Posted by Group1 Nissan on 13 Jun 2022
According to one tech billionaire the virtual world, the metaverse, will be a place where your avatar can hang out with other people’s avatars and have virtual drinks while watching a virtual concert. So a big Meh, an exercise in futility dreamed up by someone who seemingly has no connection to the real world.
Just a moment though. Imagine if the virtual world/metaverse can be used to address real needs in a world where millions of people suddenly had to work remotely, interacting with people they have never met, with the only contact a faceless exchange via email or WhatsApp. This is a very real thing, and although it increases work or education opportunities significantly, it does contribute to feelings of dissociation, loneliness and anxiety.
Nissan is one of the leaders in using a virtual universe to bring remote workers into a more cohesive contact space. It started with virtual meetings and product development workshops and the like, similar to being at work but dressed in your jammies. Nissan soon realised a lot of people not only coped very well with a virtual reality world, but they preferred it to the old-school real world. A lot of these people were younger, more adventurous, and tech-savvy – in other words, a huge and prime slice of Nissan’s target market.
The Japanese tech giant started with a virtual reality (VR) version of its Nissan Crossing gallery in Tokyo’s buzzing Ginza district, using a platform created by US startup VR Chat. VR Chat was one of the pioneers of virtual, and later hybrid, events and exhibitions. This VR space kicked off with a world tour of the new Ariya EV. This showroom can host launches and other events.
Nissan recently launched the Sakura, an electric Kei-car – a Japanese market car segment limited in size and power and exempt from certain taxes and parking restrictions – popular with older people and the youth. With the latter market in mind, Nissan opted to have a VR launch as well as a physical launch.
The Sakura is a four-seater with a 20kW lithium-ion battery that can go 180km. It is the first in this class of mini to feature an advanced driver-assist system. This little car will cost around R290 000, about par with similar Kei cars.
The VR launch was a mix of the Matrix, Mario cart and J-pop and the traditional motoring media did not like it at all. “How can you launch, never mind sell, a VR car?”
Japan’s tech-savvy and novelty-seeking youth loved it and industry pundits predict similar VR/hybrid launches of other products – smartphones or razors or whatever. The VR launch of the Sakura was a stroke of genius, with Nissan being bold and tapping into the novelty nerve of its young market. What next? Subscribe to our blog and you will be among the first to know.
The post A New Take On The Metaverse – Nissan Sakura VR Launch appeared first on Nissan Blog at Group1.