Canada Goose’s VR Experience Takes Shoppers on a Surreal Tour of Southern California

Luxury outerwear brand teams with The Webster to showcase styles through 3-D environments

Shoppers can create avatars to wear Canada Goose jackets suitable for three different California climates. Canada Goose/The Webster
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

During a time when in-store shopping is down and in-person activations are limited, outerwear brands such as Canada Goose have to create alternative experiential programs that still drum up excitement around products. 

The Toronto-based brand recently demonstrated a new way to try out its range of high-end winter jackets by launching its first virtual reality experience in partnership with luxury multibrand fashion house The Webster. The two companies launched a free, 3-D tour of Southern California on The Webster’s website, where customers can create avatars wearing Canada Goose styles to explore animated versions of attractions including the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign, Joshua Tree and Big Bear. 

Canada Goose CMO Penny Brook said the activation’s objective was to combine storytelling and pandemic-proof experiential marketing to show how its styles can be worn in different outdoor environments. The featured styles are also available to purchase exclusively on The Webster’s site.

Brook also cited a 2020 Deloitte study—which projected that nearly 100 million consumers will shop using VR and AR within the next year—also sparked the company to invest in the VR activation. Even before the pandemic, ecommerce marketers were advising brands to capitalize on AR and VR tech to reach shoppers around the holidays or risk falling behind. Many are following suit.

For the Chilliwack Bomber jacket, players can take a first-person flight over a snowy Los Angeles.Canada Goose/The Webster

“Through an interactive expedition of these modern landscapes, we are empowering consumers to use a brand new perspective to discover the world around them,” Brook said. “We inspire all people to engage with the outside world—in this instance, a virtual world but a powerful one that can impact the actual. Whether you’re embarking on a cityscape, mountainscape or desertscape, this 3D-animated exploration helps you identify the essential gear for your next adventure.”

For the past six months, Canada Goose collaborated with The Webster to develop three VR concepts and tapped Pussykrew, a collective of New York-based digital artists, to create the art and CGI elements for the project. 

Brook said the brand’s 25-year relationship with the film industry made Southern California a natural setting for experience. More importantly, the California location allowed the brand to illustrate styles in three distinct environments that have varying climates and weather conditions. 

“While this is a fantasy, our goal was to ensure the usage and location didn’t veer from what could be worn in reality,” she added. 

Here’s what customers can experience when they participate:

  • For the Chilliwack Bomber jacket, a first-person flight above a snow-covered Los Angeles takes avatars to the Hollywood Sign and Santa Monica Pier.
  • For the Approach Jacket, a free-roaming video game allows people to explore Big Bear’s mountainous landscape. The jacket mirrors the Skreslet Parka, a style co-designed by Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to reach the peak of Mount Everest.
  • For the Alliston Parka, players can walk through a remote movie set in Joshua Tree via third-person avatars. 

Since this is a first-time VR activation for Canada Goose, Brook said her team will rely heavily on how shoppers react to the experience to inform if and how the brand will invest in similar projects in the future, even post-pandemic. 

“As the world continues to change and we explore what marketing channel diversification means to us, we’re looking forward to implementing consumer feedback from this campaign into future projects,” she said, “as well as gaining a deeper understanding of what our consumer looks for and wants to engage with when it comes to this type of experience.”

ian.zelaya@adweek.com Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.
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