The virtual reality bandwagon has trundled into marketing territory and picked up Apple and Tommy Hilfiger. It picked up speed when Facebook acquired Oculus Rift and hasn’t slowed down since.
Tommy Hilfiger’s in-store Fall 2015 collection is staged next to Samsung VR headsets which allow the wearer to experience the Fall 2015 Hilfiger Collection runway and see the clothes as-worn, albeit by super hot models.
Tommy Hilfiger (the actual one) said of the tech: “Through virtual reality, we’re now able to bring our one-of-a-kind fashion show to the retail setting… It’s a compelling and interesting elevation of the traditional shopping experience.”
At the moment the tech is only in the Tommy Hilfiger store on 5th Avenue in New York, but will be expanded to international stores such as London, Moscow and Milan, presumably hinting at a repeat of the VR stunt for Spring or Summer 2016.
Elevation of the product/consumer relationship seems to be what virtual reality is all about, even when it comes to Apple, who are hoping for a take-two marketing stunt with U2.
Back at the iPhone 6 launch, 500 million(ish) iPhone users were given an (in many cases unwanted) U2 album. It was a controversial move that prompted Bono to admit they had gotten “carried away”.
Apple’s virtual reality set up is on board the “Experience Bus”. It is not, as it sounds, a smoky VW camper van, but an honest to goodness bus kitted out with virtual reality headsets that give a virtual reality view of the band’s latest music video.
Facebook set the pace for cutting edge wearable tech when it acquired Oculus Rift in 2014. While the gaming community had been anticipating virtual reality tech for a long while, the scope of speculation widened dramatically when Facebook got in on the game.
Facebook’s vision uses virtual reality to make experiences more easily shared: “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” said Mark Zuckerberg at the time of acquisition.
From the look of Apple and Tommy Hilfiger’s efforts, marketers won’t be exempt.