Rentokil Initial Digital Ecosystem Experience
Agency: Pico EMEA
Client: Rentokil Initial
Event Name: Rentokil Initial Digital Ecosystem Experience
Agency Website: www.pico.com/en/
For the 2019 Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Conference, Rentokil Initial had developed a Digital Ecosystem Experience, to introduce delegates and visitors to their Digital Pest Management services – the ability to conduct the remote monitoring and analytics of pest management systems. With a virtual GFSI Conference in 2021, Rentokil Initial wanted to facilitate a way to reach an audience of professionals in a forced remote world due to the pandemic.
The key ambition for the brief was to retain as much of the physical experience as possible online, offering visitors full exposure to the content in a way that was both novel and interactive without losing a sense of connection to the audience.
The Digital Ecosystem was conceived as a digital activation of Rentokil Initial’s virtual booth at the GFSI Conference 2021. As a Gold sponsor of the Conference, a large proportion of the Digital Ecosystem Experience was managed by the event organiser and the expectation was for most event attendees to be pushed into the Experience.
There were a number of ways to address this – but our preferred approach was to create a virtual space which faithfully reflected the immersive nature of the live experience, allowing Rentokil Initial to control the journey but allowing users to explore the Command Centre at their own pace.
The Solution and Activation
We took the live event as our inspiration. How could we create the same sense of connection with the host in a virtual space? We wanted to take visitors on a journey of discovery through guided exploration in an immersive environment, with interactive and rich content to deliver a strong product and brand messaging. The second inspiration came from gaming.
We chose to develop a bespoke virtual space to host the event.
The simple space of the live event became a futuristic control centre populated by monitors and technology, reminiscent of the bridge of a spaceship and underlining the innovative nature of Rentokil Initial’s service. We deepened the purple to a rich hue which helped to highlight the brand red of Rentokil Initial, which we used to signpost and guide visitors. The single room became an extended space with internal walls and contours, provoking exploration but with no fear of getting lost.
We broke down the overall experience into smaller, interactive areas which visitors could follow sequentially, offering a clear storyline and narrative, carrying the visitors through a unique Rentokil Initial Digital Ecosystem Experience.
An auditorium with video FAQ and Live Q&A sessions were available every day en route to the exit. Animations moved visitors from one area to the next, and visitors left the experience to emerge into a clean, modern office environment, equipped with receptionist and meeting room, where clients can request a meeting.
Four principles guided our design process to ensure the best immersive user experience.
The first impression we wanted the visitors to have of the space was a sense of anticipation, so the experience began in a dark, tunnel-like environment. As the user moved through the experience, the futuristic, animated and gamified environment added a layer of wonder and encouraged the exploration of visitors throughout the entire journey. The 360-degree function and ease of movement acted as a catalyst for visitors to satisfy their curiosity as they clicked around each room to prompt a reaction from different hotspots.
As automatic doors slide open, visitors were welcomed by Rentokil Initial’s Digital Innovation Director, Paul Donegan, who explained the journey to follow. Paul was virtually present in many forms – with greenscreen filming used to situate Paul within the virtual command centre, and finally present in pre-recorded or live to answer questions. We maintained Paul’s presence as the host to ensure a touch of humanity and warmth.
There was a detailed thought process for each piece of content within the space, and the average amount of time one would require to finish browsing it – from visuals and videos, to animations, downloadable content and FAQs. Content duration and touchpoints were designed to keep visitors engaged while remaining intuitive.
Most online events are either highly functional or lack without a sense of narrative – so we created a clear experience journey from start to finish. A progress bar on screen visualised the journey progression of the user. The virtual space dictated the journey without defining it too tightly.
The space and experience created was truly unique.
The space continues to be available and used by Rentokil Initial post exhibition, supporting other events and online sales.
A painstaking collaboration between Rentokil Initial and Pico ensured highly detailed planning and delivery of each touchpoint that enhanced the storytelling of the space. The engaging immersive environment had set a precedent for Rentokil Initial’s food industry contacts who will now be able to visit the virtual environment upon appointment due to its flexibility to adapt to an ongoing need to do business more remotely. Rentokil Initial remains committed to the Digital Ecosystem Experience, and continue to use the virtual space, including post event digital campaigns, in markets around the world and also at other virtual events.
In a nutshell, the virtual environment brought Rentokil Initial’s vision of the experience into a reality, and fulfilled the condition of delivering specific content within an immersive experience.