We recently wrapped up an exciting project with global beauty brand L’Oréal’s salon education division, MATRIX. The aim of the project was to launch a 360 experience that takes viewers inside a working salon and provide expert tips and best practices for professionals in the haircare industry. This experience was initially deployed at MATRIX DESTINATION, the brand’s marque annual event, through fully-immersive, Oculus Rift headset stations on the expo floor and will eventually make its way to www.matrix.com/professional/ where it will be available for repeat viewing on desktop and mobile.
MATRIX wanted to harness the power of 360 video technology to create a one-of-a-kind educational experience that could drive deeper engagement, better information retention, greater time spent and more repeat viewership. After deciding that a virtual reality experience was the best way to achieve their goals, MATRIX relied on Blend to leverage their expertise in the space to develop and execute the vision.
We worked closely with L’Oréal’s team to develop, produce, design and deliver the interactive, user controlled experience. Our creators travelled to MATRIX’s flagship salon, Elements, in Brooklyn, NY to film the salon tour. Once we completed principal photography and filming, selects were made and we ran the content through a robust post-production workflow to stitch, stabilize and color each segment. Next our design and development teams took over creating custom interactions and hotspots for navigation before delivering final renders to MATRIX that can be accessed across VR headsets as well as mobile and desktop web destinations.
The final experience provides a great example of the potential applications of 360 content experiences for education and training. It stars Tabatha Coffey, MATRIX brand ambassador and host of Bravo’s Shear Genius and Tabatha Takes Over, and treats viewers to a self-guided, one-on-one virtual tour alongside Tabatha as she walks them through a customer’s emotional journey while visiting a salon.
The early feedback from those that attended MATRIX DESTINATION has been overwhelmingly positive. Most found it to be an incredible resource and said they enjoyed the sense of receiving personalized training from Tabatha in such an intimate environment. We also found that the majority of viewers watched the video from start to finish (total runtime just beyond ten minutes), which demonstrates the high levels of engagement 360 video provides while also delivering on the stated goals of the brand.
The MATRIX project illustrates how well 360 video can be used to create stronger engagement for training and achieve learning outcomes, by delivering an interactive experience that puts the viewer in control of their learning.