JCPenney Offers Virtual Reality Flight With Santa, Reindeer, And Product Placements

(Christopher Michel)

The real North Pole is not available as a VR experience. (Christopher Michel)

When we were kids, we had to go to a holiday-centric theme park to have an immersive experience with Santa, his reindeer, and his elves. If an experiment at JCPenney is successful, children of the future will only need to visit a local department store and plop an Oculus headset on their heads to experience the magic of flying in Santa’s sleigh while JCPenney suppliers advertise to them.

AdAge reports that you’ll be able to experience this magic in only five stores scattered across the country: Santa believers who live near Bronx, NY; Columbus, OH; Glendale, AZ.; and Springfield, VA can visit their local JCPenney to try out the virtual flight. It started last week, and will run until December 24.

While you don’t normally put the concepts of “advanced technology” and “JCPenney” in the same paragraph, the “Flight” experience uses the Oculus headset to create an immersive North Pole environment, where the participant also gets to hang out with elves, reindeer, and snowmen.

Product placement enters this project in the form of gifts in Santa’s sleigh. AdAge cites two brands, KitchenAid and Nike, that will appear in the jolly old elf’s sack.

The VR experience doesn’t appear to have an admission cost, and participants will receive coupons or gift cards to the store as… a parting gift? Payment? It’s not clear what those are for, but it is clear that JCPenney is reaching out to young families.

JC Penney Shoppers Visit Santa’s Workshop in New Virtual Reality Initiative [AdAge]

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