How Cancer Research UK is using virtual reality to create personalised experiences

Cancer Research UK has created a personalised experience using virtual reality to honour people who have left money to the charity in their will.

Cancer Research UK has combined virtual reality and personalisation to create an immersive experience to recognise the 100,000 people who have left the charity a gift in their will.

Working with agency Atomic London, Cancer Research UK invited friends and family of the benefactors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show between 4 and 10 July to experience the Life Garden, a field of 100,000 virtual flowers each bearing the name of a supporter, which came to life when viewed through the Oculus Rift VR headset.

Designed to reflect the real garden setting, the virtual garden was personalised for the families, who by typing their name into an iPad at the event were shown a flower bearing the name of their loved one. As a follow-up the participants were also sent an electronic flower.

READ MORE: How to create lasting impact from immersive brand experiences

Cancer Research UK senior direct marketing manager, Sarah Squire, explains that the team did not set out to use VR necessarily. “But working through the iterations we felt that VR gives that scale to really hero the individual,” she says.

“You have the personalisation of your flower, which brings the emotion into it. We wanted people to feel that celebration and remembrance through sound, visuals and personalisation, so VR was the only way forward.”

To extend the experience, the charity will be taking the Life Garden on the road to tribute events nationwide, where guests will also be able to meet Cancer Research scientists and gain a better understanding of the charity. 

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