In time for Labor Day – one of the most popular days for alcohol consumption in the U.S. – and back-to-school season, Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, today announced plans for a new virtual reality (VR) experience that will immerse consumers of legal drinking age in a first-person, multi-perspective story about the dangers of binge drinking. This initiative represents the company’s latest effort – and its second leveraging VR technology – to inform consumers about the importance of responsible decision-making when drinking.
Within the innovative realm of VR, the new program follows Diageo’s successful October 2016 launch of “Decisions,” a first-of-its-kind 360° experience that placed consumers in the front seat of a fatal drunk driving crash. In the four months after its introduction, “Decisions” accumulated almost 14 million views. The experience made a significant impact on consumer perceptions with 73% of viewers surveyed after watching the film saying they are now more likely to stop other people from drinking and driving. In addition, 75% of viewers said they will prevent drinking and driving by planning ahead with a designated driver.
The new program around binge drinking is once again being spearheaded by Diageo’s Digital and Technology Partnerships teams. Joining Diageo in the effort will be Jaunt, the immersive cinematic experience company, who will help with the creative vision, production, development and distribution of the experience.
“We made the choice to break into VR with our social responsibility program because it gives us the proper medium to explore numerous dangerous drinking situations in a very real way,” said James Thompson, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Diageo North America. “Telling people about the effects of irresponsible decision-making when drinking is one thing – but giving them the opportunity to see, hear and feel what can happen because of even one bad choice is a potential game changer. ‘Decisions’ and its portrayal of the impact of drunk driving stuck with viewers, even after they removed their headsets. Now, we’re aiming to prevent binge drinking with the same high impact intervention.”
Diageo is focused on reducing binge drinking, drunk driving and underage drinking. Recognized globally for setting the standard in social responsibility and responsible marketing, Diageo views the newly announced binge drinking experience – and its ongoing VR series – as the latest initiative to remind adults to drink responsibly. Whether it’s pioneering Safe Rides Home designated driver activations or leveraging apps, such as Lyft and Uber, to remind consumers there are alternatives to getting home if they’ve been drinking, Diageo is continually looking for new and inventive ways to reach and impact consumers via emerging platforms and technologies.