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Citi's virtual reality music play

News, 19 December 2016
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NEW YORK: Citi, the financial services provider, is planning to leverage the power of virtual reality (VR) to bring its music partnerships to life – and thus engage consumers in new, deeper ways.

Jennifer Breithaupt, Managing Director of Media, Advertising and Global Entertainment at Citi, discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2016 in New York.

More specifically, she outlined some of the benefits this technology could offer the brand, as will be tested in practice when it broadcasts ten concerts in VR as an extension of its long-standing relationship with Live Nation, the events group.

"If you think about younger consumers – and even regular consumers – emotion and experience continue to be something that is of significant importance. And VR lends itself to that," said Breithaupt. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Citi banks on virtual reality to drive engagement.)

This medium not only "allows for better storytelling", but fits neatly with Citi's existing "Access beyond Attendance" positioning around music, where the brand seeks to enrich these experiences rather than simply being associated with purchasing tickets.

One example of this philosophy in action is "Backstage with Citi", which currently delivers exclusive online interviews and performances featuring various artists – and represents a clear possibility for moving into the VR realm.

"How many people have been backstage? … A few people can go. In this opportunity and this experience, you can take in a limited experience and make it scalable," Breithaupt said.

Similarly, VR can potentially enable consumers to gain a unique perspective from the performer's point of view. "It would be the coolest experience [if] you could actually see what that artist is seeing," she explained.

While virtual reality delivers truly immersive experiences, the Citi executive suggested it is unlikely to "ever replace" the thrill of actually being at an event in person. But it might, in fact, be used to augment that activity.

"If something fantastical happens, if … there was a VR experience even where you're there where things are unveiling themselves [on-stage] that you couldn't see without the headset, I think that's really, really cool," she said.

Data sourced from Warc

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