JIGSAW: a VR advert for a film release

The next film in the blockbuster Saw horror franchise pioneers the use of immersive, virtual reality advertisement.

JIGSAW: a VR advert for a film release

Lionsgate expects to reach millions of fans of the Saw franchise with The Jigsaw Virtual Room, a scalable ad offering an immersive VR experience that is complemented with mobile video.

The announcement by Lionsgate and Unity technologies of the launch of a Virtual Reality advertisement for the theatrical release of Jigsaw, the next film in the blockbuster Saw horror franchise, is a first-of-its-kind when it comes to VR. Built on Unity, the new Jigsaw Virtual Room interactive ad format is created within the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) emerging ad experience guidelines and will surface in VR apps made with Unity.

The Jigsaw Virtual Room is truly an authentic experience, featuring real props from the movie rendered in VR, custom voice-over from Jigsaw-himself, actor Tobin Bell, and even includes shrines to each of the eight films in the Saw franchise. By running the movie trailer in addition to the Virtual Room, Lionsgate will reach millions of fans through this one program.

“The Jigsaw Virtual Room is just the beginning. Now that we’ve proven broad-reaching, deeply immersive ads are possible, we expect to see this trend continue with formats including VR, AR, 360 mobile video, and playables,” said Julie Shumaker, VP of Advertiser Solutions at Unity. “Brands will have the opportunity to tell their story in a way that elicits emotional, memorable interactions. As the development platform with the highest reach in AR, VR, and mobile games, we are excited to see what marketers will do next.”

“Advertising in VR combines the storytelling power of immersive content with the guaranteed reach of a media buy,” said David Edwards, SVP of Digital Marketing at Lionsgate. “We’re thrilled to have worked with Unity on this campaign, bringing Jigsaw into an engaging VR ad experience.”

The Jigsaw Virtual Room will also be distributed naturally within two VR apps: the Samsung Internet for VR app and Spiraloid’s Nanite Fulcrum. When Samsung extended its mobile web browser and built a VR web browser for Gear VR users, they made the core app in Unity. As a result, Unity was able to seamlessly integrate the Jigsaw Virtual Room into the Samsung Internet VR app, the first interactive experience to ever appear on its VR browser home screen. The Virtual Room will also appear in Spiraloid’s Nanite Fulcrum, which is the next step in the evolution of the graphic novel.  Users will be able to enter an exclusive Jigsaw comic book panel where the same heart-pumping ad will live. Nanite Fulcrum will be on the GearVR and also on the Oculus Rift, showcasing the cross-platform benefits of running this ad format on Unity.

Lionsgate will debut the Jigsaw VR ad content within a custom-built experiential ‘Escape Room’ installation at New York Comic-Con until October 8, 2017, with an online launch happening later in the month leading into the film’s theatrical release this Halloween.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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