Brand Experience and Activation > Touchpoints & Technology

PHAROS AR BY CHILDISH GAMBINO

MEDIAMONKS, Hilversum / CHILDISH GAMBINO / 2019

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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Childish Gambino made worldwide headlines by creating challenging conversations. His PHAROS festival created a psychedelic journey for fans explore sacred spaces with the people around them. ‘Algorythm’ further explores the contradictions between this generation’s desire to be part of something tangible while being fully immersed in the fomo of social media. This fit perfectly with Google’s latest AR feature – Cloud Anchors, which lets multiple users share the same mixed reality content. PHAROS AR brought these concepts together to create a shared space that challenged users to look through and past their phones and see the magic that is waiting.

Background

This project was a partnership between Childish Gambino, Google, & the agency with technical support from Unity3D. The mandatories were simple: use a multiplayer AR portal that lets fans step into Childish Gambino’s world. The brief was open: Push the creative and technical boundaries and take fans on a journey through Childish Gambino’s philosophy and narrative elements of his new album.

Describe the creative idea

Gambino’s message hints at a deeper meaning and purpose to life and Augmented Reality does just that, by augmenting the world with enhanced graphics. We teased out these concepts on multiple levels. Fans are presented with a portal to a magical but hidden world. At first glance it appears to be a simple game, but when fans dig deeper there’s a cosmic journey that awaits down the rabbit hole. Many visual metaphors and easter eggs hint at a sort of digital Plato’s Cave where a 2D world springs to life in 3D. This journey is a creative exercise for fans to see the magic and potential of the world, they just have to step through to the other side. This was also the perfect medium to tell both Childish Gambino’s message and tell Google and Unity3D’s AR product story.

Describe the strategy

The target was two fold. 1. Childish Gambino fans 2. App developers interested in creating augmented reality apps. Using a cultural icon such as Childish Gambino who challenges norms was a perfect fit for a new technology that layers new meaning onto the real world. Our approach leveraged AR as a new storytelling medium and not simply a gimmick.

Describe the execution

We deployed a cross platform (iOS & Android) AR app that used Cloud Anchors, the latest multiplayer AR tech from Google and Unity3D. This app was the world's first multiplayer AR musical experience and invited users to take a journey through Childish Gambino’s musical universe. The app was launched at Coachella to correspond with Childish Gambino headlining two nights and a physical installation created for the Pixel 3.

List the results

The app was selected to be featured on the Apple app store and was downloaded 50k+ in the first week. It also received major press coverage from VanityFair, Billboard, Venture Beat, VRScout, Engadget and many more 200+ PR mensions and 100M+ impressions in the first week.

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