Sony boosts 'Escape Room' with playable 360-degree banner ads
- Sony Pictures promoted the psychological thriller "Escape Room" with a banner ad that users can click to access a 360-degree experience based on the film. The immersive experience shows themed rooms from the movie that audiences can explore and try to escape by solving step-by-step puzzles, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The 360-degree ad outperformed the control group, according to OmniVirt, the VR/AR ad platform that developed the campaign. The firm did not provide additional metrics.
- Sony Pictures worked with OmniVirt and creative agencies Pretty Big Monster and Stradella Road on the campaign for "Escape Room," which premiered on Jan. 4. A microsite featuring the interactive experience for a sweepstakes lets viewers unlock hidden clues within the ad and enter for a chance to win $1 million and a trip to Los Angeles.
A movie like "Escape Room," which tells the story of six strangers who must solve puzzles to free themselves or die, is well-suited for an immersive campaign that challenges consumers to use their wits. The 360-degree ad has "hot spots" that can be clicked to find clues and solve puzzles, engaging viewers with additional content inspired by the film. The movie was No. 2 at the box office during its opening weekend, despite middling reviews from critics, suggesting that the new game could resonate with fans of the film.
Sony Pictures has added a variety of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences to its promotions over the past few years. The studio in November released the animated movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" with a mobile web AR experience that didn't require users to download an app, reducing friction. Sony also released an AR gaming app called "Ghostbusters World" that resembles the 2016 hit mobile scavenger hunt "Pokemon Go." The game didn't accompany a film release, although another "Ghostbusters" sequel is in the works for a summer 2020 debut.
For their part, OmniVirt has become a leading platform for film studios' ad campaigns, working with Paramount for "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" and Universal for "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" and "Pitch Perfect 3." The campaigns have often outperformed industry benchmarks, with an immersive video campaign for "50 Shades Darker" seeing a 10-time increase in click-through rates over tests.
The immersive gaming ads arrive as worldwide spending on AR/VR is set to grow 68.8% to about $20.4 billion in 2019 from last year, according to estimates from the International Data Corporation.