USA Today launches weekly VR news series “VRtually There” with new “cubemercial” format for advertisers

USA Today launches weekly VR news series “VRtually There” with new “cubemercial” format for advertisers

On October 27th, USA Today became one of the most prominent virtual reality content creators in the news business with the launch of a weekly VR news show, VRtually There, a collaboration between its editorial team and in-house agency, GET Creative.

The series provides new partnership opportunities for brands with the “cubemercial,” the first-ever VR ad unit created specifically for the medium, according to the company. Mettle is proud to say that our 360/VR plugins are the production tools for the show. USA Today’s production team works with all of the Mettle SkyBox 360/VR plugins for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, including SkyBox Studio for After Effects, SkyBox 360/VR Tools for Premiere Pro, SkyBox Post FX and SkyBox VR Player and SkyBox 360/VR Transitions. We are honoured that our 360/VR plugins are helping to shape the 360/VR medium, and are widely adopted by 360/VR content creators as the production tools of choice.

VRtually There will air Thursdays at 2 p.m. EST. Users can access the show through the USA Today app, within the VR Stories app and on YouTube. Each episode will feature 3 separate experiences; a 360 thrill, an epic adventure, and a dream destination. Advertising segments will be integrated into the 360 episodes in the “cubemercial” or 360 format.

Intro video: VR launch off an aircraft carrier, highline over a canyon.

1st Episode of VRtually There: VR wing walk on a plane, skateboarding at Vans Pro Skate Park

Toyota is the premiere launch sponsor, and “VRTually There” will feature the first “cubemercial,” what Kevin Gentzel, USA Today Network’s chief revenue officer, described as “a showcase of our pioneering effort in building an ad standard in VR.”

Cubemercial format, viewed in full 360, or Equirectangular format

Cubemercial format, as viewed through smart view or browser, ie. Google Chrome.

USA Today production team lists key ways they are using Mettle 360/VR plugins:

· “We primarily use Skybox to add 2d elements into our video and to re-adjust the sphere for better alignment in edit points.
· Adding custom 2d graphic elements and infographics to our 360/VR videos is made possible thanks to Mettle’s 360/VR Tools for Premiere.
· Advanced editing/gfx animation is done with Mettle’s Skybox Studio for After Effects.
· We’ve done everything from stabilizing horizons in drone shots using Skybox Studio (Charles Yeager’s tutorial was a massive help).
· The end credits for the show were also done using Charles Yeager’s tutorial and we think they turned out great.” – USA Today production team

Each show will feature three types of 360/VR experiences: 360 thrill, 360 epic adventure, and 360 dream destination.

The weekly program, released every Thursday at 2 pm ET, features three content segments each. The show is filmed and produced by USA Today Network journalists and available in the USA Today app, the VR Stories app and VRtually There’s YouTube channel.

USATN hired David Hamlin, an Emmy-awarded former National Geographic producer and director, to be the executive producer for “VRtually There.”

“No one else is doing ad-supported virtual reality on a weekly basis,” Hamlin said. He stressed the need to focus on substance over technique and “story over stunt” in the VR series. There are roughly 24 episodes planned over the course of a year.

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DOWNLOAD the apps:

http://www.usatoday.com/mobile-apps/

Read more about the series here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/20…

And here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/na…

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