IMMERSIVE PROMOTION BIBLE
The Immersive Promotion Bible is a sector-development bible aimed at immersive creators looking to learn how to market immersive experiences. Led by Matthew Freeman, it was co-written with Catherine Allen, Dinah Lammiman, Alison Norrington and Naomi Smyth for StoryFutures Academy, 2021.
The Bible is based on substantial audience and cultural insight, reports, interviews, academic theory and industry advisory panels. It provides a road-map for how to market VR/AR experiences to today's audiences, and address the following:
Given the technological hybridity of VR/AR, how can the immersive sector develop promotional strategies that reflect this hybridity? What can be learnt from the worlds of transmedia, film, games, theatre and beyond?
How can the immersive sector broaden the audience for VR/AR experiences through innovative promotional content that guides new audiences towards XR environments?
How can the immersive sector communicate the spectacle of VR/AR and its embodied experiences in/as promotion?
MARKETING VR EXPERIENCES... WITHOUT THE HEADSET
Is it possible to truly promote the unique pleasures that Virtual Reality offers without putting people in headsets? This was the question at the heart of this research project. We partnered with Anagram, drawing on their VR documentary Goliath: Playing With Reality as a case study for our latest R&D investigation.
We tested out Thomas Baekdal’s theory of two ‘moments’ of a VR experience: (1) a ‘macro moment’, which refers to experiencing VR yourself in a headset; and (2) a ‘micro moment’, which is when VR is presented to people without a headset, and speaks to those who prefer watching others in VR rather participating in it.
What might promotion for 'macro' and 'micro' moments of a VR experience look like? Is it possible to blend these approaches within the same campaign so to appeal to different audiences? And which of these two approaches would be most successful?
UNDERSTANDING THE VR MARKET IN 2021: OCULUS QUEST & QUEST 2
In 2021 Immersive Promotion Design partnered with Limina Immersive and surveyed 3,544 British internet users to find out the proportion of the population who own a VR headset as well as the characteristics of these audiences. The sample was broadly reflective of the UK’s demographic make-up.
Our findings include a snapshot of how big the UK population's VR market is post-pandemic, as well as an insight into the gender, ethnic and behavioural makeup of today's VR market.
R&D CAMPAIGN: The Invited
The Invited Campaign Walkthrough
The Invited is an AR kirigami adaptation of the classic Dracula story. Set in a dark, secret location, a physical book and a mobile device spirit detector will summon a small audience through a beautifully unsettling experience in which each page turn reveals a new exquisite paper-craft world and a new set of atmospheric animations to those who were invited to Dracula's reincarnation. The Invited is produced by acclaimed multimedia artists Studio McGuire and has received financial support from CreativeXR.
R&D CAMPAIGN: Virtual Veronese
Virtual Veronese is an R&D prototype funded by StoryFutures for The National Gallery. Produced by Focal Point VR, the project ran at the Gallery with a combination of VR and AR headsets. Visitors were transported back in time to experience Paolo Veronese’s painting The Consecration of Saint Nicholas as it would have been seen in its original chapel setting in 1562.
TEACHING IMMERSIVE PROMOTION
As well as conducting research into new ways of marketing immersive experiences and providing the immersive sector with consultancy and campaigns, we are also interested in developing new ways of teaching immersive promotion to the next generation of immersive creatives and marketers. In 2020 we were awarded a Train the Trainer grant from StoryFutures Academy, which aimed to develop new course materials focused on teaching immersive promotion in UK universities. Click the link to explore our video lecture series, workshop tasks and assignment briefs, all of which are open-source and ready to share.
As well as developing sector understanding of how to better market immersive experiences to audiences, we also contribute to academic scholarship in the field of immersive media, publishing our R&D as articles. This research is led by Matthew Freeman, and our latest academic publications can be read below.
Freeman, Matthew (2021) '"I am not really sure how to explain": Marketing Augmented Reality Experiences to New Audiences', International Journal of Creative Media Research, 7.
Freeman, Matthew (2021) 'Marketing Virtual Reality Experiences … Without the Headset: Watching, Playing and Fearing Anagram’s Goliath', Media Practice and Education, DOI: 10.1080/25741136.2021.1969500