From reading history to experiencing history: the 3th July 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Königgrätz where the Prussians fought the armies of Austria and Saxony. But hardly anybody knows today that this was the decisive battle for the future of Germany. Thanks to our digital installation for the 'Deutsche Historische Museum' (German Historic Museum), we showed that history can be turned into an interactive experience and can inspire a whole new audience. After all, fans of Game of Thrones will also be amazed by this battle where 400.000 soldiers fought on an area measuring 10 kilometres wide and 5 kilometres deep. We visualized this battle in a contemporary way and prepared it for the media. We made the battle clear and comprehensible for visitors by using iconography specially developed for this purpose.
Our digital installation projected an image of the situation map and made it comprehensible by using contemporary visualisation of the strength of the troops and their movements as well as their losses. For this purpose, we created a 3D model of the battlefield based on the original historic maps and records from the museum’s archives, which we then used to animate the situation map. A total of two square kilometres of pixels were used to produce the animation. In doing so our virtual troops had to conquer a gain in elevation of more than thirty metres. But the effort was worthwhile for everyone: more than 400.000 excited visitors viewed our work in the permanent exhibition at the 'Deutsche Historische Museum' (German Historic Museum) and were able to experience this important turning point in German history.
How big can friendship be? And how much does it weigh? Measuring 17 metres in height, weighing 46 tons, set up on a surface area of 120 square metres, equipped with 219 LED panels and covered with 5.260 empty bottles of Jägermeister, it was probably the first monument dedicated to friendship ever. This digital installation, which we realised for Jägermeister, was the unmistakable proof that it’s not only possible to have great parties with many friends, but to create anything you want. The monument was opened during the Kieler Woche with a week-long party featuring well-known bands, and of course, lots of Jägermeister. The monument’s 219 LED panels installed on the five-storey high monument transformed into an interactive light show, which became the bright, shiny life of the party through the constant interaction with the crowds.
The monument was the heart of a 360° campaign created by dirk&philip kommunikation – Jägermeister’s lead agency. Before this obelisk could radiate as vivid proof that you can accomplish anything with your friends, social media, radio specials, poster sniping and POS campaigns were used to ask Jägermeister fans to donate their empty bottles to the monument. And the fans didn’t take long: more than 5.000 bottles were collected from the community and used to build the obelisk. The target group was thus literally involved in the creation and in making the brand a tangible experience. Far beyond the Kieler Woche, the monument thus became the shining star of a Jägermeister TV commercial, giving rise to a great deal of content disseminated through classic and social media.
At twelve metres above the ground, the middle section of the monument was built out of empty bottles and steel, and had to be lifted into position using a heavy-duty crane and protected against lightning strikes. The special daylight LED panels placed behind the iconic green bottles turned the monument into a multifaceted digital display. We let the party-goers play against each other in eight interactive games specially developed for this event. Kick pads installed into the floor made it possible for users to dance like mad in a dancing game or stack ice cubes sky-high in the digital ‘Stack It’ game. The visitors didn’t only beat the highscores but literally blew them away. Cheers!
TO THE MONUMENT
In addition to the on-board kick pads in the floor, another highly used interactive channel was created to allow every visitor to control the monument with their own smartphone. We made it possible for visitors to communicate with the monument in real time using WiFi and WebSocket technology. Thus, making it possible for the crowd to configure and experience the obelisk. As a result, the visitors could decorate the monument with colours, shapes and patterns or leave a message to their friends.
The opportunity to transform one’s own selfies into Tiki idols and to thereby change the monument into a gigantic totem was a real crowd-pleaser, and it enabled us to capture impressive images on the Kiellinie promenade.
Never-ending queues and empty shop shelves are the proof: the adidas NMD is one of the most popular sneaker in recent years. First appearing in December 2015, the Nomad model was designed for infinitely exploring the city and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Its motto was ‘Go your own way and shape the future yourself’. In 2017, we gave urban ‘nomads’ the chance to interactively give their city a fresh, new look. To celebrate the 16 new models of adidas NMD, the hip Solebox Store organised a midnight release party featuring DJs, drinks and the new NMD_CS2 Ronin Pack. As part of this event, we initiated an interactive, real-time animation that gave partiers the opportunity to redesign the image of their city Amsterdam.
