A Journey to the New Frontier (Sundance 2020) pt. 2

Digitas

A Journey to the New Frontier (Sundance 2020) pt. 2

Keith Soljacich

In my first piece, I shared the initial experience about what The New Frontier was all about.  In this next installment, you’ll see that—like many other events—the second day was better than the first!

Persuasion Machines – The Othrs

A room-scale VR experience, from the filmmakers behind ‘The Great Hack’ and narrated by Wil.I.Am, The Othrs begins by interacting with the smart devices around your home.  As you move through the experience, the devices begin to visualize what personal information they are capturing and sharing.  As your space is consumed by more and more data, you divert in to story-telling portals that portend the implications of these data leaks and their impact on our society.  These portals become more and more jarring as the story progresses culminating in a personal reflective moment when you remove the headset. 

This experience really resonated as the advertising industry grapples with data and security.  Leaders from across the industry are convening to map out the future of data-driven marketing.  An experience like this personifies the consumer-first point of view which will be critical to consider as we evolve our approach as marketers. 

The Book of Distance – Randall Okita, National Film Board of Canada 

In this intensely personal immersive story, Randall steps in to a virtual world to recount the life of his grandfather.  Through beautifully designed animated memories and artifacts from his grandfather’s life you’re guided through his youth in pre-WWII Japan, his life-changing immigration to America and eventually his xenophobic family separation to an internment camp, all playing out in front of you in a Japanese origami paper style. 

This experience absolutely took my breath away at its immersive ingenuity; I also realized how difficult it is to wipe away tears inside a VR headset.  While this story was very personal to Randall, this tech could be applied to any brand wishing to deliver a deeper personalized experience than what meets the eye.  Brands that recognize the power of meshing real/genuine emotions with an immersive experience can create truly personalized brand journeys.  But why stop at emotions; could a brand “go farther?”  Imagine if you could allow an immersive experience to read your 23andMe data to visualize the journey of your own DNA?

In my next installment, I’ll address something totally new and different—and something I cannot wait to have one of our clients try!

Keith Soljacich

Keith Soljacich

VP/Group Director, Experiential Technology

As VP, Group Director, Technology at Digitas, Keith specializes in the technologies that power innovative marketing and advertising campaigns for our clients. He has worked with iconic brands like Whirlpool, AMEX, MillerCoors, Disney, and PlayStation to develop the next generation of digital creative technology. With a background in Production and CGI, Keith specializes in immersive technologies like AR & VR. Meanwhile, in the Lab, Keith leads a steady stream of research and development, prototyping and experimentation to find the next innovative solution for clients.

UP NEXT

A Journey to the New Frontier (Sundance 2020) pt. 1

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