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Emerging media effects on integrated marketing communication

Virtual Reality: A Walk in the Park

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2000px-US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svgThis past week marked the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and to celebrate President Obama took us on a tour of Yosemite National Park via virtual reality. According to Social Times:

“Through the Ages: President Obama Celebrates America’s National Parks” was created by National Geographic, Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus, and it is available via the Oculus Store for the Gear VR, with an Oculus Rift version coming soon, as well as Facebook (you can view the 360 video via the Facebook link).

And while it might seem like an odd thing to experience something as magnificent as Yosemite in virtual reality, the reality is that many of us may never have the opportunity to see the park in real life. By using the emerging media of virtual reality the National Park Service is raising awareness about the importance of our natural resources in addition to the U.S.’s national park system.

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Yosemite in the summer. Photo from nps.gov

Who knows – you might be so moved by the VR experience of Yosemite that you actually make it a vacation priority. According to Ryan Horrigan, chief content officer of Felix & Paul in interview with wired.com says that, “…[We are] transporting your mind and your heart, ideally, to this place, but we don’t want you to stop there. We want you to actually go see this place.”

So be it with virtual reality or real reality, either way take this opportunity to rediscover what the National Park Service has to offer. You will not be disappointed.

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2 thoughts on “Virtual Reality: A Walk in the Park

  1. I wrote about the National Park Service this past week as well! I talked about how they are targeting minorities, but what you discussed has a lot of potential to reach a wide audience. I think there are many great ways to reach potential visitors by using emerging media. The VR tour is one great example of that. Recently the NPS also stepped into the world of augmented reality, by embracing the Pokemon Go craze. By putting Poke Stops in the parks people are flocking to engage with the game while visiting the parks. It has proven to be quite a popular feature to younger generations! Time will only tell how VR and AR change the marketing world, but for now it seems as if they aren’t going anywhere! Thank you for your insight!

    Hannah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello,

    This technology is truly amazing. The 360 VR imaging software is one of a kind. I am sure this will be used by many places and within many videos in the future. Perhaps the use of this software and increased advertising could bring a new life to the tourism rates for these national parks and help preserve the habitat.

    According to Leo Sun (2016), there are approximately 1.3 million subscribers to the YouTube 360 channel. It is also estimated that the virtual reality market will be worth $30 billion by 2020. If used correctly, the national parks may be able to claim a portion of this revenue to improve the park traffic and funds.

    Are you a subscriber to YouTube 360 and do you plan on getting any of the 360 software?

    Thanks for sharing,

    Kyle

    Works Cited:

    Sun, L. (2016). 12 Virtual Reality Stats That Will Blow You Away. Retrieved from http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/06/12-virtual-reality-stats-that-will-blow-you-away.aspx

    Like

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