To further promote the digital campaign, we gave the release event guests the chance to create a new cityscape of Amsterdam in real-time 3D and to rearrange the typical Dutch-looking townhouses and canals. Unique and individual views of the Dutch metropolis were created using WebSocket technology and smartphones. Our installation featured different tracking shots, generic city images of Amsterdam as well as undiscovered perspectives and many new details. Thus, a gigantic 3D scan of the new NMD model as well as of a Solebox shoebox became the centrepiece of every cityscape which was generated. Afterwards, visitors personalised their own ‘Urban exploration’ with their name and were able to share it on social media.
To launch the new Shadow models, the Tubular broke with old design patterns and conventions to create a new silhouette. That’s why we broke with old standards too and created a new lookbook showcasing the classic shoe in a completely new fashion. To do this, however, it’s important to know that the Tubular originally was planned strictly as a basketball shoe, but made its way from the streets to the catwalks because of its design. adidas has repeatedly redesigned the Tubular since the 1990s and has given today’s Shadow version a particularly distinctive form. We continued the idea of combining both worlds of street style and high fashion together in the Tubular Shadow in form of a digital lookbook designed in the style of classic fashion magazine.
The Tubular Shadow is the ultimate proof that the streets rule fashion, not the reverse. We implemented this idea in form of a digital living lookbook to activate the campaign in the retail market. As the characteristic communication tool of the fashion world, the fashion magazine served as our inspiration for designing the lookbook. Traditional content, such as glossy photos of high fashion, were replaced by street-style scenes in order to amplify the contrast. The result: a digital solution to explain an analogue world in which street and high fashion strut down the catwalk in tandem. Our digital lookbook was launched across Germany both online and via touchscreens at selected adidas retailers.
Boring campaign slogans have always been around. But as vague and meaningless as the ones used in European Elections in 2014 is a true rarity. That’s why we took on the task of shaking up the Republic and its voters with laughter. Our partner in crime for this task was, of course, our client Comedy Central. Using the slogan ‘Down with the Unfunniness!’, we presented voters with a digital campaign that was unique at this time, showing them how much nonsense parties spout off and revealed what truths really lie behind their statements. With the Poster Roaster App, we used augmented reality technology to hijack more than forty election posters from all the big german parties. The election slogans were swapped out and virtually ‘pasted over’ with some cheeky illustrations and a large portion of black humour. The posters were thus made much more entertaining and we were able to bring some fun to the European election contest – at least for potential voters.
We developed a construction kit of graphics for the Poster Roaster app in order to react as quickly as possible to any election posters newly released. This kit included illustrations for every single component with which new combinations can be repeatedly created and, much like when putting together identikit pictures, and with which the posters could be decorated. As a result, we had the great advantage of going online with the new slogans within just a few hours and continuing the hiliarous roasting in real time. There was no escape for the parties and their voters. And by the way, our client Comedy Central publicised the campaign nationwide with posters and attracted a wide of attention without spending a single Euro on media.
When do we perceive machines as ‘real’ beings? The 'Technische Museum Wien' (Museum of Technology Vienna) posed this question with its exhibition ‘Robots. Men and Machine?’ for which we developed an augmented reality app to support visitors to playfully address this question and dabble with the topic. The main purpose of the app is to virtually create emotions through movements and facial expressions which are associated with a wide variety of emotional stimuli. The robots were humanised by visualising the emotions and transferring them to the robots thereby making it possible for visitors to delve into the original ethical question in the exhibition. The app used the overall graphic concept of the campaign which featured a cardboard robot as its key visual. This project’s combination of science and fiction was, almost a home match, so to speak.
