The Most Interesting Man in Virtual Reality

He doesn’t always go on nationwide bar crawls. But when he does, it’s via Oculus Rift

Marketing legend has is that Cuba imports cigars from him, mosquitoes refuse to bite him purely out of respect, and, in museums, he is allowed to touch the art. Yet, in the coming weeks, far less interesting bar-goers can help this modern hero locate his most treasured item from within his own universe — and maybe even win a trip.

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Through the end of November, the Dos Equis beer company be equipping bars in “key markets” (many of which are in the Southwest US) with a total of 21 Oculus Rift headsets, the Wall Street Journal reports. Using the headsets, drinkers will enter the virtual reality of The Most Interesting Man In The World (TMIMITW), Dos Equis’ popular long-time mascot, with the goal of helping locate his lost little black book. The brand’s agency, Havas Worldwide New York, hopes to reach 1,000 to 2,000 bar patrons with the set-ups, but far more fans through online and social media-based attention.

As Dos Equis reps explains in a press release, the campaign is “the first-ever live action, 3D, cinematic [virtual reality] project undertaken for a brand.” To produce the film, directors Jordan Fish and Patrick Sherman partnered with Montreal filmmakers Felix & Paul, “who have invented the best live action camera and post production system for VR,” the company added. For about two-and-a-half minutes, the headset-wearer watches a short video of colorful guests arriving in a private plush setting, during which the viewer can turn their head to inspect different characters. After a short parade of flirtatious women and a jaguar, TMIMITW himself shows up to identify the viewer as the guest of honor.

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“It’s kind of goosebumps-worthy for our super fans that really love him and love any kind of deep interaction,” says Gwen Boyce, brand director at Dos Equis, to the Wall Street Journal. Boyce also noted that the project is a way to reinvigorate the much-loved character with the help of new technology. “We need to find new ways to surprise and delight our customers,” she explains to Mashable. “The virtual reality headset was our chance to have a really cutting-edge interaction with consumers.”

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As Jim Hord, executive creative director at Havas, tells the WSJ, the Oculus Rift headset gives both the feeling and experience of wearing a mask, which fits in with Dos Equis’ annual fall push. The new campaign will culminate with a live masquerade party on November 22 in New Orleans; the brand is also promoting the event with an interactive online video, in which TMIMITW enlists the viewer’s help in finding his gentleman’s booklet of probably-far-less-interesting — but nevertheless lost — names and numbers. The collaborative virtual-reality project will also help the brand with “furthering the mythology of the Most Interesting Man and Dos Equis,” Hord adds.

As writer Francis Pruett explains on the site Barman Guide, the campaign’s original platform was meant to offer vicarious experience, too:

He is a man rich in stories and experiences, much the way the audience hopes to be in the future. Rather than an embodiment of the brand, The Most Interesting Man is a voluntary brand spokesperson: he and Dos Equis share a point of view on life that it should be lived interestingly.

Fans of the brand (or the beer) who want to join in the hunt and enter for a chance to attend the upcoming masquerade can get to work within Dos Equis’ interactive video.

Dos Equis

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