Posts tagged "Red2 Knowledge"

luke-janich

Reality check: It's time to rethink VR

February 7th, 2017 Posted by New Media, Red2 Knowledge 0 comments on “Reality check: It's time to rethink VR”

Applications for VR, outside of gaming, are a long way off. And that’s distracting us from the real-world potential of AR.

 

Think virtual reality (VR) is the future of marketing? After CES—the world’s leading tech show—at the start of the year, it’s easy to understand why. There’s been a number of news articles telling us how it’ll change the world and disrupt the way brands work. And, more than anything, we’re warned that we need to prepare.

There’s a problem here though: The applications for VR outside of gaming are a long way off. So much so that while, yes, VR should be on every marketer’s horizon—that should be all. Our focus on VR has distracted us from the blossoming potential of VR’s unloved little sister, augmented reality (AR). With AR we’re seeing more and more real-world applications for the tech. And I’m not just talking about games or gimmicks.

 

Let’s talk VR

If you’ve ever put on a VR headset, you’ll understand why people get excited. It’s a surprisingly immersive alternate reality. And most now agree it’s going to change the way we experience brands and content forever.

However, even devoted believers don’t think that’ll be any time soon. Some, like Mark Zuckerberg (who’s personally invested millions in Oculus Rift), don’t see VR going truly mainstream for up to 10 years yet. Yes, you read that right. Ten. Years.

When VR’s time comes, it will be a game-changer. But until then, the cumbersome hardware and fragmented developer community means adoption will be slow. At the moment, it’s mainly hardcore gamers who are taking advantage of the tech, while typical marketers just don’t have the need for this stuff. Yet.

 

Time to get real

That’s why it’s time to take stock. It seems like marketers everywhere are getting excited about VR before we’ve even mastered AR. And the value of AR as a marketing channel can’t be underestimated.

The first thing to say is that AR is about so much more than Pokémon Go. We’re starting to see more and more AR experiences getting millions of users and downloads. Take IKEA’s popular Interactive Catalogue that lets you see how products look in your own home. A simple idea that solves a real problem.

Next, there’s cosmetics giant L’Oréal, which has been developing a range of technologies that turn your smartphone into a virtual mirror. With its popular Makeup Genius, you can test out all the products from the comfort of your home.

And then there’s the forthcoming Dressing Room by Gap. It takes realism to a new level, letting you try out the company’s range in a virtual dressing room. Now you don’t even need to go into the store.

These are only a few examples, but the value AR brings should be obvious. What’s more interesting, from a marketing perspective, is that AR doesn’t seem out of place at all. It’s used in an intuitive and immersive way—as if it was the natural channel for these campaigns.

And that’s the true potential of this technology, because when market leaders see it as an essential channel, others will follow suit. It all makes 2017 an exciting year for AR—and digital marketers everywhere.

 

*This article is originally published via Campaign Asia-Pacific on Feb 7th 2016.

Luke Janich, CEO of RED².

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Fake news: It's time for brands to act

January 4th, 2017 Posted by Red2 Knowledge, Social Media 0 comments on “Fake news: It's time for brands to act”

While brands usually shy away from controversial issues, the rise of fake news represents an opportunity worth considering

 

Nothing highlights the changing nature of news better than, well… fake news. Since the US presidential election, it’s been firmly at the top of the agenda because of its alleged role in turning voters towards Trump. So should brands be worried about fake news spilling over from politics to products and services—and, if so, what can we do about it?

The good news is there have already been some worthy attempts to stem the flow. Facebook and Google are already stopping ads from appearing on fake news sites. They’re hitting the publishers of such content where it hurts: their advertising revenues. By removing the profit motive, these brands have taken an important first step. But even so, vetting sites is hard work, as Facebook and Twitter have found. And its effectiveness is sometimes questionable: though Google now monitors its ads, fake news still appears in your regular search results.

There’s a bigger problem here, though. Even if Facebook and Google’s attempts eventually work, we’ve given them an immense responsibility. They’re now, in effect, the gatekeepers of what content is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’. I’m not sure how this will play out in the long run. After all, there’s no doubt that detecting fake news is hard work. It takes an understanding of the area in question—as well as the time and human resources to do it. There must be a better way.

And this is where brands could come in. They have resources, scale and expertise in all kinds of sectors. That makes them powerful in the fight against fake news.

 

A hidden opportunity for brands

 

It’s no secret that every brand is an expert in something. Take a look at any corporate blog or social-media account and it should be plain to see. And it’s here that there’s an opportunity.

Most marketing teams have content writers, social-media managers and researchers—whether that’s in-house or through an agency. These are all the people you need to start adding to the conversation in a meaningful way. Sure, you may have to move your focus from run-of-the-mill content to more reactive pieces, but it’ll be worth it if the story gets picked up.

The key thing is, this isn’t about upskilling or growing teams, it’s about shifting our focus outwards. Then we might see tech brands or healthcare companies calling out fake news stories, rather than just ignoring them. We might even see brands commenting on, dare I say it, politics. Every company spends time and money on knowing its industry better than anyone else, and at the moment, that’s a huge untapped resource.

So my question for brands and agencies is this: why don’t we become the experts here? Then rather than worrying about whether—or, more likely, when—fake news will start hitting brands, we can take the fight to the purveyors of fake news. And we could create some incredible content and PR in the process.

 

*This article is originally published via Campaign Asia on Jan 4th 2017.

Luke Janich, CEO of RED².

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