IMAX VR’s Death Is An Important Cautionary Tale For The Location-Based Scene

December 18, 2018 | 182 views

In August 2016 IMAX Chief B.D. Officer Rob Lister revealed an exciting forecast for the company’s VR plans. He envisioned a world in which the latest blockbusters would be accompanied by VR ‘companion pieces’, which moviegoers could see alongside the film for a slightly higher price. He name-dropped movies like Avatar 2 and directors such as Christopher Nolan, saying they would give creators VR cameras to shoot this content. Like the traditional IMAX experience, the company wanted to create high-end movies that gave you a reason to visit theaters.Following a sheepish roll out in 2017, IMAX spent the latter half of 2018 slowly dismantling its handful of global locations. Despite a positive reaction from customers, the company had already expressed disappointment in the numbers of visitors it had managed to attract. By November, it was down to less than half of the centers it had initially opened. The writing had been on the wall for some time.

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WJLA-TV

ABC7/WJLA is the local ABC affiliate for the greater Washington area. It is locally owned and operated by Allbritton Communications Company and has served the greater Washington, D.C. area with award-winning news, entertainment, and sports programming for almost 60 years. Its sister cable station, NewsChannel 8, has delivered local news and community information for more than 20 years. Allbritton Communications Company also owns POLITICO as well as a collection of regional television stations.

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VIRTUALIZATION

Discord: A Novel Medium for B2B Marketing

Article | June 21, 2021

Discord is a real-time chat platform where anyone with a community can interact. Users can talk to others in the community on special channels and get invites to join different servers. Many people prefer to reach out to online customers through social media, but messaging apps like Discord have 20% more monthly active users than traditional social media platforms. (Business Insider) Discord generates revenue through premium subscriptions and game distribution. It does not use advertisements. However, it can help marketers through its community that grows with video, voice, text communication and more. Let us look at how: Helps Build a Moderated Community You can set up a Discord server as a moderated social discussion platform. Create different channels based on your audience’s preference and allow them to bond. And as your community grows, so will the popularity of your business. Word-of-mouth marketing is still very effective. Connects Your Brand with Like-minded Audience You can also meet others who share your interests on various Discord servers. When you know what you're looking for, finding relevant servers is simple. Check with your team members, and your community, and join those groups. There, you'll meet other business owners and pursue collaboration opportunities. Allows Sharing Relevant Industry Content Share your website articles and other industry updates on Discord. You can take the advantage of your employees’ social media presence because they are linked to a single server. They'll spread the word about the articles through other Discord servers and their personal social media accounts. It will assist you in gaining authority among your target audience. Another way to market your company is to post branded memes, GIFs, and funny screenshots. Helps Offer Great Customer Service People expect prompt service, and because Discord delivers messages in real-time, you can address issues as they arise. You can easily send direct messages to members and have private conversations with them. Parting Words Although Discord is primarily a messaging app for individuals, it also has many advantages for B2B marketing. Discord is ideal for community management and true engagement.

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TECHNOLOGIES,BUSINESS

B2B Movie Placements: What to Expect?

