On Saturday 17th August, mobile network operator Orange, Google, and experiential innovation agency Wildbytes treated football fans to an epic spectacle. Marking the first augmented reality synchronised show in Spain, fans at the Celta de Vigo vs. Real Madrid game saw a gigantic superhero football player appearing on the pitch in augmented reality.
Unveiled on the weekend of the return of the first league Spanish football season, Wildbytes creatively devised and developed the custom-designed app and activation to promote Orange’s new on demand TV service, which gives its customers access to football games, and the Google Assistant, a result of Google’s partnership with the telecom.
Instead of the usual run-of-the-mill entertainment, fans with the specific mobile app installed on their devices saw an unforgettable large-scale seven-minute half-time show. Beginning with colossal gold football balls falling from lightning-laden skies above the stadium, a giant golden football player with superpowers appeared in front of the spectators.
Using his powers, he levitated the football balls and caused a blazing tornado, before showing his skills and landing an epic bicycle-kick. The fully synchronised visuals were designed to be seen from different perspectives depending on where spectators were sitting in the stadium, lending it a lifelike effect, that was supported by the stadium’s 360 sound system.
Interactive experiential agency Wildbytes was tasked with creating a tech-driven innovation for the Spanish football league kick off and worked in collaboration with Orange and Google to form the idea behind the activation. In addition to the creative ideation, the agency designed, developed and published the app, developed real-time synching AR technology, and created the 3D AR content seen on mobile screens and video content displayed on the stadium screens.
“Orange and Google enlisted our help to come up with a new way to enhance the half-time experience while drawing on the brands’ two key elements: entertainment and technology. We’ve worked on AR activations before, but one of the main challenges for this project was the large-scale and many roving elements. 30,000 spectators were in attendance of the game, so we had to ensure that the AR content would be displayed in the best possible quality and correctly synched with a large number of devices while bearing in mind the possible limitations in connectivity,” comments Leo Da Costa, Senior Creative Technologist at Wildbytes.
“What is exciting is that activations like this open a vast number of possibilities in terms of mass-scale entertainment. In its beginnings, augmented reality wasn’t used widely for more than one person at a time. What we can see now is that as we employ it on large scale events, it can become more immersive than ever before.”
Prior to the AR 3D show, the capabilities of the Google Assistant were demonstrated through a sequence with the MC, that led to the AR experience. To increase the number of downloads of the app, it was promoted prior to the match and on match day through social campaigns, print flyers, speaker announcements, and promotions that entered those who downloaded the app to a competition to win tech prizes.
The app is available in Europe on Apple and Android.