Eastman's Drone-Shot VR Campaign Takes Viewers Up Mountains, Through Canyons

Chemical Company Uses Virtual Reality to Promote 'Breakthrough' Avra Fabric

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Eastman Chemical Company is making use of the latest technology to introduce its own latest technology -- avra, an ultra-thin fiber that can be woven into unprecedentedly breathable, silky fabric that could be a breakthrough development in athletic apparel.

The "Never Before" campaign developed by Mekanism includes two virtual reality experiences captured with a drone carrying a Nokia Ozo, a 360 camera rig. Mekanism's executive creative director Ian Kovalik said the shop has been using drones to capture 360 degree film for two years.

Whereas many VR experiences position the user as a stationary onlooker, using drone-captured footage allows users to move through the environment and "follow" the athletes featured on their journeys. "The idea was to create something that was as innovative as the fabric itself," Mr. Kovalik said of the spots.

One VR spot brings the user along for the ride as athletes mountain bike, go rock climbing and conquer a steep hill on foot.

Mekanism shot 10 different scenarios in various parts of rural Utah. "We were able to take advantage of that technology to keep the production costs low and keep the content at a premium," Sean Cosier, Mekanism's Innovation Strategy Director, said.

Another VR spot features a man running through Leprechaun Canyon.

Aimee Davis, Eastman's global marketing communications director said the "Never Before" campaign reflects how the company's customers, like avra products, have high performance "literally knit in their DNA." Finer fibers make for more comfortable athletic wear, but the fibers need to be substantial enough to use on conventional production equipment, Ms. Davis said.

Eastman will unveil the VR experiences at the Outdoor Retailers Summit in Salt Lake City this week, where it will allow users to try on sleeves made with avra fabric. Customers with Google Cardboard headsets will be able to watch the VR spots on YouTube after the summit.

The company is now marketing to retailers that may carry avra products in their upcoming clothing lines. "We're hoping that 2018 is when you'll start being able to buy the product in actual applications," Ms. Davis said.

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