Cannes Lions

The Art of Patrón: VR Experience

FIRSTBORN, New York / PATRON SPIRITS COMPANY / 2016

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Patrón was looking for a new way to tell the story of its artisanal tequilas. A then still-emerging platform, virtual reality had been utilized by brands largely for entertainment, but had not yet been leveraged to open a dialogue about how an actual product is intricately produced. By creating a first-of-its-kind virtual reality experience, we immersed people in the tequila-making process like never before by giving them a first-person look at the care and attention to detail that goes into every bottle of Patrón. By literally transporting tequila lovers to the Hacienda distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, we showed how every bottle of Patrón is handcrafted with passion and precision. Taking the experience one step further, we incorporated Patrón’s signature bee, not just as an embodiment of the brand, but as a vessel for telling the story.

Execution

To bring the Art of Patrón to life, we crafted a love story that could only be told by pioneering a new kind of virtual reality experience. With Patrón’s signature bee as the guide, fans watch the entire artisanal tequila-making process unfold from the bee’s point-of-view as it chases an agave plant out of the fields and into Hacienda Patrón where it’s transformed into premium tequila. Working with director Mark Kudsi, we combined live action VR filming with vivid, cinematic CG in post-production—a then-first in the VR world.

To simulate the feeling of flight and take viewers to places only a bee could access, we filmed exclusively with a custom-made drone (a first for VR filmmaking), equipped with 7 cameras and controlled by the only FAA-certified drone operator. In addition, Binaural (3D) audio was captured on set using a special audio capture device mimicking human hearing to create a fully immersive experience. We partnered with a market-leading visual effects, company to build a new solution for tracking and integrated our in-house CG animation within the live action film footage. With this project, we broke new ground and composited CG into a moving, live-action 360-degree VR experience.

The Art of Patrón VR experience debuted at events and retail locations across the nation and could also be experienced at home thanks to our custom-created video player allowing users to experience the 360° tour on desktop or tablet. The work set a new standard in VR production, raised the bar for virtual reality storytelling, and transported thousands of tequila lovers to the Hacienda Patrón to be a virtual part of the brand they love. It also garnered over 95M earned media impressions from the press, and aided in Patrón being named a 2015 Brand Genius by Adweek.

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