Fasten your VR seatbelt: Ford’s the latest Louisville employer to debut virtual reality marketing

The automaker today unveiled a free virtual reality app that (almost) literally puts U.S. consumers in the driver’s seat. Ford says the new app for iOS and Android users “delivers a powerful storytelling platform for consumers and fans to experience Ford innovations like never before,” according to a press release.

The first content is the story behind the new Ford GT’s return to the iconic French 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June. (Eight-plus minute video, above, but you’ll need to watch it with the app.) Ford developed the software with production company Tool of North America, in Santa Monica, Calif., a leader in virtual reality and 360-degree content and mobile app creation. Consumers can download the app now for iOS and Android. More about Ford’s Louisville operations.

Ford’s app follows Brown-Forman’s dive into VR in mid-July with a 360-degree VR video promoting the flagship Jack Daniel’s brand on its 150th anniversary. The spirits maker showed it at festivals this summer, with plans also for September’s Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas. Watch that video here:

Companies across industries see potential in VR marketing to reach the most coveted consumers, young buyers attracted to the latest technologies. Especially hot sectors include auto, travel and fashion, according to Inc. magazine. Volvo launched a “Volvo Reality” app, immersing consumers in a VR test drive. “Shot on a 60-mile stretch of road,” Inc. said last spring, “this first-ever fully immersive virtual reality test drive blends a CG build of the interior of the car with footage shot on a 60-mile stretch of road in Vancouver, and can be viewed with or without Google Cardboard.”

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