Strapping a GoPro camera to an animal is a surefire way to get some unique footage. In fact, GoPro makes a dog harness, the Fetch, that lets you mount a Hero camera on your best friend. There’s just something magical about seeing life from the perspective of an overly excited dog, or looking down from the vantage point of a soaring bald eagle. The practice has become so popular that it’s even been satirized. And now, it’s been done in the virtual world thanks to Illumination Entertainment.
In a promo video for Universal Pictures’ animated film, The Secret Life of Pets (opening July 8), Illumination strapped a virtual GoPro onto a cartoon chihuahua named Peanut (and several of his friends) to capture the shenanigans of pets from their point-of-view. In a nod to the popularity of drones, there’s even a quadcopter with a GoPro attached, naturally. The virtual footage alternates with footage from real GoPros, including a particularly gorgeous and death-defying shot of some wingsuiters flying around skyscrapers. The video is, of course, as much a promo for the GoPro Hero4 as it is for the upcoming film.
As GoPro mentioned in its news release, the video “harnessed the action-sports-fueled ideology at GoPro to take the idea of pets looking like their owners to a whole new level.” Indeed, GoPro cameras (and competitors) are so ubiquitous and synonymous with action sports, that animals donning GoPro cameras on their heads doesn’t seem as silly as it should be.
The video is adorable, but it’s not the most subtle product placement we’ve ever seen (although, other than the small size of its cameras, GoPro doesn’t do anything subtle). GoPro hasn’t released a new camera since the Hero Session. The flagship Hero4 Black (the very camera proudly worn in virtual form by Peanut the chihuahua) was announced back in 2014. The lack of new products is causing investors to freak out over the company’s stocks. The Hero5 is rumored to be arriving later this year, along with GoPro’s highly anticipated Karma drone (which is not rumored, but delayed), but until then, the company is continuing to promote its existing products through various marketing initiatives and collaborations — even animated films.
For now, at least we have this adorable promo video to watch. For the full story on Illumination Entertainment’s virtual GoPro video, head over to GoPro’s blog.