R/GA London has announced that it has collaborated with Guinness on the launch of a multi-sensory virtual reality (VR) experience that is being rolled out in-store across Tesco Supermarkets, as part of a UK wide roadshow to promote the latest Guinness beers; the West Indies Porter, Hop House 13 Lager and Guinness Draft.
The unique experience immerses users in a bespoke 360 environment comprising of colours, shapes and sounds that have been scientifically proven to enhance the flavor profiles of each beer. The voice of Peter Simpson, the master brewer at The Guinness Open Gate, acts as a guide, instructing viewers when to smell and taste the beers. An intelligent cup with an inbuilt Arduino chip, recognizes these movements and triggers a range of multi-sensory cues that enhance the flavours or aromas in a way that you couldn’t otherwise have.
“VR technology is increasingly becoming a viable new media platform for brands and agencies that are looking for powerful ways to impact on branded storytelling” said Alex Wills, Managing Director Content Studio, R/GA London. “We’re really excited to have partnered with Guinness on a campaign that uses VR not as a gimmick or a ‘first’, but for what the technology was actually designed to do: suspend the senses and transport you to another place”
The project was also developed in collaboration with Professor Charles Spence, an award winning food and flavor scientist and lecturer at Oxford University, whose expertise in this area ensured that the innovative VR experience combined a range of colors, textures, movements and sounds, all aimed at enhancing the flavor profiles of each beer when tasted. Research provided by Professor Spence helped form the campaign design, establishing that the sight, touch and sound of food and drinks can have large effects on perceived tastes.
“We are delighted to be able to bring an immersive experience like this to Tesco for the first time, allowing customers to have their senses awakened upon a sip of our unique brews.” said Halie Ritterman, Global Digital and Data lead at Guinness. “Partnering with R/GA has enabled us to harness this new technology, merging it with great storytelling and allowing us to reach people in new and profound ways. It also allows us to showcase the brewing experimentation and innovation at Open Gate Dublin in a truly interactive manner.”
R/GA London collaborated with production company MPC who developed the animated visuals and sonic environment of the virtual reality experience. The virtual reality experience will be launching in selected Tesco stores from 22nd May onwards with further global roll outs planned for later in the year.