Virtual Reality – the next steps with Mercedes-Benz South Africa
In a fast moving world, trends show the way and fashionable pieces are constantly at the top of every best and must buy list. As an innovative and forward thinking brand, Mercedes-Benz South Africa recently embarked on a series of exciting and progressive digital projects in the world of Virtual Reality.
“Our customer base is extremely broad and consist of trendsetters who seek the best at all times and want to be ahead of the mainstream in everything they do, own and purchase,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“With this in mind we had to find an innovative concept that would best capture the minds and hearts of our customers and fans, whilst taking into consideration alternative marketing campaigns in a highly competitive market,” adds Govender.
The latest foray into Virtual Reality with Mercedes-Benz Cars is a new concept for the launch of the latest range of Mercedes-Benz Roadsters and Cabriolets.
“We have come up with a creative idea using Virtual Reality that expands on our global television commercial and the popular “#LookUp” Campaign to launch the Mercedes-Benz Roadsters and Cabriolets range, with the C-Class Cabriolet as the hero vehicle. This idea is truly experiential and allows all viewers to ‘feel’ as if they are the protagonist of our C-Class Cabriolet television commercial, thereby taking the virtual experience to the next level using fantasy creatures similar to those in the commercial.
“This type of Virtual Reality campaign has not been produced by any other automotive company, and has the potential to build love for the Mercedes-Benz brand by appealing to the emotions and child-like wonder within us to our wide fan base, both young and old,” says Govender.
For the Roadsters and Cabriolets Virtual Reality Experience, the environment is 100% virtual reality, with no footage of actual roads or real-life. The concept is fantasy-made, while resembling a realistic world that one can experience.
As a teaser to this VR, a short video was filmed in Cape Town, with three children and a dog in the back of a C-Class Cabriolet. The children were asked how it made them feel to drive in the C-Class Cabriolet. Their response was quite amazing, about how they feel and what they saw when they “Look Up” – such as “animals without feet”, “feels like they’re on a bubble that’s flying away” etc etc. These imaginative thoughts and words were used in the VR to physically portray what they saw and express how they felt.
“We believe that Virtual Reality could offer fans and customers the convenience of having an incredible experience that could come as close as possible to driving and enjoying the thrill of a new product, while in the convenience of their homes with their personal devices. We have rolled out a Virtual Reality campaign around our new C-Class Coupé, our C 63 S Coupe and our new intelligent E-Class,” adds Govender.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa has set the benchmark for innovative ways of getting fans and customers closer to the brand, and continues to dominate in the local marketing arena. The amazing quality and cost-effectiveness of the material developed within South Africa has contributed to the success of these Virtual Reality Experiences. This has been recognised internationally and the Daimler global market has invested a significant contribution towards development and content creation for more locally-produced Virtual Reality projects. These Virtual Reality Experiences will also be used by other markets in the Daimler world.
With this ground-breaking new technology, Mercedes-Benz became the first manufacturer in South Africa to create a Virtual Reality Experience, allowing the user to virtually drive in the cockpit of the luxurious and modern models on some of the most beautiful and scenic of South African roads.
Users are able to view the content as a 360˚ video on their personal computer, cellular phone or tablet, or they can familiarise themselves with the full Virtual Reality experience on devices such as the Samsung Gear VR or even the Google cardboard, using their own mobile devices.
The world of Virtual Reality is fast becoming the best next form of entertainment and Mercedes-Benz South Africa is definitely at the cutting edge of this technology.
Link to the C-Class Cabriolet children’s video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugbGrwy0BVs
Link to view C-Coupé VR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBJF-EGojEM
View 360 video on new E-Class on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwQikUZYhQM6