Merrell and Framestore explore peaks with immersive imagery to inspire film festival attendees
In collaboration with Ocar-winning visual effects content studio (known for work on the film Gravity) and advertising agency Hill Holliday, Merrell took Sundance attendees through a vertigo inducing Oculus Rift “hike”experience. The virtual reality experience was called TrailScape for the launch of its new hiking boot, the Capra. The boot was named after the Capra mountain goat, known to alongside mountainsides and treacherous trails.
“With the emergence of virtual reality, we thought we could really give people a wonderful, immersive experience that could take them as close to the outdoors as possible,” Rick McHugh, Creative Director and Copywriter at Hill Holliday says. “Virtual reality is so powerful, it really fits perfectly with the Merrell brand goal of inspiring folks to get outside and be awed by nature.”
This project is one of the first commercial in-motion Oculus Rift experiences we have seen yet. Users are able to walk around wearing the headset with motion capture technology. The experience challenged Sundance goers to balance along rock ledges and hop on top of a suspension bridge that appeared to be falling apart below your feet.
Mike Woods, Executive Creative Director at Framestore explains why virtual reality is an effective marketing tool:
If you construct your environments to be as lifelike and believable as possible, then you are taking people into your world. We’ve seen a trend online that proves that bigger, more immersive imagery is a more effective tool for marketing, and this takes this idea to an ultimate point. Come into our world. Be a part of our story. These are truly compelling tools for marketers. And I don’t think we’ve even begun to explore new storytelling rules. This is very early days in a whole new genre.
Virtual reality experiences with a sense of physical exploration are bringing us closer to getting off the couch and into a holodeck like environment. Although creative agencies are taking advantage of the latest virtual reality technology to bring innovative marketing experiences to consumers, motion tracking immersion can benefit a variety of industries outside of experiential stunts.