Brief

To seamlessly blend live theatre and VR to bring a slice of paradise into the heart of Mexico City and create the ultimate party.

Approach

The Mill were on hand to deliver every part of this ambitious brief from the early stages of scripting to the location scout, virtual build and the entire set design of ‘Gral Prima’. Over the course of six months the team built four vast, hyper-real landscapes using Epic’s Unreal engine to allow for a ground-breaking use of sensory interaction in VR.

Impact

An Exclusive Party at Casa Corona with Multiple Themed Rooms Secret Location-Based Interactive VR Experience 3,000 people over 6 nights 887M social media impressions

Client

Wieden+Kennedy

Brand

Corona

Capabilities

Scriptwriting / Direction / Production / Design / VFX / Editorial / VR / Event & Stage Management

“This experience represents everything that is so exciting about experimenting with merging genres - taking interactive gameplay, linear narrative and live theatre and melding them together to create a new hybrid experience.”
The Mill's Creative Director Adam Grint

Virtual experiences have undoubtedly come a long way in the last few years, but when W+K approached The Mill with the opportunity to recreate a journey through Paradise as a fully sensory experience, the team saw an opportunity for VR to take a giant leap forward.

Adam Grint and Mill Design Director Adam Parry were the perfect pair to execute this multifaceted and somewhat daunting project. Grint leading on the creative technology and Parry spearheading the theatre and live event elements. Together with the W+K creative team, they developed a mythical and enchanting script.

To authentically create the feeling of being fully immersed in nature, the experience required the team to drill down into what drives the human perception of the environment around us and how to create a more believable connection to it.

This had to be a world you could not only see and hear but one you could touch, feel and smell. All the while, finding a balance between motivating attendees to a clear end goal and ensuring that they felt like they authored the journey themselves through unique interactions.

Parry explains, ‘There were 4 key concepts at the heart of this narrative; What’s driving you forward? How do you find your way? How can you make a confined physical space appear much bigger using a virtual landscape? How can use engage physically with the virtual environment?’

To achieve the optimum levels of intrigue, no one invited was told there was a VR experience. The team created a hidden portal into the VR area through a Corona vending machine.

A key challenge for the team to overcome was how to apply the VR equipment without detracting from the overall experience. By bringing live-theatre into the mix the team were able to blur the lines between the physical and the virtual.

The narrative threads reflected this seamless transition. The overall feeling of the urban jungle giving way to Paradise started as soon as attendees entered the door of the venue. Actors and performers were on hand throughout the event to carry attendees all the way through to the Paradise beach bar at the end.

Once in the headset and without ‘signage’, or some form of physical guide, the team had to figure out how to keep the attendees on course. The answer was a docent, born from the environment itself, a Hummingbird that uses AI to lead users through the experience, directing their attention to elements of interaction, coaching them to follow should they stop for too long in a section.

The idea was to have attendees chase the sunset through different portals. The ultimate goal was to reach the beach in time to watch the sun set.

When the Corona cooler box opened on the beach in VR, the users’ vision was then flooded in orange light. The team built a fog / light installation in the exit room, so the last thing seen in VR, matches the first thing seen in the physical world as attendees removed their headset.

The team took so many learnings from this mammoth project, much of the process required them to experiment and fail before they found the right way. In the end, the results superseded all expectations, raising the bar for future VR experiences and creating an online sensation.

