Virtual Reality has been in the news for quite some time, while tech giants, tech aficionados and savvies are holding their braces to see how the new concept will be embraced by the markets. TIME has recently released a new cover that spurred controversy both among readers and publishers who have been laughing out loud for days at the silly cover which shows Palmer Luckey, the Oculus founder, wearing his signature Oculus headset and ridiculously posing on a seaside background.
The cover made instigators comment on the fact that this image which indeed speaks a thousand words, has made VR appear so less cool than it is. Well, if it we come to think about it, it doesn’t need to appear as the coolest next best thing, first of all it must be the next best thing, which, according to the ones who have already experienced it, it is indeed.
VR will most likely have a marketing issue, as people who wear those huge rectangular glasses don’t exactly look like catwalk models displaying their physical assets but rather as pieces of human meat, unconscious about the “real” reality they live in. Which is true. Once we enter the virtual space of reality, our bodies are slightly disconnected from our minds that are completely absorbed by what the eyes see in the virtual realm.
The marketing of VR to the public will be a very tough nut to crack, according to the latest comments from Forbes. As they have mentioned, the best way to become a VR convert is to experience it yourself, rather than have it sold by pretty images. Simply seeing screenshots or 2D videos from VR experience fails to be enough in order to make you buy the product. Although, from another point of view, the images speak for themselves. VR has the capacity to take us parallel worlds and it is quite obvious from the pictures, in spite of their silliness.
However, the TIME cover looks like it’s been edited by an undergraduate who wants to kick some cool employer’s behind. Maybe they did it intentionally, maybe not, but the result, although controversial, has raised another perspective on the table. VR and advertising. Those who will be in charge with promotion will have a challenge to deal with. On the other hand, word of mouth in this case is the best method of promotion, as another reality can hardly be displayed through pictures if not experienced for real.
The controversy of virtual reality does the best word of mouth strategy. So Oculus guys, you must thank TIMES for the great piece of promotion they have privileged you with.
Image Source: businesskorea.co.kr