Virtual Reality Bandwagon

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Written By: Cassandra Deakin

With technology changing so rapidly, many businesses and industries are trying to keep up. Some, like McDonald’s, are trying to jump ahead of the curve.

Virtual reality has gained a ton of traction in recent years, and businesses are attempting to use it to their advantage, particularly in the realm of advertising. According to Digital Trends, McDonald’s recently released a video that is a 360-degree experience for virtual reality products (HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, etc.). The video features their new “high-tech” restaurants and lets viewers “see” the ordering kiosks, new dine-in design, and even their new policies on servers (they bring you your food on a tray now like Whataburger).

While I admit that virtual reality is awesome, and advertising is awesome, I’m not sure if businesses should all jump on the virtual reality bandwagon. Like social media, virtual reality should only be used as a marketing/advertising tool if it’s appropriate for the brand or product. You have to know your audience and what the best method of conveying that method is.

If you’re trying to convey B2B messages, you probably wouldn’t use Twitter. But if you’re Whataburger, you can use Twitter to burn celebrities and amass fans. Similarly, you wouldn’t use virtual reality to sell toilet paper, but it might be a wonderful opportunity for the travel industry.

Virtual reality is amazing, but is it really the best place to advertise cheap burgers? Although younger McDonald’s customers may find the virtual reality ad neat, older customers will probably never see it, or want to. I think McDonald’s concept is good, but the implementation of VR into the ad felt forced. It wasn’t necessary. In my opinion, it felt very “Well, we have this ad. Let’s make it 360-degrees and call it VR cause we’re cool kids.” As with social media, it will be interesting to see how virtual reality changes the advertising playing field over the next few years.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism