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. 


Pepsi Max interactive digital OOH
OOH on its own is an incredibly strong advertising medium, however, when used in conjunction with other channels it’s been proven to extend the reach and effectiveness of a campaign.

Consumers today spend 70% of their time outside of their homes making out-of-home (OOH) advertising a prime channel for reaching your target audience. With a low CPM and high ROI, what’s not to love about the traditional channel?

OOH & Online Ads

You might think of these two advertising mediums as occupying two completely different worlds – one physical and one in cyberspace. But with 27% of our year spent online, both mediums actually do a pretty similar job of catching us in our everyday lives.

When OOH is combined with online ads, brands can elevate the effectiveness of their overall campaign by 31% and increase the overall reach by 68%. Used together as part of the marketing mix, these two channels thrive.

OOH & Mobile

Did you know there are more mobile phones in the world than there are people? We’re clearly obsessed with our handsets. So what happens when a relatively new channel like mobile is combined with a traditional channel like OOH?

According to recent studies, when OOH is combined with mobile it can increase a mobile campaign’s reach by 316%.

McDOnald's Waze Mobile and OOH Geofencing

A great example of OOH working well with mobile comes from McDonald’s in the US. They utilised mobile geofencing to retarget audiences through Waze (a GPS navigation software app). Displaying the same billboard creative within the app, as they were in close proximity to an outdoor ad. This approach saw McDonald’s earn 6.4 million mobile impressions and 1.9 million unique consumers in 8 weeks.

OOH & Social Media

With 45% of the total world population using social media, social is one of the most effective channels for targeting audiences. In its simplest form, the combination of OOH with Social Media could just be a hashtag on a billboard, however, there is a multitude of ways that these channels can work to complement each other.

In 2014, Pepsi Max launched “Unbelievable,” a campaign that beautifully combined digital OOH (DOOH) with Social Media. Featuring an Augmented Reality DOOH stunt, the brand earned over 50 million views online, as well as news coverage and countless awards.

When OOH is combined with Social Media, it amplifies and extends the reach of a campaign from a physical to a digital level. Results from Talon’s 4th space research saw a 48% increase in consumer action when digital OOH was added to a social plan.

OOH is a great amplifier, and when added to your marketing mix as part of a comprehensive strategy, increases campaign performance.

Spotify 2018 Wrapped Digital OOH Piccadilly Lights

our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
A bit over a year and a half and I’m a Senior Marketing Executive.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
The Augmented Reality experience that we did Pepsi Max Unbelievable bus shelter, I remember reading about it when I lived in Australia and thinking it was so cool!

If you weren’t in the Marketing Team, would you rather be in the Creative Team or the Client Services Team?
Creative Team.

Would you rather have more time or more money?

More time to make more money.

Would you rather only be able to jump everywhere or only be able to walk on your hands?
Probably jump everywhere.


our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
Just over three years – I’m a software developer.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
Has to be the interactive game we did for Pets at Home ‘My Pet Pals’.

If you weren’t in the Tech team, would you rather be in the Production team or Operations?
Ops. I’d get to work with Gwen all day!

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly through the air?
Flying definitely!

Would you rather become twice as strong when both of your fingers are stuck in your ears, or crawl twice as fast as you can run?
Stronger with my fingers in my ears. It would make leg day easier.

Grand Visual OOH

our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
I have been at GV for just under 3 years. I am the Management Accountant, which means I report the monthly/yearly performance of the business. I also look after the day to day functions of Finance.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
My favourite campaign would be the work that we did for the film, The Accountant. It’s nice to see a film show our profession in a good light. Even if there were not enough explosions to do us justice.

If you weren’t in the Finance Team, Would you rather be in Client Services or Operations?
Client Services defo! I love eating/drinking in new places and entertaining clients. That’s all there is to it right?

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?
Singer, it’s where the ££££ is at!

Would you rather become twice as strong when both of your fingers are stuck in your ears, or crawl twice as fast as you can run?
Crawl twice as fast as I can run. I’m quite fast at running, so my crawl would be insane! Plus I’m sure my kids would love to jump on my back while I whizz around.


our team


How long have you been at GV for and what’s your role?
Almost 6 years! I’m the Production Director.

What’s your favourite GV campaign?
Our Augmented Reality campaign that we did for Pepsi Max Unbelievable bus shelter. It was truly a media first that opened so many doors for GV!

If you weren’t in the Production Team, Would you rather be in Operations or Client Services?
Client Services.

Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?
Invent the drug that cures a deadly disease.

Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?
Be able to fly.

Pepsi MAX Augmented Reality Digital OOH

Pepsi MAX’s Unbelievable campaign continued on the streets of London recently. In the cold and gloomy tunnels of London Bridge, Pepsi Max gave unsuspecting commuters an unbelievable experience using the latest in augmented reality and stereo projection technology. What at first appeared to be an ordinary tunnel quickly transformed to reveal giant portals in the space-time continuum, shocking and surprising passersby as prehistoric dinosaurs and futuristic cyborgs appeared out of thin air.

The creative concept was part of PepsiCo’s integrated campaign for the UK which brings Pepsi MAX’s Unbelievable combination of maximum taste AND no sugar to life. Grand Visual has worked on previous Unbelievable executions including an augmented reality DOOH first last year which transformed a digital 6-sheet Bus Stop giving the illusion of incredible scenarios unfolding on the street nearby.

