PHOENIX – In an election year where technology has haunted both Presidential candidates, one local campaign in Arizona has successfully tapped a new technology to educate and reach voters. Director Art Haynie and HighGround, Inc. have teamed up to break new ground in political campaigning by launching the first ever Virtual Reality campaign ad.
https://youtu.be/rpQlrFUPIAo For full VR experience, view on a smart device like phone or tablet, in the YouTube APP. For desktop, you can click and drag using any browser that supports 360/VR formats, except APPLE Safari.
“Virtual Reality is really starting to find its way in other realms such as advertising and concert experience. Politics is definitely the next logical step. VR has the amazing capability to put a viewer right there, to see first hand what a problem or solution is,” said Art Haynie of Big Monkey Films. “In this instance, as the issue was about saving open space and in particular, mountain preserves, how better to show people the encroaching development to the mountain preserves in question than to put the viewer at the top of the mountain to see for themselves? VR gave us the capability to make a very striking point without having to drag every voter up to the top of a mountain to see for themselves.”
The spot was filmed at one of the peaks of Sunrise Mountain in Peoria and allows users to explore the scenic vista while chatting with Vice Mayor Bridget Binsbacher about Proposition 400. The ad was produced on behalf of the Yes for Peoria Committee supporting a local sales tax dedicated to improving public safety, protecting open space, and keeping up with growth in Peoria.
“In this crowded election cycle, we are always looking for ways to break out of the clutter and find unique opportunities to connect with voters,” said J. Charles “Chuck” Coughlin, President and CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, “Proposition 400 seemed like the perfect opportunity to test this technology and allow voters to enjoy something that they may not otherwise experience. VR is a perfect medium to allow voters to see for themselves the pristine Sonoran desert landscapes Peoria will preserve with a yes vote on 400.”
The immersive VR commercial allows viewers to look in every direction all the way from the sun in the sky down to the rocks at their feet. They can even turn to look at particular areas as Vice Mayor Binsbacher points them out. At this time, the unique nature of the advertisement prevents it from appearing on traditional television airwaves. However, the ad will be featured in YouTube, social media, and internet advertising.
“VR is so new, it’s been impossible to this point to get anyone in politics to take a chance on it. In some ways, politics is a lot like Hollywood. There’s a lot at stake and neither likes to do anything until they’ve seen someone else do it,” concluded Haynie, “But when I took the idea to the people at Highground, they got it. They saw the power VR had in telling their story, and stepped right up. And now we can all say we’ve created the first VR political commercial in the world.”
The ad can be viewed at https://youtu.be/rpQlrFUPIAo.
About Art Haynie
Art Haynie, is an award-winning freelance director in Commercials, TV, Film, Promos, Music Videos, Digital and New Media. Art has a wide range of credits from record setting Super Bowl commercials to having been a staff director on ABC Networks Jimmy Kimmel Live. Art also has many international credits and awards including an AICP Best Director in Europe, helping create an award winning commercial for Pepsi which garnered “Brand of the Year”, and selections at the Cannes Film Festival. Now Art is one of the pioneers in Virtual Reality (VR) having already directed and produced the world’s first full length live VR concert, and the world’s first VR political commercial. Art is also the owner of long time production and production service company Big Monkey Films. Art is based in Los Angeles, CA. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Currently, Art Haynie is in post production on a live VR concert for the band Eagles of Death Metal. The full-length film was recorded to commemorate the last show of the band’s 2015 tour, which was horrifically derailed mid tour by the tragedy in Paris. It is expected to be available via several online sites and apps next month.
About HighGround, Inc.
HighGround, Inc. is an Arizona based public affairs firm specializing in government relations, public relations, communications, campaign strategy, survey research, and public policy. The HighGround team provides its clients with a success-oriented, diverse team of media, public and government affairs experts. When it comes to winning campaigns, HighGround has an unmatched record of success. The team consistently creates informative and original public campaign efforts that are able to break through the immense clutter of business/political communication rhetoric. HighGround’s methods and strategies have been proven through some of the most heated and competitive statewide and local elections.
HighGround has won dozens of “Pollie” awards from the American Association of Political Consultants including 2014 Campaign Excellence Public Affairs/Advocacy Campaign of the Year award for “Restoring Arizona.” The team has also earned more than a dozen Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections including Best Public Affairs Campaign of 2015 for their work with the David and Gladys Wright House. Learn more about the HighGround team at www.azhighground.com.