Product / ServiceGEAR VR
CategoryA04. Use of Merchandising/in-Store Experience
Production Company RAPID VR Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production Company 2 THE POOL COLLECTIVE Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production Company 3 WE LOVE JAM Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Andy Dilallo Leo Burnett Sydney Chief Creative Officer
Kieran Ots/Zaid Al-Asady Leo Burnett Sydney Creative Director
Kieran Ots/Zaid Al-Asady Leo Burnett Sydney Copywriter/Art Director
Misha Mcdonald/Sharon Edmondston Leo Burnett Sydney Creative Group Head
Jeremy Devilliers Leo Burnett Sydney Operations Director
Amanda Quested Leo Burnett Sydney Client Service Director
Laura Dowling/Grace Kluver Leo Burnett Sydney Account Management
Laurent Marcus Leo Burnett Sydney Integrated Producer
Farhan Amjad Leo Burnett Sydney Digital Developer
Taylor Steele Rapid VR VR Video Director
Susannah DiLallo Rapid VR Executive Producer
Rita Gagliardi Rapid VR Producer
Christopher Ireland The Pool Collective Director

Brief Explanation

One of the key challenges when it comes to promoting a product like Samsung’s new Gear VR is that our audience haven’t experienced anything like it before. It’s difficult to comprehend just how amazing this product is without experiencing it for yourself. So we needed to find a truly remarkable way for people to try this experience for themselves, and turn a new product that may have seemed like a novelty into a device that they genuinely wanted. So we built the first scuba store in Alice Springs, Central Australia – right in the middle of the desert. Using the Gear VR and a bespoke 360 degree film, visitors to the store could slip beneath the waves and enter another world – the home of the great white shark. This not only created an incredible, personal experience for visitors to the store, it also generated an intriguing piece of online content that demonstrated the power of the technology to a much wider audience.

The Brief

Our objective was to use the Gear VR to cement Samsung’s reputation as the most innovative smartphone brand in this market. We needed to prove to an audience who’ve seen many tech gimmicks come and go that this device was a genuine gamechanger, and change their perception of VR from something that’s just for tech nerds, to something they wanted for themselves. Our strategy was to create a one-of-a-kind product demonstration that would created a dramatic contrast between the real world and our VR environment, to prove that this technology really can make you feel like you’ve entered another world, and to make the experience a compelling story in its own right.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

On the day of the event we had a constant flow of visitors to the store, allowing us to capture some fantastic reactions to the Shark Dive. But we also wanted to share their reactions with the world, and the unique nature of this content has helped their experience reach a much larger audience. To date, it's been watched more than 1.8 million times in 194 countries, and shared more than 14,000 times, proving that the content is truly an experience that people want to share. The experience has now also toured across Australia, been featured on TV shows, at product launches and at other local events, offering hundreds of Australians the opportunity to get up close and personal with a great white, and experience the magic of VR for themselves. And this activity has had a genuine impact on sales too, with the Gear VR selling out a month after launch.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

The nature of this project allowed us to build the creative execution around the product itself. We created this activation to give everyday Australians the chance to try the Gear VR out for themselves, and then share those experiences with as many people as possible. The Dive Store opened its doors in Alice Springs, Central Australia, in October 2014. It was promoted through flyers, local radio and press, signage and event staff, while the out-of-place shopfront itself drew in curious locals and tourists. The store was open for a single day, with the Gear VR used heavily across an eight-hour period, giving us the opportunity to capture a wealth of authentic reactions to the Shark Dive. We then took these individual experiences and turned our unusual story into an engaging and highly sharable piece of online content.