By Sibyl Chen
Earlier this month, Lionsgate and Krispy Kreme pushed out the first ever national brand integration campaign using Matterport’s 3D media platform. The activation - used to promote the film Power Rangers - exhibited an extraordinary level of creativity and dedication on several fronts. The Space featured the staged grand opening of Angel Grove’s newest Krispy Kreme location (and grand closing, considering the store is destroyed in the movie), live actors placed throughout (a rarity in Matterport Spaces), an embedded sweepstakes, and hidden easter eggs.
But most importantly, it was a first trial run using rich media Mattertag™ Posts as a custom developer-led build, bringing video and photography content inside of a Matterport Space. This custom effort - which is not yet available to the public - represented countless hours of work from both partners. This launch marked a huge milestone for native brand integration and the evolution of Matterport’s technology.
An Evolution of Matterport in the Film & TV industry
Over the past year or two, movie studios and TV networks have sought to utilize Matterport’s new form of 3D media across various areas, spanning pre-production, production and post-production. Early trials included a scan of the set for the TV show Seinfeld and a scan of the set for the web series Star Trek Continues. Trekkies by the thousands visited the set virtually and spent countless hours collectively meandering around the corridors of the Enterprise getting a sense of what it’s like to be in Captain Kirk’s chair or go to the teleport room.
On the marketing side, EPiX launched an online promotion featuring the real life compound and set for the TV series President Graves. In this instance, audience members could actively explore the compound of President Graves (played by Nick Nolte). It was only a matter of time before a film studio would turn to Matterport’s innovative 3D platform to help promote the launch of a movie.
Lionsgate and Saban’s Power Rangers were the first to the table.
The Trend toward Native Brand Integration
The idea of using 3D media as a way to feature a form of brand integration isn’t entirely novel. The idea has been floated by digital executives from studios, networks and publishers alike who over the past year have been poking around and experimenting with Matterport’s technology. With traditional methods of driving advertising revenue becoming less effective, the demand for alternative and more engaging forms of brand integration is becoming urgent.
As creative ad execs have been searching for new ways to drive ad revenue or sponsorship dollars, the Power Rangers Movie activation seems to highlight there might be a new way: use Matterport to build a world that allows viewers can experience as if they were really there.
The First of Its Kind
One of the most creative aspects of the Power Rangers activation is the “easter egg hunt” experience. Baldwin&, Krispy Kreme’s creative agency, managed the creation of the activation. Jennifer Matthews, a Creative Director of Baldwin& said, “We created this virtual shop, and wanted it to be completely immersive for the user, so that it felt as close as possible to the real thing. Our goal was to fill the shop with interactive content without disrupting the user experience.”
This became perfect opportunity for Matterport to roll out the first version of rich media tags featuring video and photos. Baldwin& embedded various rich media including the movie’s trailer.
Krispy Kreme partnered with Lionsgate and sponsored this online activation to engage the audiences, inviting them to visit the grand opening of the Krispy Kreme in Angel Grove (fictional city where the Power Rangers live).
Baldwin& worked with Vince Garrick, co-founder of VR Listing, to help shoot the experience with the Matterport camera. “Creating this experience presented a unique challenge. Having the actors and crew all working together made the process seem more like a movie production than your average 3D capture,” said Garrick.
The most impressive experience is the hidden tag linking fans to an alternate world, where the same Angel Grove Krispy Kreme shop has been destroyed by the villains from Power Rangers.
Since the activation launched, several studios have inquired about using Matterport technology to promote their films. Matterport is thrilled to be partners in the ongoing evolution and use of true immersive 3D across media and entertainment.
Among Matterport’s network of photographers (known as Matterport Service Partners), several are specializing in working with media companies - VR Listing among them. “For me the most rewarding part of being an MSP is that we get the opportunity to meet potential clients with interesting ideas about how they would like to use Matterport’s technology,” said Garrick. “When we started VR Listing, our main focus was working in the real estate industry. Matterport’s MSP Program has helped us expand our business into various other industries.”
Baldwin& is a hybrid branding and digital media company based in Raleigh, NC. Founded in 2009, Baldwin has won several awards including AdAge’s Small Agency Campaign of the Year (2011) and Small Agency of the Year (2012). The agency works with clients such as Krispy Kreme, Cree LED Lighting and BMW Golf.
VR Listing is a technology driven marketing company and a Matterport Service Partner based in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 2015, VR Listing specializes in creating bespoke marketing solutions with a focus on emerging technologies.