How Big Brands are Engaging Consumers with VR

“Branded content is like the golden pot at the end of the rainbow: nobody knows if it truly exists, but it sounds so beautiful,” says Nicolas Alcala, CEO and director of creativity at Future Lighthouse.

The studio, which has offices in Los Angeles and Madrid, specialises in VR narrative and fiction, and is one of an emerging breed that operates at the crossroads of storytelling and technology. In addition to working with big brands such as Sony Entertainment and Fly Emirates, they have produced original VR content that has been screened at a variety of film festivals such as Raindance.

Now, their latest commercial campaign — BeefeaterXO — has also been nominated for a Tribeca X Award (one of only 10 finalists for the prize that recognises the best in branded storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment), the first and only VR piece to have achieved this accolade.

The immersive experience employs over 50 actors and 60 technical and creative staff, took 5 days to shoot, and a staggering 4,000 hours of post-production to bring everything together.

Tech Trends VR Tech Trends VR Consultancy Beefeater Future Lighthouse

Beefeater committed a significant portion of its Q1 online spend into creating, launching and implementing the initiative, and the investment seems to have paid off in a big way. During the ten weeks it ran, the campaign attracted more than 20 million views and 75,000 interactions, as well as tens of thousands of downloads. Impressive metrics by any standard, especially for such a new medium as VR.

This campaign is helping brand and marketing professionals understand the power for VR in brand building,” says Raquel Alonso Movilla, senior brand manager of Beefeater. “BeefeaterXO is an integrated transmedia campaign designed to engage with people’s hearts; we wanted to transcend the common storytelling and create a real experience,” she explains

Alcala adds that such content is disrupting the advertising and marketing industry through cutting-edge virtual reality storytelling, and sees huge potential for brands to leverage the new medium creatively.

“It’s one of those moments in history when a brand decides to set a new standard and change how things are done,” said Nicolas. “It’s engagement and creativity taken to the next level, creating a new story world for the brand along with top level artists.”

The campaign was produced and created by Future Lighthouse with the help of VFX Entropy Studio and La Despensa advertising agency and was directed by NYSU. It is available for Oculus, Steam, Gear VR and in-app version for iOS and Android.

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Originally published at Alice Bonasio.