Sasol New Signatures: An Adventure in 360°

Text: Paul De Chalain

Sasol New Signatures is an annual art competition that provides a platform for emerging artists to enter into the professional art world by applying their skills and expressing their creative talent.

Each year Sasol selects 100 artworks to exhibit at their exhibition at the Pretoria Arts Museum. Of these 100 pieces, Sasol then selects 6 finalists and 1 overall winner. This year, we decided to put a spin on the usual art exhibition by giving people from across the globe a chance to view it by taking a 360° virtual tour.

THE 360° IDEA AND ITS CHALLENGES

The idea for a 360° experience came about after an infusion of brainstorming and coffee; lots of it. It began with a simple human truth: People experience FOMO when they can’t attend events that really appeal to them. Whether because of timing or distance, some people just can’t attend, no matter how much they truly want to.

The question that arose out of this was, “How can we create an online experience that could afford those who couldn’t attend the exhibition a unique opportunity to experience it as if they were really there?” The answer came to us in the form of a 360° experience that could be viewed from anywhere in the world.

The biggest challenge we faced in turning this idea into a reality was finding the right supplier.  With the help of our Ops team, we managed to source a Google Accredited Street View photographer from Location360° by the name of Theo; and boy, did he work his magic!

Theo produced the immersive Sasol New Signatures Virtual Tour using cutting-edge technology powered by Google Street View. He put together over 4000 raw images to produce over 100 panoramic points to create a tour that would provide the user with an interactive and engaging virtual experience of the gallery.

HOW IT WORKED

To boost views on the 360° Virtual Tour, we complemented the campaign with YouTube, GDN, Twitter, and Facebook media assets. We added another creative layer by using the media assets to provide users with a taster of what to expect when taking the virtual tour. Below is a snapshot of the content we created for Twitter:

Sasol New Signatures

We also seeded the 360° Virtual Tour to Google Street View. This meant that whenever people used Google Maps to navigate to the Pretoria Arts Museum they would have the option of taking the tour.

Experience the 360 Virtual Tour for yourself here.