As part of its ongoing 'Unbelievable' campaign for Pepsi Max, AMV BBDO, OMD UK and Talon Outdoor recently took to the streets of London to surprise the locals with aliens, robots, tigers and more besides. PepsiCo rigged a London bus stop with augmented reality technology, using it to trick commuters into believing they were about to be attacked by giant robots, invaded by aliens, or devoured by a loose tiger. The public reactions (some of which were genuinely priceless) were filmed and put on the company's YouTube channel, where they quickly went viral, with over 3 million views tracked in just the first 5 days.
PepsiCo rigged a London bus stop with augmented reality technology
The digital OOH campaign involved installing an incredibly high quality screen on the side of the bus stop, which played a constant live stream of the street on the other side, giving the illusion of a see-through display. The content displayed on the screen (which also included a rogue balloonist and members of the public being dragged into the sewers by evil tentacles) was specifically engineered to provoke a reaction from passers-by, making commuters believe that something genuinely unbelievable was happening on the streets of London.
The stunt is just one facet of the highly integrated 'Unbelievable' campaign, which has also involved Pepsi Max urging users to share Vine videos, which are uploaded directly onto billboards, which have been placed across numerous cities in the UK. More branded content is also being posted on the brand's YouTube channel, such as the 'Can a Human Run a Loop' video, which showed stunt cyclist Damien Walters attempting the unbelievable feat of cycling through a complete 360 degree loop. That video was posted almost a month ago now and has racked up almost 8 million views. The idea now is for the brand to post a brand new video to the channel every week.
The stunt is just one facet of the highly integrated 'Unbelievable' campaign
The 'Unbelievable' video is currently sitting at the top of the viral charts, topping new entries from other huge brands such as Durex, Old Spice and Android. Of course, this is not the bus stop based reality advertisement; Photoshop had their 'Street Retouch Prank' last year and Duracell's 'Moments of Warmth' campaign, which saw them transform bus shelters into human powered batteries, which in turn kept commuters warm. This might be the first advert to use augmented reality in such a daring and hyper-realistic manner though, and is indicative of the stunning digital work being undertaken by AMV BBDO; the UK's most creative agency.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer who probably consumes about 2 litres of Pepsi Max a day. He's never been fooled by a fancy billboard though!