Get ready for more virtual reality. It's not South Park or Maui, this time it's Las Vegas and Mountain Dew has created an experience that allows anyone to skate sin city with two of skateboarding's top pros.
The annual Dew Tour skateboarding and BMX event made a recent stop in Brooklyn and the brand unveiled its Virtual Reality Skate Experience, one of the first live action 3-D, 360-degree, binaural audio branded experiences for the new Oculus Rift DK2 developer headset. By strapping on the headset, attendees could virtually skate around Vegas with Paul Rodriguez and Sean Malto.
Agency Firstborn worked with legendary skate filmmaker Ty Evans on the project, which also included building custom camera rigs and original software for the new Oculus unit. Firstborn president Dan LaCivita says that while the agency has been experimenting with the Oculus technology for a while, this was its first project for a brand. "Because this technology is brand new and there wasn’t a precedent, it was so important for us to be creative and adapt as we went along," says LaCivita. "That meant everything from 3-D printing rig prototypes in order to find the best camera solution, to writing our own software in post-production to making sure the in-headset experience was smooth and realistic."
Mountain Dew director of brand marketing Jamal Henderson says Oculus Rift technology has tremendous potential as a marketing tool. "It provides an opportunity for consumers to have a truly immersive experience with a brand," says Henderson. "In the nascent stages of social media, we talked at our fans which eventually evolved into a two-way dialogue. Now, thanks to VR, we have the potential to empower fans to immerse with the brand and dictate their own experience with Mountain Dew so we’re definitely planning to lean in on virtual reality as a platform."