To pull off this stunt, Grand Visual created a bespoke structure within the Tunnel which allowed them to manipulate the environment and bring to life the ‘time tunnel.’ The tunnel in London Bridge was surveyed and a scale 3D model was created, which was then used for extensive mapping and projection planning, to ensure the final execution would be as realistic as possible.

Projectors were strategically placed in the tunnel and a fine gauze partition was stretched inside the tunnel onto which the 3D animations of a dinosaur, car and cyborg were projected. Clever lighting, set dressing and perspective effects allowed for the technology to be hidden & the final effect to be startlingly realistic.

For more behind the scenes footage, and to see how we did it, click here:

Members of Team Grand Visual with their haul at the Creative Out of Home Awards

Wednesday night saw us pick up another haul of prizes, this time at the Creative Out of Home Awards. Five of the campaigns we worked on over the past year won awards, with a further seven garnering Commendations.

We were honoured to receive the prestigious Chairman’s Award for our work alongside Adam & Eve DDB on “Google Front Row”. Our other award winners were “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter” in the Viral category, and “Google Front Row” for Innovation. Grand Visual work also picked up seven Commendations, including our Sydney, Australia “Into the Storm” AR activation in the International category, and “Google Outside” in the Digital Campaign category.

“Dove Ladies Day”, and McDonald’s “See one. Want one.” — activity we also had a hand in — received awards in the Multi-platform Campaign and Experimental/Ambient categories respectively.

What with our recent wins at the Mediapost Digital Out of Home Awards, November has been a proud month for GV.

Founder Neil Morris and the GV New York team with their haul of six Mediapost DOOH Awards

In July, Grand Visual opened its doors in New York City. It’s been an eventful and satisfying few months as we set about integrating OpenLoop, our dynamic campaign management tool, into the US networks, and building on the creative production work we had already been doing for American clients.

Given that we’re the new kids on the block in NYC, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised we were to receive a bunch of Mediapost Digital Out of Home Award nominations. Our surprise turned to joy on the night when last Tuesday night we walked off with six awards, including Best in Show!

The awards won were: Best in Show for “Google Front Row”, Platform (Augmented Reality) for “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter”, Best Venue/Location Based Execution for “Google Front Row”, Best Park/Sports Arena/Stadium Concert Venue for “Google Front Row”, Best Execution Promoting a Brand within Industry Vertical (Beverage) for “Pepsi Max Unbelievable Bus Shelter”, Best Technology/Consumer Electronics for “Google Outside”.

It was a thrill for our work to be recognised to such a degree by the US industry, and a true highpoint to our first year in the Big Apple. We couldn’t have done it without great clients and agency partners. We hope our success at the Mediapost DOOH Awards will be an indicator of great things for the future of Grand Visual New York.

As the most talked about OOH campaign this year so far– Pepsi MAX’s Unbelievable bus shelter has gone way beyond its DOOH roots and on to garner global interest via 5.5 million Youtube hits and international news coverage. The story has generated column inches as far afield as Mexico and China and was broadcast on popular news channels CNN and the BBC.

This perfectly crafted campaign was the result of a collaborative team, created by AMV BBDO, planned and booked by OMD and Talon, with creative technology and digital production by Grand Visual.

Earlier this month, the BBC Click team visited GV Towers where LJ Rich caught up with Dan to discuss all things Augmented Reality and how best to use the technology to generate engaging Out of Home experiences.

Pepsi MAX Bus Shelter Augmented Reality interactive digital OOH

Pepsi MAX has launched the next stage of their ‘Unbelievable’ campaign, with a cutting-edge DOOH stunt which revolutionises how we see city streets.

Pepsi MAX AR Bus Shelter Balloons

The technology, which is currently exclusive to Pepsi MAX, was launched on one of London’s busiest roads, New Oxford Street. A Bus Stop digital 6-sheet was transformed to show a live feed of the street ahead and give the illusion of a see-through display. However, as people wait and watch, a series of incredible scenarios unfold on the street, instantly whisking Londoners away from their ordinary environment and placing them into something completely unbelievable. Commuters could be faced with a giant robot crashing through Oxford Street, or catch a glimpse of a passerby being abducted by flying saucers.

This creative concept is part of PepsiCo’s integrated campaign for the UK which brings Pepsi MAX’s ‘Unbelievable’ combination of maximum taste AND no sugar to life. It follows another media-first from Pepsi MAX in February which saw consumer generated Vines integrated across DOOH sites. The latest stage of the campaign, planned by OMD UK, bought by Talon, created by AMV BBDO, with production and creative technology by Grand Visual: combines the DOOH platform with state of the art augmented reality technology.

Pepsi MAX AR Bus Shelter Robot

The content created on Oxford Street has been caught on video and seen over 8 million times!

PepsiCo has launched an innovative Digital Out of Home campaign that integrates consumer generated Vine clips into Pepsi Max digital billboard adverts. Each day, the best Vines from #LiveForNow are updated in real-time and screened across The Grid, Ocean Outdoor’s network of large-format screens spanning the UK’s largest cities.


Vine, the 6-second social video platform owned by Twitter, has never been integrated into a real-time DOOH execution before.  Through social media, Pepsi Max encourages members of the public to create and submit their “Unbelievable” Vines using the hashtag #LiveForNow, and the best submissions are integrated into the DOOH creative using the OpenLoop dashboard.


The campaign is part of the company’s larger Live For Now campaign and will be supported with YouTube videos promoting the “maximum taste, no sugar” tagline. The campaign was created by AMV, planned by OMD UK in partnership with Talon, produced by Grand Visual, with Vine moderation from Jaywing.