Cannes Lions

“From the Ground Up” - The Field


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The year-long “Miles That Define Us” program was announced at the 2023 Cannes Journal House and the client expected a buzz-worthy activation and press strategy to garner attention to this important investment. The “From the Ground Up” execution was the cornerstone of a larger events strategy that included speaker moments with Hyundai executives at Journal House as well as curated lunches with industry thought leaders. Working together, these tactics garnered buzz and on-site engagement with our respected guests.


"From the Ground Up" was its fusion of immersive storytelling with interactive technology, seamlessly connecting virtual and in-person attendees in a universal, device-agnostic galaxy. The narrative journey plunged visitors into use-case scenarios with 3D models of Hyundai's advanced, innovative vehicles, offering visitors a tactile sense of the brand's contributions to the future of mobility.

Within this virtual realm, participants, represented by particle humanoid avatars, engaged with each other and the environment. Upon completing the story, attendees were ushered into an 'exploration space'—a multiplayer environment ripe for interaction, where they could converse via audio chat and explore 3D-replicas of Hyundai's technologies in-depth and up-close.


Using this type of emerging tech gave us a unique medium to showcase how Hyundai’s product innovations shape lives today and in the future. The environment of Cannes—one of the year’s most prestigious marketing events—provided a backdrop and built-in audience that was innately curious about innovation broadly, while keen to immerse themselves in new types of digital storytelling. By implementing “From the Ground Up” in our Field environment, we provided a digital gateway to explore Hyundai’s groundbreaking advancements in mobility and innovation, inviting users to delve into the world of autonomous driving and sustainable technologies, while connecting with one another.


At the physical installation at Journal House, the narrative was further brought to life by motion-tracking technology, which allowed physical attendees to control the story with their body movements on a 98-inch LED screen. This proved a compelling way to incorporate both physical and digital interactions. The interactive experience was mirrored for remote participants who, through simple cursor movements, could navigate the same captivating spaces. Hybrid audiences could connect through immersive technologies and design (VR, motion-tracking tech, WebXR and 3D design.

The event leveraged these innovative tools to not only showcase Hyundai's cutting-edge technologies but to create a space where real-time, meaningful connections were made possible among all participants, irrespective of their physical location.

We had only 6 weeks to bring this vision to fruition, which meant the team had to design the environment, handle all 3D assets and receive approvals from multiple stakeholders.


“From the Ground Up” was a resounding success, combining cutting-edge technology, storytelling, and thought leadership to captivate audiences. It exceeded our measurable goals, leaving a profound impact on both in-person and online participants.

At Cannes, the activation engaged 360+ hybrid visitors from 22 countries, capturing 37% of all Journal House attendees, who praised the experience as "beautiful," “just the beginning,” and thematically aligned with the Cannes Lions Festival.

Named 2023 Top Brand Activation at Cannes Lions and 2024 Finalist for Best Sponsor Activation at an Event by BizBash, “From the Ground Up” was also named Site of the Day by FWA Awards and Awwwards. It garnered media coverage in Yahoo Finance, Communication Arts and VRScout.

It has since continued its reach, receiving 39K+ views, and reaching 14K visitors from 140 countries and territories.

Hyundai replicated the activation at The Wall Street Journal’s coveted CEO Council DC Summit in December.

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