A sector-development Bible produced by Matthew Freeman, Catherine Allen, Dinah Lammiman, Alison Norrington and

Naomi Smyth, for StoryFutures Academy, 2021.



If the immersive sector is to move beyond engaging the early technology adoptors and is to capture mass audiences from different corners of the media landscape, then gateway promotional content must be developed, i.e. marketing that engages those new to immersive technologies. How, though, can the magic of 3D worlds be communicated via 2D media? Addressing this current industry challenge, and based on substantial audience and cultural insight, interviews, industry advisory panels and creative practice research, the Immersive Promotion Bible identifies a range of new promotional strategies for how VR and AR experiences can be better marketed to today's audiences.

Specifically, the Immersive Promotion Bible addresses the following research questions:


  • Given the cultural and technological hybridity of VR/AR, how can the immersive sector develop promotional strategies that reflect this hybridity? What can be learnt from transmedia, film, video games and theatre?

  • How can the immersive sector broaden the audience for VR/AR experiences through innovative promotional content that guides new audiences towards immersive environments?

  • How can the immersive sector communicate both the spectacle of VR/AR and the embodied emotional experiences unique to VR/AR content in/as promotional material?

Immersive Categories & Dimensions

​Providing a roadmap for how to create gateway promotional content for VR and AR experiences, the Bible emphasises not the newness of the technology but the transformation of state of mind. We conceptualise VR/AR in terms of a new way of seeing the world, a new form of connection with other people, and a unique personal experience. We position magical realism as a genre device through which to visualise the potentials of VR/AR to a wider set of audiences.

Immersive Audience Principles

​The Bible identifies a group of immersive categories and dimensions, complete with audience-evaluated imagery and language choices that can be adapted by creators to suit the subject of their VR/AR experience. The Bible provides a range of imagery and language choices for how to communicate the audience’s role or level of expected participation within a VR/AR experience. Given that VR/AR can have a lasting emotional impact on how we see, feel and remember, the Bible also considers how the feeling of being immersed can be extended beyond the VR/AR content itself, creating post-experience mementos based on practices of bottling mood, kindling memory, and merging story worlds.

The Immersive After-Effect Principles

Altogether, all of our Bible's principles underpin the Immersive Promotion Strategy Map, a new concept that aims to provide a complete roadmap for marketing VR/AR that can be used and adapted for different VR/AR experiences.

Immersive Promotion Strategy Map

StoryFutures Academy is the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London. Funded by UKRI's Audience of the Future fund, StoryFutures develops training and research to ensure the UK workforce is the most skilled in the world in the use of VR/AR/MR.

This Bible was funded by StoryFutures Academy through the Train the Trainer programme (Grant Ref: AH/S003622/1).

Industry and data analytics concept. GUI



Based on the research of the Immersive Promotion Bible, we created audience-tested promotional campaigns for Anagram, Studio McGuire and The National Gallery. Click below to explore our campaigns and audience insights.

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