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GE leverages social media and virtual reality to connect with fans

ge vr train

General Electric is sharing a series of virtual reality videos via social media in a new campaign to engage consumers, giving them behind-the-scenes access to factories and what it takes to create GE products. 

The brand is giving its social media followers the chance to win a Full Immersion Kit, in which users can learn about GE’s manufacturing. GE is sharing virtual reality videos on Facebook and Twitter and the first 20 users to tweet the brand answers to questions corresponding to the videos will win the kit.

"GE is always focused on pushing the boundaries of technology, and we take the same approach in our marketing, constantly jumping onto new platforms and engaging with our tech enthusiast audience in unexpected ways,” said Katrina Craigwell, head of content and programming at GE. "By experimenting with virtual reality, we are hoping to excite the growing base of VR users and provide new and more intimate ways for fans of GE and advanced technology to engage with the brand." 

"This August, the first 20 people to tweet @GeneralElectric with answers to 5 questions about the GE 360 VR videos posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will win a Full Immersion Kit that will engage all their senses as they learn about GE's advanced manufacturing capabilities," she said.

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Marketing reality 
Virtual reality is becoming a more prevalent form of marketing for brands and GE is leveraging the capability to give fans a back stage pass via social media to its manufacturing. Since the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR have made virtual reality technology more mainstream, marketers such as GE are using the potential to connect with fans and the brand is also using social media to ensure the campaign’s reach. 

GE will be posting videos to various social media channels with 360-degree views of its factories, giving fans an inside look at what it takes to create its products, as well as other sensory experiences. Along with the videos five questions will be shared. 

The first 20 Twitter users to respond with correct answers will win GE’s Virtual Reality Kit consisting of a virtual reality cardboard viewer, snorkel with goggles, bubble solution, ocean-themed shower curtain, ocean-scented candle, GE 360 degree train conductors hat, Power Cube, waterproof travel battery, poster of the Tier 4 Locomotive, 3D printed model of the Locomotive and a screen print of Gas Turbine

Along with the social media content, the brand is launching a virtual reality experience for Oculus Rift headsets, in which users get a neurological experience. DJ Reuben Wu is giving users a walk through of his mind to showcase emotional and neurological responses to music. 

The brand is also giving a virtual walk-through of the production process for the Evolution Series Tier 4 Locomotive and its 9HA Gas Turbine. The video will be available to users on Oculus Share, Samsung Milk VR, Google Cardboard and YouTube 360.

Also, a science series will be available for Samsung Milk, in which GE will be featuring various virtual reality videos regarding its R&D labs. 

Virtual reality is making a bigger stance in marketing. 

Virtual reality 
For instance, grooming product subscription service Birchbox Man delivered a unique virtual reality experience to members to further develop its newer male side of the service (see more). 

Also, a General Electric executive at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile First Look: Strategy 2015 conference said the conglomerate is leveraging its applications of virtual reality and other mobile technology to get consumers excited about science and technology (see more). 

"Our goal is to bring users into our facilities and let them experience our industrial technology in a more personal way, Virtual Reality is a compelling new way of achieving this experience," Ms. Craigwell said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Consumer electronics, GE, mobile marketing, virtual reality, samsung milk, oculus rift

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