Sony Pictures Entertainment has run the first immersive, 360-degree video ad on Snapchat for home-invasion thriller “Don’t Breathe” ahead of its theatrical bow next week.
The campaign — the latest by Hollywood marketers looking to get in front of the social service’s 150 million-plus youth-skewing users — features a 10-second Snapchat video ad that allows users to “swipe up” to see the full 90-second “Don’t Breathe” 360 video through a web page inside the app. The ad first ran on Snapchat in the U.S. from Aug. 9-15, and will resume ahead of the movie’s Aug. 26 premiere. The campaign also is running on Snapchat in the U.K. and Australia.
“Don’t Breathe,” which hits theaters Aug. 26, is about three burglars who break into the Detroit home of a blind military vet, before discovering he isn’t as helpless as they thought he was. In the 360-degree video, the thieves are pursued by the homeowner through a dimly lit basement. The video also is available for viewing on Facebook and YouTube.
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The video was created by L.A.-based digital creative agency AvatarLabs, which worked with SPE’s digital marketing team and director Fede Alvarez (who directed the 2013 “Evil Dead” remake) to produce the segment. “It’s not just about one-sheets and trailers anymore, but about creating incredible experiences,” said Aaron Wahle, senior VP of international digital marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Sony turned to Snapchat earlier this summer to promote “Ghostbusters” with a sponsored selfie-lens. Other studios have bought Snapchat Lenses to market big releases, including for 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and Warner Bros.’ “Batman v Superman.”
In another digital promotion for “Don’t Breathe,” SPE invited digital influencers from around the world to an event in Spain on July 28, in which they were invited to walk through a recreation of the film’s set using night-vision goggles and GoPro cameras with the aim of finding money hidden in different locations.
“It’s important to me that people can experience ‘real world horror’ and get the feeling of stepping into another person’s space, creating an eerie atmosphere, rather than the usual supernatural peek-a-boo scary movies that are so common nowadays,” said Alvarez, who got his start as a YouTube creator.
Watch the 360-degree video: