‘Dead By Daylight’ Gripping Watchability Is Driving Its Awareness

Mathieu Côté, game director at Behavior Interactive

Practically every horror fan has claimed that they can survive or outsmart a movie monster, or has pointed out the mistakes that the protagonists make. Behavior Interactive challenges those fans to put their skills and knowhow to the test with the game Dead by Daylight.

In Dead by Daylight, four survivors must work together to outwit and escape an unstoppable killer that’s coming for them. The killer can be any one of 10 different characters, equipped with signature weapons and abilities that enable them to hunt down the group. Although the killer may be impeded by clever players, he can never be stopped, and the survivors can never go on the offensive.

Recent additions to the game have come from classic horror movies, beginning with Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise as well as with movie protagonist Laurie Strode as a survivor. Other movie killers include Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. More recently, Freddy Kruger from A Nightmare on Elm Street showed up with Quentin Smith as a new survivor.

“We always wanted a game where you could play as the villain,” said Mathieu Côté, game director at Behavior Interactive, explaining to AListDaily how the developer came up with the concept. “We prototyped a few things and somehow ended up with a hide-and-seek game, and the mechanics and tension that created let us know that we had something fun. So, we mixed those two together and created a world that’s inspired strongly by the 1970s and 1980s slasher movies. It’s an absolutely unfair game, where four survivors are trying their best to repair generators, open a door and get out while a killer is mercilessly chasing them down.”

Although having movie characters adds extra personality to Dead by Daylight, it’s the unpredictability of the game that keeps players coming back for more. The maps are procedurally generated, and survivors don’t know which killer they’re facing until they come face-to-face with him, creating a tremendous sense of uncertainty. Killers are also controlled by players instead of an artificial intelligence. Côté said that there’s no better intelligence than real people. They create a tension that’s impossible to replicate using AI.

“Playing against other players will always keep it fresh,” said Côté.

As it turns out, a horror movie survival game is as much fun to watch as it is to play. It’s also driving awareness to the game.

“The biggest motor we’ve had so far has been Twitch streamers and YouTubers,” said Côté. “Mostly, it’s a good show. These people play the game and they’re genuinely reacting. The stress and tension created by the game make for an entertaining show, and they’ve been growing their viewer base because of that, bringing the game to the attention of many more people.”

According to Côté, even though the studio has done numerous interviews at Comic-Con and other events, things still come down to that close one-to-one relationship with its community. The developer hosts weekly livestreams on Twitch, and Côté said that the company is present on the Steam forums and Reddit.

Bringing in licensed killers wasn’t done on a whim, as Côté said that Behavior had always wanted to bring in iconic characters but felt that it had to establish its own story and lore first. The studio then got in touch with license holders about bringing characters into the game, and in some cases, the license holders approached them.

Characters like Michael Myers must fit certain criteria, including having a physical presence, which precludes ghosts but doesn’t necessarily disqualify Freddy Krueger.

“We needed to make sure that whatever deal we did would pay respect to the beloved characters we were bringing in,” said Côté. “They also had to make sense in our world by stepping into our world and exercise their power without having to change them too much.”

Côté also explained why the original characters were chosen instead of ones from recent movie franchise reboots.

“We talked to a few people—and maybe it’s because of my age, but the original Michael Myers from the 1979 movie was what we were hoping to get,” said Côté. “He’s the iconic villain and the one who started it all. Same thing with Leatherface. We went with the 1974 movie because it broke ground, established things that didn’t exist before, and he was the original. We could have gone a different way, but for us, this was the best resolution possible.”

The studio also worked closely with the movie license holders to ensure that the killers had an authentic feel.

“For Michael Myers and Leatherface, we were lucky enough that they (the studios) were very involved and interested in what we were doing,” Côté explained. “There was a lot of back-and-forth. In the case of Myers, they were able to show us images from Haddonfield that weren’t in the movie. They were recon shots and reference materials that gave us much more detail, since the movie is lit in a very cinematic way, so a lot of those details are difficult to know.”

Despite how some of these characters have been around for more than 40 years, they still maintain a strong grip on people’s imaginations. It seems as though they’re unkillable on a number of levels. Côté believe that these characters endure because they broke new ground when they first appeared.

“The impact they had at that moment sent ripples that still haven’t died down,” he said. “They were smartly designed, and they tapped into some of our core fears—things that everyone is afraid of—the guy with the mask, who could be anybody and anywhere. The dehumanization of the mask works well for Myers, and Leatherface is the same kind of principle.

