You know Patrón, right? It’s that tequila with the cool bottle that Kendrick Lamar, Kanye, Wiz Khalifa, T.I., and T-Pain keep singing about. But the brand also wants you to know it’s not just a hip hop and celebrity accessory, but also a pretty damn good tequila with a story all its own.
Together with agency and digital wizards Firstborn, Patrón has created a virtual reality experience that takes people on an all access, personal tour of its Hacienda distillery and headquarters in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.
Using a custom-built drone outfitted with seven GoPro cameras, along with 3-D audio, the “Art of Patrón” VR experience is from the perspective of a bee, flying on an epic visual journey that starts in the agave fields, through the gates of the distillery, showcasing the sights and sounds of the actual production, aging and bottling process of the tequila, capturing the everyday process and real members of the Hacienda team making the sweet nectar all those songs are singing about.
Patrón’s vice president of digital marketing Adrian Parker says one of the first things he did when he joined the company was visit the Hacienda. “At every step of the process you can see that quality is always chosen over convenience, artisan over automation, and it struck us that one of our most potent marketing assets is the Hacienda,” says Parker. “Obviously we can’t fly everyone down there because it’s not Disneyland, it’s a working distillery, but we wanted to bring it to people in an engaging way.”
To properly do that, the brand envisioned a VR experience that combined CG and live action. But talking to the people at Oculus Rift a year ago, Parker says they were told the technology to do that could be two years away. Seven months ago, the brand started working with Firstborn. “They had been experimenting in just what we were looking for and now here it is,” says Parker. “It might sound geeky to say it’s the first combination of CG and live action in VR, but it really is a cool and amazing way to tell the brand’s story.”
“To bring our creative vision to life—the Patrón tequila-making process as seen through the eyes of a bee—we knew we’d have to be the first to combine those techniques,” says Firstborn associate creative director Cameron Templeton. “We partnered with Legend, who developed a groundbreaking system for that tracks CG in 360-degree footage, allowing us to set an entirely new creative standard for VR storytelling experiences.”
The “Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience” will roll out first at Patrón events, while a 360-degree web experience will also be posted online, and will eventually be available for those with their own VR devices, like Samsung VR Gear.