Army of the Dead: Viva Las Vengeance
In 2021, Pure Imagination Studios broke new ground in taking the phenomenally successful Netflix franchise, Army of the Dead, from the screen into real life with Viva Las Vengeance, an immersive, virtual reality experience set in a zombie-infested Las Vegas. Described by Forbes as a “next-level immersive experience”, it takes Netflix into location-based entertainment in a first for the company and an industry-leading move. As owner and operator of the experience in the USA, Pure Imagination selected Identity as their design, build and logistical partner for the Viva Las Vengeance VR tour across the UK and Europe, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Identity worked closely with Pure Imagination, Netflix and their partners, global ticketing and marketing partner, Fever, US project managers, Experiential Supply Company, 310 Merchandise and UK staffing company, Continuum Attractions, from initial strategy and planning through to design and delivery. Identity undertook full venue liaison with Westfield to create a peerless experience for this exciting physical and virtual activation, set in a 360-degree environment with VR headset, hand trackers, full-body capture and simulated weapons.
With the client and major partners based in the US, Identity translated and augmented a complex brief, based on US specifications and geography, to establish a seamless transition to the UK, deploying an inventive approach and significant adaptations to create a living, breathing, immersive and apocalyptic Las Vegas in central London.
Identity created and constructed all elements of the entire physical environment, including the front of house, the Quarantine Zone, shipping container-style briefing rooms, warehouse, photo opportunity and retail spaces, scenically treated with life-sized, bespoke replica props. We reprogrammed all measurements to ensure absolute precision in the relationship between the VR and physical environment. Our highly-creative design achieved a Hollywood-grade look and feel throughout the experience from check-in to merchandising, including the bespoke design and build for the central heart of the immersive experience – a suite of motorised taco trucks with motion flooring – from scratch.
The activation is designed to be used by anyone and can be deployed anywhere. Built for touring and adaptable to any environment, the experience is fully modular and mobile, easily and efficiently built up and down, with all scenic elements pre-built and packaged to maximise speed and efficiency for onsite installation. All technical elements were pre-designed and tested to a tour grade level, with plug-and-play installation and minimal onsite calibration. Accessibility was at the forefront of this immersive and physical experience, with access to the taco trucks being wheelchair friendly.
In an extremely fast turnaround time of less than three months, delivered ahead of time and on budget, the Identity and Pure Imagination “one team” approach pulled all the stops out to create a first for Netflix in Europe. Viva Las Vengeance launched at Westfield Shepherds Bush in August 2021 to rave reviews, receiving over 20,000 guests through the tour’s initial 16-week duration.
Every single element of the brief and its delivery has been designed to exacting standards, with client sign-off at the highest levels to ensure full alignment to the franchise’s intellectual property, which includes a significant merchandising operation. The exceptional quality and inventiveness of our approach to the look and feel has seen key elements of the Identity design exported back to the US West and East Coast tours, with the Identity-developed brand guidelines also shaping US delivery.
“I just wanted to say thank-you for all the hard work and dedication to getting this incredible experience not only open on-time, but even ahead of time! It was a herculean task and every person and company involved not only rose to the challenge but certainly exceeded my expectations.” – Joshua Wexler, Chief Executive of Fun, Pure Imagination Studios
“Everyone should be incredibly proud of what was accomplished in such a short amount of time. We are really pleased with how everything looks. What I’ve seen is nothing short of fantastic. Thanks to all who have made this possible.” – Carrie Wisely, Experiences Manager, Netflix