Virtual reality in experience marketing: An empirical study of the effects of immersive VR
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- Master Thesis 
Recent technological development has led virtual reality (VR) head mounted displays (HMD) to become commercially available to the mass market. Consumers have started to adopt the technology quickly, and forecasts for the VR industry are very promising for the upcoming years. However, little research has been conducted on the effects of exposure to immersive VR video through HMDs. Our aim for this thesis has been to investigate the effects of exposure to VR video and uncover the underlying mechanisms taking place. This insight can give marketers and content creators a better understanding of how to utilize the full potential of this new medium. We conducted a study of 100 participants evenly distributed between VR video and 2D video. The different experimental conditions were tested against the participants' consumer attitude, willingness to try, behavioral intention, telepresence, engagement and perception of length. We found some effects on consumer attitude, behavioral intention and telepresence, that were canceled out due to suboptimal image quality of the HMD. Further, we found that VR had no effect on the ability to discriminate between alternatives. Lastly, we found evidence suggesting that VR can induce a state of flow. The image quality of the HMD did however again cancel out some of the effects caused by VR. Our findings suggest that there are several positive effects from VR that could be used to reach consumers in new and efficient ways. Still, it seems that the image quality of the current technology is severely hindering VR from reaching its full potential. Content creators should hence emphasize aspects of interactivity like pacing and exploration to mitigate the negative effects of the image quality.