Billie Eilish’s album “Happier Than Ever,” released on July 30, 2021, spent most of August at number one of Billboard’s top 200 albums list. Even now, two months after its debut, the singer’s second album is number nine on the chart, up from number ten last week.
Now, perhaps this creative integration of her music in this push for Facebook's Oculus VR Beat Saber game will help to sustain the album's popularity.
The game, which requires players to don the Oculus VR headset, visualizes the beat or melody of a song through cubes that fly at the player. Using what looks like a “Star Wars” light saber, the player slashes at the cubes, so it's something like a cross between Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
Oculus recently released a video to promo the partnership. The spot, called “Beat as One,” shows a group of players wearing headsets gathered in an empty ballroom. To the tune of Eilish’s title track, “Happier Than Ever,” the performers dance in unison, spiraling and swaying to the song’s lullaby intro. As the beat intensifies, the dancers, blindfolded by the headsets, begin moving with greater energy. They drop toward the floor and swing their arms in wide arcs as laser lights suddenly cut through the room.
When the song finally erupts into its emotive, guitar-heavy chorus, viewers see what the spot’s players see: a storm of cubes careening toward a dancer who spins and bends rapidly to slice them away. The song concludes and the dancers lift off their headset and share a communal exhale after the immersive rush.
The video is accompanied by billboards that transform based on the time of day they’re viewed. While the sun’s out, they simply look like advertisements for Eilish’s album, featuring her wrapping her arms around herself against a muted, tan backdrop. At night, neon lighting on top of the billboard light, mirroring the same image vibrantly with the addition of the Beat Saber logo.
The video and OOH advertising, which have digital variants as well, will run throughout October.