By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext
Timed to the holiday season, Diageo has released a harrowing virtual reality experience that is definitely not fun. The video, called “Decisions,” follows three groups of young people whose stories converge in a tragic drunk-driving crash scene. And you’re along for the ride.
“These days, it’s easy for us to be desensitized to certain issues unless we live them out first hand. Our hope is that this will be truly jarring for people and will help inform responsible decision-making,” James Thompson, Diageo’s North American chief marketing and innovation officer, told Ad Age.
The video is available on platforms including Facebook 360 and YouTube 360 as well as in a VR integration with The New York Times. It can be viewed on its own or by with headsets such as Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and the new Google Daydream.
Do fear tactics change behavior?
Debate continues over whether fear tactics actually impact behavior. Researchers have studied the effect of scare tactics on young adults and found mixed results. Some studies found that fear does influence behavior, others did not.
But none of these studies have studied the impact of fear tactics via virtual reality. Hopefully, this heavy dose of reality will have an impact and will save lives.
With Google and Facebook committed to virtual reality, adoption is expected to climb. Deloitte Global predicts that virtual reality (VR) will have had its first billion dollar year in 2016, with about $700 million in hardware sales, and the remainder from content.