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Universal's Everest lends itself to virtual reality experience on mobile

Universal Studios tapped into recently released film Everest?s breathtaking imagery for a mobile virtual reality platform that digitally transports users to the mountain. 

The disaster adventure film depicts tragic true events that took place on the famous mountain during a storm in 1996. The setting lends itself to a wide range of marketing capabilities, and Universal leveraged it through a captivating digital experience that takes viewers on a walk through of various sites on the mountain. 

"We knew we wanted to put the user on the mountain and let them experience it, because the mountain is such an important character in the film," said Brian Pettigrew, President of TVGla, the developer behind the platform. "We felt the best way to bring that character to life was to create this mix of VR and AR augmented reality environment.  

"Mobile devices were the perfect way to amplify the senses and provide users with a unique engagement that made them feel like they had their feet on the ground at base camp," he said. 

Climbing the mobile mountain 
Consumers interested in the Everest film can take to their mobile devices to digitally live out the scenes featured in the movie. The mobile Web site of Everest is equipped with a virtual reality feature depicting the mountain and various scenes of the film. 
To visit Mt. Everest through mobile devices, users can visit where a bevy of information regarding the film is located but also a prompt, which takes consumers to the virtual experience. Once clicking the Experience Everest button users can do a virtual climb of the mountain, and first arrive at an overview of the mountain itself with the locations listed.

Fans have a choice of which places they want to visit. For instance, users can start out at base camp where they will see a variety of characters from the film, get a tour around the setting and immerse themselves in the full experience by hearing the soundtrack and sound effects as well. 
Users can also virtually visit the Khumbu Icefall, where they have a first person view of crossing a rickety footbridge across a steep drop as well as camp four and the summit, which is the top of the mountain. Universal was keen to embed a sharing feature into the experience so fans can help market the film and virtual reality platform to their friends. 

Universal mobile leverage
Universal Studios also engaged more than 100,000 consumers and drove awareness for recent horror film Unfriended by enabling users of the Facebook Messenger application to communicate with one of the movie?s characters (see more). 

The studio?s Minions film released an emoji keyboard prior to its box office opening, adeptly leveraging the lovable qualities of the film?s characters to support the franchise and let users have fun with the brand (see more). 

"We wanted to leverage the attributes of the mobile phone to enable the user to look up, around and down as a way to give them a fuller experience of the scenes from the movie," he said. "You can not really look up if you're looking at this on a computer. But with a phone, it's more tactile and immediate."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer