360° videos already mainstream among luxury brands

Luxury loves 360° videos…

360° videos technology has become easily accessible to brands a few months ago and we have already noticed multiple brand experiences offering a 360° mini-websites or videos. These efforts from brands to create an interactive and original experience is great but using 360° for the sake of 360° is not good enough for luxury brands. Why? Because that’s what all their competitors are doing.

Let’s just take the example of luxury fragrances: last Fall, Dior launched a 360° mini-website for its new men’s fragrance Sauvage, with a road-trip inspired journey to discover content around the perfume. this winter, Jean-Paul Gaultier created a 360° video called #BeTheBottle where viewers see a factory through the “eyes” of a perfume bottle, and they get to take a sneak peek at the brand’s fragrance characters.

The latest example would be Chanel and its 3 videos for its men’s Allure Homme Sport fragrance. The brand invites viewers to dive, slide and ride with the brand by watching men taking a dive in the sea, skateboarding on a mountain road, or horseback riding in the sea, and eventually seeing what they see in order to experiencing it themselves.

… but is missing the point

All the examples above are in line with their brand’s DNA and they deliver a rather original experience to consumers. But there is one thing that bothers me: they all seem a little off, either because they just support an existing campaign, or because they are not good enough for the status of the brand. By not good enough, I simply mean that 360° videos have not yet reached the standards of image quality that these brands have got us used to. And while brands offer a rather fun experience every time they create new interactive experiences, they should also contribute to improving the standards in new technologies to keep their edge on other brands. Because, as of now, it mostly looked as if they are only trying to stay at least at the same level as their competitors by using the same technologies.

What I would like to see is a brand like Louis Vuitton embracing its travel-brand positioning and extending its City Guides offer with 360° videos that bring life to their content and pushes the quality of their recommendations even further. Brands each have their distinctive identity and I’m sure they can find adequate ways to communicate on them while using new technologies and actually bringing great content that people want to consume and share.

Mercedes tries virtual reality with Google Cardboard

The luxury car industry doesn’t benefit from the same product lifecycle as the fashion industry, for example. Because consumers won’t necessarily buy a new car for the next 5 years, car companies have to think of innovative ways to make consumers dream about their brand. Here enters Mercedes and its recent app: Mercedes VR for Cardboard.

Cardboard is Google’s virtual reality tool (VR), enabling consumers to experiment VR at home, while allowing developers to create new apps and improve the system. It’s a great leverage for marketing teams as it’s a tool thanks to which consumers can immerse in a brand’s environment (say, the historic home of a brand), or look at a product in 3D.

Google Cardboard (source: Google)

Google Cardboard (source: Google)

Not many brands have seized this opportunity yet, and Mercedes sets a new standard for both car brands and premium or luxury brands. The Mercedes VR app gives users a taste of a specific model of cars, making them feel like they’re in it. Mercedes strengthens its image of an innovative brand, willing to extend its relationship with consumers beyond stores, purchase, and even beyond CRM and community management. Users get a taste of the car while being on their smartphone – and this is cooler for them than augmented reality on a billboard.

I believe VR will soon be used by more brands, as we see already augmented reality billboards in the streets. Brands can leverage VR technology to tell their story to consumers, which is – as we have seen before – one of luxury brands’ key advantages.