Making Anti-nuke VR Experience Is Important

Making Anti-nuke VR Experience Is Important
July 7, 2018

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.


This week, film and creative director Geordie Stephens, of creative and production agency Helo, talks about why the VR experience ‘The Day the World Changed’ for Nobel Media is both engaging and highly important in today’s social climate.

Geordie Stephens of Helo


Today, artists, advertisers and storytellers alike are faced with a fierce audience. We are more skeptical, cynical and appear to have the upper hand when it comes to knowing when we are being pandered to, or spoon-fed messages or content. Consumed by screens, we have put our collective heads down and retreated into the self-absorbing bubble of consumerism and technology. But there is a renaissance coming; where people want to feel, touch, and rejoin society as they “experience” brands, ideas and art firsthand. As history proves, too much of anything creates a reaction in the opposite direction.


Filmmakers Saschka Unseld and Gabo Arora recently co-directed a new virtual reality experience titled, ‘The Day the World Changed.’ Created in partnership with Nobel Media to commemorate the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, (the winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize) this film premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.


In the immersive experience, audience members are able to walk through the ruins of Hiroshima and examine artifacts from the bombing of August 6, 1945, but also see the continued threat of nuclear war.


Watching the video of this project, I suddenly realized its importance to our current social climate. That, as important as it is to look forward to our future, understanding and conveying the mistakes of our past is also a powerful lesson to be learned. This project took actual artifacts from the event, and then added video testimony and photogrammetry (the creation of 3D models using photography) for digital reproductions of surviving sites. It is in this accurate historical realism that doubters could say nothing against, but simply experience with an open mind and an increased sense of empathy and understanding.


This is my point. We are yearning for engagement, and to actually feel something we are experiencing outside our regular lives. The detachment we sense from screens and technology have dulled our senses and created a void in how we interpret art, advertising and film. We want to feel again, and immersive, experiential projects like these are ones that I hope set the tone for connecting people to ideas in the future.


Geordie Stephens is a film and creative director at experiential collective agency Helo.


See the trailer for the VR experience by clicking the Creative Works box below.


To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you would like to feature a creative director in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Creative Works editor Kyle O’Brien.

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