In 2016, Feast ventured into virtual reality production. We created two virtual reality videos for SYLVANIA and Canadian Tire. One was a full-blown VR activation, experienced on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets during a Canadian Tire trade show activation in Quebec City. The other was a 360 degree video shot using a drone flying high above the Scarborough Bluffs. Both were massive successes, not only experienced in headsets, but also on mobile through 360 video views on Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook Advertising Success
Both 360 video ads produced stellar results in our Facebook advertisements. With less that 1 cent per view with a relevance of 10, the ads outperformed all similar ads on Facebook during the fourth quarter. The key was standing out from the competition and wowing the viewer with new technology and strong visual content.
A Night Drive Through Banff: VR Experience
As part of our 2016 SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA campaign, we created a VR experience called “A Night Drive through Banff” for SYLVANIA and Canadian Tire. We wanted to push the boundaries of the technology and have consumers connect with the brand on a visceral level. VR would allow the user to truly experience the majestic beauty of the Canadian Rockies, while also virtually experiencing the product in action.
The production and execution of the VR experience was a challenge. In order to keep costs down, we integrated the VR shoot into the larger scale commercial production that was taking place at the same time. The challenge there was integrating so many different cameras at once for the many layers of production; while the crew was shooting the VR portion, we also had one camera shooting stills, one shooting behind the scenes, two shooting time lapses in different cities, and a large-scale production crew shooting the TV commercial. However, integrating the VR shoot into the larger scale production only benefited the final VR product. The results were a huge success.
The final VR piece was built for use on the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets. Viewers could experience the night roads and take in the beautiful view of the Canadian landscape by looking in any direction. In the fully immersive format, users could stand by the mountains and interact with the scene to learn more about places in Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Then, they would head for a night drive towards Banff National Park.
As the female character from the TV commercial drove, users sat in the passenger seat. To simulate the in-car experience, we added a friendly GPS navigation voice that would encourage users to look around and even choose a music stations. This segment also included visual effects on the road that highlighted the product features of the headlights as it illuminated the dark, winding road.
In the final segment, users could engage with our video content by watching the TV commercial and behind-the-scenes video, as they played in large cinematic screens right inside the headset. This connection to the TV commercial provided a greater context to the experience. The VR experience was like being inside the TV commercial itself.
During the Canadian Tire trade show, word spread quickly about our VR experience and the installation became the most talked about, and most engaging activation at the show. We also created a simplified 360˚ video of the experience, and Facebook viewers expressed their praise and excitement for the technology as “ridiculously awesome”. The VR experience of the Canadian Rockies also provided travel inspiration for those who’ve never been there and nostalgia for those who have. This feeling made the SYLVANIA brand feel connected to the Canadian psyche, and fit right in with Canadian Tire’s brand message. All-in-all, the experience with the creative, on both the VR and 360˚ video platforms greatly increased brand positivity and brand awareness, with the Facebook 360˚ video scoring a relevance of 10 and a cost per engagement of $0.01.