Could branded VR animations ever catch on?

Video content is entering bold new territory thanks to virtual reality. What used to be a passing gimmick in the ’80s is now a serious billion-dollar industry thanks to brands like Samsung, Facebook and Google. While virtual reality gives video games a whole new sense of immersion, it also does the same for video.

VR gives brands an entirely new medium to explore with their content. For anyone questioning the value of that medium, the proof begins with Google’s Oscar-nominated short film, Pearl.

How does VR animation differ from producing traditional animations? In an interview with The Verge, director Patrick Osborne explains his attraction to the medium:

“I wish I could make every film in VR first and find the shots later, it’s such a luxury!” he says. “I’ve become more of a VR evangelist. Especially when it comes to creating artwork in VR. Tilt Brush and Quill have changed the game for me when it comes to designing worlds.”

alex-ruban-259253-1024x768As an artistic format, audiences have embraced it. But is there opportunity for brands as well? Absolutely.

If brands can find a compelling story with themes that tie into their philosophy,  there’s no reason for audiences not to get involved. People seek out good stories that are well told, regardless of whether they are sponsored by a brand. The success of Google’s VR animation suggests people are more than excited by new digital media, and not necessarily restricting themselves to traditional videos.

VR gives people the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a world in a way that has not been done before. With Pearl, the emotion of the story makes you even more connected to the characters.

If given plenty of time for creative development, there’s no reason at all why brands cannot create magnificent branded VR animations that would capture the imaginations of their audiences. The success of other projects has shown that the demand is there – all they need to do is go out and start creating. And who knows, maybe they’ll even walk away with an award or two.

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