A wave of virtual reality activations in 2018 highlights a storytelling approach to TV and film marketing that is likely to continue throughout the coming months. Here are some of our favorites thus far.
Silicon Valley VR: Inside The Hacker Hostel
HBO heralded the return of its hit show Silicon Valley with a VR app that invited viewers directly into the main characters’ home, which was faithfully recreated in 3D. Inside the Hacker Hostel includes 750 interactive items and video challenges from the show’s characters Dinesh and Gilfoyle send users on missions ranging from destroying old hard drives to solving a code crisis.
Users can follow a series of tasks or have free reign to do whatever they like in the virtual environment, making this activation a unique way to interact with a show’s lore.
Ready Player One: Oasis
Just as with the book-turned-film, VR users create a custom avatar before jumping into the action. Currently in beta, Oasis offers access to multiple “planets,” each with their own themes and objectives. Each of the planets was created by a different development studio, giving the four games a unique look and feel.
Warner Bros. and HTC Vive took over Brazos Hall at SXSW last month to promote the Ready Player One film with eight pieces of virtual reality content across separate demo bays. The experiential marketing activation was designed to further push the promise of virtual reality toward mainstream adoption while showing the film’s immersive entertainment qualities.
SlimeZone allows up to six players to step inside the world of Nickelodeon franchises, including Spongebob Squarepants. Donning masks from shows like Invader Zim and The Rugrats, participants can interact with one another, as well as the world around them. Activities include art projects, watching cartoons, basketball and other challenges, but Nickelodeon’s trademark green slime is never far from the action. SlimeZone is available at IMAX VR locations in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, with plans to include Shanghai, Bangkok and Manchester.
The experience comes from Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Lab, an R&D entertainment division launched last year. Nickelodeon also recently invested in Dreamscape Immersive—a startup building VR attractions enhanced with environmental effects, an indication that AR, VR and mixed reality have become priorities for the children’s network.