INITION were asked by the Road Safety Authority in Ireland (RSA) and their agency BBDO Dublin, to create an immersive experience to bring to life the potential consequences of drink-driving.
RSA statistics for 2017 show that alcohol accounts for a significant proportion of fatal road accidents and injuries, rising to 40% in the months leading up to Christmas. Men make up 85% of those arrested for driving over the legal alcohol limit of which half are between 20-39 years old. So the challenge was to create a hard-hitting campaign, that would reach into the minds of these drivers to make them think twice before grabbing their car keys whilst intoxicated, so they could truly appreciate the results of their actions as if it were for real.
The ability to create an awareness campaign that can also transform the thinking of the audience is a marketer’s holy grail – a problem in itself, but coupled with a demographic that can be notoriously difficult to reach, let alone influence, it gave both the INITION and BBDO Dublin teams with one of their biggest challenges to date.
Virtual Reality was used because it is a totally immersive experience, blurring the lines between perception and reality. The aim was to develop a series of gritty scenarios that would showcase the damaging effects of drink-driving. The clever combination of creative content and persuasive technology was designed to create a touching and educating experience that would get under the user’s skin, without seeming patronising or preaching.
“YOU HAVE TO GET THE BALANCE BETWEEN CREATING SOMETHING SHOCKING BUT NOT OVERLY UPSETTING, JUST TO MAKE PEOPLE STOP AND THINK” SAID IMOGEN HAMMOND, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT INITION
The hard-hitting VR stories were filmed in 3D 360 to generate an immersive and realistic experience and binaural audio to create a 3D sound experience, which placed visitors directly within the story. These could be delivered via Oculus Rift, with versions also created for the Oculus GO and YouTube 360 to share this experience across a wide-variety of platforms, in order to reach as many people as possible.
It was important to give visitors a choice, just like they would have in real-life, so they lived-out the consequences of their choices. The four scenarios, allowed participants to select between ‘staying in’ and ‘going out’. The latter path led to serious consequences from initial accident and injuries, to a court case, to prison.
“I WISH I HAD EXPERIENCED THIS BEFORE I LOST MY LICENSE” SAID ONE UNFORTUNATE RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC WHO WAS ONLY 25 YEARS OLD. HE TOOK SEVERAL OF THE CARDBOARD HEADSETS TO HIS LOCAL AA MEETING TO SHOW HIS FELLOW MEMBERS THE VR FILM IN THE HOPE THAT IT MIGHT HELP CHANGE THEIR ATTITUDES TOO.
This was the third virtual reality story that was designed following previous campaigns with RSA Ireland, which raised awareness on texting and driving, as well as driving whilst fatigued.
The Drink Driving Destroys Lives installation is travelling around Ireland on the RSA shuttle bus throughout 2018. It stops at schools, colleges, businesses and local events to reach as many people as possible.
“Great working with Inition. A real power house in the VR industry. They know their stuff!” Barry O’Sullivan, Digital Producer BBDO DUBLIN
This immersive virtual reality activation has been shown to more than 100,000 visitors, allowing them to experience the terrible outcomes of drinking and driving, whilst in the safety of a benign chair, before this could transform into reality.
“INITION ARE A VERY RELIABLE AND PROFESSIONAL COMPANY TO DEAL WITH. THEIR SERVICE IS ALWAYS TOP NOTCH. AND THEIR VR KNOWLEDGE IS INCREDIBLE!” RSA
This and the two previous campaigns have been so successful that another one is planned for roll out in 2020.
These 360 YouTube films, best viewed in VR on cardboard: