A Place for VR and IRL at the Beach and at the Communications Table: Ketchum Launches Ketchum VR

vr blog 2

From the beaches of Cannes for the Cannes Lions Festival this week, to the beaches of Rio for the upcoming Olympic Games, this summer brands will turn out more VR content than ever before. In fact, Deloitte Global projected VR will hit $700m in hardware sales in 2016, with roughly 2.5 million VR headsets and 10 million game copies to be sold. As VR breaks out of the early adopter phase and finds its way into the homes of millions more people, Ketchum is already taking clients into this virtual future.

VR is more than a new video medium, it’s about transcending the way audiences are able to experience a story (click to tweet). Ketchum is an industry-leader in crafting content and stories that break through – it’s what our clients rely on us for day-in and day-out – in our role as stewards and curators of their brand messages.

Which is why we’ve created Ketchum VR, our new offering which produces VR content for clients.

We’ve built our business to support the space where digital strategy and human experience merge and have invested in expanding our in-house talent to help our clients embrace and produce this type of immersive storytelling.

Globally, Ketchum has more than 40 in-house technology, video, entertainment event and user experience experts. Filled with groundbreaking and Emmy award-winning storytellers, this team has been helping our clients win in VR. Additionally, we have formed deep partnerships with VR industry leaders.

We’ve produced work for a range of clients, and here are two recent examples:

Samsung Electronics, Mobile Communications Business: “Vanuatu Dreams
For Samsung Electronics’ mobile communications Olympic sponsorship, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment (KSE) spearheaded creation of a three-minute VR film, “Vanuatu Dreams,”which focuses on the training and preparation of beach volleyball Olympic hopefuls Miller Pata & Linline Matauatu from Vanuatu. The film takes viewers on an immersive beach volleyball experience during the athletes’ quest to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Filmed in Vanuatu, the shoot involved some of the most extensive uses of close-up 360-degree slow motion in virtual reality to date. The KSE team held a sneak preview of the VR film at a private media screening during the Tribeca Film Festival where Samsung also premiered its “A Fighting Chance” documentary short for nearly 100 VIP media and guests.  The “Vanuatu Dreams” VR film is available for download on Samsung VR app and for viewing globally through YouTube.

Clorox Healthcare
Within Ketchum Digital’s global capability, Ketchum Studios helped Clorox Healthcare find an innovative way to drive awareness of Nasal Antiseptic Swabs (NAS) as an effective alternative to improving antibiotic stewardship, and to set itself apart from competitors in the healthcare space. With an eye on a debut at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), Ketchum created a cutting-edge 360 video campaign that allowed healthcare providers, trade professionals and the mainstream media to virtually get in the room with a nurse and pre-op patient and learn about the benefits of decolonization prior to surgery and the importance of antibiotic stewardship as a national priority. AORN conference attendees put on Google Cardboard viewers and experienced the Clorox Healthcare brand and its mission in an up-close and highly intimate way.

Ketchum VR builds on the award-winning content creation the agency has been doing for several years across all mediums from social content to full-length documentary films. That said, we aren’t telling every client to get on board . . . yet.  Why?

With VR, we believe there should be something in the story that makes it worth telling in this immersive fashion. VR’s greatest allure is that it allows the participant to decide what they want to look at, experience and pay attention to – to have personal control over the viewing experience.

I encourage you to try it for yourself, and find out how powerful VR can be. And, then if you think you’re ready to tell a captivating story in VR, let us know. We’ll help you assess, be provocative and take risks to ensure that you and your viewers are living on the virtual edge.

But IRL, get in touch with Marcus Peterzell, EVP Entertainment, KSE and Lori Beecher, EVP, Media & Content Strategy, to find out more. I’m off with others from Ketchum at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity this week, where we announced the offering, which was covered by PRWeek!

Remember to check out Ketchum.com’s Cannes social hub for the latest from the festival and join the conversation with #KetchumCannes.

Barri Rafferty is Ketchum’s former CEO and current head of communications at Wells Fargo.