"It's a bird... It's a plane... No way! It’s way bigger than Superman and it’s spreading through Marketingland faster than a speeding bullet. Video mapping, a craft that choreographs hi-definition, 3D video projection-mapping technologies with sound effects and music, perfectly aligns moving images onto the exterior of buildings, onto bridges, stages, even water (or any object), creates an immersive experience like nothing seen before (no kidding!). In plain words…buildings simply come to life before your very eyes.
Want Some Big Buzz?
If you run a deep-pocketed brand and have a milestone to commemorate, video mapping may be just the ticket. Invented a decade ago by the Klip Collective (Philadelphia), the art of video mapping has, until recently, been dominated by European design firms like Seeper, with few exceptions, such as San-Francisco-based Obscura Digital. These pioneering design firms have been commissioned by leading global financial services, consumer electronics, CPG brands, and cultural institutions to produce some of the most buzz-worthy public spectacles ever, like Coca-Cola’s 125th birthday extravaganza that illuminated the complete façade of its Atlanta headquarters. Such events routinely attract thousands of viewers, then rebound into the social mediasphere to record hundreds of thousands of You-Tube views of the filmed production, and countless social media posts.
Got a Wall, Get a Show
Whether you are a leading retailer like Ralph Lauren, a world-class concert hall like the Sydney Opera House or a leading sneaker brand, video mapping can enhance one’s street cred big-time. For example, a video mapping extravaganza produced last week as a pre-seasonal traffic builder for The Promenade Shops at Centerra (Loveland, Colo.), by Brooklyn-based Integrated Visions transformed one 60-foot-tall x 120-foot-wide exterior wall of Macy's department store with two 3-D productions – an exploration of the mountain state’s natural evolution; the second, a series of M.C. Escher-style dreamscapes.
In a record-setting spectacular last month, David Atkins Enterprises delivered the largest 3-D video-mapping show yet, a 30-minute celebration of Alfa Bank’s 20th anniversary and Moscow’s 864th birthday, which was watched live by 800,000 people. “Moscow: A Journey of Rediscovery and Reinvention” set a Guinness World Record with a live performance, scenic, and special effects integrated into the 3-D video map that covered the 25,500sq-m surface of Moscow State University.
But Not for the Faint of Budget
Such productions require warehouses loaded with the latest projection gear, computers by the dozen, platoons of highly trained techies, and often include stunt folks. The Alfa Bank spectacle required 81 20,000-lumen and 35,000-lumen Christie Digital projectors to cover the building. Video was distributed by fiber optic cable using a DVI signal output. The projectors were linked through a proprietary software system that synchronized the units into a single panoramic projection. And the show included legendary French free-climber Alain Robert (French Spiderman), who scaled the building, and Russian opera diva Anna Polovinkina, who performed an aria from the "Prince Igor Suite.”
Brand Jordan Dribbles Down the Hudson
In a final, close-to-home example, NBA/New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony's new Brand Jordan basketball shoe, the Melo M8, made an experiential splash on the Hudson River, with agency Wieden+Kennedy’s, “M8 NYC Flight Event,” an epic nighttime show last month on Pier 54. As an audience of 2,500 enjoyed a live set by New York's Nas, they were surprised by an unannounced projection show of a three-story-tall Melo hologram walking, dribbling and dunking on the water.
The performance combined water holograms with 3D projections across multiple surfaces, and massive walls of mist on the river itself. The larger-than-life Melo interacted with his surroundings, sending shockwaves and sound effects splashing across the water as he made his moves and ultimately dunked on the pier.
So whether you are captain of a deep-pocketed luxury brand, the owner of a global enterprise, a heritage brand with a special anniversary who wants to generate volumes of earned media, video mapping is worth consideration.