RYOT Brings VR to Y&R New York

May 20, 2017

As part of our "Table Talk" series, RYOT recently came to our New York HQ for an interactive discussion about virtual reality and immersive storytelling. RYOT creates innovative 360° and virtual reality experiences for viewers and brands that cover everything from documentaries to original films and live events. Their mission is to "create a movement that people want to be a part of by building a community around protecting the beauty in our world." Having previously worked on VR campaigns for companies such as ELLE, Hulu and Clorox, they shared some interesting insights on how VR can improve brand experiences, promote social good and generate awareness.

companies can use VR to connect with customers on a new level

Here are some key takeaways from the event: 

- Consider your audience and your story. Before embarking on VR, make sure VR is right for your audience and useful for getting your message across.

- VR has the ability to create emotional storytelling and can serve as a powerful tool to help educate and inform your target audience. For example, to help raise awareness of the poor quality of water in rural Peru, Clorox sponsored its first 360-degree video with RYOT to show what a difference a few drops of bleach can make.

- With VR, your brand can transport people to different worlds with a level of realness that has never been seen before. This allows users to have unique experiences, contrary to what they are able to experience in real life. Brands and social activists alike can utilize VR to generate awareness for their products/story. For example, RYOT used VR and 360 video to raise awareness at Standing Rock by offering a first-person glimpse into the acts of violence water protectors are subject to on a daily basis.

- One of VR's biggest promises is the ability to try out products before/while visiting a physical store and communicate the brand's mission at the point of sale. VR can be used to let consumers feel like they're actually experiencing your products by creating a "try before you buy" experience. For example, Tommy Hilfiger created an in-store virtual reality experience for their consumers by providing SamsungGear VR headsets for shoppers to watch Tommy Hilfiger’s New York catwalk show. This proved to be a success as shoppers who engaged with the VR catwalk experience were immediately able to shop apparel and accessories from the collection.

- Rather than creating a passive ad, brands and companies can use VR to connect with customers on a new level by offering consumers engaging new experiences that they may not have had otherwise and, more so, that they will remember. Brands can leverage VR by combining interactive and real-world experiences. For example, RYOT worked with Hulu to create two new exclusive series made for virtual reality. RYOT also worked with ELLE to create an immersive cover story experience by allowing readers to unlock an AR content by hovering their smartphone over any one of ELLE’s eight November covers.

Thank you to the team at RYOT for an incredible day filled with engaging and unique experiences! We can't wait to see what's next.