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Brief Published: 16 Oct 2020

Amazon Fills a Virtual House with Real Actors

On October 16 and 17, Amazon will promote a season of four movies from US horror production company Blumhouse with four live events hosted in a virtual house of horrors.

Produced in partnership with Brooklyn-based experiential agency Little Cinema, Welcome to the Blumhouse Live invites participants into a virtual mansion to solve a mystery surrounding a missing student and a spooky family.

As visitors move from room to room gathering evidence, they happen across live performances, escape rooms, and interactive tarot readings. US musician and music journalist Questlove and rap artist Ludacris will perform live in one of the basement rooms, and the whole experience is soundtracked by DJ sets.

US broadcaster HBO also explored Covid-secure ways for fans to interact and build community spirit with Lovecraft Country: Sanctum – a series of social virtual reality (VR) experiences.

During the pandemic, virtual live events have evolved within and beyond the constraints of mass audience platforms. See projects like US musician Travis Scott's sets for Fortnite gaming audiences, or The Weeknd's interactive live concert on TikTok, which drew two million viewers and raised $350,000 for charity.

As noted in our report Pop Culture Pulse: Music in the Metaverse, Fortnite developer Epic Games just launched an LA studio custom-built to live stream physical music performances into virtual settings.

For directives on how brands can keep their cultural calendars running online, check out Virtual Exhibitions: Brand Engagement Lessons. To catch up on other spooky brand activities scheduled for this season, see Brands Revamp Halloween Tactics for Covid-19 Constraints, and look out for our deep dive into this year's Halloween concepts, publishing on October 30.