Mountain Dew makes a foray into Oculus Rift VR

Mountain Dew is rolling out its first Oculus virtual reality effort as part of its “DEWcision 2016” campaign, encouraging fans to vote for one of its two new flavors: Baja Blast and Pitch Black.

The Nascar VR experience — developed in collaboration with agency Firstborn — allows viewers to be in full control of the race, co-piloted by one of the DEW Nascar drivers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne or Chase Elliott. There are two paths in Nascar VR: Baja Blast (California beach and desert) and Pitch Black (neo-Tokyo cityscape). Whatever path the viewer takes within the experience will count as a vote toward Mountain Dew’s final decision.

Since Nascar VR is tied back to the viewer’s favorite flavor, one way of measuring it is the number of votes,” said Stinson Parks, digital and branded content lead for Mountain Dew.

The soda brand will set up a VR station at the JR Motorsports Fan Day in Mooresville, NC, May 26-27, and distribute the content through Samsung’s mobile app Milk VR library, YouTube 360 and Facebook 360.

Mountain Dew unveiled its first VR experience in 2014, where viewers could skate with professional skateboarders Paul Rodriguez and Sean Malto through some of the most iconic spots in Las Vegas. A year later, the company trekked to the Utah backcountry where fans rode up the mountain in a helicopter with Olympic athletes Danny Davis, Scotty Lago and Jack Mitrani, and barreled down backcountry.

Mountain Dew also created a 360-degree video last year to let viewers ride along with race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. through Bristol, TN and experience a 100 MPH ride around the track.

“Aside from sports, we will continue pushing boundaries in VR and expand to other verticals like gaming, film and music,” said Parks.

There will soon be a featured area for the VR Hub on Mountain, where site visitors will be able to see playable 360-degree video formats of the four VR experiences Mountain Dew created in collaboration with Firstborn. Meanwhile, the beverage brand is in talks with Shazam about a VR partnership as the music app is pushing into visual. When Shazam users scan the label on a Pitch Black or a Baja Blast bottle, they will see a 360-degree video from Mountain Dew.

“At our core, we are a digital instigator,” he said. “That means pushing the limits of what’s possible and embracing creativity, whether that’s through VR and social media or progressing sports and gaming.”
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