The line to get inside the Oculus Rift booth at CES this year at times was more than an hour long as people waited to experience the latest VR headset. If they had only known, they could been one of the 6,000 people who last fall tried out Oculus Rift—and entered the world of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man brand icon—while swigging Dos Equis and taking in the scene at bars across the Southwest.
For the past three years, Dos Equis has activated a Masquerade campaign—complete with performance artists, musicians and side-show performers—to generate excitement around Halloween and get people drinking its Mexican lager beyond the last weekend in October. Last year’s two-month campaign culminated on Nov. 22 in a masquerade party for 2,000 at Generations Hall in New Orleans, a theatrical, immersive, interactive consumer engagement where Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man, hip-hop artist Q-Tip and the Oculus Rift also made appearances.
• GALLERY: Photos From The Masquerade Party
In keeping with the masquerade theme, Dos Equis deployed high-tech Oculus Rift VR masks, or headsets, to engage consumers with its hyperbolic brand spokesman, the Most Interesting Man in the World. Beginning in September, the brand distributed 21 Oculus Rift headsets to bars in key markets, primarily in the Southwest, and at Halloween-themed events. The headsets transported participants into a large room in the Most Interesting Man’s stately manor where they were in the center of the action, which entailed acrobats, flame throwers, a medicine man, even a leopard. Noise-canceling headphones allowed them to pick up on the conversations taking place wherever their eyes took them during the two-and-a-half minute experience until finally the Most Interesting Man appeared and revealed that the OR-wearing bar patron was the guest of honor.
“The experience gave people the opportunity to go inside the world of Dos Equis and the Most Interesting Man’s Masquerade where they encountered the unexpected and extraordinary,” says Ryan Thompson, brand director at Dos Equis. “People sitting in a bar environment chatting socially with friends or ordering a beverage were able to don this mask and take their full senses into another world.”
Those who missed the OR experience (or who don’t hang out in bars), could view an interactive online video in which they chose the direction of the narrative with a click of their mouse in an effort to help the Most Interesting Man find his “little black book.” Fans could also post Masquerade and Halloween photos to Instagram using #XXMasquerade or upload them to XXMasquerade.com for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip for two to the grand finale Dos Equis Masquerade party. Agencies: Havas Worldwide, New York City, handles Dos Equis; Mirrorball, New York City, handles the Masquerade Ball.