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There is no better time for brands to use virtual reality as part of a PR or new product push.
Most people are yet to try the Oculus Rift or similar, are itching to try it and will likely be impressed by the results.
The event was designed by BEcause Brand Experience and Bel UK (owners of Boursin) as a mix of virtual reality, bespoke CGI animation and live product sampling in an experiential roadshow.
Despite being a familiar name to many UK consumers, Boursin recognised that awareness of its flavours and formats was relatively low.
The brand wanted to engage a new generation of fans, increasing Boursin's relevance to consumers' everyday lives without losing its luxury status.
An experiential roadshow was identified as the ideal campaign medium.
But Boursin knew that a run-of-the-mill sampling roadshow wouldn't be likely to stand out and wanted a contemporary consumer experience.
The Boursin Sensorium
This sensorium combined live multi-sensory experiences with virtual reality (VR) and a bespoke 360° CGI film to fully immerse consumers, who found themselves flying through the inside of a fridge, past carefully-chosen ingredients.
Unsurprisingly, it was the first time a food brand in the UK had brought together virtual reality and sampling.
Oculus Rift VR headsets and CGI animation were combined with a sound track, moving chairs, cool air, scented fans and product samples.
The Sensorium launched at Westfield Shopping Centre in London, before visiting a series of county shows and regional Foodie Festivals, with a team of young French 'waiters' acting as brand ambassadors.
The reactions of every individual participating in the VR experience were filmed in six-second clips for easy sharing on social media using the hashtag #BoursinSensorium.
The live activity was backed by influencer relations with lifestyle and food bloggers and targeted digital activity on paid-media.
To extend the experience, a special photo-booth also captured fun shots of people inside the fridge surrounded by Boursin ingredients.
Event recall and impact
- Two months after the event took place, 98% of those asked recalled the experience.
- 62% of visitors felt they had learnt new things about Boursin, and 74% said the event had made them more likely to consider the brand in the future.
- Word of mouth far exceeded the quoted industry figure (1:4) averaging at 1:12.
- 5,097 consumers immersed in virtual reality (VR) experiences during six events and 18 days of live activity.
- 86,298 samples enjoyed by consumers.
- Using green screen technology, 1,845 people had their photos taken.
- Footage from the experience has also been used as part of a Facebook video campaign for the brand that has had over 450,000 views.
- The bespoke 360˚ CGI animation is a valuable ongoing virtual asset that has so far had over 75,000 views on YouTube and Oculus Share.
The average Boursin net promoter score prior to the event was 7.5. Post-event, this had risen to 8.3.
Significant uplifts were recorded in brand awareness for Boursin in the wake of this experiential activity, according to independent research.
- Overall awareness of the Boursin brand rose from 93% pre-event to 98% two months after the roadshow.
- Only 38% of consumers were aware that Boursin produces portions prior to the roadshows. This had increased to 73% two months later.
- Product awareness also rose significantly, with awareness of Boursin's Black Pepper SKU rising by 32% during this period, and awareness of Boursin's Shallot & Chive SKU rising by 44%.
Prior to the event, 19% of consumers claimed to be buying the brand on a regular and/or monthly basis. Two months later, this figure had almost doubled to 36%.