- Disney Pixar is rolling out a virtual reality (VR) experience to promote the release of its animated film "Coco" on Nov. 22, according to VentureBeat.
- A standalone VR app, created by the studio Magnopus, debuted exclusively for Facebook's Oculus Rift device on Nov. 15 and features a roughly 20-minute interactive story that tracks a young musician's journey to the "Land of the Dead," including through unreleased film footage.
- Social elements of the app include the ability for users to play with up to three other people, each wearing VR headsets, where they can model traditional Dia de los Muertos clothing and decorate virtual calaca skeleton heads.
Integrating VR into the marketing mix can be challenging, as the technology is often time-consuming to develop content for and many consumers have shied away from the hardware's often high price tags. Disney and Pixar, however, have decades of experience and success in animation, giving them the finesse and resources to create immersive digital worlds for consumers to engage in.
Though "Coco" is Pixar's first swing at VR, according to VentureBeat, parent company Disney has previously worked with the technology as it's looked to stoke excitement outside of traditional TV and theater advertisements. It has an ongoing partnership with Oculus and has already produced immersive experiences such as a 360-degree video on Facebook for the animated film "Moana" and a VR app for the 2017 version of "Beauty and the Beast."
On the consumer end, VR has remained largely geared toward niche audience segments like gamers, as video games are a natural fit for the immersive tech. Platforms like Facebook's Oculus, Google and others have recently attempted to address barriers to adoption with lower-priced gadgets geared toward more mainstream markets.
Given the hardware requirements along with massive processing power needed for a fully-immersive VR experience, it makes sense that established film production studios like Disney Pixar are becoming some of the early adopters of VR content. In October, Lionsgate and Unity Technologies debuted a similar VR ad to promote the release of "Jigsaw," the latest movie in the long-running "Saw" franchise.