Energy company E.ON and the Swedish Swimming Federation have launched a campaign that uses virtual reality to encourage reticent children into the water.
One in five Swedish children can’t swim, despite the fact that they live in a land of lakes that is surrounded by sea. This campaign introduces a group of children who are afraid of the water — they say things like, “It doesn’t feel very nice,” and, “I’m sad when my friends swim but I can’t” — and uses VR exposure therapy to address their fears.
Physchologist Philip Lindner tells viewers, “Shorter exposure can help people experience fun things they’ve previously missed out on, and create motivation to change.”
Through VR, E.ON introduces the children to three members of the Swedish swim team, who escort them into the water and help them to overcome their fears by taking a virtual plunge.
Later, the children are taken to a real pool to meet the same swimmers, who encourage them into the water where they play happily and begin to learn to swim for themselves.
The children’s response to the water has been completely changed by the VR experience. They say things like, “I was in the water in a second,” “I think that’s what I want to do when I grow up,” and “It feels good to be under water now.”
The film finishes by inviting viewers to go to E.ON’s website to order free VR goggles and find their nearest swimming pool,www.eon.se/simma
Client: E.ON / Swedish Swimming Federation
Advertising agency: M&C Saatchi Stockholm
PR agency: Rippler
Digital and VR production: Apartment5
Film production: Lygrell & Silver