“In a sense, Leatherface is scary for a completely different reason. He’s not evil or a monster. He’s a big, scared child that doesn’t understand and wants to protect his family. That’s scary because he’s a wild and powerful force, and you don’t know when he’s going to go off. But in a sense, you can still feel for him. There’s a good mix of alien and familiar concepts.”

Although the characters have been around for decades, these movies may seem to have a uniquely North American appeal. However, Côté said that Dead by Daylight has a strong global audience, and the way the company engages with that audience is through the survivors.

Many of the original survivors were inspired from the company’s home city of Montreal. The studio is working to diversify its characters, which is why it’s important for the game to continue developing its own characters, stories and lore. Some of the newer survivors include a Brit, a person from Argentina and a woman from China. Additionally, one of the non-licensed killers is The Huntress, inspired by Eastern European and Russian folklore.

Côté said the game worked to go beyond the horror movie tropes found in movies like A Cabin in the Woods—stereotypical horror movie characters like the athlete, nerd and virgin. The original characters wore shirts denoting their roles, but that concept was later abandoned.

“It was fun, but we thought it was a little limiting,” said Côté. “Also, some of these tropes still perpetuate cultural archetypes that we’re not really fond of, so we didn’t think we needed them. Instead, what we decided to do was create characters that are real people. You wouldn’t blink if you bumped into them on the street because they look like you and me. We also made sure they were all adults, so there are no kids or teenagers. Most importantly, we wanted to create characters that you could empathize and identify with. They’re much rooted in modern culture, inspired by people from around the world.”

It’s this kind of engagement, coupled with the sense of uncertainty, that creates a sense of tension and keep players coming back for more.

“[It’s about] hiding and not knowing if they’re going to catch you or not,” said Côté. “The fact that you don’t know how the map is going to turn out or who you’re up against. You don’t know if the player is good or not. Those moments, where your hiding behind a tree and the killer misses you, then turns around and spots you, creates a genuine reaction. Your palms will get sweaty and your hearts races. This still happens when players are a thousand hours into the game.”

Red Bull’s VR Experience Drives Year-Round Engagement

Red Bull is furthering its footprint in virtual reality by bringing a driving competition to engage motorsport enthusiasts and caffeine-craving fans alike.

Fans who visit the Switzerland-located Red Bull Media World now have the chance to compete against Formula E driver Sébastien Buem’s fastest lap time from last season’s Formula E Paris ePrix through a personalized and social VR experience.

VR entertainment company Virtually Live partnered with Formula E and created the Red Bull-branded bespoke activation by using real-time data from Buemi’s race car.

“The immersive nature of the experience makes it completely unique,” Oliver Weingarten, director of motorsport at Virtually Live, told AListDaily. “Giving a consumer the opportunity to not just sit in a race car going around a race track during the race, but being able to feel the speed and each turn is as close to the real experience of actually being in the car. Consumers crave content and access—and that’s what we’re providing in tandem with a social experience.”

Formula E driver Sébastien Buem at Red Bull Media World

“This is a really innovative experience, which allows me to engage with my fans, at the same time as giving them the experience of driving my Formula E car in VR around the Paris ePrix track,” said Buem.

Weingarten said they’ll continue to update the campaign as required and showcase it to fans of not just Formula E and motorsports, but general visitors to the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Luzern through social media channels and ongoing publicity directly from Red Bull. In addition to the Austrian energy-drink maker, Virtually Live has also created experiences for Audi, TE Connectivity and Julius Baer.

A Red Bull spokesperson told AListDaily the brand is activating the experience at the Swiss Museum of Transport through its owned channels as well leveraging the platform the museum presents. The brand will also be using internal marketing channels, including web and social presences, customer mailings as well as numerous digital advertising opportunities on-site to market the VR experience.

“Red Bull Media World, located in Switzerland’s most-visited museum, provides the perfect platform to surprise and inspire our consumers and excite with the fascinating topics of media and innovation,” the spokesperson said. “It will be activated all year around.”

Red Bull arguably is the envy of other brands, creating premium content and entertainment masked as marketing. The privately held company also creates extreme-sports-centric VR experiences on its own channels.

On its site earlier this month, Red Bull wrote “the verdict is still out on virtual reality’s best place in gaming” while favorably describing the PlayStation VR game Gran Turismo Sport.

Showcasing scintillating action in VR-branded experiences appears to be serving the likes of Red Bull well, according to recent reports. In-game virtual reality ads boosts same-day recall for 70 percent of users whenever a 3D-branded object is inserted into interactive gameplay, a YuMe study found.

