The Future of Storytelling is Virtual

gr final bobImagine sitting in the front row at one of the highest-rated basketball games of all time: Game 7 of the 2016 NBA finals. Over 30 million people tuned in to watch the Cavaliers’ historic win over the Golden State Warriors in Oracle Arena.

Now, imagine being completely immersed in a front-row experience from the comfort of your own couch…

Looking around the arena, following the players up and down the court as if you were there in person, live, hearing everything around you, and experiencing a historic Game 7 as a completely immersive 360 experience through Virtual Reality.

Shared Virtual Experiences:
Well, it’s not so far-fetched because Virtual Reality is here now.

The future of VR will be in creating shared experiences of places and lives events, where thousands of people watching the same event in VR can control their individual experiences. Virtual Reality presents amazing possibilities and challenges for producers and directors.

Using VR to Tell Stories:
How do we tell stories in a way that has never been told? I often find myself talking to many clients that seem anxious or unsure about the power of Virtual Reality. Why wouldn’t they be? We use VR jargon like latency, judder, haptics, stitching and metaverse. Instead, we should focus on helping clients understand VR and the potential of this emerging technology.

For instance, using the latest VR technology with augmented reality graphics and sound that envelops the experience will change the way companies market their products and services. An architect can give a buyer a virtual tour of a building and can move through rooms changing the colors and furniture design in each room literally, in the blink of an eye.

Or, picture a live feed from a journalist in the middle of an international breaking story; a doctor looking inside a person’s body with VR; or a company shares its latest product line by taking customers on an immersive journey through the product creation process.

The Future of VR Storytelling:
This new window into 360 will change business in architecture, marketing, entertainment, journalism, science, space exploration, healthcare, medicine, education, finance, travel, design, and live shared experiences. Our job as producers and communicators is to help our clients and direct them in a way that will empower them to embrace this technology and leverage the opportunities it offers to reach their audiences.

Marketers and agencies are beginning to immerse themselves in VR technology, recognizing that the VR world does something new for clients: it allows their viewer-customers to control their experiences… what they see, hear and feel.

Embrace the Possibilities (and Opportunities):
The power is in the hands (or eyes) of the viewer like never before so, as leaders in this field, we must take the VR experience to a new level of understanding for our clients to help tell their stories in a revolutionary way. Don’t focus on the challenges, focus on the possibilities and the never-before-seen because the opportunities are endless. Brands with the right direction are connecting with their customers on a deeper level, and are telling stories that move people in ways we’re only beginning to explore.

Great content starts with a great story (click to tweet). Virtual Reality simply enhances that story by letting the audience and consumer be a part of it, live in it… look around… watch and imagine the possibilities.

Bob Peterson is as an Emmy award-winning television producer and creative director with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Before joining Ketchum, Mr. Peterson served as the executive creative director of KATIE, Katie Couric’s Emmy-nominated syndicated daytime talk show, where he oversaw all aspects of the overall look of the show. Prior to KATIE, Mr. Peterson led the design and production of numerous CBS News shows including The Early Show, Face the Nation, CBS Special Report, and Up to the Minute. He has covered 15 Super Bowls, 10 Kentucky Derbies, three Olympics, and both the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 as well as many other global events.