Case Study: How a marketing agency created a high-end VR headset for beauty brand Dior

Dior’s one of those fashion and beauty brands typically associated with expensive price tags, Parisian fashion shows and Charlize Theron sashaying across a TV screen in a gold dress.

But the luxury goods company is more than just a pretty face. It’s been working with marketing and tech agency DigitasLBi to develop and test out its very own, custom built, 3D printed VR and audio headset for customers.

We caught up with DigitasLBi at the recent Adobe EMEA Summit 2016 in London to find out how they’ve been working with Dior and other brands in regard to VR.

Who are DigitasLBi?

DigitasLBi, part of the massive Publicise Group, is known for creating some really interesting interactive experiences for clients, including the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Durex, Sony and Nissan.

In particular, VR appears to be featuring more prominently on its agenda. After the work it has done with Dior, it told VR Tech it’s also working on similar projects with other clients, but they’re confidential for now.

However, Dior was its first experience in developing a VR headset from scratch.

“We had expertise in VR, but not in developing the headset itself, so we took advantage of this opportunity to develop a new area of expertise amongst our creative technologists and designers," a DigitasLBi spokesperson told us.

Why does Dior want to work with VR?

In Summer 2015, DigitasLBi in Paris was asked by Dior to create an immersive experience for its customers.

The agency was given a three month time frame to complete the project, for which it came up with an all-in-one VR and 360 degree audio headset, Dior Eyes.

Dior headset

The headset would transport customers backstage to get a feel for how the Paris fashion show feels from a VIP perspective. It’s still using the headsets, a limited number of which were created, at its worldwide flagship stores.  

Its primary use of the headsets are to support specific products and lines. Each time new content is produced, new animations are implemented based on Dior’s marketing plans. 

“The main objective is to generate brand preference through innovative and high-quality content, while providing customers with new immersive storytelling about Dior products,” a DigitasLBi spokesperson told us.

What are the specs?

Dior Eyes was designed and developed within three months, including its research and development and prototyping. According to the DigitasLBi team behind the headset, the tight timeframe meant they adopted a fast prototyping methodology and all features and functions were split by priority into categories and tested by iterations.

They chose to 3D print the headset using nylon as the preferred material. The finished product embeds a high density screen, providing a 2k image resolution, an associated to a field of vision close to 100 degrees and includes holophonic audio sound, which is recorded live in 360 degrees with a binaural mic.

The headset includes a smartphone - undisclosed what particular model - that includes a tailor-made VR app capable of rendering 360 degree audio and video. For the lens, the team chose a 40mm focal and a 35mm diameter lens. 

The headset also includes backlights, and an electronic board and lithium battery to light up the Dior logo on the front.

Dior prototype

Results from the marketing efforts are still yet to be disclosed, but as the tech is still being used, we imagine it’s having a big impact as the brand aims to connect its customers with its entire story and 'experience'.

What do you think of brands’ use of VR in marketing?

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