Last year, Mountain Dew similarly put fans at the driver’s seat of immersion by creating a VR driving experience with NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott.

As branded VR content continues to rise, so does consumer affection. A Virtual Sky study testing the effectiveness of marketing in VR indicated brand recall was at least eight times more effective and resulted in double the intent to share.

“The stories that stick most and inspire our audience are the mind-boggling ones that are beyond ordinary and never been seen before,” Lukas Cudrigh, senior vice president of digital at Red Bull Media House, told AListDaily earlier this year. “The Red Bull brand is interdependent with experiences . . . It’s a super exciting era right now. Everything is in motion. We are evidence that anyone can be in entertainment today.”

Twitch COO Explains Power Of Community In Esports

Twitch co-founder and chief operating officer Kevin Lin was a keynote speaker at the VIEW conference in Torino, Italy last week. He was among several key video game luminaries, including Bonfire Studios’ Rob Pardo and Oculus’ Rex Bernard Yee. Lin talked about the rise of the streaming platform, as well as the company’s continual evolution post-Amazon acquisition. Immediately following his presentation, Lin spoke with AListDaily about the role esports has played in the streaming giant’s success.

“The genesis of Twitch was StarCraft 2,” Lin explained. “The esports community and a lot of pro players from StarCraft 1 and Brood War transitioned over very fast. We saw these commentators popping up and making YouTube videos about how to get better at the game. We were obsessed with the game and we reached out to the individual players and the individual content creators.”

Lin said his team wanted to not only be able to watch their favorite players play, but also watch them compete. They saw esports as a great display of their skill, and a way for Twitch to reach new audiences that would come back and watch the pros play, engage with them and even play games with them.

Lin said that today, esports accounts for approximately 25 percent of total Twitch traffic. Additionally, one of the company’s key esports partners is Blizzard Entertainment, the same developer that helped inspire the platform.

“We’re working with Blizzard to unlock and test different types of economics,” Lin said. “Cheermotes is a program we launched for the Heroes of the Storm Global Championships, which allows people to submit a new emoticon in the chat for their favorite team. The teams earn revenue from that emoticon being used in chat, and then there’s a global leaderboard that the community spends around HGC to unlock the game items for everybody.”

This concept draws on the power of the community, which is something Lin has watched Valve Software successfully harness with The International Dota 2 tournament.

“We’re also testing things with Twitch Prime around Blizzard esports events,” Lin said. “We figure there are cool, unique items that we can give for free to Prime subscribers as they watch their favorite events or their favorite streamers, so we’re testing a lot of these different economics. Blizzard has been very progressive in their thinking there as well, so that’s what we’re trying to do with them around their esports programs.”

As esports has become more mainstream, bolstered by companies like ESL, Activision Blizzard and ELeague, new sponsorship opportunities have opened up for Twitch and other livestreaming platforms.

“We’ve been in the business now for quite some time, and when it comes to connecting brands with the esports and gaming audience, it’s about combining a good pitch with the education process of, ‘What does it mean to watch video games?’” Lin explained. “Video games, in general, were very stigmatized culturally—particularly in America—for a very long time. It’s now breaking through that, but there are still a lot of folks that run brands who are not of that mindset, so you have to change that mindset. Then it’s about understanding how this gaming demographic engages with content and how they engage with brands. A lot of the work that we do now that’s outside of standard media sales is creating custom campaigns for brands.”

Lin pointed to the Nature Man “Twitch Plays Old Spice” campaign, which replicated the Twitch Plays Pokémon adventure by allowing viewers to control where a real man explored nature. Twitch worked with Old Spice to integrate content creators into the commercials, which gave the brand added authenticity.

“Brands like Mountain Dew and Doritos have come into the space in interesting ways that really embrace what we do,” Lin said. “They’re relearning how to create a genuine message for this audience and they get the benefits of having the community share this content featuring our commentators. A lot of people come and just slap their logo on and get nothing. You can’t do that in our space. The eyeballs are there, but they’re much more discerning as consumers. I think we’ve done a lot to educate brands about that.”

Community is the central component in what makes Twitch work, according to Lin. That’s why the company has continued to learn from its users, even as it faces strong competition from companies like YouTube and Facebook.

“We’ve always had competition, and we like to know what they’re up to and make sure that they’re not seeing something in the market that we’re missing. But we learned very early on that if you talk to your community, and you talk to your creators, they have pretty good ideas on what they need to be successful,” Lin said. “That’s part of the reason why we have TwitchCon; to have them meet more of the team at Twitch and have that direct line of communication so our product managers, our engineers and everyone else in the company understands what it is that our community wants.”

