Viral review: Oculus Rift scores hit for broadband provider Ume.net

Social video experts Unruly review the latest viral ad by Ume.net.

Ume.net.: uses Oculus Rift in ads
Ume.net.: uses Oculus Rift in ads

Umea Energi - Living with lag - an Oculus Rift experiment

We all know how annoying internet lag can be. But what if we somehow experienced it in our everyday lives? Well, you really have to hand it to Ume.net for coming up with a way of demonstrating just that.

Using Oculus Rift in its latest ad campaign, the Swedish broadband provider showed how a first world problem could become something a lot more problematic (and potentially highly-dangerous) when applied to our real-life routines.

The Scandinavian brand asked four people to strap on one of the virtual reality headsets for just two days to show how lag could impact simple tasks like just walking down the street or going to the gym.

The results are unsurprisingly hilarious, with simple tasks like making breakfast turned into something akin to splitting the atom. Meanwhile, pastimes such as table tennis and bowling become almost impossible.

For those who think the zombifying effects are exaggerated for comedic effect, the Swedish company even released an accompanying video showing just what the experience is like behind the headset. Be careful, though, the video can make you a little dizzy.

The point? Well, as the three-minute ad suggests: "You wouldn't accept lag offline, so why do it online?"

It’s a simple message that has been picked up loud and clear across the web. Since its launch on April 27, the ad has attracted more than 35,000 shares.

Such success is not surprising. Watching the participants’ sluggish attempts at even the most simple tasks is almost guaranteed to make you chuckle. And any ad that elicits a physical reaction from its viewers is certain to drive shares across the social web.

It’s also a problem that will resonate universally. After all, we have all experienced lag at some point in our online lives, whether it’s while streaming your favourite TV show or trying to play videogames.

But what’s really clever about this campaign is the fact that the product’s USP - its speed - is at the heart of the ad’s core theme. The ad’s participants may have struggled to hit the target, but this ad certainly doesn’t.

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