Cannes Lions

Haptics Amplifies the Intensity in the Mobile Trailer for Universal’s “The Mummy”


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The “Mummy” trailer is an action-packed piece of content with all the dramatic elements necessary to surprise and shock you. The haptic design behind the creative was meant to do just that, while complementing audio and visual to set the mood. Beginning with the small thud like effects that are timed to pinging music, then to complete stillness as the plane is rumbling to build anticipation, followed by rhythmic beating of the helicopter wings, the haptic effects become more intense to the point of scary. Perfect for a horror action trailer.

In the “Mummy” trailer haptics are used effectively to create an intense atmosphere and a unique experience, reinforcing the campaign message and driving interest for the pending release.


Designing a haptic video is simple, but requires a skilled designer (with training in audio) who can translate an action into how it physically feels and use the sense of touch to pull on viewer’s emotion. For example, the “click” feels like a little mechanical pop. And like music, specific rhythms or beats can create feelings of sadness or high intensity, depending on how it’s paired with audio and visual effects.

For “The Mummy” trailer, the haptic designer received the trailer and worked with the video to iterate the right motions and effects. This was done through a haptic editor inside the digital audio workstation. Once the initial design was complete, it was shared with a haptic producer (who is by trade a film editor and producer). The haptic editor and producer work together to see what effects can be tweaked to increase the impact of the haptic design. Once this process is complete, the design is shared with the client.

Additional adjustments are made based on client’s feedback to get the “mood” correctly aligned with the movie director’s intentions. The ad, once completed, is delivered via mobile ad network that can play back haptic content via a special player.


The haptic video trailer ran for two weeks to a selected audience to drive interest in the website. As the movie release is in June, there is potential for additional use of the campaign. Early results of campaign effectiveness are not available at the time of this submission.

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