VR helps Kluge make a splash at SBF


Kluge has designed and developed all of Silicon Beach Festival’s websites since 2013 and thanks to the launch of our Silicon Beach Festival 3D Boardwalk we garnered more exposure this year than all previous years combined.

App Screen shot
The 360 experience can be viewed on your phone while the VR experience requires glasses

As we see it, all the pieces are now in place for any company committed to making an impact at trade shows, conventions or conferences to capture the excitement and impact that virtual reality can provide. With game engines like Unity 3D and creative talent from design shops like Kluge, companies can now generate immersive experiences that explain how products help solve complex problems or simply capture the mood and excitement of the event itself.

VR Glasses
VR viewers can be branded with company logos and designs

When you combine a fun, immersive experience with Unofficial Cardboard’s viewers that can be customized with logos and social media handles, festival attendees are not only immersed in your VR adventure the Unofficial Cardboard viewers act as a novel talking point and souvenir. As Kluge learned, a well produced VR experience combined with branded Unofficial Cardboard viewers can help your company become the talking piece of an event and stand out in a busy market.

Ailyn with VR glasses
Attendees can enjoy the VR experience and keep the glasses for future use.

The concept for the Silicon Beach Festival 3D Boardwalk was the brainchild of Kluge’s creative director, Abraham Aguero. Understanding that festival attendees’ are very distracted and time constrained, Abraham had to find the right balance between creating a rich experience and maintaining his audience’s attention. Abraham explains that, like a good roller coaster, you need to keep the virtual ride compact and to the point. Every visual element counts and you need a lot of them to fill up an entire virtual world. It takes a mere 1:12 minutes for the SBF boardwalk flyover, but it took over three months to create all the buildings, billboards, seagulls and beachballs that comprise the VR experience. 

SBF Cropped
Opening sequence of the 360 version of the SBF VR Boardwalk

Looking to flex his VR muscles Abraham threw himself into the project before securing the approval of SBF’s founder Kevin Winston. While Abraham took a risk building an asset that might not receive Kevin’s blessing, as soon as Kevin saw the prototype he immediately jumped on board. He particularly loved the various billboards that promoted the standout companies of silicon beach, as well as his trademark red sunglasses. Kevin actually tweeted out a challenge to his fans to find the virtual Kevin Winston once the app had been launched. This was just one of numerous plugs he gave Kluge before, during and after the festival.

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Digital LA provided tremendous exposure for the Kluge VR app

Kevin gives Kluge enormous creative freedom when it comes to branding his events and Abraham could have come up with any number of ideas for SBF 2016. By designing an experience that was fresh, compelling and fun, it allowed Kluge to leverage the enthusiasm Kevin brings to every event he’s involved in.  It also allowed Kluge to tap into the broadest audience possible, as everyone instantly recognized the spirit of SBF that Kluge was capturing. Building the app also enabled Kluge to repurpose the assets Abraham and his team had designed. This included the banners, backdrops, and decals that could be seen throughout all the festival venues.

Assets from the VR app were utilized throughout the festival.

‘I didn’t even know that creating a SBF VR experience was possible, but after trying it, it was amazing,’ Winston said. ‘We demoed the VR viewers in the VR lounge, the parties and VIP yacht party and everyone was excited to try it and show their friends. VR provides a very engaging experience and it’s great way to showcase that you can add VR to websites, apps and banner ads, which can really enhance your digital marketing toolkit’

Abraham in the VR room

The combination of the app’s design, the impact of Unofficial Cardboard’s viewer, and the enthusiasm of Kevin gave Kluge maximum exposure throughout the festival resulting in features on Huffington Post, Bionic BuzzSilicon Beach Magazine and multiple social media posts.

Kevin on panel with backdrop
Kevin Winston poses a question at SBF 2016. Assets from the VR app were used to create numerous banners and decals throughout the festival.

The VR app was such a success Kluge is already planning to extend the concept of the boardwalk with designs in the works for a virtual South Bay and Downtown LA.

Looking to create a VR experience for your company contact us at: [email protected]


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