Eggo, ‘Stranger Things’ Pairing Generates Over $200K Earned Media Value

Netflix’ breakout hit Stranger Things is full of 1980s pop culture references, including Kellogg’s frozen waffle brand, Eggo. The sweet treat from many viewers’ childhoods is the favorite food of Eleven, a mysterious girl on the show with special abilities. Luckily for those who felt a strong connection to the character and nostalgia for warm Eggos, the brand is still alive and well today.

Completely unaware of the brand’s appearance—or importance—in the first season of Stranger Things, Eggo nonetheless felt an outpouring of love from the fans. Not wanting to “L’Eggo” of that brand affinity, the brand prepared for Stranger Things Season Two with a series of experiential marketing efforts and campaigns across social media.

One such campaign is a menu of Eggo waffle recipes to pair with each episode of Season Two. An Eggo food truck arrived at the Season Two premiere in LA, where attendees and fans could sample the promoted recipes.

Mouth breathers on the internet can be annoying, so the brand created an extension for Google Chrome called “L’Eggo My Spoilers.” The extension specifically blocks spoilers related to Stranger Things so audiences can let the story unravel in their own time.

Needless to say, the excitement leading up to Stranger Things Season 2 was widespread, especially on social media. In the last 30 days, the show has been mentioned two million times, according to measurements by social media analytics firm Talkwalker.

Now that Eggo waffles are synonymous with Stranger Things, we calculated the earned media value from posts about the two brands from October 1 to 30.

“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, Ayzenberg Group established the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index (AEMVI) and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties. (Editor’s note: AListDaily is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg Group. To read the updated AEMVI report reflecting the rapid changes in social, click here.)

Throughout the month of October, Eggo was mentioned over 41,200 times on Twitter alone, with a spike on October 27—the premiere date of Stranger Things Season Two. Eggo was mentioned 10,564 times on October 27 and 9,087 of those posts also mentioned Stranger Things. This engagement continued over Stranger Things’ premiere weekend, with a majority of Eggo-related posts also mentioning the show.

As for the official Eggo Twitter account, the brand has shown its pride for being Eleven’s favorite food with a number of posts, including this one that garnered over $1,000 in EMV.

The official Stranger Things account also shared the love, especially when one episode featured a special, sugary treat made with Eggos.

Overall, it’s safe to say that being the favorite food of Eleven has its benefits. Mentions for both Eggo and Stranger Things on Twitter earned the waffle brand approximately $201,801 in earned media value.

Facebook Follows Twitter’s Ad Transparency Model

Just days after Twitter announced its “transparency center” to demystify their ad-targeting algorithms and force political advertisers to disclose information on their campaigns, Facebook released a blog detailing precisely the same transparency features for Facebook ads as well.

“When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads,” said Rob Goldman, vice president of Facebook Ads. “That level of transparency is good for democracy and it’s good for the electoral process. Transparency helps everyone, especially political watchdog groups and reporters, keep advertisers accountable for who they say they are and what they say to different groups.”

Facebook ads will be displayed as they appear in the News Feed, regardless of targeting.

This feature will apply to Instagram and Messenger in addition to Facebook proper.

Although the service in its current state will only display active ads, the blog detailed future updates, including a searchable archive of political ads and details on the amount spent, impressions delivered and demographics targeted.

Additionally, Facebook may require some political advertisers to verify their identity and location to buy ads in the first place. Once the ads are live, users will be able to see both details on the advertiser and an explanation as to why they are seeing that specific ad.


Facebook said it will first test these features in Canada and roll them out to the US “by this summer” before the midterm elections in November.

The newly implemented ad features come less than a month after Facebook testified before Congress over its political ads during the 2016 presidential election, and less than two months after the company came under fire for allowing advertisers to specifically target ads to anti-Semites.

Other social media platforms could potentially jump on board the advertising transparency bandwagon too. Senator John McCain announced a bipartisan bill earlier this month to apply FEC broadcast and print regulations to internet sites earlier this month.

“US laws requiring transparency in political campaigns have not kept pace with rapid advances in technology, allowing our adversaries to take advantage of these loopholes to deceive millions of American voters with impunity,” Senator McCain said in a press release. “Our bipartisan legislation would address this serious challenge by expanding landmark campaign finance law to apply to internet and digital communications platforms that command a significant audience.”

