It’s not a secret that virtual reality and augmented reality are up and coming. More and more companies also start discovering it as a useful tool to strengthen their brand. Especially after the success of Pokemon Go both retail companies and licensors want to place their brands in the VR and AR space.
Pokemon Go was a game changer
VR and AR have been hyped for several years already as being the next big thing. But despite the release of the first games involving those technologies, grabbing a foothold on the market proved to be a challenge. Already in 2012 an at that time little-known company called Niantic presented one of the first real augmented reality game called Ingress. But it still took until 2016 until things really changed. In June the very same company that had been moderately successful with Ingress launched Pokemon Go. And the game took the market by storm. For weeks it was the most downloaded and used app worldwide, leaving even Whatsapp and Facebook in the dust.
Despite the first hype having calmed down, Pokemon Go is still going strong. Even three months after its official launch the game still registers over 700,000 daily downloads and generates over $2 million a day. With its immense success it brought augmented reality into the users’ pockets and made the technology available and desirable worldwide.
VR and AR arrived in the mainstream
But not only AR, also pure VR games are experiencing a big boom. Almost weekly developers bring new releases to the market. Both gamers and critics are crazy about games like Arkham VR, RIGS and Tumble. All those successful games pave the way for more exciting AR and VR products to come.
In fact, in 2016 the technologies matured from a geeky trend to raising broad interest. Not just among gamers and users but also among companies. Retailers show a great interest in the field. More and more of them consider placing their products in the virtual space. The Swedish car company Volvo uses virtual reality to get potential customers excited about their new cars by offering virtual test drives. Bloomberg has developed an app to improve public speaking skills. And the American ticket seller Stub Hub now allows customers a virtual preview of their seats.
Licensors don’t want to miss out
Also licensors have discovered VR and AR for themselves. They are keen to place their brands inside the virtual reality in a clever and suitable way. The goal is to enable the target audience to interact with their favorite brands in a whole new way.
Cartoon Network can be called one of the early adopters. The kids channel launched a new VR game featuring the popular Adventure Time characters. But CN did not stop at that but also brought a suitable branded headset to the market at the same time. The company made an impressive first step into the virtual reality. And with the excitement around the new technology it is very likely that many more big players will follow.
The broad interest for the field provides an amazing opportunity for game and app developers that are active in VR and AR anyway. By partnering up with a well-known brand and companies they can gain immense media attention and boost their own product massively. Licensors and retailers might even be willing to bargain on deals just to make the jump to the new 360° digital world.
About the author
Several years of working experience in journalism as well as in marketing and communications provide Ansgar with a deep understanding of content creation for various media such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites and social media.
He loves travelling, meeting people from around the world and enjoy working in diverse and multicultural environments.