Maker’s Mark VR Experience

Handmade, one pixel at a time

The background

How do you tout your brand's old-school, handmade credentials to today’s new generation of digital-native and highly skeptical whisky consumers?

Gamify-it, of course. 

Enter The Virtual Dipping Game. Hosted by Maker’s Mark Chairman Emeritus and Bourbon Hall of Famer Bill Samuels, Jr., it’s an immersive experience – literally – that allowed our target audience to spend a few minutes inside an artistic recreation of the Maker’s Mark Distillery – and try their hands at dipping a few bottles of that beloved bourbon.

  • Art Direction
  • Design
  • AR and VR
  • Experience Design

Results
By the numbers

54
Festivals & events
+11%
Organic mentions of “craft” and Maker’s Mark
+150%
Search inquiries for Maker’s Mark Distillery

Recognition
Peer review

How to play
The game rules

All our guests had to do was order up a bottle of Maker’s Mark or Maker’s Mark 46, dip it in the iconic red wax and place it in the correct wagon to leave the distillery.

Hint: It’s not as easy as it looks.

The technology
Advanced enough for Lucasfilms

Created with and powered by Unreal Engine, the immersive experience was developed through an ongoing, iterative collaboration with our partners, Picasso Pictures. The result is an artistic recreation of the distillery’s dipping room featuring high technical standards that include high-definition 3D visuals, 6 degrees of freedom and full tracking of the player’s head and hands. These high standards paid off most when two artists from Industrial Light and Magic, Lucasfilm's VFX and animation studio, gave the game two thumbs up after their trial.

Building belief in craft
Insights

Maker’s Mark, America’s original craft whisky, is easily recognizable on the shelf with its signature red wax. But the VR experience helped us tell the important story behind that red wax: Each and every bottle is dipped by hand at the Maker’s Mark Distillery. Fans and new friends alike were captivated by the experience – helping us prove that Maker’s Mark is still a handmade bourbon. Or, in the words of Bill Samuels, Jr.: “The bullsh*t is real.”

Contact

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