An elevating experience - Marketing campaign for ABB's softstarters

Case: Product launch video for ABB's softstarters

A softstarter is a starting device for electric motors that provides “softer” starting than conventional starting methods. The device helps to reduce wear on motor-driven applications such as pumps, fans and compressors – increasing their uptime and lifetime. To re-launch PSTX, ABB’s most advanced softstarter, a creative campaign was needed to create attention and likability in social media and on trade shows.

A creative concept that would communicate both digitally and on physical events

byBrick Interface’s assignment was to develop a creative concept that would communicate strongly both in digital channels and on physical events. A softstarter makes a big difference by reducing downtime and other production problems. This was the main message of the campaign.

An elevating VR experience

We wanted to create an unforgivable experience and decided to visualize the benefits of a softstarter using a specially designed Virtual Reality experience. Instead of just talking about the product, we wanted people to experience it – or, rather, the absence of a softstarter.

How would an elevator function without a softstarter?

The VR experience starts with the user standing in an elevator at the ground floor of a high-rise building. First, the user rides one floor up with a softstarter activated. Then, a voice in the elevator says the softstarter will be disengaged. A second later, the user experiences a “hard started” elevator. It feels like the elevator accelerates violently, then crashes through the ceiling and finally falls back down the elevator shaft down to the floor! All in a few seconds!

To make the experience even more realistic, we invited people to try the VR solution inside a physical elevator – in fact, the very same one replicated in the VR experience! However, the real elevator never left the ground floor…

Video to attract campaign site visitors

We filmed people’s VR reactions inside the elevator to attract social media users to a campaign site. On the campaign site, we also published a calculator to give visitors an idea of the financial benefit of investing in a softstarter. A preliminary result was shown directly on screen, but it was also possible to order a more detailed analysis via email.

ABB used the VR experience to attract visitors on trade shows and events. It successfully drove visitors to ABB’s booths, which opened up for discussions with many new potential customers. The elevator experience coincided with the beginning of a VR hype, giving ABB a lot of cred for creativity and innovation in the mature and conservative softstarter business.

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