VR Travel Experience

iFly KLM 360°

Introduction

Round the world with Kiran Jethwa

For more than a decade we have been inspiring people to travel with KLM. Knowing inspiration is not reserved for one specific moment in time or to be consumed on one specific medium, we have always pushed to inspire in a variety of different formats, moments, media and devices. 2018 marks the year of our first virtual reality travel experience: iFly KLM 360.

The concept

Making Memorable Experiences

Providing you with reasons to travel (with KLM), that’s what iFly KLM does. So when we went VR, it was our intention people would still be inspired to experience first-hand what they just saw in VR. The experience needed to be a full dinner and an appetizer at the same time.

Great experiences come with great stories. And great stories need great storytellers. We needed a protagonist who would really undergo all the adventures. Our audiences had to go on a journey with a host. We needed powerful and exciting storylines, with enough arcs to keep the experience attractive. We teamed up with Kiran Jethwa, The Fearless Chef, who was as excited as we were. And we chased the story of finding and drinking the most expensive coffee in the world.

Strategy

Making Memorable Experiences

Even though VR is a rapidly growing business, the majority of our audience has no designated goggles or viewers yet. We love exclusivity, but we firmly believe in access. That’s why we built both a VR experience and a web experience. That’s more sustainable, moreover because of our serial approach.

stories

The Search For Black Ivory

In the first episode Kiran takes you on a journey to discover how Black Ivory Coffee is made. It’s currently the most expensive coffee in the world, but the process, the surroundings and the people involved hold so much more substance than just the monetary aspect. Kiran travels to Thailand, meets up with the very hospitable Akha tribe who grow the coffee beans. He faces (and feeds) the powerful Asian elephants – small spoiler alert – who magically transform the beans before he eventually takes a sip of the extraordinary coffee.

“I always wanted to taste the most expensive coffee in the world”

360° content

Travel the world, without leaving your house

Building a VR experience is not like anything else. We have a story to tell, of course, but we also want you to explore the environment. We want many things to happen at the same time, without confusing our audience. You need to feel Kiran’s excitement, we want you to co-experience what he’s experiencing, what he knows and what he’s bound to find out. We don’t want to rush you and at the same time, we’re going forward.

the platform

Custom crafted 360°/VR Web experience

We want everybody to be able to experience our episodes. Whether that is in your cardboard, your VR headset, mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. So, basically everything. Therefore we created a linear version for cardboard and VR headset and an interactive 360° experience platform for all other devices allowing you to look around and choose the content you desire. In every episode you find additional 2d video stories, slideshows and tips. Ensuring an even richer and more interactive story discovery. No matter what device you’re using.

design

A portal to a new world

The design is made to scale, but we focused on the mobile experience. Here, your browser becomes a little window to a different world. We wanted that window to be particularly clean, the content needed to be full-screen, crystal clear, in all the right proportions and with all the right focus points.

It shouldn’t matter if you’re going vertical or horizontal, there would always be so much to see. Additional navigation is therefore kept really minimalistic, elegant and smart. It’s there to serve our users, to serve you! And it disappears when you’re in the story, so no distractions there, and accessible enough to reappear.

the production

A colossal shout-out to our friends

The guys and girls of Amsterdam-based film production company Eyeforce were our crafty partners in crime. They were not just equipped with the right material and perfect professional expertise, they were most and foremost equipped with the intrinsic drive tosqueeze every last drop of amazing out of the story and production. Relentless. We all were.

Distribution

An immersive campaign

First of all, our loyal iFly KLM subscribers received several notifications to navigate to the iFly KLM 360 platform. To attract and engage new audiences we’ve created an online campaign including Facebook 360 advertising and captivating Instagram stories. Targeting the right audiences with the right message. We even had a little bit of help from our Fearless Chef as well.

Among friends

Custom cardboard & free boarding passes

We launched our first episode in KLM ’s head office in Amstelveen, The Netherlands. Prior to the event, all KLM employees were invited to go ‘round the world with us, without leaving the building. They all received special boarding pass tickets to Thailand. Departure time: whenever they were ready. They were invited in the main lobby for the real virtual reality experience, or they could pick up one of the custom designed cardboards.

The Next Episode

Shark diving in Hawaii

We won’t be spoiling too much, but Kiran has got much more items on his bucket list to strikethrough. The second one we managed to capture in 360: shark diving in Hawaii. We enter the island rather remarkably, not by boat or airplane, but in a microlight aircraft. And the best part: it’ll feel like you’re flying yourself. Furthermore, we learn about the cultural importance of sharks to Hawaiian people, visit a world-known tattoo artist (curious to find out how that plays out) and yes, we go out to sea. To dive with sharks. Kiran did. And so will you, if you dare.