Virtual Reality

Rain or Shine Googles Latest 360º Immersive Spotlight Story

About a year ago Google launched a new line of video shorts for YouTube called Google Spotlight Stories, a specific immersive video platform with mobile users in mind. The video below can be panned through as the action takes place, but where this really shines is when you watch the video on an Android or iOS device in the native YouTube app.

Rain or Shine directed by Felix Massie is the latest in the series of shorts and is really quite impressive beyond the technology. The story and character development are superb drawing the viewer in and engaging with them as the explore the environment as the story plays out. The story is simple yet clever. The main character, Ella puts on a pair of magical sunglasses and travels through her London neighborhood creating chaos before learning how to use the glasses for good.

This really is a better experience on your phone, so if you have a chance watch it and the other Google Spotlight Stories there.

 

To view the show in full interactive 360, use the YouTube App on a compatible Android device (https://goo.gl/7BYwRJ). For iOS, download the Google Spotlight Stories app now (https://goo.gl/eadPnO).

Subscribe to our channel here: https://youtube.com/gss

Learn more here: https://www.google.com/atap/spotlight…

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoogleATAP

These interactive stories are optimized for a fast connection (WiFi or LTE) and a supported Android device. Also, please update your YouTube app for the best experience.

For more information on supported devices and known issues, please visit our FAQ page: https://goo.gl/7BYwRJ

Put Your Happy Goggles On.

Pretty much everyone knows what a McDonald’s Happy Meal is. What most people don’t know is, while he didn’t invent the concept, Bob Bernstein of Bernstein Rein advertising in Kansas City polished the concept into what it became. That however has little to do with this post. The video below is for “Happy Goggles” McDonald’s foray into the world of VR and an attempt to sell more Happy Meals. The concept is pretty straight forward, the box has a lens kit instead of a toy. The box becomes the viewer, that your kids use to interact with a game designed for McDonalds. Right now it is being tested in Sweden, but I have a feeling they will roll this out worldwide if it shows any kind of success. The link to the website above goes to a fairly slick site that explains how it works and shows the game in action.

Gatorade’s 360 Degree Immersive Baseball Experience is Pretty Damn Cool.

With the Kansas City Royals about to clinch their first division title in 30 years my head has been a little baseball focused these days. This afternoon I came across a new interactive ad from Gatorade designed to work in Chrome, or the latest mobile app version of YouTube. Yes unfortunately for some, you have to check this out in Chrome.

What we have is a 360 degree virtual reality baseball experience that puts you the viewer in Bryce Harpers Point of View (I wish it was a Royals player though). When you load the video you can pan around the stadium from the on deck circle while waiting to get up to bat in the bottom of the 9th. Then you get to go toe to toe with a Major League pitcher and see if you can smack a fastball out of the park.

 

It’s a great use of technology with little product placement or marketing going on. It is however memorable and there is a tiny little Gatorade logo in the bottom right corner of the video reminding you who brought you this experience.

TOMS “One for One” VR Campaign for Peru.

IMG_5179Over the weekend I was in Chicago for a bit of R&R, good food, and fun. While I was there I decided to hit the Miracle Mile for a bit of research and investigation into marketing trends, displays, and general design trends. I tend to find that merchandising, and packaging for some of the larger retail giants seems to be a good indicator for emerging design trends. While I was at Nordstrom’s I noticed that TOMS Shoes had a number of VR headsets and headphones set up, and the sales staff was encouraging people to try them on.

Since I am a huge fan of technology, and using it to extend the marketing experience I decided to investigate.

What I found was a 3 and a half minute video with solid surround sound audio. The message wasn’t about TOMS shoes, instead it was about the TOMS One for One campaign that is a massive omni channel campaign for good. TOMS One for One provides shoes, water, sight, safe birth and bully prevention world wide.

I have been trying to find an example video to link in here but haven’t been able to come across anything. So, I’ll just have to describe the experience, and if you are in Chicago or a Nordstrom’s that has the set up, check it out for yourself. Basically this is a full immersive experience where you are introduced to children in a village in Peru, and volunteers that explain the program and ask you to get involved. Everywhere you look, the world moves with you. It is Virtual Reality in action. You look down, you see the earth beneath your feet. Up and you see the sky. Straight ahead and left to right, video of the children in the village interacting with you, the virtual camera. The message is straight forward. Buy TOMS shoes and Tom’s will donate a matching pair of shoes to a child in Peru. There is a secondary call to action, asking you the viewer to get involved by going to the TOMS One for One website, where additional options are available. It’s pretty damn impressive. The video quality could have been a higher resolution, but you don’t really care when you are experiencing this. The audio was fantastic. And while, I tended to forget at times what the campaign was about, I was distracted by the cool tech, it did what it was supposed to. It kept me thinking about it, got me involved, and connected me to the Brand.

In addition to the VR set up, Tom’s has also launched a number of micro sites, a YouTube Channel, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts all of which are coordinated to drive traffic back to the main site and encourage the visitor to donate and give.

Very cool stuff. Great campaign.

The Future via HoloLens.

I love seeing old images and films about how people thought the future was going to be. Sometimes they were pretty close, other times they were really off. Either way, it’s always entertaining. If you look at the way the 1950’s and 60’s saw the 21st century we should all be riding around in flying cars, piloted by our personal robots while we eat food that was instantly processed out of thin air.

back in the late 1990’s Virtual Reality goggles and software were white-hot for a quick blip and then faded into the background. Recently Facebook has brought it back to the forefront by spending billions on their product. Google launched Glass which they have also have recently announced they will be stopping development on, and Now Microsoft has jumped into the futures game with HoloLens.

Like all those visions of the future from the past, all three of these tech giants see our future with headsets that augment our reality with 3D visions and gesture controlled virtual reality seamlessly blended into our real world. The video has grabbed more than 10 million views on YouTube in less than a week, and it looks pretty compelling. There is a prediction that this could launch in 2016, but I doubt it will look like this when it does.

I still can’t see people wearing large clunk headsets all day long, and virtual reality replacing your expensive flat screen TV. What I can see is this being used in business for training, education, product approval, collaboration, etc. None the less the Microsoft vision of the future looks pretty slick, and if only half of this happens it would be pretty exciting.