Cannes Lions

Catch My iPhone

R/GA, New York / VERIZON / 2024

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Over the years, drop culture and influencer-led giveaways have become too exclusive, too city-centric and sometimes even violent. Verizon sought to turn the year’s most anticipated drop - the iPhone 15 - into its biggest, most inclusive release to date. Verizon has seen how gaming has democratized connection, so we sought to give drop culture a reboot by creating an inclusive, gamified moment that dialed up the hype.

Idea

The Catch my iPhone game was an immersive AR experience and larger-than-life, personalized drop moment, where a 300-foot digital twin of music icon J Balvin walked across the country to fans’ homes dropping the new iPhone for them to catch on their phone. For the first time, Catch my iPhone took drop culture out of the big cities, and made it safe and inclusive through technology - spreading the hype all across the country.

Strategy

The new iPhone 15 release promised to be the most anticipated drop moment of the year. But the city-centric exclusivity of drop culture had prevented people nationwide from participating in major moments. We wanted to democratize drop culture by gamifying it and making it directly inclusive through technology across the country. To make the moment even bigger for our audience we tapped one of the biggest music icons and self-proclaimed gamer, J. Balvin, to be featured in our launch moment.

Execution

We developed Catch my iPhone as an inclusive breakthrough experience scaled for a nationwide audience. For a month leading up to launch, we underwent a rigorous trial-and-error process to optimize the capabilities of WebAR and bring a fully-realized, highly-detailed world to life.

Using a mix of dynamic processing and new rendering techniques, we pushed the limits of WebAR to feature real-world occlusion, and built a layered, visually rich and engaging interactive gaming experience that didn’t rely on a download. Rather, it was accessible to anyone with a web browser by seamlessly swiping out of our social content.

Once inside the experience, fans could catch and win the new iPhone, learn about new iPhone features, and pre-order a new phone with Verizon directly from the game.

Every detail of Catch my iPhone was authentically tailored to resonate and connect with our audience, especially the character design. The final rendering of our 300-foot J.Balvin featured the smallest of flourishes, down to his wardrobe, hairstyle and tattoos. We even integrated other drop moments happening that week into the game, including J. Balvin’s new single and his new Nike collab - both discoverable within the experience.

Outcome

The results were massive in just one week, creating a deeply immersive and entertaining experience for a nationwide audience. This included:

250,000+ Players, 5x Verizon’s benchmark

40,000+ Drops per day

1,000%+ iPhone pre-order traffic YOY

20+ Million video views

1:20 Minutes average spent on the site, +10% longer than Verizon’s benchmark

All culminating in the largest iPhone launch ever.

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