A compelling VR experience to enhance Capital One's brand experience

Ranked #112 in the Fortune 500, Capital One Financial is the eighth largest bank holding company in the US and helped pioneer the mass-market credit card. Capital One turned to Studio Transcendent to help them create a VR experience about the perils of only paying the minimum balance on credit card debt for rollout to their Capital One Cafés across the country.



  1. Develop a narrative with height as a metaphor and vertigo as a device to educate how only paying a credit card minimum balance increases the cost and impact of debt.
  2. Conceive of and develop experiences that convey the danger of debt climbing in contrast to the safety of debt lowering when you pay more than a credit card’s minimum balance.
  3. Add a comfortable reference point—a lounge workspace based on the actual cafés where our host sets the scene before it breaks up to reveal our debt chamber, sending us several hundred feet above solid ground.



Capital One wanted Studio Transcendent to create a VR experience about the perils of only paying credit card minimum balances for rollout across the country to their Capital One Cafés. Inspired by another Studio Transcendent experience called The Ledge, the focus was to create a feeling of vertigo that would induce users into a “fight or flight” response, causing sweaty palms brought on by a true sense of presence. The experience needed to stay true to the Capital One brand with its message reflecting their commitment to helping their customers, associates and communities succeed.



Studio Transcendent’s creative team began at the top of its “ideation funnel” to bring the experience to life with concept art and storyboards. The team combined the feeling of vertigo, deep immersion resulting in presence, and the integration of an actor as host. Inserted using Studio Transcendent’s unique stereoscopic video capture technique to make her a seamless part of the experience, the host guides the user through a short lesson on credit card debt. She emphasizes the heightened insecurity an increasingly high card balance causes by instilling the feeling of vertigo. Then her story resolves as she explains paying more than the minimum balance to re-establish security as the user is lowered back to safety.