Outlandish events often begin life in the most banal manner. You need only look at the world of Hollywood blockbusters for confirmation of this.
A random person eating a hot dog, mowing the lawn, or waiting for a bus suddenly spots the alien spaceships landing in the opening scenes of a movie. Eyes pop, jaws drop, men stare in disbelief, women scream, and then all the interesting stuff commences.
Pepsi Max have cleverly played with this concept for their recent ‘Unbelievable’ campaign. And they did it by using technological trickery to scare unwary Londoners waiting at a bus stop...
A giant tentacle emerging from a manhole cover, grabbing a passerby:
A meteorite hurtling from the sky and crashing into the bus stop:
And our personal favourite: A tiger bounding menacingly towards incredulous commuters:
Watch other unexpected scenes – including UFOs landing, a giant robot approaching and a man being lifted away by balloons – in the video below:
So, how did they do it? The surreal experience was created using augmented reality technology.
The inside of the shelter was rigged with a high-definition screen displaying a live video feed from a web camera mounted outside.
This created the illusion that the screen was a transparent pane of glass commuters could see through.
The 3D animations of the scarcely believable happenings were created at the same perspective as the street around it to maximise the sense of realism.
To make it even more convincing, an additional light sensor adjusted the animations to the time of the day.
This video below shows the effort that goes into getting the effect just right:
However, the trick did not fool everybody all the time.
People eventually figured out the ruse and began playing with the video feed by placing themselves into the “unreal” scene by standing in front of the web camera. Augmented reality was transformed into an interactive experience.
So in an age where we’re constantly bombarded by messages on multiple devices, it apparently pays to be able to surprise, and even scare, people in new and unexpected ways.
The ingenious part of it, of course, is the resulting virality created off the back of it.
For more information, please visit: http://www.pepsi.com/en-gb/d/content/2475/Unbelievable-Bus-Stop.