To launch Topshop’s summer swimwear range in its flagship Oxford street store, our immersive digital agency Framework Creative created a giant VR waterslide – named SPLASH! – as part of the brand’s shop window pool scene. Wearing an Oculus Rift headset, shoppers enjoyed a 360-degree ride on a virtual waterslide that twisted and turned above the buildings and buses of a bustling virtual Oxford Street. Virtual billboards and models introduced participants to the new swimwear range along the ride, before they were transported to a desert island sun lounger, where their adrenaline-fuelled adventure ended in a beautiful tropical scene.
By focusing on quality rather than quantity, a smaller but highly detailed Oxford Street plot was created which championed the intricate features of the iconic street, together with the features of the ride itself. This detail was vital to capture characteristics like the relentless hustle and bustle, the diagonal crossing, the Regency architecture, and the endless streams of buses. The result was an unmistakable virtual Oxford Street. Music was also a hugely important part of the experience, and Doppler effects and volume control were perfectly orchestrated to imitate the sounds of something being passed at speed in an urban landscape, meaning participants enjoyed a more realistic adrenaline-fuelled experience.
The SPLASH! VR waterslide was completed in two weeks with limited budget. However, time and monetary restrictions did not hinder the creation of a virtual Oxford Street that had roads, pavements, people, cars, buses, taxis, lampposts and a selection of buildings and features that stayed true to Streetmap. The amount of real world data incorporated into the app made for an entirely realistic and easily recognisable virtual replica of Oxford Street. By setting strict guidelines for the flow of the waterslide – so it never broke the average building height – participants never saw the horizon, so every street looked as compact and bustling as the real life version.
The Topshop SPLASH! campaign ran for 11 days during which swimwear sales increased by 100% versus the previous year. From a social media perspective, it generated 5.3 million views of the Snapchat lens; more than 2 million Instagram stories; 1 million Facebook impressions; 689,000 Twitter engagements; and over 3,000 people posted photos using the hashtag #TopshopSplash.
A total of 4,000 shoppers participated in the campaign and over 460,000 views of the in-store digital screens were recorded. Evidence of the summer vibe created by the campaign also spread throughout the store – with Hersheson’s Braid Bar seeing a 50% increase in sales.
From a press perspective, over 50 pieces of coverage were featured across publications including Grazia, InStyle, The Debrief, and The Sunday Times Style. This equated to a reach of 6.9 million readers and a media value of £102k. The campaign also won PR Week’s Campaign of the Month for May 2017 with 65% of votes.