Smart Screen

Vast Media Smart Screen Round-Up: Hulu Halloween VR, ‘Stranger Things’ Promotions

Here’s a run-down of recent second screen-related entertainment items, via Berlin-based research and consulting company Vast Media.

• For Halloween, Hulu debuted the new program initiative “Huluween,” featuring the six-part, short-form series “The House,” along with a series of digital shorts and two virtual reality videos for the Hulu VR app.

The VR videos, tying into the horror series, allowed viewers to see a different perspective of “The House” episodes, including, for one episode, allowing the viewer to experience the opposite side of the story.

In addition to the new series and experience, Hulu also offered up interviews with the cast and crew of iconic horror movies, as part of the “Huluween” initiative.

• To help promote the second-season release of “Stranger Things,” Netflix debuted a new camera effect for the Facebook app, allowing users to place creatures from the series on their heads, and share the results across social media.

Netflix also teamed up with Google to release an interactive audio adventure via the Google Home voice assistant, allowing users to interact with characters from the series.

Additionally, Netflix subscribers were treated to the “Beyond Stranger Things” after-show for the series, which played automatically after viewers completed the second season.

• As an extension of its mini-series “The Driver,” Hulu worked with virtual reality company CreamVR to produce an original VR experience for the Hulu VR app. The experience has users in the front seat of a racing car with NASCAR’s Jeffrey Earnhardt, racing around the track at more than 180 mph.

• BBC Three went straight to the web with its new animated series “Tales from the Serengeti,” an adults-only, black and white comedy series that follows foul-mouthed African animals during their daily routines. The first season includes six short episodes, available via the BBC YouTube channel and BBC iPlayer.

• For the return of its long-running hit “The Walking Dead,” AMC launched its new VR app, AMC VR, which included a number of VR experiences tied into the show, including one four-part series that celebrated the show’s 100th episode, by putting the viewers in the middle of a walker attack, and by getting a close view at villain Negan’s fight against a horde of the living dead.

• Discovery Communications got into the Halloween VR action with the debut of “Inside the Pennhurst Asylum, which offers up a 360-degree tour of the former hospital and reputed haunted site. The episodes can be viewed across VR hardware platforms, as well as online.