It’s hard to turn on the television these days without seeing a Samsung Gear VR commercial focusing on the reactions of people experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung, told [a]listdaily that it’s hard to convey to the audience how truly immersive Samsung Gear VR can be.
Mathieu said as ironic as it is, watching someone who watches VR seems to be as fun as watching VR itself, and it is definitely a great way of appealing to people who haven’t tried it yet. “This campaign shows a diverse cross-section of people experiencing virtual reality for the first time,” Mathieu said. “Seeing the powerful emotions elicited, from genuine fear to heartbreak to uncontrollable surprise and delight, was viscerally enjoyable without ever knowing what the VR content was.”
Hands-on trials of the Gear VR are very important for Samsung, which is why the product is available to experience at more than 15,000 retail locations across the United States. “Immersive experiences are the key component of our New Marketing Playbook,” Mathieu said. “For example, our strategic partnership with Six Flags enables millions of consumers to experience virtual reality for the first time by bringing Gear VR to real roller coasters at theme parks across North America.”
Samsung is promoting its mobile VR goggles through “The Night Before” 4D experience that runs through December 31 at Herald Square in New York City, The Grove in Los Angeles and Samsung 837 in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
“The Night Before” is a 4D VR ride that lets consumers sit in Santa’s sleigh. Riders will don Samsung Gear VR, which transports them alongside Santa and allows them to see what he sees as he travels the world on the biggest night of the year. Throughout the ride experience, the 4D seats move with each twist and turn.
Samsung worked with W+K Portland and Here Be Dragons to create the sleigh ride VR content and McKinney provided the 4D chairs. “We always aim to create immersive, never-been-done-before experiences with our Samsung VR ecosystem as the focal point. Additionally, having more consumers experience VR is always a key objective,” Mathieu said. “With ‘The Night Before,’ we are able to blur the lines between virtual and reality in a relevant, enjoyable and festive way like never before.”
Matheiu estimates thousands of people will experience “The Night Before” in 4D throughout its three-week campaign. But the experience is also available for everyone with a Gear VR to experience through Samsung VR.
Gear VR is part of a major push by Samsung this holiday. Samsung is giving away Gear VR to customers who purchase a new Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s part of the company’s “Unwrap the Feels” campaign. “To capture the warmth and spirit of the holiday season, ‘Unwrap the Feels’ focuses on families coming together and sharing special moments,” Mathieu said. “It’s candid and raw, showing the range of powerful emotions and reactions elicited when people immerse themselves in new VR worlds.”