Honda launches into virtual reality for the Indy500

Virtual reality could be described as the Wild West of content marketing. It is currently at the stage when brands are looking to test it out and see where it gains traction.

Samsung and Marriott are some of the first to have bought into VR. Now Honda is taking the leap with film shot from inside a Honda-powered IndyCar.

The footage, which takes the viewer on a 360-degree trip around a track, is being released to coincide with the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 next month. It has been produced by Gannett’s brand content division GET Creative.

There is an interesting angle to this. One of the big drawbacks with VR is the price of headsets – such as Facebook’s Occulus Rift –which puts the technology beyond the reach of most people.

However Honda, as part of a tie-up with the New York Times, may use Google Cardboard. As the name suggests, this is a cardboard case that allows you to view VR film from your phone. It works nearly as well as an Occulus – but don’t make any sudden movements or you’ll be paying for a new phone.

As an extra bonus, the car is driven by Mario Andretti – presumably the former F1 world champion – who is now over 70.

It should come as no surprise that Honda is looking at VR. The car marque’s marketing has generally been ahead of the game, especially in terms of the TV campaigns it produced in the 2000s such as ‘Impossible Dream’ and ‘Cog’.

Honda launches into virtual reality for the Indy500 is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.