Virtual reality creates big-top thrills in bars

oculus rift

Customers in pubs and bars will use the latest technology to enjoy all the fun of the big top as part of a sampling campaign for cinnamon-flavoured whiskey Early Times Fire Eater.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is using Oculus Rift (pictured), the virtual-reality glasses that are worn on the head to create three-dimensional experiences for applications such as video games.

Under the title of “Step Right Up”, the technology will be used in pubs and bars in Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds and Glasgow to transport people inside a circus tent.

They will feel like they are being taken up to a lofty platform where they will teeter on the edge before plunging through burning rings of fire into a tiny pool of water below.

Rolling out in June, it will also give consumers a chance to try a 15ml sample of Fire Eater which has a 19th-century circus story evoked by its branding and packaging design.

Crispin Stephens, American Whiskey marketing manager at Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, said: “We wanted to bring the essence of the brand to life and really allow consumers to enter into the vintage circus world of Fire Eater, delivering a spectacular experience beyond the simple enjoyment of a great-tasting shot.

“This innovation in wearable technology has been a hot topic of conversation since its launch in 2012 and we wanted to be the first in the UK drinks market to trial it.

“The 19th-century circus narrative has been well received, capturing the imaginations of our core target audience. In fact, since launch in some outlets we have been outselling nearest competitors two to one, highlighting that Fire Eater is delivering on both taste and creating a brand world that adult consumers want to be part of.”

The sampling and Oculus Rift experiential activity is part of a £1.5million launch marketing campaign which also includes social media, promotional activity and digital communications.

Click here to read more: US cinnamon whiskey liqueur comes to the UK (April 8, 2014).

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