Behr builds VR pop-up house experience to promote its first 'color of the year'
- Behr Paint revealed its first "color of the year" — called "In The Moment T18-15," which is a muted blue-green — at an out-of-home (OOH) installation yesterday in New York City's Grand Central Terminal, per a press release by the company.
- The installation featured an experiential pop-up house for commuters to explore and get a better sense of what the paint might look like in a real home. Behr CMO Jodi Allen said this is a new approach from the brand to promote its products.
- The effort also included a virtual reality (VR) element via 360-degree video. Headsets were available at the event, and the first 5,000 visitors took home Behr 2018 Color Trends VR cardboard headsets for consumers to further explore the brand's line of 20 new paint colors.
Behr's announcement of its 2018 "color of the year" fits into a trend of OOH advertising this year, where more traditional efforts like pop-ups are bolstered by a strong digital element — in this case, VR. VR tech is a natural fit for home improvement because it can help users visualize a remodeled space or, for Behr, how different paint colors might look in the same room.
The location of the company's activation likely saw a lot of foot traffic, as Grand Central Terminal is a bustling transportation hub that attracts thousands of commuters and tourists daily. The home itself, which resembles a large-scale dollhouse, stands out and is eye-catching in comparison to its surroundings.
Behr is just the latest brand to tap VR to enhance home improvement planning. In March, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea built a VR installation at a Toronto storefront that let customers interact with a virtual kitchen through activities like flipping pancakes. Ikea is also developing a mobile app with Apple's new ARKit that lets users see how products look in their home via a smartphone camera before making a purchase, according to Business Insider.
For now, marketers are still working out exactly how to best utilize VR at a broader level, but applications by home improvement brands like Behr are creating a wedge of acceptance among consumers around how the technology can be tapped for practical use cases.
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