XR Today – XR Advertising Case Study in Focus: VIVE and Rinnai America
Original Article appeared on XR Today June 22, 2022 – https://www.xrtoday.com/virtual-reality/xr-advertising-case-study-in-focus-vive-and-rinnai-america/
For the last few years, even before the pandemic changed the way people shop forever, companies have been searching for new ways to make advertising more educational, and engaging. The growing trend of the marketing industry has been on producing helpful, informative content, capable of showing customers how they can solve common problems.
While there are countless ways to reach and inform your audience in today’s evolving digital world, few things are quite as interactive or involving as XR. With extended reality solutions, it’s possible to demonstrate the potential impact of a product without asking your customer to leave their home.
XR offerings can even allow customers to explore new technology they never considered using before, and discover the possibilities of what that tech can do.
Rinnai, one of the leaders in gas appliance manufacturing, turned to VIVE for help educating its customers in the potential of tankless heaters. Let’s take a look at how VIVE and Rinnai America transformed the advertising space.
Introducing a New Solution to Modern Customers
One of the leading companies in the gas appliance manufacturing space, Rinnai was officially founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 1920. The energy-efficient company produces a host of different tools, including heat and air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, and more. As a leader int heir industry, Rinnai is currently among the largest gas appliance manufactures in Japan.
Notably, Rinnai has also become one of the top selling brands of tankless gas water heaters in North America during recent years. The company has built a culture around the concept of making customers the center of their belief system and culture, and has committed to helping these customers meet the demands of an ever-advancing landscape.
Modern tankless water heaters have been rapidly increasing in popularity, with huge changes in energy efficiency, long-term cost savings, and increasingly compact designs. The global tankless water heater market is now expected to surpass $19.2 billion by 2030.
Unfortunately, many companies, including Rinnai were struggling to introduce the value of this new technology to companies in 2018. At the time, many brands still had a huge investment in traditional water heater technology, and replacing a traditional tool with a tankless system can be intimidating.
To tackle the belief that tankless water systems would be too complex for modern brands, Rinnai America decided it was time to leverage the latest technology, with the help of VIVE.
Embracing the Power of Virtual Reality
Rinnai America wanted to provide installers with more of the confidence they needed to take the next step with new technology, and they believed leveraging a disruptive new ecosystem would be the perfect way to do that.
According to the marketing team, they felt people could learn best, and discover the potential benefits of the tankless ecosystem better by jumping into it themselves.
To give people the experience of tankless water installation first-hand, Rinnai America decided to build virtual reality content, leveraging the hardware offered by VIVE.
Groove Jones was invited to the Rinnai headquarters, where they walked through the installation process for the tankless heater, and explored product parts for 3D modelling in the virtual reality landscape. The decision to use VIVE as the hardware provider for the ecosystem was built around a need for ultra-high-resolution displays, powerful room tracking, and spatial sound.
Together with VIVE and Groove Jones, Rinnai was able to successfully create a powerful application where participants could interact with an installation experience in a true-to-life environment, without the need for wasted resources.
The app “Yank the Tank” was a three-minute virtual demonstration, where users were invited to destroy a water tank using a sledge hammer, frying pan, and a range of other tools. After the fun of the destruction experience, users then remove the tank and replace it with one of Rinnai’s tankless systems.
Designed to be entertaining and light-hearted, as well as educational, Yank the Tank presented users with practical challenges, like how to determine which gas line to run, and figure out the venting size required for the job. However, the VR system is built to provide the users with everything they need to easily run through the decision-making process.
Changing Perspectives in a Transforming Industry
The engaging experience provided by Yank the Tank thanks to VIVE, and Groove Jones created a powerful advertising and educational opportunity in one.
The VR offering debuted at the International Builders Show and achieved fantastic reviews. Both professionals and DIYers got hands-on with the process of destroying and replacing old tanks in a VIVE world.
According to the VP of Marketing for Rinnai America, the VR solution was perfect for the company because it’s fun, cutting-edge, and interesting – just like the company’s products.
The immersive experience offered by the VR technology provided users with a first-hand look at how easy installation could be, as well as the general feel of the new product.
Both employees and customers alike were more than happy with the overall experience, which encouraged Rinnai America to take their virtual show on the road.
A series of 8 vehicles was created with portable VIVE VR systems, to allow the Rinnai America team to approach a huge range of customers all around America, and give them their own virtual experience.
Overall, the tankless installation VR experience was delivered to almost 800 locations around the US and Canada, expanding Rinnai’s presence in their market like never before, and delivering a phenomenal level of education to the industry. Since then, Rinnai has never looked back, and continues to invest in transformative technology for advertising today.