Behind the Scenes of Quest Day

Oculus Blog
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December 14, 2021
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Earlier today, we celebrated Quest Day—an activation featuring a series of over-the-top “inventions” inspired by the Quest community, along with complementary limited-time giveaways of exclusive Quest merch. Our tongue-in-cheek take on drop culture, Quest Day was hosted by fictional Meta employee Dr. 6DOF and his costumed sidekick Questy.

From animal lovers and bakers to VR athletes, rhythm game fans, and horror aficionados, Quest Day had something for everyone. Our “inventions” (not for mass consumption!) included a Pet Quest Treat Flinger to dispense treats to your furry friends while you’re in VR; the Quest-O-Wave connected oven that keeps tabs on your cookies, sending you in-headset notifications—from preheat status to photos of your baking progress—so you can keep playing while winning the cookie game; the Quest-lete Smart Water Bottle, which gives you in-game reminders when it’s time to reup on H20; the Beat Saber String Lights, triggered by sound to pulse along with your favorite Beat Saber tracks; and the Spine Chiller, a custom wearable that sends a gust of air from a phantom nose on the back of your neck at the scariest gameplay moments.

Each invention was paired with a corresponding giveaway item that we gifted to VR fans: a Quest-inspired silicone pet distraction mat to occupy your pet as they sniff out and snag the included all-natural treats; a set of custom-shaped cookie cutters based on items from popular VR games; ankle socks with a non-slip grip, patterned with our Meta Quest logo, to help you stick more landings with your Quest 2 workout sessions; a warm, comfy, bright, and mildly hideous Beat Saber ugly sweater; and a Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife Barclay Gingerbread Mansion Kit. Last but not least, we gave away a limited number of Questy plushies to bring the magic of Quest Day home.

We sat down with Meta Quest Creative Director Tony Kalathara and Deeplocal Creative Director Colin Miller for a behind-the-scenes look at Quest Day.

What brought you to Meta? What’s it been like to work on creative campaigns for Quest 2?

Tony Kalathara: An ambition of a connected future done differently. While advertising in other traditional categories has been around for awhile, it’s the Wild West in VR. Since this new technology is ever-expanding and starting to be widely recognized, we have the ability as marketers to be the first to try all sorts of ideas. That’s the big hook of being a creative with Meta Quest: Doing something that’s never been done before with truly emerging tech. Also, the people are just awesome.

What was the initial inspiration behind Quest Day?

TK: Throughout the course of the year, we’ve collected these “inventions” that modify the Quest VR experience and take them to a crazy new level. A Bluetooth-compatible dog distractor. A device that syncs up with gameplay and uses air to cause goosebumps. A whole list of crazy mods inspired from user stories. Inventions that add a practical IRL element to the fully immersive VR experience you get with Quest. When looking at the holiday season, we thought why not take them all and create a showcase day for the fans?

What’s it been like working with Deeplocal?

TK: Deeplocal is a not-so-hidden gem. They don’t work like a traditional agency partner—instead they’re like a renegade group of makers, creatives, and mad scientists who specialize in out-of-the-box work who also happen to be friends. During the making of these inventions, there were many curveballs, and we’d just roll up our sleeves and get around them together with speed. Deeplocal is a true “get it done” shop that doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding, which, when working with a brand as large as Meta, is the best.

So what’s the story behind these “inventions”?

Colin Miller: Our “inventions” are all about celebrating the Quest community and connecting with VR fans’ lifestyles in and beyond the headset. Throughout the process of coming up with these crazy, sometimes absurd ideas, it was important to us to stay true to the Quest 2 experience and keep in mind how gamers really use the product. Early on we had some wild ideas—everything from an ugly sweater for your headset to egg nog holders. It was always about the product and the fans: How do we tap into what the Quest community loves IRL and integrate that into the VR experience?

These “inventions” are real working prototypes that you built. Did you encounter any obstacles during the course of invention? How did you overcome those challenges?

CM: Yeah, there are always a few things to figure out. One of our biggest challenges was finding a way to communicate with someone wearing the headset during gameplay without altering the product in any way. Meta Quest’s notifications feature turned out to be a great solution. We were able to use Messenger to communicate between the inventions and the headset, so the player would receive push notifications.

How long did the development of the Quest Day “inventions” and the giveaway items take, all told?

CM: We worked closely with the Meta Quest team over the course of three months in order to quickly ideate and refine the concepts. There was a lot that hit the cutting room floor.

How did this project build upon your existing expertise and/or previous experiences? In what ways was it a departure from what’s come before?

CM: Deeplocal has a history of creating inventions that are inspired by culture and behavior. We’ve tricked out Lyft cars to play Grammys hits with their horns and alarms to unsuspecting passersby. We’ve engineered socks that automatically pause your Netflix show when you fall asleep. We have an integrated team of creatives and engineers, so we can dream up weird stuff—and build it. I guess you could say that we’ve built a company around not doing the same thing twice. We work especially well with tech companies because our engineers love to deep dive into product functionality. A big part of coming up with these ideas was figuring out how to integrate with Quest—and doing it in an authentic way. These inventions are real, working prototypes. They’re over-the-top and weird, but they work.

Your work is known for bridging the physical and digital worlds. Tell us more about that—what’s the impetus that drives your team? Why is it important to you to take consumers on a journey that breaks down barriers between seemingly disparate realms?

CM: Deeplocal is a creative technology company. The common thread with all of our work is that we use tech in innovative ways to connect fans with the brands they love. For us, that means using design, tangibility, interactivity, and storytelling to create experiences for the real world. That’s what it’s all about: making things real. When people have a sensory experience—that’s what creates an emotional connection. And it’s one of the reasons that it’s so fun to work with Meta Quest. We’re adding another dimension to an already immersive VR experience.

If people take away one thing from Quest Day, what do you hope that would be and why?

TK: That our community is fun. That the brand loves them for their creativity, their comments, and their wild passion. So keep making those subreddits, we are right there with you. We need you to help break the myths around VR and imagine what’s next alongside us.