Crackle’s ‘SuperMansion’ Creators Talk Rethinking Superhero Shows

Crackle, the ad-supported TV and movie streaming platform, has been taking off thanks in no small part to original shows like SuperMansion, a stop-animation television program created by some of the same people behind Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken.

SuperMansion is an animated sitcom starring Bryan Cranston, Heidi Gardner, Tucker Gilmore, Keegan-Michael Key, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jillian Bell; Seth Green is one of the executive producers. The series involves a group of superheroes who must deal with each other’s quirks while living in the same house and dealing with supervillains.

The series includes the same kind of edgy—sometimes raunchy—and off-the-wall humor fans expect from the creators of Robot Chicken, and actors Chris Pine (Wonder Woman; Star Trek: Beyond) and Keegan-Michael Key (The Lego Movie; Keanu) were both nominated for Emmys for their performances on SuperMansion. The show released its Halloween special SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween in early October to help prepare audiences for the season 3 premiere in 2018.

AListDaily sat down with show creators Zeb Wells, Matt Senreich and series executive producer Tom Root. All three write and animate the show while Wells and Root voice two of the main characters. Wells kicked off the discussion by talking about balancing the humor between SuperMansion and Robot Chicken, which features parodies of characters such as Superman and Batman.

“What I think is fun about the Robot Chicken superhero stuff is that we’ve given Superman and Batman their own Robot Chicken personality, which is different from the comic books,” said Wells. “So, we knew we couldn’t take those personalities and put them on these characters—they had to be different. But once we got through the fifth episode, then the characters felt like the comedy was coming from that instead of the parody jokes. Now they’re more character-based jokes. Now that we’re on season 3, we’re far enough removed that there isn’t a whole lot of bleed.”

With movies like Wonder WomanThor: Ragnarok and Justice League—just to name a few—busting into theaters this year, it’s clear that superheroes are seeing a golden age at box offices. Wells commented on whether the immense popularity of these movies led to a bump in interest for the comedy show.

“When I was growing up, the comic books the movies were based on would get a bump whenever a movie like Batman came out,” said Wells. “Now there’s like a new superhero movie every weekend, so I don’t know if that bump happens anymore.”


The Halloween special, which has been prominently featured on the Crackle app, helped keep audiences engaged while the writers worked on creating the third season, which Wells promised would have a Comic-Con-themed episode. Wells also admitted that, in a way, writing the show has become easier with the actors helping to define the different characters—making the show funny just by adding their personalities.

As the season premiere approaches, Senreich described how audiences continue to discover SuperMansion when it’s exclusive to a digital-streaming platform.

“I think we’re getting to a place where, because it’s the third season, people are starting to discover Crackle as a medium. [The app] is on every television [platform] and it just sits there. Over time, people are learning that it exists and are spreading it through word-of-mouth, which has been working nicely,” said Senreich. “SuperMansion aired on Adult Swim for a short stint, which made people more aware of it. I also think that the Emmy nominations that Chris Pine and Keegan got made people wonder about this ‘little show that could’ that’s competing against the people from South Park. We like being that little spot where people say, ‘Hey, what is this?’ It’s starting to get a lot of that attention, and Crackle has been really happy with it.”

Senreich also spoke about the growing number of superhero-themed TV shows and whether or not that drew attention to SuperMansion.

“In some ways, it does,” said Senreich. “The thing we like about it is that every other superhero show is about the heroes and their villain of the week or having them go out to fight bad guys. For us, it’s about the superheroes when they come home. That’s the big difference. How do they deal with who gets to use the bathroom when they want to use it? I think that has helped us stand out from the rest of the pack. Add in the fact that it’s on a medium that not a lot of people use (stop-animation)—you’re seeing your action figure of this character out there. You can pick up what you see and play with it yourself if you want to. I think that also connects with audiences in ways that most of these shows may not.”

“I think that it’s different enough that when the inevitable contraction of superhero shows happens, this will stand apart by its look and by its take on things,” Root added. “But get ready for that contraction when it comes.”


Wells talked about whether there were differences in creating a show for a cable TV channel compared to a digital streaming one.

“Toward the end, we could say ‘shit’ on Adult Swim, so there’s a little more leeway language-wise,” said Wells. “Aside from that, it’s pretty similar. All the streaming services are basically just television networks now, so there’s not that much difference. Though it’s fun that, since Crackle is free, if anyone wants to see [SuperMansion], they can just get online and watch without signing up for anything. But when my mom used to ask me when Robot Chicken was on, I used to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Now I don’t have any excuses except maybe, ‘I don’t know what website it’s on.’”

