Create Advertising Launches Virtual Reality Division

The Walk - P 2015

The ad agency's first VR project is a tie-in to Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk,' starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Create Advertising Group, the creative services boutique agency, is jumping into virtual reality, the newest development in entertainment marketing, with the launch of its new division Create VR.

Announced on July 7 by David Stern, owner and founder of Create Advertising Group, and Jonathan Gitlin, partner and president of television and gaming for the company, Create VR already is showing off its debut project, Sony Pictures' “Can You Walk The Walk,” a tie-in to Robert Zemeckis upcoming film The Walk.

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film tells the story of Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire journey between the World Trade Center towers. The resulting VR experience was shown to invited guests at the Summer of Sony event held last month in Mexico as well as last month’s CineEurope.

“We could not be more challenged or amazed by the vivid and true-to-life worlds that we are able to create or re-create in virtual reality,” said Gitlin of his company’s foray into virtual reality.

The Create VR team also includes Jake Black, head of motion graphics and virtual reality for Create VR and “Can You Walk the Walk” team leader; video game media veteran Tom Ham; and Dan Pfister, producer of gaming and virtual reality at Create Advertising Group, the company behind such campaigns as Iron Man 2, Black Swan and Casino Royale, among others.

By using a virtual reality exercise like “Can You Walk the Walk?” as a marketing vehicle, Stern hopes to increase consumers' investment in brands by strengthening the relationship between consumer and product. The applications also extend beyond marketing. Sony’s virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus, is scheduled to be released to the public in 2016, offering a new way to play video games.

“Once consumers have had a VR experience based around a specific project or brand — they are invested — they’ve had a personal experience and their relationships with the material is forever changed,” Stern said.

Stern, who has worked on everything from trailers to branding campaigns for such clients as Avengers Age of Ultron, Netflix and The Lego Movie, said, “We believe virtual reality has the potential to become the next great marketing frontier. It is as powerful a hook as we have ever seen.”