Ford takes consumers on a VR test drive to demonstrate new safety features

Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) Ford has collaborated with IPG Mediabrands Malaysia’s Ensemble Worldwide to launch a pop-up store, that aims to demonstrate the safety features of the Ford Ranger through virtual reality (VR) simulation.

Titled "The Second Chance Test Drive", the pop-up store will take participants through what happens during an accident in slow motion, before showing how the Ford Ranger's safety features can alert drivers to take action and prevent accidents.

To create the most impactful and realistic experience, the Ensemble team analysed crash test dummy footages, broke it into milliseconds, and carefully reconstructed it frame by frame in VR. They also utilised a film technique that slows down the passage of time so an observer can see in super slow motion what usually happens in a blink of an eye.

In a statement to A+M, a spokesperson for Ensemble Worldwide said the campaign will run on platforms including YouTube, Facebook and out-of-home. The pop-up store will travel across Malaysia from Klang Valley to Penang, Johor Bahru, Kelantan and Kedah, and will run until September this year.

Queenie Tham, head of marketing communications, SDAC said the simulation provides a visceral demonstration of how the driver-assist technologies can potentially save the lives of the customer and their families.

"Through the VR test drive, we hope to differentiate Ford Ranger from most pickup brands that focus more on the masculinity and performance of the vehicle. We are confident more people will be drawn to our pop-up stores to experience it for themselves," Tham added.

Loreen Lim, content director, Ensemble Worldwide said the agency wanted to stress how important vehicle safety features are while emotionally connecting to customers through a memorable demonstration. Vital safety features are usually not top-of-mind for potential customers as the information is typically presented in bullet points and factual formats.

"This VR campaign aims to turn that notion around. Working closely with our partners from The Ministry Experience, Fantasy Factory Films and VHQ Media, we were able to bring the idea to life through six months of research, planning and actual execution," Lim said.

Watch the spot here: