AR Technology Spider-Verse
Our Creative Technologist, Jon Jones explores the changes we’ve seen in Augmented Reality (AR) technology, from our first to most recent and viral campaigns.

For 15 years, Grand Visual has been at the forefront of the digital OOH landscape. From the first time we ever used AR, for a Lynx campaign (2011), to the most recent work we did for Amazon (2019), it’s safe to say that we’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty impressive AR executions.

With both feet firmly in a new decade, I’ve decided to take a look back at this journey with 2020 vision to predict what this year will bring – from tech innovation to best in class examples of AR in OOH.

The key technological change I’ve seen in AR technology is the improvement in the way that we automate it. For the Lynx campaign we did back in 2011, the AR process was entirely manual. Every single transition, vision mixing to the screen, and sending the resulting photo back to the user, each element was manual. This sort of process inherently doesn’t lend itself to any kind of longevity regarding activation times.

Fast forward to a campaign we did for Spider-Verse exactly seven years later and we were able to run the activation for over a month without any human interaction. This is in part down to the huge amount of improvement with the live graphics technologies that enable us to automatically apply visual effects to our camera feed.

Another development I’ve noticed is the scalability of which we’re able to deploy AR. Back in 2014, we worked on one of our most memorable AR campaigns of all time for Pepsi MAX. Still to this day, the campaign accounts for the majority of our website leads and is constantly shared on social media.

Back then, this use of AR in digital OOH was unique and only achievable on a small scale. However, with Snapchat lenses and filters launched the following year, a wider audience was introduced to the world of Augmented Reality. This technology is something that now exists in everyone’s back pockets and has become commonplace. Whilst it’s enjoyable to keep celebrating this award-winning campaign, it’s essential to keep looking towards the future and planning our next big project.

In 2020, when it comes to creative technology and AR executions, a key consideration is how to make these scalable and shareable experiences. Over the years we have seen inventory change in such a way that means Augmented Reality is no longer limited to a one-off stunt, and can be a more ingrained part of a campaign’s creative, like this campaign we did for O2 Goslings in 2017.

Keeping our finger on the pulse of the latest tech advances, 5G may bring quite a few benefits, provides us with a great opportunity to continue to push the boundaries of DOOH. Although, of course, it’s the creative idea behind any execution that brings success and not necessarily the most advanced technology.

This year we will keep on innovating and exploring the technology available to us, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and 5G. Augmented Reality is at the heart of some of our best interactive campaigns and we expect this to continue and evolve. Last decade was all about growing and introducing AR technology to the digital OOH landscape; we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings. 


Grand Visual Team

Our Team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
It’ll be fourteen amazing years in July this year. I’m CEO and work with a great management team at Grand Visual and QDOT.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
So many to choose from over the years! But I’d have to say Lynx Angel Ambush because it really made everyone wake up to the potential for creative technology in out of home and it won our first Cannes Lion.

If you weren’t in the Management Team, would you rather be in the Production Team or the Creative Team?
I started out as a Producer so I should go there but I think I’d join the Creative Team for a new experience.

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly through the air?
Fly through the air – that would be so much fun.

Would you rather have an unlimited international first class ticket, or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Definitely the first class ticket – visiting new countries and cultures is an absolute treat. (Although if I can fly through the air I might not need the plane ticket …)


Our Team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
I joined at inception as one of the founding fathers of the company.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
Wow. It’s like asking who your favourite child is! Our projects are all so different so I have favourites in each category, for each client and in each market. As I look back over the last 14 years of Grand Visual the milestone projects are those which really helped shape the DOOH industry and then made the phone ring. I think back to Rocky Balboa, Nike Write the Future,, Google Speech, The Harry Potter Premiere and Lynx as pivotal moments in both the company’s and the industry’s history. I think I’d have to pick Lynx Angel Ambush as the one… That campaign was a game changer. The teams we worked with on that project have become lifelong friends for the pain we all went through together. I feel like that project helped Grand Visual propel to the next level and also helped us give birth to probably our most successful Augmented Reality projects Pepsi Max: Unbelievable Bus Shelter and My Disney Side.

If you weren’t in the Management Team, would you rather be in the Operations Team or the Tech Team?
Wow. Again it’s like asking who your favourite child is! But yeah… Tech. Operations require far too much political correctness and HR – everyone who knows me knows I swear way too much when I’m excited/showing off.

Would you rather be able to control fire or water?
Easy…Water. I’d give everyone in the world access to clean water, and put out the fires of the idiot who answers this question incorrectly.

Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?
I’d invent the drug and give it away for free… get a Nobel prize, become a Trillionaire through my new found celebrity and philanthropy status… and then go explore a new planet with my new found wealth.