Root similarly talked about whether the show had to recognize different lines for humor when on a digital platform, especially a free one like Crackle.

“I think there are topics that are hard to get humor out of, but as long as it’s funny and your perspective is coming from the right place, there really isn’t a line,” Root said. “Sometimes, if a network or streaming entity has a line, you can find ways to work around it by being more clever than using the word, curse or crude joke you wanted to. Or don’t be so on-the-nose about what you’re trying to say.”

Gillette Calls On ‘Justice League’ VR Game To Promote Razors

Gillette has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures’ Justice League in a marketing campaign that spans a free mobile virtual reality game, Justice League VR: Join the League – Gillette Edition, a location-based VR experience at IMAX Centres that will come to high-end consoles and PCs as a retail game in December.

The promotion, which also involves a YouTube social campaign, features exclusive shaving products for men and women alongside DC superheroes from the November 17 theatrical release of Justice League starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Raymond Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as The Flash.

Gillette changed its tag line from, “The Best a Man Can Get” to “The Best a Super Hero Can Get,” as it brings DC characters like Batman, Superman, Cyborg, Aquaman, The Flash and Wonder Woman into its Advanced Grooming Studies labs, which is the focal point of the video spot.


“This video not only gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at what that world may look like, but also serves as a catalyst for us to ask influencers and fans globally to submit their own theory on what Gillette’s R&D teams should be considering when creating this next generation of razor technology,” Barbara Diecker, communications manager of Gillette North America, told AListDaily. “We know comic book fans especially will have strong opinions here, and we look forward to hearing them.”

Gillette also has six limited edition Justice League licensed gift packs at retail, ranging from $10 to $15, including Mach3, Sensor3, Fusion5, ProGlide 2-in-1 Shave Gel, Hydrator Body Wash and Gillette Clear Gel antiperspirant deodorant branded products. Wonder Woman opens up a female marketing target for the company through its Venus Swirl brand.

Gillette, which targeted esports fans at the Intel Extreme Masters Finals in Katowice, Poland earlier this year, has worked with developer Warner Bros. on a new mobile VR game for Apple and Android devices. This demo version of the December retail game features 90 seconds of gameplay for each of the Justice League characters. Players can drive the new Batmobile, take on a giant sea creature as Aquaman and destroy enemy drones as Cyborg.

Diecker said this VR game has allowed the brand to work with Warner Bros. to create immersive simulations of a day in the life of a superhero.

“With these VR elements, fans can also see the types of extremities that superheroes must face on a daily basis,” Diecker said.

Both Gillette and Warner Bros. are promoting this VR game across their social channels and influencers. Gillette is using its Twitter account to further enhance the VR experience this fall.

Warner Bros. previewed the HTC Vive version of Justice League VR: Join the League at New York Comic Con earlier this month. In December, the VR experience comes home with an expanded Justice League Virtual Reality: The Complete Experience. This paid version of the game will support controllers, spatial tracking and room scale tracking, depending on the platform. It will ship for Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google DayDream and Sony PlayStation VR.

An IMAX VR: Justice League Experience will also be out and playable at IMAX VR Centres beginning on November 17. IMAX will get a two-week exclusive on the game before the home versions are released.

Gillette products will not be featured in the theatrical film. The VR games and online video offer alternate avenues for the brand to connect with DC Comics fans and gamers.

5 Virtual Reality Innovators You Need To Know

Transforming virtual reality from science fiction into a part of everyday consumer life is easier said than done—many have tried, and most have yet to succeed. Now, as the VR industry is poised to reach over $2 billion by the end of this year, the technology so loved by pop culture may actually stick around this time thanks to passionate VR evangelists. Here are just a few of the leaders, influencers and evangelists working to catapult VR into ubiquity.

Nonny de la Peña

Nicknamed the “Godmother of VR,” Nonny de la Peña is a journalist, filmmaker and founder of Emblematic Group. Having used a number of traditional storytelling mediums, de la Peña set out to immerse users into a news story—especially sociopolitical situations that they might never experience on their own. In 2012, Emblematic released the first ever VR documentary, Hunger in Los Angeles, in which users witness the true story of a diabetic’s collapse outside a food bank. The documentary, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, is credited as pioneering “walk-around” VR—that is, allowing a user to move around inside a virtual environment. The prototype VR headset was provided by her intern, Palmer Luckey, who would go on to invent the Oculus Rift.

