What colour is a headspin? What shape brings a windmill to life? Ever innovating, Red Bull partnered with Google to mash up two different art forms: dance and graffiti, giving breakdance fans a brand-new immersive VR experience.

Breakdancing is as much about mind-blowing, physics-defying moves as it is about self-expression. At the biggest breakdance competition in the world, the Red Bull BC One World Finals, thousands of fans strive to see what kind of unique moves b-boy all-stars like Menno will break out on stage.

At last year’s battle in Japan, Red Bull looked to go beyond the ordinary and create something that celebrates breakers’ individuality in a totally new, totally immersive way.

A Japanese-inspired 3D wonderland the size of a football field should do it.

Using Google's VR painting tool Tilt Brush, Menno and graffiti artist Steak teamed up to create the first virtual artwork inspired by a b-boy's breakdance style: The Breakpiece.

The Breakpiece - Red Bull BC One

Breakdancing goes virtual with Tilt Brush

The Breakpiece reunited two art forms that used to be fully intertwined, but had diverged over the years: breakdance and graffiti. Tilt Brush was the connector, turning the room into a canvas for Steak. As Menno flipped, spun, froze, popped, locked, and held poses, Steak could move right with him, painting three-dimensional brush strokes with virtual reality.

Google ZOO was involved from the very beginning. “Our ambition was to help Red Bull create an experience that goes beyond the ordinary,” said Achim Rietze, Strategy Lead at Google ZOO EMEA. “We thought using Tilt Brush was an interesting way to bring a whole new perspective to breakdancing.”

Experiential marketing reaches breakdance enthusiasts online and off

Hundreds of visitors to the BC One World Finals could interpret Menno’s moves for themselves at one of four Tilt Brush stations Red Bull set up—and over 5,000 got to see Steak’s stunning artwork on a massive 60m x 60m holographic mesh screen at the event.

For breakdance and street art enthusiasts who weren’t at the event, the Breakpiece was featured on Red Bull TV and social media, reaching over 550,000 people, including a best-in-class 8.92% social media engagement rate. Red Bull and Google also turned the content into a 360° YouTube video, aiming to reach the people behind the 16M “how to windmill” searches on Google and YouTube each month. The experience is also available on an app for the VR headset Daydream.

Over the course of just two days, Red Bull brought street art and dance together in a completely new way, inspiring artists both offline and online around the world to work in 3D.