In order to promote the new Mountain Dew Label Series, Mountain Dew partnered up with the digital agency, Firstborn, to bring viewers a VR experience while skydiving.
The virtual reality spot was called “Dew VR Beat Drop”, and was shared with fans via Samsung VR at Mountain Dew’s Coachella activation. It was also available at select university campuses across the country. Coachella is an annual music festival that has gained tremendous popularity in the recent years. It attracts massive crowds with it’s musical lineup. The experience started out by transporting the viewer to a cool lounge party in Los Angeles. When the beat dropped, the scene changed to a free falling experience during a skydive. It was a party in the sky with the same characters that were inside the lounge party.
Party-goers, the DJ, and bartenders were soaring through the sky above the Mojave Desert with you.
This is Mountain Dew’s 5th extreme VR experience and marks the release of the new product Mountain Dew Label Series. It was created by the digital agency, Firstborn, in association with the production company Digital Domain. It was a 360º VR experience that was hosted on Mountain Dew’s VR hub, on Youtube 360, and Facebook 360. Alex Krawitz, Senior Vice President of Content Development at Firstborn expressed that they wanted to create an engaging experience that gives fans access to an amazing adventure. This was something that had not been done.
Sending Mountain Dew fans on a thrilling skydive via a virtual reality experience is a one-of-a-kind ordeal.
There isn’t another soft drink company on the market right now who has tried this. “We were tasked with creating an experience-driven campaign for the release of Mountain Dew’s latest product series that is all about transforming experiences into the BOLDLY REFINED we naturally gravitated towards the transportive power of VR to give fans access to a refined, exclusive VIP party with a uniquely bold twist,” Krawitz said. Filming this VR experience was no easy task. Shooting for 18 hours and dealing with multiple variables are only a few of the challenges the production team faced. Both the club scene in Los Angeles and the skydive in the Mojave Desert were shot on the same day. There was no room for error; everything needed to run smoothly. Only being able to get a few takes of the actual skydiving, the team had to trust in the equipment and the stunt divers to give their best performance.
Another challenge was in the wardrobe department. The characters being portrayed at the LA lounge party are the same characters that viewers will see while skydiving. The costumes had to be stylish enough for a lounge party while still holding up during free falling through the air at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. There are many factors that could have ruined this shoot and caused the project to be delayed or even cancelled. Bad weather or wind conditions, faulty equipment, poor camera angles and shots, and awkward performances from the stunt divers are just a few of the things that could have proved disastrous for the production team.
It seems they found the right group of people to work with because everyone performed their roles perfectly.
The production team was essentially filming blind. They were unable to view the footage being shot until the skydivers landed safely back at the drop zone. This can make the shoot quite stressful for the director. However, things went smoothly, and the divers delivered wonderful footage. The production team was able to provide the editors and post-production team with amazing footage and the perfect shots.
“We couldn’t be happier with the final product. It’s more exciting than we had hoped and the quality is great.”
“It definitely sells through the concept of “Boldly Refined,” said Krawitz. The adventurous VR experience was released at Coachella in order to bring to life the brand vertices of fashion, music, mixology, technology, and art. The goal of this experience was to help Mountain Dew fans understand that Mountain Dew Label Series is a cool product that can make anything ordinary, “Boldly Refined”. This was made clear by the targeted audience. By targeting young adults to enjoy the fresh taste of a new product displays the company’s desire to market themselves in a new and improved way. It can be a difficult task to introduce new flavors to an already widely loved soft drink brand. Some experiments with other companies in the past have turned out to be marketing disasters.
With that said, Coachella attendees and college students fell in love with the new soft drink and the future looks incredibly bright for Mountain Dew.