2 x Bespoke VR Zones, Oculus Rift Headsets with Leap Motion Sensors, Portable VR Backpacks, One-to-One Physical Set Builds, Environmental Effects including Heat Lamps and Wind Machines, 4 x Interactive Virtual Environments, AI-enabled VR hummingbird mascot, Scripted Docent & Performer Encounters “Sunset” Exit Room that Matches Last Thing Guests See in VR

Credits

Brand
Brand Corona
Global VP Corona Thiago Zanettini
Global Corona Communications Director Clarissa Pantoja
Global Corona Brand Manager Evan Ellman
Global Director of Entertainment Jonny Sabbath
Mexico
VP Marketing - Middle America Riccardo Diaz
Marketing Director - Mexico Alexsandro Pinto
Head of Corona - Brand Platforms Rodolfo Vargas Bezaury
Director of Marketing Communications Lucia Olvera De La Garza
Agency
Agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Executive Creative Director Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Creative Director Anita Fontaine, Geoffrey Lillemon, Alvaro Sotomayor
Head of Broadcast Production Joe Togneri
Director of Interactive Production Kelsie van Deman
Broadcast Producer Lizzy Harris
Interactive Producer Annatruus Bakker
Planner Maria Correa
Head of Digital Strategy and Comms Planning Greg White
Communications Planner Hillary Heath
Digital Strategist Freddie Young
Social Content Strategist Jordan Sowunmi
Group Account Director Kirk Johnsen
Account Director Franky Wardell
Account Executive Thomas Missault
Creative Developer Marc Winklhofer
Digital Art Director Leeza Pritychenko
Digital Project Manager Dylan Galletly
Project Manager Janna Boesjes
Business Affairs Kacey Kelley
Interactive Production
Interactive Production The Mill
Creative Directors Adam Parry, Adam Grint
Producer Jarrad Vladich
3D Tech Lead Artist Ed Thomas
Lead Developer Roberto Costas Fernandez
3D Art Lead Dan Moller
Creative Engineer Noel Drew
Engineer Martin Thelwell
Event Producer Eric Alba
Developer Michael Hunualt
Lead Concept & Environment Design German Cassado
Concept & Environment Design iyoung Lee, Cameron Johnson
Modelling & Texturing Marta Carbonell, Michael Greenwood
Rigging Andres Graichen
Animation Jesus Parra, Philippe Moine, Kieran Russell, Sinu Raghavan, Appu V, Dhiran Karkera , Roshni Kakad
Event Production
Event Production Sicario
Event Producer Mayari Machado
Assistant Producer Lilyana Zea
Project Manager Rodrigo Pérez
Graphic Designer Marcos Chávez
PR Manager Eileen Tuma
PR Leader Carlo Ross
Agency Director Fernando Gómez
Set Design
Set Design Cocolab
Director Alejandro Machorro
Business Development Carlos Velazquez
Project Manager Christian Mejía
Project Producer Andrés Mejías
Chief Set Designer Felipe Linares
Set Design Coordinator Mayra Meneses
Art Department Luisa Guala, José Luis Cruz, Sebastian Álvarez, Alex Bermeo, Antonio Pirron, Rodrigo da Silva, Epi Calzada
Head Model Maker José Luis Cruz
Concept Artist Epi Calzada, Octavio Herrera
Chief Operation Officer Alejandro Araiza
Logistics and Operations Jesús Hernandez, Francisco Soto, Christian Romero, Sergio Guzmán, Marco Salazar
Infrastructure José Luis Patiño
Chief Lighting Designer Paolo Montiel
Lighting Operator Gerardo Montes, Valeria González, Jorge Garatachea, Carlos Garatachea
Software Engineer Leader Josué Ibañez
Software Q.A. Jerónimo A. Zandi, Eduardo Jimenez
Film Production
Film Production Company W+K Portland
Director Quentin van den Bossche
Line Producer Lizzy Harris
Film Production - Mexico
Film Production - Mexico The Lift
Executive Producer Ihxel Pérez
Line Producer Iván Melicoff Abril
Director of Photography Emilio Valdez
Editing
Editing Company Joint
Editor Quentin van den Bossche
Assistant Editor Kevin Alfoldy
Post Producer Catherine Liu
Executive Producer Leslie Carthy
Audio Post
Audio Post Joint
Audio Mixer Noah Woodburn
Audio Assistant Natalie Huizenga
Music
Music Company Joint
Artist/ Title Noah Woodburn – “Doors Closed Corona”

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