The 7 best uses of VR in marketing campaigns


VR has become increasingly important in marketing. It has the ability to let users experience the world from a new perspective or to transport them to new universes. Therefore, VR offers an exciting opportunity for brands to connect to their audience on a more emotional level, which can increase overall engagement and impact. We selected seven great ways to use VR in marketing campaigns.

1. Davos Klosters: skiing the Swiss Alps

VR makes it possible to provide customers with close-up experiences of new products or places without actually being there. It is therefore a great fit for the tourism industry. Skiing destination Davos Klosters offered a virtual skiing trip to passersby in a shopping mall in Zurich. The experience took the participants on a chair lift to the sunny mountains and let them enjoy stunning views during a ski ride down the slopes to a mountain restaurant. The journey was enhanced by 4D elements, such as wind and the smell of freshly melted cheese. At the end of the ski ride participants some elements became reality. With this engrossing experience, Davos Klosters definitely managed to transport people into their mountain world.

2. Ford: fasten your seatbelts

The automotive industry has adopted the use of VR experiences for marketing purposes too. At this year’s North American International Auto Show, Ford impressed attendees with an Augmented Reality experience. With the help of AR, Ford’s cars appeared to be transparent, granting visitors a look beneath the surface of three of their cars and revealing the features beneath their hoods.

Moreover, Ford offers a special VR App where users can gain access to unique events or take part in adventurous car races. Their latest video features ‘Baja 1000’, one of the toughest off-road races in the world. Users are invited to take a seat in a Ford Raptor, tighten the racing harnesses and get an up-close race experience.

3. McDonald’s Sweden: Happy Goggles

A little older example of VR in marketing campaigns but a very successful one were the Happy Goggles that McDonald’s launched in Sweden one year ago. Their ‘Happy Meal’ boxes could be easily assembled into a VR headset. By placing their smartphone inside the goggles, customers could use the headset as a VR viewer. McDonald’s additionally developed a special ski-themed VR game for their campaign, allowing people to take part in a 360° gaming experience.

4. Eurostar Odyssey: the underwater train

Passengers crossing the English Channel from France to England are invited to embark on a virtual adventure and discover the underwater world around them. The VR experience offered by Eurostar supports their campaign ‘Travel state of mind’ and lets passengers dive into the hidden depths of the ocean. With the help of free VR headsets available on board, the train roof is transformed into a glass ceiling. Travelers are guided through the immersive experience by virtual ocean explorers who tell stories of pirates and introduce them to mermaids. Additionally, guests can compete in games during their virtual journey. With this VR adventure the journey really becomes part of the destination.

5. Hagen-Dazs: save the honey bees

The ice cream brand Hagen-Dazs is relying on honey bees for many of their flavors. For that reason they have been undertaking marketing efforts to save honey bees since 2008. As part of those marketing activities the brand has recently launched the production of a VR film ‘The Extraordinary Honey Bee’. The experience aims to teach people about the impact honey bees have on the environment and how they can contribute to saving them. The viewers are virtually shrunk down to the size of a bee, allowing them to go on a journey with bee Alex and understand the alarming decline in the bee population. The film is using VR’s ability to tell stories in an engaging way and foster empathy. This way Hagen-Dazs hopes to raise awareness on the honey bees’ plight and inspire sustainable change.

6. Google: techno in Berlin

In order to promote Google’s new VR products, the company has partnered with Boiler Room, using Google’s VR technology as a unique window into local underground music scenes. For the VR campaign, Boiler Room created a short, immersive movie at a techno party in Berlin. Filmed from different perspectives, viewers can choose their individual journey and explore various areas of the club as if they were actually at the party.

7. Glenfiddich: Virtual Infinity Whiskey Tasting

Liquor brands have used VR in marketing campaigns too: great brand stories include the Lagavulin Distillery Experience (whiskey) or the Art of Patron (tequila) that took viewers on a VR tour through their distilleries. This year, whiskey brand Glenfiddich has launched a new campaign that enhances whiskey tasting with VR. Travelers at different airports can be virtually transported to Glenfiddich’s warehouse in Scotland. Surrounded by oak casks, they can select a vat and virtually write tasting notes, creating stunning ribbon effects in the air.

VR in marketing campaigns

The application of VR in marketing campaigns can serve many purposes, from explaining product attributes to visualizing a brand’s mission or simply using it as a storytelling tool. Through VR, people are no longer passive viewers of static content, they have the possibility to become directly involved and participate in immersive experiences. Obviously it is also important that brands provide quality experiences and relevant content. Using VR in the right way, brands can make advertising truly entertaining for their consumers.