Behavior Change
Diageo VR Series Gives Consumers First-Person Perspective on Dangers of Binge Drinking

A night of celebration for a friend moving for a new job turns to tragedy in a new virtual reality (VR) experience from Diageo about the dangers of binge drinking. In a follow-up to 2016's "Decisions," which placed viewers in the front seat of a fatal drunk driving crash, "Decisions: Party's Over" immerses consumers in a first-person, interactive story. The series of 360° videos allows viewers to experience each of the four characters' perspectives and is intended to encourage consumers to drink better, not more, and to reduce harmful drinking.

2016’s Decisions experience accumulated almost 14 million views and had a significant impact on consumer perceptions: 73 percent of viewers surveyed after watching the film said they were more likely to stop other people from drinking and driving, and 75 percent said they would prevent drinking and driving by planning ahead with a designated driver.

Party’s Over continues the series with a more interactive experience. It uses interactive synchronous storylines so that viewers watching in the Jaunt application on GearVR or Oculus Rift can dynamically switch between character points of view for varying perspectives and consequences throughout the experience. By stepping into each character’s first-person point of view, the viewer can follow along with how much alcohol each character is consuming at the party as the night goes on, see how their story unfolds, and how their actions might affect the other characters.

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"We're continuing to use virtual reality technology for social responsibility initiatives because the immersive experience brings to life the terrifying realities and dangers associated with binge drinking," said James Thompson, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Diageo North America. "While drunk driving and underage drinking are at historic lows, binge drinking rates have remained stable. Diageo has long been recognized as an industry leader in responsible drinking programming, and our hope is to build on our previous successes with virtual reality to reach our audience on an emotional level and prevent future detrimental impaired decisions associated with binge drinking."

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Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women on a single occasion, and is associated with a range of risks such as loss of inhibitions, confused or abnormal thinking and poor decision-making. With the purpose of showing the repercussions of binge drinking, Decisions: Party's Over follows the journeys of four partygoers: Steph, who throws a going away party for another character, Greg, to celebrate his upcoming move; Greg, who’s reckless drinking ends in a fatal case of alcohol poisoning; Jasmine, who is sexually assaulted by fellow partygoer, Luke; and Luke, who commits the assault. The stories overlap and play out throughout the night as the viewer witnesses them firsthand.

Immersive cinematic experience company Jaunt supported Diageo’s Digital and Technology Partnerships teams to bring the content to life, assisting with the creative vision, production, development and distribution of the experience.

"Binge drinking can have very serious consequences, and by combining our tools with Diageo's creative vision, we are able to create an experience that will leave a lasting impact on consumers as they navigate decisions in their lives around drinking responsibly," said Tom Vance, Jaunt's Co-Head of Studio.

Consumers can access the interactive VR version of Decisions: Party's Over through the Jaunt App in the Oculus Store, or view in VR through the Jaunt App supported on iOs, Android, Playstation VR, Google Daydream, Windows Mixed Reality, HTC Vive and all desktop browsers. Consumers can also watch the non-interactive version in 360 on their mobile phone.

In addition to releasing the virtual reality film, Diageo put together a discussion guide, which will be available on the DRINKiQ site for educators, parents and consumers. Diageo created DRINKiQ to cover all aspects of alcohol and give consumers the tools to make more informed choices about drinking, including the decision not to drink.

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