The current competitive environment in marketing new developments has challenged the project marketing fraternity to seek and deliver ever more immersive experiences to potential off-the-plan buyers in order to expedite and optimise sales.
I am commonly asked the question “what is next in the world of 3d rendering?” – typically this is a leading question about Virtual Reality (VR) – Augmented Reality (AR) and what innovative goggle technology is coming out next year.
And while I am as excited as anyone about the possibilities that AR and VR can offer – the problem with this technology is that much of it still in R&D stage – and often not suitable to the well oiled off the plan sales processes that cater to legions of buyers in a single launch. Often heard complaints include – from buyers – “the goggles are making me dizzy” “I don’t want to wear goggle someone else just put on”, “too many cables”, “the goggles messed up my hair” – and from agents “I am not engaging with the prospective buyer when they are in a “solitary experience”., “the clients are not looking where I want them to look”.
No doubt these issues will be resolved one by one in the years to come – but one other fundamental drawback about the current crop of ‘immersive goggle experiences’ is that they do not inspire the viewer – yes you are immersed – but you may be immersed in a relatively ho-hum environment. We all know that buying decisions are made as much by the heart as by the mind – and the key to touching someone’s heart is to create experiences that speak to the imagination and move the viewer to fall in love with the brand on offer.
To resolve these drawbacks – a new immersive experience has started to find its feet in the project marketing space in the US and Australia. Inspired by the exhilaration of product launches for Samsung, Coca Cola and others – the Black-Box/Immersion Room has entered the fray.
While to truly experience it you have to visit one of the displays – the basic idea is that the audience – in small and large groups – enters a black box room (often prior to entering the main sales centre). In this room a film experience is projected on the 3 to 4 walls and sometimes onto the floor and ceiling – to surround the viewer in the brand experience.
These films are much more graphic and striking than the common ‘fly-through’ and the audio-visual experience is curated in such a way that the sound is coming from various directions, creating a true 360 sight and sound experience in which to absorb the viewer. Goggles, cables and individual experiences give way to a shared experience, free of head gear and isolation.
The buyers are surrounded by a 360 degree
cinematic experience which gets the heart racing,
creates yearning or nostalgia and builds
the brand cache of the project.
In Melbourne – Far East Consortium, www.westsideplace.com.au creates a high luxury experience in their Immersion room that piques the viewers’ interest without revealing too much – as a teaser trailer for a film would – the final frame cleverly ends with a door drawn futuristically by golden light that prompts the viewer the enter the next stage – of the display.
In Sydney, Sekisui House have taken a similar approach to their latest project, The Orchards. Here the immersion room tells the story and history of the site and its future – it is a personal, community oriented film that take the viewer on a journey from past to present and into the future. Innovative narrative and editing techniques are used in the film that would not be possible to achieve in a traditional format film.
The potential of the immersion room is to bring together the best elements of film, still imagery, photo-realism and interactivity to generate a stimulating and immersive experience beyond the confines of 3D goggles. A fascinating new stage in project marketing which will only deliver ever more interesting experiences in the years to come – watch this box.
Or to see it in the flesh, contact the West Side Place sales centre or Binyan to book a tour of the display.
Andrei Dolnikov is the founder of Binyan Studios and regular contributor to Boutique Developer