Diageo uses VR to push drink driving message home

21st November, 2016 by Lauren Eads

Diageo has launched an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience that allows users to “see, hear and feel” a fatal drunk driving collision as part of its efforts to tackle drink driving.

The drink-driving limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is currently 80mg/100ml, the second highest in Europe (Photo: Pixabay)

In the US drunk driving fatalities are at an all-time low, having decreased 53% since 1982.

Named “Decisions”, the VR experience puts consumers in front seat of a drunk driving collision with the aim of meaningfully impacting consumers about the importance of responsible decision-making when drinking.

Described as “industry first” for the drinks trade, the experience follows the journeys of three different vehicles and their passengers, with the story lines of each group ultimately converging in a tragedy that the viewer will be able to “see, hear and feel”.

The VR initiative builds on Diageo’s Join the Pact campaign, through which it has urged consumers to stop drunk driving by having them take a pledge to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and encouraging their friends, family members and loved ones to do the same.

“With VR technology on the rise both in consumer interest and utilization, we believe this is the ideal method to directly and emotionally impact consumers,” said James Thompson, chief Marketing and innovation officer, Diageo North America.

In the US drink driving fatalities are at an all-time low, having decreased 53% since 1982, however as Diageo notes, every drink driving death can and should be avoided.

“These days, it’s easy for us to be desensitized to certain issues unless we live them out firsthand,” added Thompson. “Our hope is that this will be truly jarring for people and will help inform responsible decision-making while enlisting their advocacy in the ongoing fight against repeat, hardcore drunk drivers.”

Consumers of legal drinking age can access “Decisions” through Facebook 360, YouTube 360 and NYT VR. It is compatible with all VR headsets, including Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream.

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