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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
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best-use-of-virtual-realityaugmented-reality

Elle Style Awards 360 Experience

Agency: Harte Hanks    •    Client: Samsung Mobile    •    Category: Best Use of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality    •    Award: Certificate

February 2016, SAMSUNG briefed us to develop content showcasing ground-breaking ease-of-use by filming with its consumer camera, GEAR 360. We received prototypes on announcement day (MWC 2016 Unpacked) and challenged to film a red-carpet event just two days later to showcase its groundbreaking and easy-to-use live recordings and showing just how accessible VR content making had become. Engagement and reach within ELLE’s social community were primary objectives.

Campaign Objective

With new technology, questions arose on “how to” use and benefit from early adoption. For ground-breaking products like GEAR 360, we wanted to demonstrate its USP ease-of-use and how it helps engage audiences. YouTube recently published studies that show “earned action metrics” (views/shares/subscribes) averaged 40% higher for 360 films. So, demonstrating how creators and brands can share special moments with their fans (for higher levels of engagement) helped create desire for the product. It’s vital to release content quickly to earn attention of audiences seeking updates from their favorite brands. It showcased edit process speed to makers at the same time. Developing 360 content for YouTube and Facebook or VR headset presented challenges as we focused on delivering “never-been-done-before” experiences to satisfy makers and fashion fans alike. Technical and storytelling considerations are unique in this environment. We quickly learned to satisfy the audiences and, therefore, the brief from the client.

Target Audience: B2C Campaign
Our “invitation” film, posted just one hour before the event, built anticipation with stylish production and subtle hints to the upcoming immersive experience. Our post-event VR film gave fashion fans “never-been-done-before” access to the red carpet…the winners’ photoshoot… and after party––their favorite style icons in each scene. We inspired future creators with the GEAR 360’s ease-of-use and video quality by filming on the very consumer technology we were promoting.

The Execution

Only 11 days before SAMSUNG’s MWC Unpacked event (February 21, 2016) we were briefed to develop the first post-launch content using the GEAR 360, in partnership with ELLE Magazine UK, for its loyal social fans. Just two days after Unpacked, we filmed at ELLE Style Awards (closing party for London Fashion Week) on February 23. This exclusive access gave ELLE magazine fans the chance to experience the event in a “never-been-done-before” way. With virtually no time to plan or test, we received prototype cameras and beta software. We needed a robust production plan to post (in near-time) and benefit from the social buzz generated in the technology AND fashion media. It would‘ve been challenging with proven hardware and editing software…but with prototypes, the task was monumental. As time sped by, we partnered with ELLE to determine how (and where) we could use the GEAR 360 cameras to best effect. We knew we wanted to develop content that served dual purposes by creating an immersive, exclusive experience for ELLE fans and to inspire the world’s content makers just hearing about SAMSUNG’s new technology. Covering this red-carpet event was perfect for us. We quickly developed a social launch strategy with SAMSUNG and ELLE to capitalize on a news-hungry audience. Using the magazine’s Facebook and YouTube channels to take advantage of 360 viewing functionalities, we increased our chances of reaching a wider audience. Our plan included posting a pre-filmed teaser video just one hour before the event to build excitement and expectation. Next, the 360 content 48 hours later, to recap once the magazine had posted interviews and reviews. Our two films not only helped create pre- and post-event buzz for ELLE’s community, but showcased to the world how 360 content creation was now available to anyone, in the form of consumer-ready technology and software for less than $350. We created the FIRST EVER live event content recorded by the GEAR 360…beating Casey Neistat––celebrated creator and Samsung’s “maker” spokesperson––whom used it at the Oscars a full five days later. The company used influencers to build inspiring content aimed at the wider “Maker” community, but we got there before anyone else. A proud moment in the history of our relationship with one of the world’s most innovative brands. Taking just two weeks from brief to release, we set the tone for the makers who followed.

The Stats

Our studio-based film featured production values matching the stylish nature of the event. Designed to tease the event and outline the experience to come, we crafted copy to be minimal and captivating visual narrative. In a “white world,” we see someone prepare for, and arrive at, the event (echoing the build-up for our celebrity guests). The end line, “Immerse yourself in style,” perfectly set up the exclusive VR experience and the role for SAMSUNG’s GEAR 360. For our second film, unique action was captured live by the GEAR 360 at the event, highlighting the action happening around the viewer from every vantage point – truly first-of-its-kind use of the technology. First, our presenter welcomed viewers to the 360 experience, walking around the camera installation as she talked to encourage interactivity and dramatize the unique qualities of viewing in VR. Our branded plinth took center stage, offering viewers access like no other content could as we captured interviews, fun moments, and, of course, celebrity style in abundance. Next, we took the viewers behind the scenes to see the award winners’ photo shoot. From Lana Del Rey to Liv Tyler, we captured them all in a truly candid setting. To end the film and night itself, we crashed the after party with a hand-held GEAR 360 for the DJ and guests to use while celebrating. With the focus of the attending media on guests using the camera, we highlighted how desirable the actual product is––truly worthy of its place at such a fashionable event.

The Results

The campaign’s tremendous success can be viewed through several lenses. Primary objective: For ELLE UK, its social community engagement was through-the-roof successful … giving the magazine’s fans something completely new to consume, at a time when they were hungry for video-based event news. This proved to be game-changing for their content team. Our YouTube 360 content was viewed 1137% more than any other films posted for the 2016 Style Awards. It proves the value of 360 content and positions the magazine as audience-centric. Secondary objective: For the client, we demonstrated ease-of-use for makers to record, edit and post VR content for themselves by using the Gear 360. The key takeaway: make the most of any moment in your life––a small investment unleashes a brand-new form of immersive content. Long-term objective: SAMSUNG continued to build from launch, supplying influencer makers to help spread the product’s USP and sell out quickly. Although specific Gear 360 sales numbers were not disclosed, Samsung ramped up to “The Rest of Us” 2017 Super Bowl spot, featuring Casey Neistat, celebrating makers everywhere and the democratization of VR and phone-created content for everyone. We succeeded in inspiring audiences by doing, not talking. By learning a new technology in an incredibly short timeframe, and making content with the very product we had to promote, we started a journey towards adoption by the maker community. At the same time, we developed something brand new for an audience eager to immerse itself like never before.

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