This year at SXSW, de la Peña exhibited two VR films—After Solitary, a partnership with Frontline that takes users into a solitary confinement cell in a Maine prison, and We Who Remain, exploring the front lines of the war in Sudan.

Today, her company creates VR, AR and mixed reality experiences for journalism, event recreation, fantasy environments and data visualizations.

“I think that these are places that are inaccessible for most people, and so how do we get them to understand these important issues? VR seems to be the best medium that I’ve ever worked in to do that,” de la Peña told Forbes. “If you feel like you are there, then you feel like it can happen to you too.”

Tipatat Chennavasin

While developing in VR, Chennavasin accidentally cured himself of a fear of heights. Since then, he has supported the growth of VR through development and funding. As co-founder of The Venture Reality Fund, Chennavasin has helped support companies like Owlchemy Labs, Spaces and VR advertising company Immersv.

He also was the co-founder and CEO of mobile game startup Big Head Mode, Inc. which he sold to PlayFirst to focus on VR. Chennavasin speaks around the world,  is an advisor for many VR companies and a mentor for VR incubators and accelerators, including Tokyo VR Startups.

Chennavasin will be a keynote speaker at the Houston Immersive Technology Conference (ITC) on November 6.

Helen Situ

During her time at NextVR, Situ helped nurture an active community around VR. Her team was the first to livestream the NBA using VR cameras and she has said that the VR revolution will be televised. Situ has traveled the world, giving business leaders their first VR experiences and helped NextVR grow from a “handful of people in a nearly empty office” to a popular way to view sports and other live events.

Situ makes this list for her consistent passion for VR. Since leaving NextVR earlier this year, Situ has concentrated on her site, Virtual Reality Pop and is working on something new, but definitely VR-related.

Taylor Freeman

Named one of Forbes‘ 30 Under 30, Taylor Freeman is the co-founder and CEO of Upload—a news site that “exists to accelerate the success of the VR/AR industry.” Inspired by the Oculus Rift acquisition and all the possibilities in the VR space, Freeman sold his design agency to back the industry in any way he could.

“That really manifested into [Upload] doing events,” Freeman told Tech.Co. “We’d try to go bigger and show more people VR. We started traveling to Sundance and SXSW and these shows with awesome companies, but no one was writing about it.”

Taylor has focused on education within the space to help further the advancement of VR. Upload has partnered with large corporations and General Assembly to teach people development and design skills needed to build VR and AR technology. In addition to spreading awareness about the VR industry through Upload, Freeman speaks at engagements across the world to help move VR forward through its developers.

Cosmo Scharf

Cosmo Scharf co-founded The Virtual Reality Foundation while still a student at UCLA. The non-profit produces VRLA, the world’s largest virtual reality expo and the Proto Awards, the first award show for VR. A passionate believer in the future of VR, Scharf made headlines last year for giving back a $100,000 Thiel Partnership Grant—citing that Peter Thiel’s political views clashed with his own ideas of what VR should stand for.

This year, Scharf co-founded Mindshow, a start-up building software for creating stories in VR.

“The potential for VR is not just to escape reality, but to improve the reality we live in,” Scharf said. “VR experiences help you rethink the nature of reality, consciousness and how your brain perceives life and the world. You start to look at the world in a different way and more profoundly question how the world works and why things are the way they are. The physical world may be more flexible and fluid then we have been led to think.”

Stranger Things Lens Pulls Snapchatters Into The Upside Down

Netflix is transporting fans back to the Upside Down today with Season 2 of Stranger Things and has unleashed a bevy of activations to make sure that the general public never forgets. After unorthodox marketing like character-driven pedicabs and personal, targeted spoilers on Twitter, the streaming service culminated its promotion with a Stranger Things Lens on Snapchat, using augmented reality to immerse viewers.

Turning on the Lens presents the user with a gloomy, suspicious doorway, inviting them to step inside. Once they do, they are presented with a faithful recreation of the Byers living room from the show, complete with desperately twinkling Christmas lights and Demogorgon claws grasping from a portal to the Upside Down, all to the pulsing, downright Pavlovian ’80s synth theme song.

The soundtrack plays another role in the Lens: users can only unlock it by using Snapchat’s Shazam feature on the show’s theme song. Beyond just an immersive environment and spooky ambiance, the Stranger Things Lens promises interactive easter eggs for eagle-eyed users.

There are also a trio of filters for those who want to take a selfie with Eleven’s trademark nosebleed or from the Upside Down, but unlike the Stranger Things Lens, no hoop-jumping is necessary to unlock them.

