Hearst’s Chinese male fashion magazine ventures into VR
In Mar 2016, Hearst Group’s flagship high-end male fashion magazine, ELLEMEN, started venturing into virtual reality technology (VR). Joining forces with Hugo Boss and movie star Wallace Huo, ELLE MEN has become the first Chinese fashion media to shoot a VR short movie.
The May issue of ELLEMEN had a special focus and a report to readers on the cutting edge of VR technology, the biggest highlight being the VR movie: “The Man of Today.” ELLEMEN editor-in-chief Li Baojian selected the team behind the making of this VR movie in the person of American director Evan Ricks, who has had a number of years working on feature movies, and Matt Clarke, a UK producer.
During the entire production process, ELLEMEN editorial team invested time and effort to ensure the professional handling of the script and scenario so that every detail would be correctly reproduced.
The duration of “The Man of Today” VR film is two and a half minutes (2’30’’). ELLEMEN invited fans favorite Wallace Huo as the leading actor, a man with an outstanding reputation in the industry. In the film, Wallace plays three roles: Mr Huo, Dr. Huo and Boss Huo. These three identities display the true inner mind of this man adored by millions. What makes “The Man of Today” different to ordinary VR films is that these three scenarios run simultaneously. Users who don VR glasses can rotate their bodies in order to view different versions of Wallace Hou from different angles.
The film was released online at the same time when ELLE MEN May issue reached the newsstands. Specially made VR glasses were distributed with the magazine at key channels within tier-1 cities. An all new ELLEMEN VR App was also released online to enjoy the VR effect when viewing the film. In addition to this App, the film was also released on major Chinese VR App platforms.
As the first Chinese fashion media to launch VR content, ELLEMEN May issue received a huge exposure on social media and offline: The hashtag #WallaceHuoELLEMEN Cover got 57,489,000 impressions, 10,000 copies sold within the first 20 minutes.
For users to be able to wear VR glasses and to enjoy the full VR experience, ELLEMEN initiated crowd funding. The project was successful: within 18 minutes of launch, there was a 142% completion rate. It was the fastest ever project completion on Youku’s Crowd Funding platform.