Article | August 3, 2022

As films evolved into the popular medium that they are today, brands followed suit. They took advantage of a large network of new ways to market, from print media to radio to television. Product placement, a part of branded entertainment marketing, became more common from the 1980s. Today, every moviegoer is familiar – sometimes painfully – with paid product placements. And every marketer has heard commentary on both good and bad B2C product placements. But what about B2B movie placements? Ever heard of those? If you are a B2B enterprise looking to try it out, here are some major differences between B2C and B2B movie placements: Impress the producers Create an enticing pitch for the producers, which can influence them enough to bring them to the creative department. Sell your brand or product to them (indirectly) to help them understand how it will improve the realism of their scene or set. Make them realize how your product or service can help them. Placement isn’t always ‘placement’ Prospective B2B buyers aren’t going to squint their eyes to find your product while watching a movie. However, they might actually remember your brand if you host pre-opening events around the world for them and their families to watch a popular movie. If they enjoy the movie and establish an emotional connection with it, they will definitely think of you while making any kind of purchase decision. Things might not work out No matter how hard you try to show your brand in a good light in a certain scene or situation, sometimes things happen that you can't control or ignore. In such cases, you might have to get all the branding out instead of settling for negative publicity, which could be a viable option for a B2C brand. B2B Movie Placement: A Success Story FLIR, a client of Hollywood Branded, is the leading provider of thermal military camera equipment. It co-starred in one of Warner Brothers' biggest hits of 2018, Rampage. FLIR connected with the right member of the production team and ensured that the brand was pictured in a positive light. FLIR shared its technology with the filmmakers and got advertised to its business customers, mostly film-loving decision-makers, through the movie and the way it was shot. The film earned $427M at the worldwide box office.

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TECHNOLOGIES,VIRTUALIZATION

Branded Entertainment in B2B: Why is it Important?

Article | July 27, 2022

Global B2B companies churn out content pieces such as infographics, case studies, assessments, and other forms of thought leadership content to create brand awareness. But is this content enough to engage the customers and the market? Not really. Marketers like you need to look into branded entertainment to get more customer engagement and brand loyalty. What is Branded Entertainment? Adweek loosely describes “branded entertainment” as any content that starts a positive conversation around a product, service, or set of values. This content builds a story around your product or services, showing it in a positive light and getting the audience to engage in your content as much as a film or a TV show. As opposed to other marketing endeavors, branded entertainment doesn’t focus on your products and their features but on entertaining the audience. Incorporating Branded Entertainment into Your Marketing Strategy Here are some ways to get it done without much hassle: Web Series Original programming, such as web series published on the brand’s social media channels, can help you raise awareness through stories that share your brand’s values instead of directly marketing your product or services. PR Stunts Create social media brand content that is entertaining and exciting enough for the audience to make it viral. Such PR brings positive media attention to your brand and creates mass awareness for your brand or product. Videos Volvo's entertaining video of Van Damme's split stunt on YouTube has 114.5 million views. The video didn't need a call-to-action because it wasn’t to convert leads. Instead, it was meant to showcase a piece of business-use truck technology and get engagement. Podcasting GE used podcasting for advertising twice, once with its show ‘The Message’ and again with its new series ‘LifeAfter.’ Neither show discusses GE's products. Instead, they were "GE-presented" and were received well. Summing It Up People are less likely to comment on or share brand posts directly, but they are more likely to tweet or share them on their Instagram stories. This way you can measure the impact of branded entertainment. B2B marketers should consider branded entertainment as a way to build trust and start conversations between their brands and their audience to get a long-term ROI.

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SOLUTIONS,BUSINESS

Driving ROI of Your B2B Marketing with Entertainment

Article | July 7, 2022

B2B companies are harnessing entertainment to drive their marketing ROI. They are using strategies that meet the changing needs of B2B customers and take advantage of how technology is improving. Let us examine the top five entertainment marketing strategies that can get engagement for your B2B content: On-Demand Content Rules B2B corporate Salesforce recently announced a new streaming service—Salesforce+—that exclusively caters to businesses. If you want to try something like this, you don’t need to create a new streaming platform. Instead, you can use your social media accounts to share unique content that your target audience will find interesting. Presentation Shouldn’t Be a Priority Your B2B audience isn’t any different from the audience that consumes basic TikTok videos, reality TV shows, or YouTube clips that don’t have the best scripts. Any grippingly human content presented on popular channels of entertainment appeals to the viewer and can influence their buying decisions. Harness User-generated Content Harness user-generated content like videos, reviews, and testimonials. When your customer tells your brand’s story or how your brand helped them solve their problems, the content is engaging and authentic for your prospects and influences their purchase decisions. Additionally, such content receives high engagement and improves your brand’s reputation. Relevance Wins Hearts If the content you are producing is entertaining and engaging, addresses the pain points and demands of your target audience, and is timed perfectly to match the dynamic market needs, your prospects might relate to your brand better and avail your product or services. Create Immersive Experiences Through Events With the help of experience experts Boost Experiential, Google created an Event Series to target small businesses in the U.S. They led a nationwide initiative to offer educational seminars and coaching to small businesses. They held events in 50 states and introduced Google’s tools to thousands of business owners. As a result, they have got more than 50, 000 small businesses online. Entertainment Could Be a B2B Trend for 2022 Create valuable, memorable, entertaining, and engaging content addressing customer pain points. Make it available to your target audience through popular channels like streaming sites, social media, webinars, live events and more to get your marketing ROI.

