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Drones and virtual reality: The emerging face of digital marketing

Digital marketing is taking a technological leap forward. From virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift to drones, marketers are getting their hands on the coolest new gadgets to better reach their customers.

Video marketing takes off

Since its invention, video has been a powerful medium for brands to reach customers. Now, brands are shooting videos from drones to give product and marketing videos a professional aerial touch. Cirque du Soleil recently teamed up with Swiss university ETC Zurich to produce a short video called “Sparked" that was filmed using drones. The storyline follows an electrician whose workshop springs to life. The plot is simple, but the visuals are stunning.

According to The Verge, “the film was all shot live, without any special effects, while the drones constantly coordinated with a digital choreographer: a computer that tracked the quadcopters' positions 200 times a second.”

The short video is one way for Cirque du Soleil to promote itself and to show off the latest in high-tech acrobatics. But it's not the only brand to use drones in its digital marketing efforts. Captain Dave's Whale Watching & Dolphin Safari, a whale and dolphin watching outfit in southern California, is getting people hooked on videos of marine animals off the coast of Orange County, captured from drones.

Dave Anderson, president of Captain Dave’s Whale Watching & Dolphin Safari, spread the videos by posting them on YouTube, according to AdWeek. And that’s not all. The captain plans to expand his marketing efforts by streaming video from drones to monitors on his tour boats, allowing passengers to see the animals from the sky.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits drones for commercial use, but it’s still a gray area in many ways and enforcement has been mixed. The result? Marketers are pushing the envelope. Specifically, high-end real estate developers are leading the way by promoting their luxury properties with videos shot from drones. “Nine times out of 10, the videos are more attractive than what a [videographer] can do on the ground,” Matthew Leone, digital marketing lead at Halstead Property, tells AdWeek. “Drones are a no-brainer.”

Virtual marketing becomes a reality

Videos captured from drones aren’t the only way marketers are leading the way in digital marketing. Real estate developers are also capturing their customers' attention using virtual reality, a technology that's emerging from Sci-Fi imagination to the real world.

One example is Floored, a New York-based graphics startup that creates 3D and virtual reality demos for real estate brokers and developers, according to Re/code. The demos give buyers looking to spend seven-plus figures on a fashionable condo in Miami or the Upper West Side the ability to experience the space before it’s even built. It might not be as good as seeing the property in person, but it’s certainly better than an architect’s two-dimensional computer rendering.

For an even more experiential effect, Floored has partnered with a New York development company to offer virtual reality tours of a planned development on the West Side of Manhattan. The experience takes users beyond 3D video on a computer to a virtual walk through the luxury property that doesn't yet exist.

Virtual reality is yet another example of how modern marketers are using the newest consumer technologies to reach their customers with compelling, engaging messages.

Image via Can Stock Photo

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