Jaguar Gave People the Craziest VR Experience Ever With This Sneaky Prank

It's almost like it wasn't virtual

Jaguar's "Actual Reality" prank from a few months ago just won big at Cannes, taking home four Lions (a gold, two silvers and a bronze). It also would have probably given me a heart attack if I'd participated.

A team of sadists at Y&R New Zealand set up a fake VR experience at the Big Boys' Toys Expo. They put a wonky VR helmet on people's heads and, while they watched a simulation video, actually drove them through a stunt course in a Jaguar. Great pains were taken to make sure none of the participants knew what was really happening, and all of them were pre-screened to make sure they hadn't seen the ride before theirs.

Now, tricking people into riding on a stunt course with a dorky, sensorily immersive VR helmet on seems like the opening act of a lawsuit to us. But the passengers loved it, especially when they're shown afterward what really happened. (The experience is actually a bit reminiscent of this North Face stunt from last year.)

Being duped is fun, after all, when the experience you had is better than the one you'd signed up for. Kudos to Jaguar and Y&R New Zealand too, since they found a way to incorporate VR that resonates with the brand, instead of just shilling the concept of VR.

And by the way, it was one hell of a Cannes Lions for Y&R Australia/New Zealand, which won 27 Lions in all, including a whopping 17 for Burger King's "McWhopper" alone. 

Client: Jaguar New Zealand
General Manager: Steve Ketchington
Marketing Manager: James McKee
Creative Agency: Y&R New Zealand
Chief Creative Officer: Josh Moore
Creative Directors: Guy Denniston, Gavin Siakimotu
Creative: Gavin Siakimotu, Guy Denniston
Account Director: Victoria Meo
Chief Executive Officer: Josh Moore
Senior Account Managers: Melanie Cutfield, Mike Keen
Producer: Liz Rosby
Head of Planning: Jono Key
Audio Postproduction: Liquid Studios
Offline Editor: Jarrod Wright
Postproduction / VFX
Postproduction House: Toybox
Production Company: 8Com
Director: Michael Humphrey
Executive Producer: Katie Millington
Producer: Gene Keelan
Agency: Gyro David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.