Asda launches virtual reality (VR) Halloween experience on YouTube

Asda has launched a virtual reality (VR) Halloween experience on YouTube. The video – which follows the adventures of four trick-or-treating children who wander into a haunted house – is a 360-degree video, perhaps a media first for grocery brands in the UK. When watching from a mobile, tablet or desktop viewers can adjust their point of view in each scene and look around and even, importantly for a Halloween film, behind them. In five stores, shoppers can also pick up a free Google Cardboard which turns an inserted smartphone into a VR headset for a more immersive experience whilst watching the film.

Hosted on Asda’s YouTube channel, the film, when viewed on a mobile phone, also includes shoppable TrueView cards, a new feature recently introduced by Google-owned YouTube, which provide product information and click-to-buy options.

The campaign, devised by Carat UK and created by virtual reality (VR) specialists Happy Finish, puts Asda products at the centre of the story to inspire parents with ideas for costumes, props and food for throwing a Halloween party. The campaign is also supported by paid media.

“This is a great example of entertainment and retail; engagement and transaction coming together into a brilliant consumer experience,” said Matthew Hook, managing director at Carat.  “It’s fantastic to work with Asda to push the boundaries of what’s possible and to create new and exciting experiences for their customers.”

“Working with Google, YouTube and Carat on trialling a new, fun way to immerse shoppers in our Halloween range has proven to be a real success for us,” said Chris Chalmers, senior director, digital and direct communications, Asda. “Our customers are ahead of the curve when it comes to social media and we’ve had a positive reaction from them – we’ve been really impressed with the amount of people that have viewed and interacted with the video so far.”

“We’ve absolutely loved working on this exciting 360 film,” said Daniel Cheetham, chief interactive officer at Happy Finish. “We’ve built the narrative with sensitivity to VR and hope we’ve created something accessible to the target audience, while also pushing the limits of 360 filming. It’s really exciting to think that this film may be the first YouTube 360 film with shoppable cards in the UK. We hope Asda customers really enjoy it.