September 21, 2023
Amazon has developed a new virtual fan experience that includes shopping and interactive tours to tie-in with popular Prime Video series and films. The first such immersive experience is designed for fans of the Prime Video series “Gen V,” and includes a virtual tour of the show’s fictional Godolkin University, which trains aspiring superheroes, complete with a campus store brimming with actual merchandise that fans can purchase from Amazon. The programming extensions aim to offer “culturally rich environments for customers to discover, learn, experience, and consume more of their favorite stories” while shopping.
“Gen V” premieres September 29 but the virtual tour and shopping is accessible now, as “a 360 degree experience” where visitors “can simply tap and drag to explore and experience the environments.”
A spinoff of Amazon’s comic book-based series “The Boys,” now entering its fourth season, “Gen V” seems uniquely well suited to launch this new content-shopping hybrid format for Amazon. The Sony Pictures Television-produced show is “set in the diabolical world of ‘The Boys,’ ‘Gen V’ expands the universe to Godolkin University, the prestigious superhero-only college where students train to be the next generation of heroes — preferably with lucrative endorsements,” according to Amazon Studios.
The GodolkinUniversity.com website allows users to navigate an immersive view “to explore the campus, including the campus store, and gives you multiple opportunities to purchase Godolkin University merchandise through the Amazon website, as well as standard dorm room supplies already available on Amazon,” Variety writes.
“The experience leverages 3D and 360 assets, which were scanned during production, and coupled them with 3D product images to create a one-of-a-kind fully navigable virtual retail experience.” Amazon says it will continue to add new campus experiences throughout the season.
While the immersive and interactive section of the Virtual Campus Tour is accessible globally (in English, and only via web browser), “shopping is turned off outside of the U.S.,” Amazon says in an explainer.
“As users move around the campus store, they can click on items they want to buy which pops up a window to complete the transaction on Amazon.com by clicking the yellow ‘Buy Now’ button,” with orders delivered via Prime, TechCrunch writes.
While TechCrunch points out that film and TV shows have dabbled in creating virtual online worlds to engage viewers, with Netflix and Disney+ among those that have actively merchandised content-related consumer products, Amazon’s approach to marrying shopping and world exploration with a scheduled build-out is a unique approach.