Amber Allen, the CEO of Double A Labs was responsible for transporting fans into the world of Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes last year at San Diego Comic Con using virtual reality technology. At 1428 Elm, we find out how immersive experiences can help studios and networks increase audience engagement.
Amber Allen is the owner of Double A Labs, a cutting-edge firm that specializes in creating virtual reality experiences for networks and studios. Last year at San Diego Comic Con, her company was behind the hugely successful immersive Mr. Mercedes event.
Fans were literally transported into the world of the television series using a variety of emerging technologies to allow them to become part of the story. We had the chance to sit down with Amber to discuss how this could impact the future of entertainment.
It Began with an Idea
1428 Elm: Amber, tell us about the origin of Double A Labs. Is your background in game development or computer graphics?
Amber Allen: My background is in marketing, but I’ve always been a huge gamer and fanatic of emerging technology. I founded Double A Labs in 2013 to create better experiences for fans after spending time at Disney, Warner Bros. and Riot games.
While working at Disney, I saw the power of immersion and brand affinity. When people can directly interact with the brand, feel a part of it, the more invested they become.
I began to explore how gaming and the idea of choosing your own adventure could be expanded into experiential marketing. At Double A Labs, our job is to build experiences that give audiences the ability to become creators of the story and experience something new, a journey that is created with the brand.
1428 Elm: Who created the concept for the Mr. Mercedes pop-up experience?
AA: It was a team effort between Double A Labs, AT&T AUDIENCE Now, and the creators of the show. As we learned more about the series and the great content we had to work with, the team continued to find ways to expand the idea of sending the show’s fans on an adventure of solving a case.
We knew there was an opportunity to extend the experience beyond a single pop-up and short-term experience. With access to the Mr. Mercedes sets and visuals, we decided to push the boundaries of the experience and build two very different immersive experiences – ‘Mr. Mercedes: Finders Keepers’ as the Augmented Reality (AR) app and ‘Mr. Mercedes: Lair Escape’ for VR. Each had different adventures that were and still are available for people who weren’t physically at San Diego Comic-Con.