There have been a handful of stories recently, especially with SXSW going on, like this one that talk about how brands are beginning to seriously experiment with virtual reality. That has me wondering: What will the first movie be that is marketing at least in part with a fully-immersive VR experience?
Yes, there was The Martian VR Experience at E3 earlier this year, but that was mostly after-the-fact. I’m wondering what movie will use VR as part of the in-advance marketing.
A comic book or other science fiction makes the most sense right off the bat. These movies have fully immersive and fleshed-out worlds that they take the audience into and so it would be easy to expand that to the VR experience. Imagine becoming familiar with the world of Pacific Rim or Batman v Superman or something like that before the movie comes out? Not only would anticipation be heightened but the audience’s sense of what was in that world would be that much greater.
In essence it’s not much different from the prequel comics and other stories that come out that are meant to do likewise and lead the audience into the movie’s story. It’s just another cross-media story execution that fleshes out the setting of the movie and provides context that a two-hour (or more) story can’t by virtue of its constraints.
Considering movie studios are actively looking at how VR can be used and how they are usually among the early adopters of new promotional technology and platforms I don’t think it will be too much longer before this happens. What will be interesting is to see who exactly pulls the trigger first.