Ask Dario Raciti to talk about Virtual Reality, and you’ll immediately understand why he’s making a name for himself at Zero Code, the interactive entertainment division of OMD that includes VR and gaming.
“In a category like VR,” he says, “the difference between innovation and trend is the difference between making the headlines or following them.” Dario often cites the Zero Code’s 2015 VR execution of Gatorade’s “Bryce Harper Win from Within” as an example of his definition of how VR works well for a brand. “We offered viewers the ability to see and feel-- like never before-- what it’s like to be a pro athlete right at the moment when the stadium noise fades and the only sound is inner thoughts driving you to win.” Dario believes that Bryce Harper illustrated exactly what people need to understand about VR-- it isn't about pre-roll or a 15- or 30-second spot. It is an opportunity for brands to create entertaining content that adds value to the consumer. (And the reaction from the public and the press to Bryce Harper was terrific.)
Born in Khartoum, Sudan and raised in Rome by an Italian father and a Greek mother, Dario spent the first seven years of his life in Africa where he also learned English, French and even a little bit of Arabic. He originally came to the US to become a jazz drummer, but ended up finding another voice for his creativity in interactive entertainment, from games to Virtual Reality.
Throughout his career, Dario Raciti has focused on harnessing the potential of emerging categories – first in gaming and now in VR. “I am always pushing to look ahead to build and execute creative pieces within exciting and often unexplored environments. But at the same time, I know the difference between innovation and infatuation with a shiny, new toy. VR is the next new thing in an industry that lives and dies on monetizing next new things. But people who have worked with me know I am careful to only pursue VR projects that make sense for a brand's goals—rather than pushing VR for technology's sake.
He adds, “We started Zero Code as a gaming specialty unit in 2006 with a staff of one and two clients. The team’ s first two campaigns won six awards. In the past decade, Zero Code’s output has included many of the most successful and awarded gaming campaigns in the industry, with the crown jewel being the GT Academy series with Nissan. GT Academy, which won the Gold Lion at Cannes, gives virtual racers the opportunity to become real race car drivers.”
Without doubt, Dario Raciti applies that same level of real adrenaline and passion to all of his virtual projects.