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Samsung’s Gear VR Commercial is Not Geeky Enough

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The official retail launch of the Samsung Gear VR kicked off on Friday, quickly selling out among retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

On Monday, we scoured the social web and compiled some of our favorite reactions and behaviors from this new crop of first time Gear VR users. And for the most part, users were ecstatic about experiencing virtual reality for the first time.

It’s one thing to read or watch videos about virtual reality; it’s an entirely different thing to actually experience VR for your self. Thus is the challenge for marketing virtual reality apps and hardware. How do you get the consumer to open up their wallets without having ever experienced the range of immersive content that waits?

Samsung is trying their first-stab at showing consumers how virtual reality is only a snap and click away with a Gear VR headset.

Coinciding with the retail launch of the Gear VR headset powered by Oculus, Samsung released their first-ever 30-second commercial spot over the weekend.

The commercial spot starts by showing the headset in one hand and a Samsung Galaxy phone in the other. With a quick movement, the phone is clicked and snapped into place and the viewer gets a taste of what it could be like to experience VR content through the lens of the headset. From a Kung Fu Panda movie clip to floating underwater while a shark eyes you for dinner, the spot ends with “Virtual reality just got real.”

Don’t get me wrong; this is a great spot and fantastic introductory commercial to the Samsung Gear VR. It shows the simplicity of just attaching your phone and the content options that can be experienced. But it’s too simple.

The promise of virtual reality is immersion, giving the user the ability to feel like they are somewhere else and can naturally look around their virtual environment. It’s an exciting feeling.

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This commercial misses that excitement. It shows the headset coming towards the viewer’s eyes and away again to reset the viewable content, making it look like just another screen you wear on your face. But the Gear VR is so much more than just another screen to view movies larger.

I assume this 30-second is just the first in a series of commercials to introduce consumers to the Samsung Gear VR. But for the next one, let’s show the world head tracking and content navigation. Let’s show how you can converse with others in Oculus Social Alpha and blast enemies in space with the touchpad.

Maybe that’s just too geeky though. Maybe they just need to show the user virtually sitting on an exotic beach being fanned with a banana leaf, because let’s be honest, we could all probably use a little sun.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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