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Spotlight

WJLA-TV

ABC7/WJLA is the local ABC affiliate for the greater Washington area. It is locally owned and operated by Allbritton Communications Company and has served the greater Washington, D.C. area with award-winning news, entertainment, and sports programming for almost 60 years. Its sister cable station, NewsChannel 8, has delivered local news and community information for more than 20 years. Allbritton Communications Company also owns POLITICO as well as a collection of regional television stations.

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IMAX Down To Four VR Centers With New York Closure

UploadVR | October 29, 2018

IMAX’s VR Centers are now down to just four locations following its most recent closure.A statement issued UploadVR reads: “With the launch of the IMAX VR pilot program our intention was to test a variety of different concepts and locations to determine which approaches work well. After a trial period with VR centers in multiplexes, we have decided to conclude the AMC Kips Bay 15 IMAX VR pilot run.”IMAX’s VR Centers are essentially VR arcades that let people pay to experience titles like Beat Saber, Raw Data and Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine. The company had once planned to also offer cinematic VR content that would serve as companion pieces to current movie releases, though it also recently transpired that the company’s VR camera project with Google had been canceled too.But this is far from the first closure for these VR centers. Back in August IMAX also shut down its other New York location as well as one in Shanghai, China. At the time, CEO Richard Gelfond stated that, while reaction to the centers had been positive, the “numbers just weren’t there.”That leaves locations in Toronto, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Manchester open for now. IMAX declined to comment on if these centers will stay open. That said, the company already shot down the possibility of opening more centers last week’s earnings call. “We’re not looking for new business projects,” said CFO Patrick McClymont. “We’re keenly focused on the core business. And that will be the approach for next year as well.”

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Community Download: Does Oculus Quest Need Fortnite Or Minecraft To Succeed?

UploadVR | October 26, 2018

At Oculus Connect I spoke with CTO John Carmack some and reminded him of comments he made about Minecraft being the best title for Gear VR.He explained the call was made not to bundle a gamepad with Gear VR, as they had for all the developer attendees at Oculus Connect one year. This means the game he’d worked so hard with Microsoft to bring to the fledgling Oculus mobile platform didn’t have an audience with the right controller. So it’s unsurprising the game — even with Touch controls on Rift – hasn’t become an anchor or major draw for their platform or VR in general, despite Carmack’s initial enthusiasm.With the massive $1.25 billion investment in Epic Games today, the company is likely to undertake a period of rapid change under CEO Tim Sweeney. Epic builds both the Unreal Engine toolset — used by game designers globally to build virtual worlds — as well as its own games, like the cross-platform battle royale leader Fortnite. Balancing both those endeavors with $1.25 billion to spend is going to be an interesting process to watch. For VR, then, I don’t think we can discount Epic’s support (or lack thereof) in a particular platform as being related to the success of the platform itself. Sure, developers can use Unreal tools to make games for Oculus Quest in 2019 and Facebook helped fund the creation of Epic’s Robo Recall, so we know that game is coming to the headset in some fashion. But that’s not the same as Epic supporting VR with its most important title.

