Lincoln, the luxury vehicle brand, helped build engagement and excitement around its 2018 Navigator vehicle with a 360-degree video that could also be viewed in virtual reality.

Jenna Thompson, digital retail marketing manager/technology and personalisation at the Lincoln Motor Co., discussed this subject at the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) 2018 Innovate Conference in New York.

“How do you sell a vehicle that people can’t see, touch or feel?” she asked. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Lincoln accelerates engagement with 360-degree video and virtual reality.)

In promoting the 2018 Navigator – a luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) – Lincoln used 360-degree digital video compatible with virtual-reality headsets.

The digital medium allowed consumers to fully explore the inside of a Navigator from the brand’s “Black Label” range, and see how the vehicle performed in a diverse slate of conditions, from a city crawl to pushing through heavy snow.

It was hoped that the tool would show off the SUV’s capabilities in a much broader way than a normal test drive could feasibly achieve.

Launched on Lincoln’s brand website and introduced on to video-sharing platform YouTube two months later, the content could be accessed on desktop or mobile – with or without a VR headset.

The initiative had a wide variety of strategic aims, from showing off the vehicle’s refreshed design to reaching new customers and augmenting brand perceptions through engaging, immersive and inspiring content.

Additionally, the 360/VR video experience addressed a separate issue for Lincoln – having unveiled the 2018 Navigator to dealers at the end of November 2017, it was struggling to match consumer demand.

“It was a vehicle dealers just could not keep in stock, with an average of just 11 days on the lot,” Thompson informed the MMA assembly.

The positive result included increases in website dwell time, a 360 video audience that looked for offers and incentives more frequently, and were more likely to seek out a Lincoln dealer.

Following Lincoln’s success in this space, it is considering new ways the technology can help it connect with existing and potential customers. “We’re exploring how VR can help solve other … business challenges,” said Thompson.

Sourced from WARC