Virtual reality and goldfish

Jan 04, 2018

Cayley Olivier

I attended a case where the defendant, Godinez, was accused of robbery of Malin Torres under Penal Code 212.5 ( C ) and unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle under Vehicle Code 10851 ( A ). I found the different methods both attornies used to deliver their closing arguments very intriguing as they both had different approaches.

The court system relates to advertising in numerous ways. Firstly, lawyers must be able to market or sell their case to a jury in a similar was advertising professionals do to consumers. The key skill behind this is being persuasive. Lawyers should use storytelling, similarly to advertisers, to engage the jury and ensure all information is factual. Advertising is monitored by organizations like FTC to ensure truthful information is conveyed to their audience. Lastly, both advertisers and attorneys should practice effective communication.

Despite advertising and law having many similarities, there are some significant difference.s when it comes to law, there is no glitz, glam, or aesthetic creativity. Additionally, concise statements and technological innovation don't have a large place in the court system. Attorneys, judges, and the bases of U.S. law in the Constitution are more verbose and lengthy than catchy one-liners.

It is important to recognize that by applying principles of advertising, the trial process could maintain its integrity while still providing an engaging experience for all involved. The inclusion of virtual reality and application for recent research about attention spans that is being applied to advertising could help improve the jury trial process, making it easier, more effective and perhaps, dare I say, fun.

VR has recently become very popular in the advertising realm. It gives the user an experience as though they were truly immersed in a real alternate world. Just as VR is being used to change the advertising industry, VR could be used to dynamically enhance the courtroom. By filming and recording evidence on VR compatible cameras, a simple set of VR glasses could put the jury right in the middle of the crime scene so that they may be able to better see and understand the case, thus making more informed decisions.

Attention spans can be defined as "the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted." The average attention span is equal to or less than a goldfish. That's right, this shimmery household pet may be able to hold attention longer than we could. Knowing attention spans have gotten increasingly shorter, advertisers have created the 6-second ad. Applying the 6-second ad to an attorney's closing argument could not only allow the attorney to get their point across in a shorter amount of time but would prevent the jury from losing attention on important aspects o the trial.

The trial process will likely stary similar to the way it is now for some time, however by applying these two new discovers in advertising to the courtroom, law could become more engaging and dynamic than ever before. Afterall, if one only has 6-8 seconds to get a point across to a bunch of distracted goldfish, why not do it with a set of VR glasses?


Cayley Olivier, a student in Jon Pfeiffer's Fall 2017 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response being asked how her major, advertising, could improve the trial process.

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