by Dan Ferguson
Installing a tankless water heater is easier than you think. Telling people that is one thing; proving it is something else entirely. Rinnai America knows it certainly seems like no easy task. That’s why they came up with a little something to help people overcome those fears: a virtual installation experience.
With the help of Groove Jones, an award-winning 360 content studio, they were able to create something special for the 2018 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Professionals and DIYers alike got a first-hand experience—all with a crowd cheering them on—installing Rinnai America’s newest system through virtual reality.
Let’s take a closer look at the demo that had attendees (and qualified leads) raving.
Introducing Yank the Tank
Groove Jones worked with Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, Rinnai America’s agency, to land on a most appropriate name for the experience: Yank The Tank.
The premise was simple but delightful:
- Take your pick of fun tools.
- Smash up an old water tank.
- Remove it.
- Replace it with a new Rinnai® Sensei tankless system.
- Bask in your handiwork.
If you had to take apart an old, rusty water heater, what “tool” would you use? Yank The Tank made players choose between a lightsword, sledgehammer, and frying pan. (Choices, choices.)
The lightsword was a popular pick, but players who selected the sledgehammer were treated to a true-blue-collar workout. After about 30 seconds, the old water tank was totaled and ready to be removed.
After “yanking the tank,” the player then went through the step-by-step process of installing the Sensei™ tankless system. Players were faced with a practical set of challenges during the installation such as determining which gas line to run, as well as the size of venting needed for the job. The VR program walked them through the decision-making process, providing hints and suggestions as they learned by doing.
The result? Well, we’ll let Rinnai America speak for themselves.
“Feedback was phenomenal from both customers and employees. The VR platform added a new layer to our tradeshow presentation, improving lead generation by 50% over previous years.”
– David Federico, Senior Brand Manager, Rinnai America Corporation
The Production – Learn By Doing
There is significant research that shows that people learn by doing. By taking part in an experience that simulates the installation process, a person will gain more confidence in their capabilities then they would have, say, by watching a demo video.
As part of the production, Groove Jones visited Rinnai America’s headquarters to learn about the installation process and used actual product parts when creating the 3D objects in the VR experience. The team collaborated with Rinnai’s training teams to make sure the experience was as close as possible to what a person would experience when installing it themselves. To ensure that participants could fully interact with the virtual environment in a true-to-life fashion, Groove Jones and Rinnai America went with the HTC VIVE for its graphics, sound, and unparalleled tracking technology.
From Trade Show to Road Show
In 2018, Rinnai launched the #TryRinnai tour for game-changing new products, more hands-on virtual reality installations, new product rebates, exclusive gifts, and more.
With nearly 800 stops planned in 2018 alone, the #TryRinnai tour consists of eight vehicles outfitted with the fully portable HTC VIVE VR experience and external monitors so everyone can watch the action either on the road or at Rinnai’s trade shows.
To see the mobile Rinnai tour, visit https://www.rinnai.us/try-rinnai to find a location near you.
About Groove Jones
Groove Jones is an award-winning interactive and visual effects studio, specializing in the creation of 360º video commercial productions, immersive Virtual Reality experiences and Augmented Reality apps. Groove Jones partners with agencies and brands to connect with their audiences through the digital devices in their lives. Their client list includes AT&T, Amazon, Comcast, Fiat, Intel, McDonald’s, Nestle, and Under Armour.
For more information please visit www.groovejones.com