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Tanner Harp
Tanner Harp

Director, Marketing

FreemanXP

How to get high tech in a traditionally tech-resistant demographic

Conventional wisdom. It tells us that if you aren’t targeting a spring chicken, the latest technology breakthroughs should be left by the wayside. 

True or false? 

According to Diana Kurnit of AARP, totally false. So how does she do it? Before we get there, let me set the stage. Afterward you’ll think about AARP in a whole new way. 

Here’s the short version: 

Most people know about AARP. Few realize the breadth of its services. So, in 2016, the team set out on a Block Party tour to create experiences for people and spread the word about the organization. 

They attended eight festivals around the U.S. (such as Sturgis!), and they brought the party: skateboard ramps, cycle spin art, dancing, and more. In 2017, they added VR experiences to the mix. 

If tech is only helpful in terms of enhancing the core experience, then why add VR? Part of AARP is helping with isolationism of seniors. Virtual reality helps makes life experiences more accessible. 

AARP partnered with Google to distribute Google Cardboard and create content — including Block Parties, travel destinations, and more — so that those who can’t physically attend the events can still experience them. At the Block Parties, AARP hands out the Google Cardboard devices and does live demos of VR content. 

The VR content lives on AARP’s YouTube channel. For example, AARP captured the Sturgis Block Party and created a VR experience for those who have always wanted to go to Sturgis or experience the Block Party. 

The content is available for anyone — which is especially useful for isolated seniors who wish they could be transported to another place! 

What we see from AARP is a fantastic use of technology to enhance the brand’s core tenants. The Block Parties have been extremely successful, and I’m sure we’ll continue to see more great things come from this brand.

For more on VR, download our insights paper, "Bring Imagination to Life with Virtual Reality."

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