AR Billboard Drags Sydney Street “Into the Storm”

A photo of the Into The Storm augmented reality billboard – Grand Visual, digital out of home production

Roadshow Films reveals a digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaign as part of a multi-media promotion to launch the new natural disaster film Into the Storm, released in Australia on 4 September 2014. Directed by Stephen Quale (Final Destination 5), Into the Storm focuses on the inhabitants of the town of Silverton as it is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes.

In a first for Australian digital outdoor media, Roadshow Films commissioned the augmented reality (AR) campaign featuring tornados ripping through Sydney streets. The creative concept was conceived and produced by Grand Visual; OMD was responsible for booking media through JCDecaux Australia.

Passers-by thought they were looking at a normal road and cityscape ahead. Live video footage of the street was blended with pre-created motion graphics, in real-time, to create a seamless AR execution that gave shoppers and passers-by a visceral, and memorable, experience.

Taking advantage of the busy thoroughfare around the Chinatown area of Sydney, the dramatic AR campaign appears on a 64” plasma screen located within the DOOH JCDecaux Australia asset. On-screen, what seems to be a static poster for the new movie – suddenly begins to flutter loose in a progressively rising wind. As the poster is “ripped away” from the frame, and gets caught up in the violent gusts, the viewer sees a realistic storm scene coming towards them. Sequences include a lamp post falling onto a group of people across the street, a car being flipped up into the air and thrown into the billboard leaving the screen with a large crack. Finally the storm fills the screen with debris flying around and, as the tornado “moves on”, the resultant “devastated” street is left with overturned cars and burning buildings.

Ric Albert, Digital Director of Grand Visual said, “The opportunities now created by digital out of home technology enable us to create one-of-a-kind immersive outdoor experiences that really grab attention. In this case, using augmented reality to pull a city street corner into the eye of a tornado creates a level of engagement that static outdoor media can’t match — it becomes a talking point, and gives people a taste of the experience that Into the Storm brings to the cinema.”

Rob Moore, Deputy Marketing Director of Roadshow Films commented, “We pride ourselves on working with world class talent, no matter where they’re from in the world. We’ve partnered with UK based Grand Visual and JCDecaux Australia to launch Into the Storm with an innovative AR campaign.”

Steve O’Conner, CEO of JCDecaux, Australia added: “The Into the Storm campaign is a perfect example of how we operate as a business, out-of-the-box technology coupled with unique audience engagement opportunities. It’s fantastic to see advertisers using JCDecaux assets as creative canvases that bring big ideas to life both on and offline”.


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