- Ford and its creative agency GTB are teaming up with noted French filmmaker Claude Lelouch to remake his "C’etait un Rendez-Vous" short film using 360-degree virtual reality technology and featuring a Ford Mustang, according to the company.
- "C'etait un Rendez-Vous" first came out in 1976 and showed an eight-minute early morning drive through Paris. The film was noted at the time for being experimentally shot from the perspective of the car, creating a disorienting but kinetic and exciting experience.
- The new VR version is expected to be released this month and will initially be distributed via YouTube and Facebook and be viewable in the 360-degree format on mobile devices or in virtual reality using a VR headset.
Ford has been making news lately with its concentrated shift from being just an auto manufacturer to a forward-thinking "mobility" brand. The company recently dedicated a $1 billion investment to artificial intelligence to further autonomous vehicle development; the latest campaign tapping VR to put a fresh spin on an old classic fits into Ford's larger scheme of reinventing the wheel, so to speak, using bleeding edge technology.
As a messaging medium, VR technology remains in the experimental phase, though its uniquely immersive qualities might be big for industries like automotive, which can place users in the virtual driver's seat without actually handing over the keys.
By using VR to take an already iconic piece of content to the next level, Ford is creating a fun branded experience that should be enticing for Mustang fans and film buffs alike. As consumers engage more with digitial content, Ford is likely hoping they will like and share its film, giving it viral impact. One takeaway for marketers from the effort is Ford is creating a range of viewing experiences from simple 360-degree video — essentially VR-lite — to a fully immersive VR version, which might be more intimidating for the casual consumer.