NZME Vision and Radius Care have partnered up to create a heartwarming video depicting a family reunion both virtually and in real life.
The video shows New Zealand-based Anna, a resident at the aged care facility operator, experience a message from her family over in Australia via the wonders of virtual reality. As Anna is overcome with emotion, her family surprise her by turning up to greet her in real life.
The content was produced by NZME Vision, the media company's production arm, who travelled to Australia where Anna's family live to capture the VR footage themselves. It was recorded with a specialist 360 camera rig and edited to be viewed on a VR headset. The team then captured Anna's reaction to the personal message in order to carefully time the appearance of her family arriving in person.
Posted on The Hits' Facebook page in early March, the video has so far garnered more than 470,000 views, 7000 reactions and almost 1400 shares.
Simon Soulsby, NZME account director for commercial video, says that although you can never be sure a video will go viral, the concept had all the right elements in order to do so.
"This video is a great example of how the best stories are the ones that make people feel something; that stir an emotional connection ot the content and ignite passion in the viewer. While it was a commercial venture, the branding for Radius was subtle and took a back seat to the story – Anna reconnecting with her family. We believe that’s why it performed so well."
While some of the comments were critical of the family's decision not to take care of Anna themselves and suggested they "try Skyping every week", the majority of comments were positive with many expressing their ability to relate to having to live apart from parents and loved ones.
“The engagement has been incredible, and the team really brought our vision for the concept to life," says Sam Carey, marketing manager at Radius Care. "We wanted to do something magical that gave a special moment to a family, and let New Zealand tag along for the ride. This was never meant to be a marketing campaign – we simply wanted to do a lovely thing and NZME Vision allowed us to share Anna’s joy.”
The video is part of NZME's expanding scope for its Vision studio, announcing late last year that it was entering the lifestyle genre with a collection of new shows to be rolled out across its digital channels.