptic gloves aren’t the most streamlined piece of tech yet, they are adding to the overall VR experience. So, it will not be long before we start seeing haptics rolled out to the mainstream VR user.
I think that smell would be another natural evolution of the VR experience since smell is such an important human sense and can change the way a person interprets the experience. Companies already manufacture smells for stores and hotels that stimulate a person’s brain into feeling a certain way. So why not with VR? Incorporating smell is a natural progression into integrating VR into the daily lives of people.
I think the future of VR marketing will be all about giving people that extra level of interaction between the brand and its consumers. Creating a completely natural transition into this additional reality and allowing them to do things that they would not be able to experience in the real world, but in a way that feels like an extension of the real world. A lot of the evolution of VR depends on creating devices that can handle the extreme power requirements needed to reduce the lag and latency that users often experience when they are in VR. I think this is totally do-able with the tech that is starting to be developed. And as we keep working on this tech, it will improve and become more ingrained into the lives of people, as other technology has.
What are the risks and pitfalls with VR marketing?
– VR marketing is a new concept and companies are testing the waters with what they can do with the technology, how their consumers will react to the experiences, and if VR is worth the expense. I think something that many companies forget when they’re thinking about creating a virtual reality experience is that not all ideas or brands lend themselves to VR the way that others do. Virtual reality will not automatically make your marketing idea great and generate huge returns. There are very specific concepts and certain industries that are going to perform better with VR than others. And even if your concept is great, you can use VR in the wrong way by not taking advantage of the 360-degree field of view and only having the experience stay in one area instead of giving the user something new to see to them wherever they look.
Pick a brand and product that you like and tell me what sort of campaign you would create, given total freedom and an unlimited budget.
– I would create a virtual experience for Ray-Ban. It would be a promotional campaign celebrating a major company anniversary. The experience would consist of a virtual display of different styles of Ray-Ban sunglasses. They are all Ray-Bans from different time periods. You can virtually put them on and be transported to that sunglasses’ era. So, you would put on a pair of retro Ray-Bans and travel to the 50s, and so on. I think this would be great press for Ray-Bans. You are promoting different styles of their sunglasses, while also giving their consumers a memorable and fun experience.
How big can VR marketing get and what will it take for it to get there?
– Virtual reality has the potential to become one of the main mediums that companies choose to market their services to consumers. What do I think it will take to get to that point? We will need better, more streamlined wearable technology. The headsets and controllers that now available get the job done, but they do not feel natural to the user. We will also better power options to increase the speed of VR to get rid of any lag, allowing the user to feel more comfortable while they are in VR. There will also need to be a larger effort to educate the general public on the uses of VR and how simple it is to use. People adopt technology at their own rates, so this will take some time. Finally, there will need to be more VR content produced that appeals to a wider audience to break down that exclusivity factor and bring VR to the masses.
How would you define a successful VR marketing experience?
– Successful VR marketing experience would be one that explains your topic more effectively then would have been possible with other marketing efforts. The experience made an impact with your audience; they walked away with having gained something, and this inspired your audience to take a specific action that you had wanted them to take.
What is it about VR that gets you excited?
– What makes virtual reality exciting is it’s the ability to do things that aren’t possible in this reality. It extends the realm of possibilities and will transport us into the future. The applications for this technology are endless. VR is a gamechanger. It will transform our lives in ways that we can’t, even now, understand.
What VR experience do you fantasize about experiencing in your lifetime?
– I would love to experience something like Ready Player One. A totally immersive virtual world where you can interact with other users and explore areas and “world” that isn’t possible in this reality.
STUDIO: Point in Time Studios