JSC Federal Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Houston serving over 123,000 members, was the main sponsor of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 landing held at Space Center Houston. Expecting over 60,000 people in attendance over one weekend, the credit union needed a line-attracting experience to create brand awareness, attract new and potential members.
JSC Federal Credit Union enlisted LaPraim to recreate the Apollo 11 Moon landing as a virtual reality experience to feature in their booth at in the STEM Research Zone. The spotlight was on Houston and NASA as the world celebrated the Apollo 11 lunar landing. A moment that changed the world 50 years ago.
This opportunity to engage residents proved a great success with a massive social reach. Over 1,100 people participated in the "Apollo Experience," creating a potential social reach of over 80,000.
"We've helped this community since 1961, only eight years before the historic Moon landing. And we couldn't think of a better way to honor the community who supported this mission. Replicating a moment of history for a new generation was phenomenal."
The “Apollo Experience” was built using Unity, the world's most popular development platform for creating 3D, 2D, VRand AR multiplatform games, interactive experiences, and visualizations for games, auto, transportation, animation, architecture, and engineering. To meet the credit union’s desire to create a show-stopping virtual experience, LaPraim presented their creative idea for the "Apollo Experience."
VR Experience Rundown: Viewers take on the perspective of astronauts landing on the Moon, looking at the Apollo 11 rover while standing on the Moon. Beyond the Moon, participants also caught a glimpse of the Earth at an accurately measured distance.
While the experience was to have just one headset, it quickly expanded it to two headsets due to high demand after day one of the four-day event.
According to Houston Chronicle, "[this celebration] was a particularly special day in Houston — home to the nation's human spaceflight program, where astronauts have lived, worked and trained, since 1961." Being a part of the community, the credit union understood how important it was to provide an opportunity for all generations to experience this lunar phenomenon first hand.
Known to replicate such a culturally defining moment of walking on the Moon, the "Apollo Experience" had a line that went to the other side of the building. Trying to limit people to three minutes on the VR headset was a great challenge.
Branding for the credit union was placed on both headsets using a vinyl sticker. While participants used the VR headset, their friends and families took photos of them and shared them on various social media outlets. Over 1,100 people used the VR experience, resulting in a massive social reach.
The Moon landing was a not-to-be-missed event. Many people visiting the "Apollo Experience" shared their childhoodmemories of watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the Moon over 50 years ago. One guest who experiencedthe landing as a child said she was moved to tears after the VR experience. To experience it twice was a valuable moment.
By tying a positive, life-impacting memory and experience to any brand, the credit union gained potential consumer and community trust. This emotional connection matters –creating loyal champions for the brand.