Brands swing into 'Spider-Man' content with VR, AR experiences
- Sony Pictures Entertainment and Dell have teamed up for a variety of high-tech promotions around the upcoming release of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" on July 7, according to a joint press release.
- The two are launching a virtual reality (VR) experience that allows viewers to swing around the city like the titular web-slinging hero, available on major VR platforms starting June 30 and with sneak previews at select Cinemark theaters, where Dell hardware will be used for demos. The second promotion is interactive digital billboards in Times Square featuring a "Spider-Man Scramble" game that allows viewers to control a virtual version of the superhero appearing on the outdoor ads by using their smartphones.
- In related Spider-Man news, the Audi A8 will debut in the movie, along with being featured in a digital short "Driver’s Test" featuring star Tom Holland and comedian J.B. Smoove, per a press release. The video depicts Peter Parker in action as a crime-fighter during a driving test.
While wide release, feature length VR movies are not quite a Hollywood staple yet, promotions leveraging the immersive technology are becoming more popular to pique audience interest and provide a different window into a movie's tie-in content. Earlier this month, Universal Pictures similarly released a VR experience ahead of "The Mummy," a film which also tied into a mobile game.
"Spider-Man Scramble," for its part, introduces an interesting use of out-of-home advertising, leveraging smartphone technology to bring static billboards to life. Out-of-home, sometimes thought of as a stale channel, is being reinvigorated as digital integrations add a strong mobile component into the mix, opening up opportunities for augmented reality (AR) experiences. For the release of a new Caramel flavor, Mars' M&M's candy brand also turned Times Square billboards into playable arcade games via AR.
Audi is running a more straightforward campaign, though the short points to brands' growing interest in producing more premium, longer-form video content. By featuring the star of the film and high-end production values, "Driver’s Test" might even pass for a deleted scene, albeit one with some heavy product placement.
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