Is virtual reality the next big thing in marketing and advertising or are its advocates due for a painful dose of true reality? Virtual reality (VR) is the computer- and camera- generated creation of a seemingly real, three-dimensional experience using electronic equipment, such as a helmet or goggles containing a screen. In some instances, for example by using gloves with sensors, it’s possible to manipulate objects and perform actions in this simulated world. What started out as a fun activity is now making its way into business, as firms explore its use in marketing. In SA, advertising agencies and film companies report growing demand from clients for VR projects. Among them, Mercedes-Benz customers can experience being driven around the Kyalami racetrack at high speed by Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton. It’s one of four VR films created for the company by the Net#work BBDO advertising agency and Sinister Studios film company. Late in 2016, Lufthansa’s South African office used Ar...

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