Gamification case study: History Channel transports viewers into virtual wilderness

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To promote History Channel's newest survival reality TV show Alone, it created a regional campaign using the Oculus Rift as a medium to enhance the consumer brand experience and to give a taste of what it would be like being alone, in the wild. This case study looks at how the TV channel created buzz with a fitting use of new technology.


Case study summary

• History channel makes show experience come alive with VR event

• Alone: The Oculus Rift Experience placed players in a tent in the middle of a forest at night

• Video capturing event went viral, amplifying campaign

• Succesful debut at Sunway Pyramid meant the experience also moved on to Manlia.

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The challenge

With the History Channel’s audience having to be passive consumers, how could it excite consumers and bring across this feeling of despair, fear and loneliness beyond the TV set?
Of all the TV networks that could use virtual reality (VR) for new marketing experiences, the History Channel could arguably benefit the most. The company could use VR tech to transport users back to the periods depicted in many of its shows, making for ideal companion pieces and educational apps.

It made use of Oculus in a non-gamification format and brought the jungle to the people. The consumer experience was enhanced through the blurring of reality and virtual reality.

The solution

Working with Govt. Singapore, the channel came up with in Alone: The Oculus Rift Experience, which debuted at the Sunway Pyramid shopping mall in Juala Lumpar, Malaysia.

Designed to promote the channel’s show, Alone, it first places players in a tent in the middle of a forest at night.

Moving outside and into the area, players are subjected to a number of jump scares as they come face-to-face with nature and the surrounding wildlife. Towards the end they’ll even experience a dangerous encounter with a bear.

Following its debut at Sunway Pyramid, the experience also moved on to Manlia.

The results

“With our audience having to be passive consumers, how can we excite our consumers and bring across this feeling of despair, fear and loneliness beyond the TV set? We made use of Oculus in a non-gamification format and brought the jungle to the people. The consumer experience was enhanced through the blurring of reality and virtual reality,” Executive Creative Director, Aaron Koh, said of the project.

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