Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, has introduced a new virtual reality experience that will immerse consumers in a first-person, interactive story about the dangers of binge drinking. According to its press materials, Diageo is testing VR as a platform to engage consumers in its corporate responsibility efforts to encourage drinking better, not more, and to reduce harmful drinking. “Decisions: Party’s Over” seeks to reduce binge drinking through innovative technology.
The launch follows Diageo’s successful 2016 launch of “Decisions,” a first-of-its-kind 360° experience that placed consumers in the front seat of a fatal drunk driving crash and accumulated almost 14 million views. The experience had a significant impact on consumer perceptions with 73 percent of viewers surveyed after watching the film saying they were more likely to stop other people from drinking and driving, and 75 percent of viewers saying they would prevent drinking and driving by planning ahead with a designated driver.
“Decisions: Party’s Over” continues the series with an innovative take on virtual reality, allowing consumers to interact with the story – toggling between four different points of view – as they experience each of the characters’ perspectives. This latest initiative has once again been spearheaded by Diageo’s Digital and Technology Partnerships teams. Joining Diageo in the effort is Jaunt, the immersive cinematic experience company, who helped with the creative vision, production, development and distribution of the experience.
“We’re excited to be a part of ‘Decisions: Party’s Over,’ the latest installment in Diageo’s virtual reality film series and offer our technology to bring the content to life,” said Tom Vance, Jaunt’s Co-Head of Studio. “Binge drinking can have very serious consequences, and by combining our tools with Diageo’s creative vision, we are able to create an experience that will leave a lasting impact on consumers as they navigate decisions in their lives around drinking responsibly.”
The stories of each character unfold as the viewer steps into their point of view and experiences the party from a first-person perspective, following along with how much alcohol each is consuming at the party as the night goes on. What differentiates this virtual reality film from another is the use of interactive synchronous storylines. Each storyline is perfectly timed so that viewers watching in the Jaunt application on GearVR or Oculus Rift can dynamically switch between character points of view for varying perspectives and consequences throughout the experience.
Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women on a single occasion, and is associated with a range of risks such as loss of inhibitions, confused or abnormal thinking and poor decision-making. With the purpose of showing the repercussions of binge drinking, “Decisions: Party’s Over” follows the journeys of four different partygoers. One character (Steph) throws a going away party for another character (Greg) to celebrate his upcoming move. His reckless drinking, however, throughout the evening ends in a fatal case of alcohol poisoning. Another character (Jasmine) is sexually assaulted by a fellow partygoer (Luke) – binge drinking playing its part in an all too common crime. The stories overlap and play out throughout the night as the viewer witnesses the consequences of binge drinking firsthand.
“We’re continuing to use virtual reality technology for social responsibility initiatives because the immersive experience brings to life the terrifying realities and dangers associated with binge drinking,” said James Thompson, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Diageo North America. “While drunk driving and underage drinking are at historic lows, binge drinking rates have remained stable. Diageo has long been recognized as an industry leader in responsible drinking programming, and our hope is to build on our previous successes with virtual reality to reach our audience on an emotional level and prevent future detrimental impaired decisions associated with binge drinking.”
Diageo continues to look for new and inventive ways to reach consumers via emerging platforms and technologies like the latest installment in its ongoing virtual reality series. Diageo also created DRINKiQ, a website specifically created to cover all aspects of alcohol and give consumers the tools to make more informed choices about drinking, including the decision not to drink. In addition to releasing the virtual reality film, Diageo put together a discussion guide, which will be available on the DRINKiQ site for educators, parents and consumers.
Consumers can access the interactive VR version of “Decisions: Party’s Over” through the Jaunt App in the Oculus Store, both on Oculus Rift and GearVR or view in VR through the Jaunt App supported on iOs, Android, Playstation VR, Google Daydream, Windows Mixed Reality, HTC Vive and all desktop browsers. Consumers can also visit bingedrinkingvr.com and watch the non-interactive version in 360 on their mobile phone.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.