MINI Goes Virtual Reality

While not being a new concept, Virtual Reality has been heating up significantly over the past 24 months. Video game companies, movie production businesses, and now car manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon. MINI has decided to innovate on that front as well by releasing two 360-degree short films. More details after the break.

Official Release: MINI is planning a global marketing campaign using individual virtual-reality technology. The automotive brand will show two 360-degree short films, which allow viewers to roam freely in virtual space. MINI will therefore become the first brand ever to harness the huge potential of virtual-reality (VR) technology for top-quality storytelling. This move also underscores the brand’s positioning as an innovative company that explores new directions in communications.

The two six-minute shorts “Real Memories” and “Backwater” have been available on YouTube and the campaign website www.mini.com/360 in more than 20 countries worldwide since 8 September 2015. The films are being promoted through YouTube pre-rolls and on various social-media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The films were shot in Barcelona using a custom stereo rig with nine RED Dragon cameras offering a combined resolution of 14k. A custom 7 GoPro camera rig was developed specially for scenes inside the car. The films can be viewed directly online in a browser or on any smartphone with an installed YouTube app. They will also be available shortly for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift virtual-reality viewers.

For its global marketing campaign, MINI plans to distribute a total of free 140,000 MINI Virtual Reality Cardboard Viewers worldwide (the viewer is based on the new version of Google Cardboard presented this summer). mini.com/360 provides a list of where these virtual-reality viewers are available.

In addition to the two VR films, the campaign website also features other exciting video content: two trailers, a making-of video and brief clips of the actors discovering the features of the MINI Connected system during breaks in shooting.