Warner Bros. Pictures: Miracle on the Hudson: An Aerial Virtual Reality Experience

Campaign Summary

To promote the film Miracle on the Hudson, Warner Bros. created an aerial virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree experience which recreated the flight path and landing of flight UA1549. The video gained 3.9 million views and helped the film gross $240 million worldwide.


Objective and Context:

The producers of the film Miracle on the Hudson wanted to remind the audience of the unprecedented feat of this successful water landing by finding a new way to put the public in the hot seat so that they could relive the crash. By utilizing aerial virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree technology, Warner Bros. placed viewers in a cockpit over New York City. This execution mirrored the central plot point of the film. This experience deepened the emotional connection to the story and prepped moviegoers for the film.

Target Audience:

Warner Bros. targeted potential moviegoers and news consumers with a blend of numerous Turner first-party data sources as well as proprietary analysis of social media data from Facebook.

Creative Strategy:

To accurately portray the intensity of the situation, Warner Bros. developed an aerial VR experience that retraced the flight path over Manhattan and into the river.


Overall Campaign Execution:

It was vital that the video content came across as authentic as possible in the eyes of the viewer. Leveraging GPS flight data, Warner Bros. retraced the exact path of the flight UA1549 from a helicopter with a 360-degree camera rig attached to the exterior to track the true trajectory. To add to the experience, Warner Bros. used public domain law to request and receive the actual ATC transmission between the pilot and the control tower. Then archival news footage was utilized to build a full picture of the day’s events matching moment by moment with the VR views high over New York City and ultimately into the Hudson River. The video launch was timed with the debut of the theatrical film and drove viewers to a custom-created landing page for Warner Bros. featuring the VR video, as well as a branded content archival piece of the event.


Mobile Execution:

The video was available on YouTube and Facebook 360 players and was published on a responsive CNN site.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The video gained 3.9 million views, supported by total digital impressions of 83 million, and a remarkable 163,000 clicks. Engagement with Facebook posts was 25 times the studio’s average post, with the VR experience generating a total of 56,000 responses. The movie went on to gross $240 million worldwide and the VR experience gave audiences an immersive experience and inside look.

Categories: 360-Degree Video | Industries: Entertainment, Media, Sports, Computers & Technology | Objectives: 360-Degree Video | Awards: Gold Winner