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Fortnite Developer Epic Games Announces $1.25 Billion Investment

UploadVR | October 26, 2018

Fornite developer and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games today announced that it raised $1.25 billion in investment.Companies such as KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners contributed to the funding. In a press release, Epic noted that the move also created partnerships with “investment firms and individuals at the forefront of technology, entertainment, professional sports, esports, and live events.”Alongside Fortnite, Epic Games has been heavily involved with the VR and AR industries over the past few years, making Unreal Engine compatible with both. It’s been especially active in VR, last year releasing Oculus Rift exclusive shooter, Robo Recall.“We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a prepared statement.

Read More

IMAX Down To Four VR Centers With New York Closure

UploadVR | October 29, 2018

IMAX’s VR Centers are now down to just four locations following its most recent closure.A statement issued UploadVR reads: “With the launch of the IMAX VR pilot program our intention was to test a variety of different concepts and locations to determine which approaches work well. After a trial period with VR centers in multiplexes, we have decided to conclude the AMC Kips Bay 15 IMAX VR pilot run.”IMAX’s VR Centers are essentially VR arcades that let people pay to experience titles like Beat Saber, Raw Data and Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine. The company had once planned to also offer cinematic VR content that would serve as companion pieces to current movie releases, though it also recently transpired that the company’s VR camera project with Google had been canceled too.But this is far from the first closure for these VR centers. Back in August IMAX also shut down its other New York location as well as one in Shanghai, China. At the time, CEO Richard Gelfond stated that, while reaction to the centers had been positive, the “numbers just weren’t there.”That leaves locations in Toronto, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Manchester open for now. IMAX declined to comment on if these centers will stay open. That said, the company already shot down the possibility of opening more centers last week’s earnings call. “We’re not looking for new business projects,” said CFO Patrick McClymont. “We’re keenly focused on the core business. And that will be the approach for next year as well.”

Read More

Community Download: Does Oculus Quest Need Fortnite Or Minecraft To Succeed?

UploadVR | October 26, 2018

At Oculus Connect I spoke with CTO John Carmack some and reminded him of comments he made about Minecraft being the best title for Gear VR.He explained the call was made not to bundle a gamepad with Gear VR, as they had for all the developer attendees at Oculus Connect one year. This means the game he’d worked so hard with Microsoft to bring to the fledgling Oculus mobile platform didn’t have an audience with the right controller. So it’s unsurprising the game — even with Touch controls on Rift – hasn’t become an anchor or major draw for their platform or VR in general, despite Carmack’s initial enthusiasm.With the massive $1.25 billion investment in Epic Games today, the company is likely to undertake a period of rapid change under CEO Tim Sweeney. Epic builds both the Unreal Engine toolset — used by game designers globally to build virtual worlds — as well as its own games, like the cross-platform battle royale leader Fortnite. Balancing both those endeavors with $1.25 billion to spend is going to be an interesting process to watch. For VR, then, I don’t think we can discount Epic’s support (or lack thereof) in a particular platform as being related to the success of the platform itself. Sure, developers can use Unreal tools to make games for Oculus Quest in 2019 and Facebook helped fund the creation of Epic’s Robo Recall, so we know that game is coming to the headset in some fashion. But that’s not the same as Epic supporting VR with its most important title.

Read More

Fortnite Developer Epic Games Announces $1.25 Billion Investment

UploadVR | October 26, 2018

Fornite developer and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games today announced that it raised $1.25 billion in investment.Companies such as KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners contributed to the funding. In a press release, Epic noted that the move also created partnerships with “investment firms and individuals at the forefront of technology, entertainment, professional sports, esports, and live events.”Alongside Fortnite, Epic Games has been heavily involved with the VR and AR industries over the past few years, making Unreal Engine compatible with both. It’s been especially active in VR, last year releasing Oculus Rift exclusive shooter, Robo Recall.“We’re excited to partner with the finest minds in the financial, sports, and entertainment communities. This reinforces Epic’s position of leadership in real-time 3D technology, and accelerates our ability to improve the way people play, work, and interact with the world,” Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said in a prepared statement.

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