Press release: Critical Mass unveils â€˜virtual big top circus experienceâ€™ to launch Early Timesâ€™ Fire Eater campaign
To introduce Fire Eater, the team at Critical Mass has developed a virtual big top circus experience â€“ using a portable Oculus Rift headset â€“ which will be showcased during a UK tour of bars in Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.
The virtual experience will transport consumers into the fantastical 19th century circus world of Fire Eater, bringing to life â€œThe Greatest Shot on Earthâ€ campaign. Once inside the Oculus Rift headset, they begin the tense climb to the top of the high-board diving platform, fifty-feet above the circus crowds. Then, with the adrenalin rushing through their veins, they dive through three rings of fire before plunging head-first into a tiny pool of water.
To amplify the visually rich Oculus experience, Critical Mass also worked with Tim Bret Day, a renowned fashion and advertising photographer known for his rich, energetic style.
“Our brief challenged the team at Critical Mass to deliver a visually rich, category busting campaign,” said Roisin Timoney, â€Žbrand manager, vodkas and innovation at Brown-Forman. “What theyâ€™ve delivered has more than met that brief. Integrating the Oculus Rift into the consumer experience was inspired, and Tim Bret Dayâ€™s photography proved to be outstandingly rich and vibrant, truly capturing the personality of the Fire Eater brand.”
â€œThe Greatest Shot on Earthâ€ UK tour kicked-off on May 2 with the tour hitting outlets in Liverpool, Glasgow, Leeds and Sheffield most Friday and Saturday nights. This will be supported with in-store retail displays and a new responsive website. It will continue for the duration of 2014, with film and experiential elements rolling out over the coming months.
â€œSo much alcohol marketing these days has become beige and functional,” said Matt Kwiecinski, managing director at Critical Mass. ” â€˜Drink it with this mixer.â€™ â€˜Why not try it over ice?â€™ With Fire Eater we saw a chance to create a campaign that was about emotion and excitement. Creating an incredibly rich world for the brand, in a way that hasnâ€™t been done in this category.â€
The exhilarating experience was produced by Inition, an experiential production company that combines emerging technologies with high production value content for brands looking to push the boundaries of customer engagement.
â€œIt has been a pleasure working with Critical Mass to create a cutting edge, adrenalin inducing campaign encapsulating Fire Eaterâ€™s adventurous thrill-seeking brand image and will be a sure success with the target market, comprising 18 â€“ 24 year olds young adults,” said Initionâ€™s Producer Ainsley Henn. “Virtual Reality technology continues to broaden the scope of what is deemed possible and this piece does that in a novel way â€“ ascending participants 50m in the air and allowing them to take a high-dive. I am sure it will scare and delight anyone brave enough to try it.â€
This effort marks the first campaign from Critical Mass since the merger of Agency Republic, a pioneering digital creative shop, and Critical Mass, a global digital agency network known for its user experience design expertise with global brands. The news of the merger was announced 6 January, and the deal officially closed on 1 February.