How do you market Something as Boring as an Escalator? Make a VR Experience of Course

There are tons of companies jumping on the virtual reality (VR) bandwagon, using the technology to advertise and promote their products. One such firm is escalator and elevator company KONE, which created a VR experience for its elevator business last year. For 2018 its back again with the help of Finnish agency, hasan & partners, with quite possibly the most boring VR experience ever created to promote its escalator business (unless you have a fondness for the machines).

Kone VR escalator image2

As you may expect from a VR experience involving an escalator in London, UK, there’s not a great deal going on. You stand there and enjoy the endless ride upwards, or turn around to see what’s going down – there’s no running the wrong way, that would create chaos. If you want to try this cutting edge experience for yourself then head here for the 360 version or to find out how to watch it with a VR headset.

And that’s not all, KONE has introduced the first ever escalator connected to Twitter, with @JustAnEscalator tweeting details of its working day and condition.

Of course all this weird and wonderful stuff isn’t just about advertising KONE, the campaign follows on from last year’s  Machine Conversations, promoting KONE’s 24/7 Connected Services which provides real-time data and insights to customers and service technicians.


“Escalators are the unsung heroes of cities everywhere on the planet. They move millions of people a day and they need to perform safely and smoothly,” Max Alfthan, executive vice president marketing and communications at KONE. “The Machine Conversations campaign demonstrates how IoT, analytics and insights can take maintenance from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”

“We don’t pay attention to the machines that make life easier, until they go wrong.  Artificial intelligence helps KONE interpret vast amounts of sensor data to monitor, analyse and display information in real-time, to predict resolutions to potential problems. For people who use elevators and escalators that means less waiting time and a more reliable service,” Tobias Wacker, creative director at hasan & partners. “People found the KONE Machine Conversations campaign soothing, which led us to explore other ways to get machines to communicate.  We have used VR in a surprising way, through an uneventful, never-ending escalator journey, while the tweets give an insight into just how much goes on inside machines to keep cities moving.”

For any other elevator or escalator VR experiences, keep reading VRFocus.