Virtual reality (VR) offers a new medium for marketing communications, where consumers are immersed into technologically synthesized ‘real-use’ experiences of products and services. In this study, we theorize and investigate empirically how consumers derive meanings from VR experiences. Using the ZMET technique, we uncover three themes: VR as democratization, VR as embodied escapism, and VR as actualized anxiety. Our focus on the consumption meanings of VR experiences provides an illuminating entrée into the discussion of how this technology is likely to shape marketing communications and consumer behavior in the foreseeable future.
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