Thanks to our augmented reality app, the robots could be brought to life in a real environment – at prominent locations in Vienna. During the exhibition, 250.000 markers, such as free cards and beer coasters, were distributed across the city centre. They asked people to find our robots (by the way: a little while later something very similar became the hit of the year – ‘Pokémon Go’). The best snapshots could be uploaded via a Facebook interface, thus creating a user-generated robot gallery which our visistors filled with content and shared. In this way, we were able to interactively expand the exhibition ‘Robots. Machine and Man?’ into the digital world with images of 400 robot models from multiple centuries and bring the ‘Spirit of the Machine’ to life.
Our crew is always on the seek for new ways to test exciting technologies and implement them in projects. As true geeks who were already fascinated by the beginnings of the ‘holodeck’ back in the nineties, virtual reality is certainly a matter of the heart. The opportunity to create your own worlds and infinite possibilities, in which one can move as if they were real, thrills us. Before the release of the Oculus Rift, we started exploring the technology and began an experiment we could not keep our hands off. We developed a casual racing game about the character ‘Rob the Bot’ for the growing VR community, where users could slip into the ‘casings’ of four different bots and race through a virtual comic town.
The fascinating part of virtual reality is that you can explore worlds that don’t exist in the real world. Nothing against realistic simulations of everyday life, and even 360° videos can be interesting sometimes, but from a creative point of view, there is nothing more exciting than being the creator behind brand-new worlds. In this way, virtual reality becomes even more immersive for the user because he/she can discover and explore unknown territory. ‘Rob the Bot’ is done entirely in a comic style in order to illustrate the impression of an unreal world. Our client Comedy Central was so impressed with the game, it jumped at the chance to get involved and became the first in-game VR advertiser by placing an ad in the game. Mic drop.
In search of inspiration for our first website, we stumbled across the new WebSocket technology back then and it was love at first sight. The idea to create our website as a computer game was born. Space Invaders, the iconic arcade game from the eighties, served as basis for our game mechanics. We immortalised the team as game characters, each given a different set of skills matched to their job roles. Paying tribute to the retro charm of the computer culture of the eighties, we designed our website to look like an 8-bit game style and added sound. Thanks to WebSocket technology, Mammoot Control and thus also whole website could be controlled by smartphone by transforming them into a game pad. The result: Mammoot Control has been played more than 100,000 times by users from over 120 countries and shared online countless times.
SUPERNOVA RETAIL EXPERIENCE
The new adidas Supernova model was launched at the end of 2016. The brand-new running shoe is equipped with 20% more boost™ material in its midsole for the perfect recovery of energy to make runners last longer and perform even better. To support the retail market, a responsive experience tool for different markets and therefore also for key retailers was developed to illustrate the technology behind the Supernova model and present it to users in an interactive way. The tool was also linked to the retailer’s respective range of products, making a seamless transition between the interactive product experience and the retailer’s online shop possible.
In addition to the experience tool’s general experience, a module should be developed that represents the individuality of every runner. Based on the key visual of the Supernova campaign – a mandala – we created the following solution: users were given their very own mandala after entering their training data in the site’s interactive module. This data was then used to design and animate a unique-looking mandala which then became part of the site. The result: a continually changing mandala which is constantly being redesigned and that virtually visualises the diverse adidas community of runners. The retail tool was adapted by different countries and markets across Europe and, in addition to featuring a shop module, contained the most important information about the new boost running shoe from adidas.
Working with Jung von Matt/Spree in 2014, we realised quite possibly the meanest contest of all times for the client Euronics. Users were asked to solve a truly titanic task: pick the fir needles off of a Christmas tree – click by click, needle by needle. 274.064 times to be precise (that’s the average number of needles on a fir tree measuring 1.80 metres in height). Those who made it to the end were rewarded not only with sore muscles from clicking but also with upscale electronics – just in time for Christmas. The world record for picking all the fir needles from a tree was 8 minutes and 22 minutes. The technical implementation was also a colossal task: using Unity, the 3D scenery was transformed into a special real-time 3D WebGL interface including physics simulation.
THE TREE –
CLICK BY CLICK
Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, Berlin
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Karsten Weil - Stefanie Weil
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