Please keep your arms and legs inside the holiday card at all times
This year, SS+K is breaking free of the traditional flat holiday card stack by offering 360° virtual reality bobsled rides. A few folds will turn the 2D card into 3D VR glasses for the recipient to take their seat in the bobsled. After sliding through banked turns, jumps, an upside-down loop and more jumps, the bobsledder will bash through a bank of snow at the finish line where they are greeted by cheering polar creatures that they’ve encountered along the way.
The virtual world consists of beautifully simple 3D polygonal assets that make up a colorful winter wonderland. With the cardboard glasses, users will be able to engage a slow-motion effect at any point throughout the experience to get a better look at the playful world around them. At any point throughout the run, snow will fall if the user shakes their head.
You can start the experience with any VR headset by going to https://www.ssk.com/holiday/ on your phone. No VR glasses? There’s also a 360-degree YouTube video of the experience. (Hint: If you watch the video on an Android phone, you can explore the world as you would with a VR headset.)
DIVERGE spoke to the SS+K’s team to find out more:
Where did this idea come from? Why did you choose a bobsled?
For this year’s holiday card, we brainstormed creative concepts that would give us an opportunity to explore emerging mediums. We were excited about Google Cardboard because it was not only an accessible way to bring to life an immersive holiday story, but it was also a chance to have some fun with designing a physical product that people could unwrap and keep. We were attracted to the bobsled motif because it exposed the energy, excitement and emotion you can create from a phone-based VR experience.
What feedback have you received?
We couldn’t be happier with the fantastic feedback we’ve received from clients, employees, friends and alumni. They are impressed with how real the ride feels (we have even had reports of that stomach dropping feeling when you hit the loop). For some of our card recipients, this was their first venture into exploring VR apps. Armando Flores, Creative Director at SS+K.
Is this your way of wishing clients a happy holiday?
Absolutely! We sent out Google Cardboard holiday cards to our clients, handed them out at our holiday party and have a few in our office for anyone who visits during the holiday season.
Do you plan on doing similar projects to this in the future?
We are exploring a variety of applications of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 360 video for a number of clients, as well as some innovation projects we’re leading. Creating our VR holiday card was just one way we continue to inspire ourselves to think through how technologies like VR can be applied in interesting ways to bring stories to life and foster engagement.
What role will VR play in 2017 in the advertising/marketing field?
VR is just one of many exciting emerging technologies that are capturing brand and marketers imaginations right now – including voice and messaging bots, artificial intelligence, live video, Internet of Things and more. VR is now a valuable addition to the creative arsenal, and we expect to see it used in incredibly powerful new ways. Kevin Skobac, SVP, Digital Strategy & Innovation at SS+K.
The team behind the SS+K Happy Holiday Adventure
Partner, Chief Creative Officer – Bobby Hershfield
Creative Director – Armando Flores
Copywriter – Ryan Hrbek
Design Director – Jesse Raker
Designers – Chris Peck, Don Vincent Ortega
SVP, Director of Client Services – Elisa Silva
SVP, Director of Production + Innovation – John Swartz
Producer – Andrew Veith
SVP, Digital Strategy & Innovation – Kevin Skobac
VR development: TANTRUM Lab
Website development: Firefall Pro
CTO: Scott Park
Project Manager: Stephen Lutchman
Developer – Aric Ng
Developer – Tyrone Shine
Developer – Gena Hayward
Developer – Stephen Tetreault