2018 Brand Experience & Activation


Category A13. Not-for-profit / Charity / Governemt
Idea Creation 2 DEMODERN Hamburg, GERMANY
Production DEMODERN Hamburg, GERMANY
Production 2 MARKENFILM Hamburg, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Fabian Frese Kolle Rebbe GmbH Chief Creative Officer
Andreas Brunsch Kolle Rebbe GmbH Executive Creative Director
Nicole Holzenkamp Kolle Rebbe GmbH Creative Director
Christian Rentschler Kolle Rebbe GmbH Creative Director
Lorenz Ritter Kolle Rebbe GmbH Creative Director
Lea Zaydowicz Kolle Rebbe GmbH Account Manager
Martin Bergmann Kolle Rebbe GmbH Art Director
Max Wort Kolle Rebbe GmbH Copywriter
Rachel Hoffmann Kolle Rebbe GmbH Agency Producer
Ole Brand Kolle Rebbe GmbH Agency Producer
Falko Tilgner Kolle Rebbe GmbH Editor, Grading
Alexander Hildenberg Kolle Rebbe GmbH Cutter, Grading
Alexander El-Meligi Demodern GmbH Managing Director, Creative Director
Deborah Montag Demodern GmbH Project Manager, Digital Producer
Daniel Harrison Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Mirko Wiedmer Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Bastian Hantsch Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Robin Janitz Demodern GmbH Designer, Art Director
Michael Schmück Demodern GmbH UX Designer (mobile only)
Christopher Baumbach Demodern GmbH Lead Creative Engineer
Franziska Neu Demodern GmbH Creative Engineer
Sebastian Schuchmann Demodern GmbH Creative Engineer
Sam Bäumer Demodern GmbH Creative Engineer (mobile only)
Michael Sturm Demodern GmbH Web Developer (mobile only)
Juliane Geusendam Markenfilm GmbH & Co. KG Producer
Frank Schlotterbeck Markenfilm GmbH & Co. KG Director
Philipp Feit German Wahnsinn GmbH Audio Engineer

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?

The world’s first real dialogue with an animal was a one-of-a-kind experience that activated people’s empathy. The eye-level encounter made users realise how deeply related humans and animals actually are. By combining the immersive power of VR with the sensitivity of a psychologically trained PETA activist, we created deep conversations with our fellow creatures. During the average 12-minute long dialogue, the rabbit encouraged people to rethink the way they treat animals and to become active themselves. A unique experiment that brought a new quality to animal rights communication and VR.


PETA, the worlds biggest NGO for animal rights, wanted to change its communication. Because brutal images of tortured animals and an accusing tone of voice repel people instead of making them stop and think. The idea of Eye to Eye was to change the communication from in-your-face to face-to-face in order to make people rethink their consumer behaviour towards areas ranging from food to fashion and beauty. Because all of these are largely based on the suffering of living creatures.

Describe the creative idea

What if mankind could exchange thoughts with an animal? What if it could ask us inconvenient questions and make us realise how deeply related animals and humans actually are? What would you say if the animal wants to know why you kill and eat it? Empathy grows through personal dialogue. The idea was to engage people in an eye-level conversation with an animal to discuss the value of life. And because rabbits are exploited for food, clothing, experimentation, hunting and entertainment, a bunny is the perfect ambassador for animal rights.

Describe the strategy

Numerous experiments have proven that empathy grows through personal dialogue, from antagonised political beliefs to the refugee crisis. If you understand your opponent, you open up to them and are more willing to take their point of view and change your own. That’s why we combined VR with live acting to realise the first dialogue between humans and an animal at eye level. We wanted to overwhelm users with real emotions that aren’t expected in a virtual environment, to break through their wall of indifference. Additionally, using VR gave us another strategic advantage, as we live in a technological world in which state-of-the-art technology like VR catches people’s attention. With an innovative VR experience like Eye to Eye, PETA aimed at a new target group: the tech aficionados and influential geeks who crowd the internet and events such as re:publica or NEXT.

Describe the execution

We set up the world’s first application to combine VR with live acting. At numerous events and festivals throughout Germany and the US, a rabbit welcomed people to a virtual world with an eye-to-eye dialogue. Nothing was scripted. Everything was open. Because there was no bot technology behind the virtual animal. It was triggered by a psychologically trained PETA activist. He controlled the rabbit through facial recognition and body-tracking technology. His movements and facial expressions became the rabbit’s movements and facial expressions. His voice became the rabbit’s voice. Live, in real time. At the end of the conversation, the user received a virtual letter from the rabbit. When they took off the VR headset, they found a physical letter placed in front of them, a compassionate plea for the value of life. In that moment, the virtual and real world became one.

List the results

The average dialogue between human and animal lasted twelve minutes. People completely forgot that they were talking to a virtual creature. They opened up and talked about their beliefs, personal loss, fears and hopes. And they listened. Most of them described their experience as touching and moving, and stated that they would rethink their consumer behaviour. Some even became activists themselves. The clip of the experiment gained over 3 million online views and a lot of media buzz helped to spread the rabbit’s message even further.