Consumers will get a taste of the future of in-car entertainment at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, where tech startup holoride, Ford and Universal Pictures are introducing a virtual reality (VR) experience inspired by the Bride of Frankenstein.
Timed to coincide with Halloween, “Universal Monsters Presents: Bride of Frankenstein holoride” will be set inside new 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles where guests will be transported to the mysterious world of the Bride of Frankenstein. Riders will step inside the vehicle at the designated pickup location at Universal CityWalk, put on a VR headset and join the Bride of Frankenstein on her journey to deliver Frankenstein an important message. The fully immersive experience will feature virtual monsters and obstacles in addition to sound effects and visuals that match the movement of the car via navigational data from holoride.
“This collaboration allows us to showcase the promise of the connected vehicle and get essential customer feedback on what they want and don’t want in terms of immersive in-car entertainment experiences,” said Brett Wheatley, vice president of mobility marketing and growth at Ford.
VR ventures and augmented reality (AR) activations are nothing new for Universal Pictures. In 2018, the company launched a Jurassic World VR mini-series ahead of the release of the film’s latest franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Called “Jurassic World: Blue,” the companion experience to the Jurassic series combined live-action and computer-generated imagery in 360-degree 3D.
To promote the film, Universal Pictures also created promotional content for Facebook and Instagram using AR effects to bring Blue, the velociraptor, to life, accessible through a link in trailer descriptions. Generating further excitement were 3D posts on Facebook that let users interact with dinosaurs from all sides from a post in Facebook’s news feed.
Ford has also been an early adopter of VR. In 2016, the auto company released a VR app for iOS and Android that lets consumers experience VR stories about Ford products, no headset mandatory. In 2017, Ford and Google partnered to launch a VR app called “Ford Reality Check” to reflect the fatal consequences of driving while distracted, based on research that shows young drivers feel the need to constantly check social media and stay in the loop with friends as a result of fear of missing out, also known as FOMO.