Microsoft Security Virtual Reality Marketing

“Great Cyber Defenders, the fate of the future depends upon you.”

With growing cyber threats all around, ensuring effective enterprise security defences is no easy undertaking. One major difficulty is explaining the complex aspects of digital security in a super simple yet engaging way.

Meet our newest and coolest concept using multi-user VR. It does just that.

We were asked by our friends at Microsoft for a new way to promote their enterprise-class security technology. As this was quite a complex piece of tech, we knew we had to re-think the methods of marketing. The challenge was: how to crystallise complexity into an entertaining experience?

Our solution: an unorthodox merge of VR gaming and marketing within a team-played virtual reality escape room. Why? Because VR was the perfect way to present the Microsoft Security Products offering in a truly unforgettable way.

Psychology-wise, the facts are indisputable. Instead of merely watching or reading a message, actually experiencing the solution contributes to absorbing it in a much more effective way. Inside the game, you’re driven into an emotional “flow state” – which triggers an amazingly strong memory imprint. Quite cool, right?

Step inside 1nter5ec7ion. An escape room that brings together up to five participants in a shared virtual space to solve various puzzles in a race against the clock.

Our story is of a cybersecurity council from the future calling on the game participants to save the world. They must stop a major cyber breach spearheaded by a notorious hacker named “157.”

As this was a marketing experience, our aim was naturally to deliver the core messages of Microsoft Security within the story. This is why the gaming strategy was constructed to present the players with a series of data security threats through the puzzles.

The experience is designed to highlight different aspects of Microsoft Security, including Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, Microsoft Cloud App Security, Zero Trust security approaches, as well as security in relation to AI and automation.

The puzzles could only be solved with specific Microsoft Security products, allowing the players (hopefully) to defeat 157 and escape the realm in time.

Fascinated by sci-fi classics, we created a visual world to take the players on an extraordinary trip. We took inspiration from cyber punk and art deco in the environments and characters, with a colour palette naturally derived from the Microsoft Brand Guide. Our soundscape – music, voice-overs and sound effects – were all specifically crafted to emphasise our storyline.

The process brought together our whole team. We designed every single detail of the game from game logic and puzzles to the VR environments and look, storytelling, and the spatial design of the physical gaming booth.

To bring it all to life in VR, we partnered with Glue, a leading virtual collaboration platform. Glue architecture enables the real-time 1nter5ec7ion experience to be delivered remotely to groups of participants anywhere in the world, even if they are in different locations.

1nter5ec7ion stands as an excellent demonstration of what’s now possible in immersive 3D virtual space. When you merge creative storytelling into a new form of media like this, you end up with a mesmerizing new way to engage people and hold their attention.

1nter5ec7ion premiered in Microsoft Ignite 2019 and is expected to be deployed at various other events around the world. The feedback has been superb so far. For us however, the best feedback has been the enthusiasm of the players solving the puzzles and absorbing the learnings – showing us how our concept really hit its mark.