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P&G China Wants You to Buy a VR Girlfriend

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Chinese consumers have been among the earliest adopters of VR, with an estimated 2.52 million headsets to be sold in China this year alone.

In a bid to remain relevant with this young and tech savvy demographic, P&G China recently released two trailers encouraging singles to celebrate Valentine’s Day by buying a VR boyfriend or girlfriend on the country’s largest online shopping portal Taobao. These clips were created by Alibaba’s VR lab, Gnome Magic, and star two young Chinese celebrities Dilireba and Yang-Yang.

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While the POV videos both start in bed, those hoping for morning VR delight are quickly disappointed. The plot unfolds innocently enough with plenty of cheek pinching, head patting, dancing and a tepid marriage proposal by Yang Yang.

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The clip promises an immersive girlfriend experience that looks reminiscent of a Chinese soap opera. The actual VR footage has unfortunately already been taken down but the trailers are still available on Youtube.

May 20th is a recent addition to the growing number of Valentine’s Days in China. The Chinese for 5/20 (May 20th), ‘wu er ling’, sounds very similar to ‘wo ai ni’, which means ‘I love you’. Linguistically it may be a bit of a stretch, but the holiday is gaining in popularity and advertisers are taking notice.

For Alibaba, this foray into VR is far more than a simple exercise in branding. Earlier this year the company announced the creation of their Buy+ division which has been tasked with creating a fully immersive VR shopping experience.  Alibaba also led this year’s investment round for mixed-reality company Magic Leap.

Image Source: Proctor & Gamble China

About the Scout

Stefan Innerhofer

Stefan Innerhofer is a co-founder at StitchedUp VR, a Shanghai based VFX company specializing in VR post-production and stitching. In his downtime Stefan likes to drink Negronis and tinker with old cameras.

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