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Absolut spins musical VR experience that reimagines nightlife

Pernod Ricard USA?s Absolut Labs is extending the reach of the vodka brand?s millennial-geared Absolut Nights campaign by teaming up with electronic dance music producer deadmau5 for a mobile application and virtual reality experience.

The subsidiary of Absolut Vodka has developed an interactive virtual reality experience in partnership with deadmau5, showcasing how the company looks ahead to redefine and reimagine nightlife via its long-running Absolut Nights campaign. Fans will be able to download the Absolut deadmau5 application for their smartphones this July and purchase a branded VR cardboard headset to participate in the experience, which follows the EDM producer as he journeys to a nighttime concert.

?Absolut always aims to be inclusive in its approach, which is why we're releasing the Absolut deadmau5 app for free on July 27 on iOS and Android,? said Afdhel Aziz, director at Absolut Labs. ?We aim to reach tech-savvy millennial audiences who grew up with video game culture and who are intrigued about VR experiences.?

Spinning mobile?s turntables
The Absolut deadmau5 VR gaming experience invites consumers to join the musical artist on a big night out as he makes his way to a nighttime gig. The vodka company?s Absolut Nights campaign seeks to connect people in unexpected and new ways, highlighting the relevancy of merging the physical and virtual worlds in this latest marketing activation.

Absolut Labs, a creative venture designed to foster innovative experiences that shape the future of nightlife, developed the virtual reality experience through a combination of video game technology, motion capture and live-action footage.

Individuals can download the Absolut deadmau5 mobile app on July 27 for their smartphones and visit to pre-order a limited edition Absolut deadmau5 VR cardboard headset, which the EDM producer had a hand in designing.

The headset can be purchased for $17.95.

The VR experience kicks off in the musician?s garage, where his Instagram-famous cat, Meowingtons, appears. Deadmau5 then gets into his vehicle and attempts to reach his nighttime gig on time, all the while encountering various obstacles, including selfie-taking fans and skeptical club bouncers.

The conclusion of the experience showcases deadmau5?s live concert in his hometown of Toronto, during which he performs his new song, ?Saved.?

The Absolut deadmau5 app can be downloaded for iOS, Samsung and Android devices.

Pushing the boundaries
The deadmau5 collaboration marks the second time that Absolut Labs has rolled out a virtual reality experience. The first was introduced in July of 2015, and featured a live VR concert by Bob Moses. Fans from around the United States were able to receive front-row access to Mr. Moses?s concert in Brooklyn via 360-degree live video.

Absolut?s partnership with a prominent EDM producer could prompt other brands to include collaborations with major influencers and musical artists in their next VR iterations.

An Adidas executive at Intersect Fashion New York 2016 explained that while virtual reality is on the rise, the user experience is currently too lonely and marketers should attempt to create a more inclusive experience in which consumers can interact with others such as peers, friends or brand associates (see story).

Absolut has also innovated within other areas of the mobile space in the last year.

Several months ago, Absolut supported customers in their pursuit of the perfect cocktail via a partnership featuring a smart scale, mobile application and Bluetooth technology that made it easy to measure ingredients and know when to stop pouring (see story).

?Absolut has always been amongst the first brands to use new mediums to connect with audiences,? Mr. Aziz said. ?VR is believed to have an exponential adoption curve with an estimated half-billion annual headset sales by 2025.

?The faster that we are able to learn how to use the medium to tell stories and create compelling experiences, the better equipped we will be to connect with consumers in ways that are 'useful and delightful.'?