- Dove is promoting the debut of an anti-bullying film it produced with a peel-off cover on Entertainment Weekly magazine that can be scanned with a mobile device to activate a virtual reality (VR) experience, according to Adweek. Viewers can watch the film, "An Hour With Her," by downloading the Life VR app to scan the magazine cover with a smartphone camera.
- The movie, directed by Debbie Allen, features two women who talk about self-esteem after confronting bullies. One of the women, an actress who found comfort in the Dove Self-Esteem Project, talks to a high school student who is experiencing cyberbullying about how to get past the hurtful episodes.
- Ellie Duque, publisher of the magazine, said the Dove campaign marks the first time Entertainment Weekly has featured a print ad that enables a VR experience. The first cover will hit newsstands on May 18, followed by two more this summer. Dove worked with agencies Edelman and Mindshare to develop and promote its release.
Entertainment Weekly joins a growing number of publishers who are experimenting with VR, in some cases to enhance storytelling and bring editorial content into the modern age and in others, to develop potentially more impactful content marketing strategies with brands. Dove's integration with the Life VR app to activate its film gives the brand prolonged exposure to Entertainment Weekly's readers, who are interested in new films and TV shows, and also helps to position the brand as socially conscious and accepting of all people. Dove has attempted to lead the charge in the industry in terms of diverse representations of both models' body sizes and races, especially with its 15-year-running "Real Beauty" brand platform.
Entertainment Weekly's integration of VR ads follows other Time Inc. efforts to enhance content with more immersive features. For example, Sports Illustrated supported the publication of its popular annual swimsuit issue in February with a Snapchat World Lens. The experience invited readers to learn about the life of a swimsuit model and virtually put themselves on the cover of the magazine. Time magazine in January added several augmented reality (AR) features to the "Optimist" issue guest-edited by Microsoft's Bill Gates. The issue let readers see AR features also by downloading the Life VR app and scanning pages of the magazine with a smartphone camera to activate more interactive features.
More broadly, the New York Times published an AR experience for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, that included immersive profiles of four athletes.