ORLANDO, FL: Dos Equis, the beer brand, is leveraging Oculus Rift's virtual reality technology for a new interactive experience celebrating Halloween, and tied to its campaign starring "The Most Interesting Man in the World".

Dolf van den Brink, Heineken USA's president/ceo, and Andrew Bennett, global ceo of Havas Worldwide, discussed this effort at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2014 Masters of Marketing conference.

According to Bennett, the "Masquerade" campaign is based around a "whole new platform that we've created - an entirely seamless online video that's incredibly interactive." (For more, including how the brand has made a virtue of limiting its pitchman's exposure, read Warc's report: Dos Equis' "most interesting" insight: scarcity.)

This "immersive experience", he informed the ANA delegates, will also "take the brand to new levels" from an innovation standpoint.

As part of this process, Dos Equis is distributing more than 20 headsets manufactured by Oculus Rift to bars in key markets, including in the Southwest – the site of its US launch, and still a stronghold for the product.

Estimates from Havas Worldwide suggest that between 1,000 and 2,000 people could ultimately engage with the "Masquerade" platform in this way, with one core aim being to drive chatter across social media.

Internet users will also be able to enjoy the experience, and help "The Most Interesting Man in the World" navigate through his opulent, fun-filled manor during a Masquerade party to find his little black book.

By selecting the right options among the choices available to complete this mission, six players can win an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, where Dos Equis will hold a real Masquerade event next month.

This initiative constitutes the next iteration of "The Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign, which dates back to 2006, and has been instrumental in building the brand's popularity.

By utilising an aspirational – and convention-busting – pitchman, the beer has built strong connections with a customer base that wants to avoid sinking into the background.

"The target consumer for Dos Equis is 21-to-34-year-old males; we call them 'social explorers'. And while they seem very confident, they actually have a very deep emotional fear: being perceived as boring," Bennett said.

Data sourced from Warc