The Jigsaw Virtual Room: A first-of-its-kind VR ad
How Unity and Lionsgate made an unprecedented emotional connection with the audience
People didn’t just watch this ad – they stepped into it
Lionsgate partnered with Unity to bring the fictional world of their Saw film franchise to life through an innovative virtual reality advertisement for their latest film, Jigsaw. The results? More smiles, faster heart-rates, and dramatically increased engagement.
The Jigsaw VR Ad: Once the user enters the virtual room ad, they are trapped and must solve a puzzle to escape
Engage fans and new audiences with an emotional connection to the Saw franchise
Samsung’s Internet for VR app and Nanite Fulcrum app within Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR devices
Standard brand assets and voice-over; Unity also created 3D models of real Jigsaw props.
Lionsgate wins hearts in its VR Room
After a seven-year gap in the Saw franchise, Lionsgate’s objective was twofold: reignite fans to get them to the box office and reach a new audience open to horror films. Enter the Jigsaw Virtual Room.
- 275,000 unique users, compared to an average 1-2K downloads for similar content
- 39K impressions (benchmark 5-10K)
- 70% completion of trailer at the end of experience (benchmark: 12%)
- Emotional Efficacy Study (Isobar’s Mindsight Technology) compared to watching the trailer in either VR or on a mobile phone
- Elevated heart rate (+24%) (From emotional efficacy study)
- Heightened galvanic skin response, or sweating (+44% peaks/minute)
- Increased muscle activation (more than 3X) associated with smiling
When the audience becomes part of the story
Created and powered by Unity, the VR ad welcomed fans into the world of Jigsaw in a dramatic new way that elicited a powerful emotional response. Unity worked closely with Lionsgate to bring the fictional world of Jigsaw to life. The Jigsaw Virtual Room featured real props from the movie rendered in VR, custom voice-over from Jigsaw himself, actor Tobin Bell, and even included shrines to each of the eight films in the Saw franchise.
When the user entered the ad, they found themselves trapped in a terrifying contraption, facing life or death decisions. What followed was not only digital-metric results that far surpassed traditional advertising benchmarks, but also a powerful response measured by an emotional efficacy study.
Responsive storytelling gets a much stronger response
The efficacy study showed that the strong emotional responses occurred while the user was in the trap in the Virtual Room—regardless of whether or not they attempted to escape.
In contrast, the responses to the trailer in VR and the mobile trailer were almost the same.
In other words, it was not the medium of gaming or VR alone that caused the reaction—it was the concept of responsive storytelling, in which the user’s actions impact how the story progresses. The user’s physical response to the gamified ad experience has proven that the interactive portion has a stronger effect.
Powerful, far-reaching and repeatable
In order to make sure Lionsgate could scale the immersive ad, Unity bundled the VR experience with targeted mobile video. This resulted in a tailored VR experience that was repeatable, had mass-reach, and performed remarkably well. Trailer views across Unity had a viewability score and video completion rates exceeding benchmarks.