Netflix is no stranger to hiding clues and secrets in their promotional materials. The streaming service put up billboards for a fictional power company, with a working 1-800 number that plays a vaguely unsettling message when called.


Less secretive were the streaming service’s numerous merchandising efforts, from conventional offerings like toys and a VHS-lookalike box set of Season 1 to appearances at Louis Vuitton catwalks during Fashion Week UK in September to a collaboration with Sony on official Stranger Things Ghostbusters Reeboks.

Actually, Netflix wasn’t the first company to promote the new Stranger Things season with a virtual experience: Farmers Insurance unveiled a creepy VR haunted house on October 13, featuring spooky stories about some of their “unbelievable claims” as told by J K Simmons.

Farmers may have shared unbelievable stories, but Lyft’s partnership with the Netflix show created them. Several Lyft cars were outfitted with flickering lights and animatronic claws to terrify unsuspecting riders, who were finally accosted by men in hazmat suits offering Eggo waffles through the open window.

It’s no surprise that so many brands jumped at the chance to work with the record-setting thriller series. Excitement for the show has reached a fever pitch that simply including the phrase “Stranger Things” in the subject line of an email nearly doubles engagement. If—but more likely when—the show gets a third season, Netflix may need to move mountains to outdo themselves.

‘Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ Campaign Combines History And Humor

Assassin’s Creed: Origins takes players to Ancient Egypt—49 BCE, to be exact—to explore the biggest world created for an Assassin’s Creed game. Egypt has captured the world’s imagination for thousands of years and Ubisoft is leveraging that wonder for its Assassin’s Creed campaign, without taking itself too seriously.

While the campaign has has focused on Bayek, Assassin’s Creed: Origins‘ main character, the star of Ubisoft’s efforts have been Egypt, itself—or rather, how much fun it can be. In case the prospect of sliding down the side of a pyramid wasn’t enticing enough, Ubisoft released a video called “Tales From The Tomb,” an animated short that brings real Egyptian wall art to life and imagines what they might be talking about, from the new assassin in town to candy weapons and aliens.

Ubisoft teamed up with Smosh Games to create a three-episode series that delves deeper into real-life Egyptian culture.

“Operation: Open World” surprises Smosh Games hosts Mari Takahashi and Joshua “Joven” Ovenshire with a trip to Egypt. Together, they explore the pyramids and landmarks that are recreated in Assassin’s Creed: Origins and learn about the region from spices to animal life and of course, mummies.

“While trailers and influencer gameplay are still cornerstones of our online content, [Operation: Open World] provides the opportunity for us to tap into a larger lifestyle conversation across both gaming and travel audiences,” Adam Novickas, vice president of marketing for Ubisoft, told Marketing Daily. “This is a departure from our past—predominantly historically grounded, more serious gameplay content and reflects the more casual and relatable entry point to our brand that we’ve started to develop.”

Late-night comedian Conan O’Brien and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers sat down to play the game on “Clueless Gamer,” a popular gaming segment for the Conan show. Despite not actually being a gamer himself, O’Brien managed to accidentally trigger a developer-only mode that let him fly through the air, and as usual, has no idea what’s going on.

Promotional crossovers aren’t unusual, but it usually occurs within games from the same publishers. Square Enix partnered with Ubisoft to create “Assassins Festival,” a free addition to Final Fantasy XV, available from August 31 to January 18.

Sneaker artist Dominic Lowman of Carmeno Custom Kicks worked with Ubisoft to design limited-edition Yeezys inspired by Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The hand-painted, limited-edition kicks are only available as prizes through the official Assassin’s Creed social channels.

Ubisoft may not be afraid to have a little fun at Ancient Egypt’s expense—or take liberties with historical characters—but it’s taking it seriously, too.

The publisher worked alongside Egyptologists to capture the look and feel of Cleopatra’s homeland and is developing AI to further scholars’ understanding of the language. The Hieroglyphics Initiative uses machine learning to collate, catalog and translate hieroglyphics, with the first findings scheduled to be released by the end of the year.

For those who just want to look around, a new combat-free education mode allows players to explore Egypt through guided tours curated by historians. “Discovery Tour” will cover topics like mummification, pyramids and important figures from the era. The new mode will not be released until next year, but it’s free to download.

Speaking of learning, more than 30 college and university campuses across the US are hosting a launch event sponsored by Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Monster Energy. Depending on the school, the events will offer hands-on time with the game and Assassin’s Creed: Origins-themed prizes.