The North Face Gave These Shoppers a VR Experience That Suddenly Got Awesomely Real

How to really boost in-store virtual reality

Headshot of Alfred Maskeroni

You're shopping for a new coat at The North Face store, when an eager clerk asks if you want to test out your potential winter gear before leaving the store. "Sure?" you say, agreeing mostly so they'll stop bothering you.

You sit down in what appears to be a dog sled, and you strap on a pair of Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. The next thing you know, you're swept away on a crazy virtual adventure, with a pack of huskies pulling you through a gorgeous snowscape.

"Cool," you think to yourself. "This is pretty fun. I don't even have to leave the store!"

Then they take the goggles off. And something very unexpected happens that really kicks the experience into a higher gear, reminding you that virtual experiences are still but a shadow of actual, lived life.

This isn't the first we've heard from The North Face's South Korean operations and ad agency Innored, which shocked shoppers last year with their viral disappearing floor stunt. Will South Korean shoppers ever try on a coat—or even visit a mall—again?

@maskeroni Alfred Maskeroni is director of video for Adweek.