Virtual Reality and Wearables – close to the consumer

Dirk Ziems

A depth psychological study by concept m and Initiative Media analyses for the first time success factors for using smartwatches and VR in brand communication.

As media channels directly attached to the users, wearables have great potential, which has been largely untapped to date among both consumers and companies in various sectors. According to Euromonitor, 3.2 million people in Germany are intending to buy a smart watch in 2017, and sales of smart wearables in 2016 are estimated at 1.6 billion euro.

But what are the success factors for advertising through smartwatches and VR, and what are the recommendations for action? In short, why are these two technologies relevant and how do they impact media use?

These questions were the starting point of a current depth psychological study, involving depth psychological interviews on smartwatches and VR among digital-savvy consumers aged 220-40.

The smartwatch – self-optimisation in the digital age

Smartwatch – Selbstoptimierung im digitalen Zeitalter

Self-optimisation as the key to successful advertising on smart watches

Our study shows that smartwatches operate psychologically in the field of self-optimisation, where they have specific functions. A smartwatch promises motivation to incorporate “optimisation” centrally into various facets of life in two ways, as “superego” on your wrist and as gatekeeper of your daily flood of information.

concept m und Initiative Media recommend developing concepts which are fundamental to and integrated as accurately as possible into the respective patterns and motives of smartwatch use. Grouped in three modules, this means:

  • Location based: local offers providing user orientation and drawing attention to specific POIs.
  • Couponing: automatic reward on entering a shop. Link with special offers and loyalty and payback cards.
  • Individual targeting: tracking consumption habits and physical functions in advance makes possible personalised product recommendation.

Virtual reality – an advertising channel without options or desire for reactance

Virtual Reality - Werbekanal ohne Reaktanzmöglichkeit oder Reaktanzwille

Virtual reality blurs the boundaries of advertising

The study shows that VR is potentially an advertising channel which leaves the recipient without options or desire for reactance. This provides enormous potential for lasting brand experiences, not only for luxury brands but also for brands in the FMCG or e-commerce sectors.

Direct and complete integration in events leads to so-called “total involvement” of the consumer. As a result, advertising clips are barely perceived as such, appearing instead as generous offers of the producers to participate in certain experiences. With the help of VR clips, users or recipients are largely liberated from their corporeal reality , finding themselves in a virtual world that is realistic almost to the point of a new sense of physical reality.

To operate successfully with the new advertising medium of VR and reach the recipient communicatively, there are three rules for designing of advertising content.

  • Deepen user involvement through physical involvement and content personalisation. Direct personalisation can be achieved for example by showing parts of the body that are presumably your own (similar to the use of the first person in computer games).
  • In VR, the advertiser remembered is the one that offers the recipient a particularly impressive experience. Telling the right story in the right way is the key to tying future users to brands.
  • As VR is particularly involving, it is important to focus on simple and clear stories with linear story arcs– excessive complexity and multiple levels quickly become too much for the recipient.

The study was presented in detail in the December 2016 issue of the magazine “Absatzwirtschaft”. For further information, contact dirk.ziems@test.local


Dirk Ziems
Dirk Ziems ist Experte für tiefenpsychologisches Marketing und berät auf Basis von Markt-, Medien- und Kulturforschung weltweit Unternehmen und Konzerne in zahlreichen Branchen und Ländern. Als Mitbegründer der Global Research Boutique Concept M und der Marketingberatung Flying Elephant begleitet er Themen wie die Adaption von Erfolgsprodukten in neuen kulturellen Kontexten, das tiefe Verständnis neuer Konsumgenerationen in China und USA, die Transformation der Werbekommunikation in der neuen digitalen Medienwelt oder die Neuorientierung der Brands in Post-Corona-Zeiten. Dirk Ziems ist auch als Gastdozent an verschiedenen Universitäten tätig.

Kontaktieren Sie uns!

envelopephone-handsetConsent Management Platform von Real Cookie Banner