Watch: Behind Virgin Media's first virtual reality campaign

Virgin Media, in partnership with Manning Gottlieb OMD, has launched its first virtual reality campaign.

The campaign launched with a two-and-a-half minute film, which invites viewers to take a look around a party which is enhanced by the presence of Virgin Media's broadband. 

It is an extension of the brand's "house party" TV ad, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and 360 digital campaign.

The viewer is led through the room, and watches as revellers make the most of the fast internet by uploading videos and photos.

After a spilt drink stops the music, the viewer saves the day thanks to Virgin Media’s Vivid 200Mbs broadband by connecting to Spotify to restart the party.

The campaign sees Virgin Media become the first major advertiser in the UK to tell a brand story based on its TV ads using live action film and a moving VR camera, according to Manning Gottlieb OMD, the brand's media agency.

"The rules are unwritten," said Sam Battams, the technology innovation director at MG OMD. "We had an idea of the story we wanted to tell, and some of the techniques that we could use through VR, and then it was an experiment to see how they would play out."

First-of-its-kind robotic virtual reality camera

The film was shot in collaboration with Vision3 and Jaunt VR, and directed by Steven Boyle. In a first in VR production, it was filmed using a one-of-a-kind 26 lens 360 camera attached to a robotic buggy which was able to move through the scene and capture the action in a single take shoot using over 100 cast members.

The work has been produced for use at home with Samsung Gear or Google Cardboard as a 360 extension within YouTube.

As well as driving online interaction with the brand, Virgin Media is using the Virtual Vivid House Party to boost in-store customer experiences, making the video and specially made headsets available throughout 20 high street stores across the UK.

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