VR @ Sai Kung

With its plush green hills and village atmosphere, Sai Kung is a peaceful paradise on just off the eastern edge of Hong Kong. But for the majority of Hong Kong residents, it might aswell be a world away. This was the problem facing Sino Group, the property developer behind the 285-unit Park Mediterranean project in Sai Kung: although it was building a top-quality residential complex in a magnificent natural setting, Sino Group knew it would be a challenge to draw out prospective buyers for viewing.

Sino Group sought our help to:

  • Create a fresh and engaging experience to showcase the Park Mediterranean site in Sai Kung

  • Generate awareness of Sai Kung as prime real estate investment

  • Generate leads to speak with a property agent

Planning & Execution

Other developers might have danced around using VR stills to showcase new properties, but their content had been static. So the real challenge is how to promote a property in a unique experiential approach that doesn’t just involve a 360-tour of the interior.

Our strategy: instead of drawing people out to the site, why not bring the site to them in a completely immersive experience to show people what they’re really missing. And more than just a showcase of the surroundings, but a real glimpse into what a life of luxury is really like for residents in Sai Kung.

1. Creating the video
We didn’t want to just create beautiful video, but tell of what life is like in Sai Kung. So we partnered with Brandon Li, a self-proclaimed nomad and director, who had been widely celebrated recently for his vivid “Hong Kong Strong” video, to help us capture the spirit of Sai Kung.

Over a 5-day period, Brandon and our film crew created a 360-degree mini-movie highlighting every enthralling aspect of Sai Kung, from beaches and marine park to a popular golf course and seafood market. This footage was ultimately transformed into a VR experience showing the best of Sai Kung from the land, sea and air.

2. Overcoming obstacles
In creating the video, the first of kids kind in Hong Kong, we overcame major technical challenges.

Speed of movement and video length: With VR, there is potential for viewers to feel queasy due to their shifting point of view (POV). We addressed this by capping the video at 2 minutes and including extensive aerial footage because shooting from high up slows the perceived POV movement.

Camera setup: We used a large drone to carry the cumbersome camera setup for aerial filming, which necessitated a well-constructed gimbal to counter the vibration. In post-production, we had to digitally remove the drone from the video to ensure an unobstructed view of the sky. Filming on the ground also posed challenges as our crew had to remain hidden after setting up the camera.

Video stitching: Stitching VR footage for 360 photographs is laborious; doing it for 360 video is exponentially more difficult. We tackled this frame by frame, with painstaking attention to detail.

Weather – probably the most notorious culprit of all in attempting an all-outdoor film in the middle of monsoon season.

3. Delivering the experience
After producing the video, we also put together a roadshow experience called VR@SaiKung at Olympian City Mall. Visitors were invited to put on Oculus Rift headsets and discover Park Mediterranean’s future home in Sai Kung via an immersive VR journey.

Effectiveness / Results

VR@SaiKung was a hit from the moment it launched, garnering significant media interest when we launched it with a press conference and drawing huge numbers of prospective property buyers curious for a look.
During the 4-week campaign period, there were more than 10,000 visits to the roadshow, or an average of more than 300 people per day. This provided an enormous boost in awareness of and interest in the Park Mediterranean project, happily exceeding Sino Group’s expectations.

With thousands of people gaining a taste of beautiful Sai Kung via our immersive VR experience, it’s no surprise that this translated into a spike in real-life visits to the Park Mediterranean site and sales office in Sai Kung. Sino Group reported a 500% increase in enquiries during this period.

This project represents ground-breaking use of 360 video by a property developer in Hong Kong. For us, this also marked a first as we created a compelling and artistic narrative for our client using the 360 video format, overcoming major technical
challenges along the way. It was a trail-blazing effort that paid off handsomely in terms of meeting Sino Group’s objectives, leaving our client extremely happy and making us understandably proud.

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