Jaguar’s VR experience pranks petrol heads


Virtual reality is currently one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing industry.

And each and every day, established brands across the globe are announcing their own VR campaigns, recognising immersive technology’s huge scope and creative appeal.


But with all these new campaigns, car manufacturer Jaguar decided to do something a bit different. The respected brand turned VR on its head with a highly amusing bit of ‘prankvertising.’

The brand invited visitors to the Big Boys’ Toys Expo in New Zealand to try a virtual simulator experience of the Jaguar F-TYPE car. 

Sitting in the ‘simulator’, unsuspecting visitors were encouraged to put on a virtual reality headset where they could watch a screen of a virtual track. Warned that the car would feel like it was moving due to the ‘hydraulic platform’ underneath, they were strapped in securely.

But unbeknownst to them, once they were hidden under the headset, they were joined in the car by a professional racing driver. As the virtual experience kicked off, the platform rotated 90 degrees and the car was driven off onto an actual race track.


Driven round at high-speed, the route perfectly matched the virtual track the participants were seeing in their headset. Before the end of the ‘simulation’, the car was returned to the same position on the platform, seeming to have never moved.

Asked to describe their experience at the end of the ride, participants were amazed by how realistic the virtual reality experience was. It was only then that their true experience was revealed to them – with hilarious consequences.

Watch their reactions for yourself:

We love this stunt! Reminding us a lot of North Face’s South Pole VR experience, it’s tons of fun and a playful twist on a typical VR campaign that really gets across the F-TYPE’s strengths in a compelling way. And we’re not the only ones. The campaign just picked up four awards at the prestigious 2016 Cannes Lions Awards. Zoom zoom.

And for another great example of ‘prankvertising,’ check out this football stunt from Heineken.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.