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WATCH: AR digital signage at London bus shelter

Digital OOH content creator Grand Visual was clearly an early pioneer in AR and in the trend called "prankvertising". You'll see why.

This piece of genius digital signage is from 2014, but with all the recent talk of AR, it’s worth another look. Pepsi Max used augmented reality to turn an Oxford St. bus shelter into a window that appeared to show flying saucers, an attacking robot, a loose tiger, a man with a balloon — and other highly unlikely subjects — making their way down the street. It’s all the more impressive when you remember that it this was five years ago which is a long time in AR dog years.

Digital OOH Content creator Grand Visual says Pepsi Max wanted to create an interactive digital OOH campaign that would share their brand’s message of, “Live For Now.”

Grand Visual developed an Augmented Reality experience that transformed a bus shelter display into a window that augmented unbelievable scenarios into the real world. Bespoke 2D and 3D assets were realistically composited into a live feed of the street ahead using depth mapping.

Unsuspecting commuters and passersby were surprised with a giant laser-shooting robot, a fiery incoming asteroid, a manhole with tentacles emerging and more. The resulting footage of people’s reactions, captured on day one of the campaign, was turned into a social film for Pepsi to feed out to the online community.

The team used a high definition screen that displayed a live video feed from an HD webcam mounted on the opposite side of the bus shelter. The 3D animations and video were created at the same perspective as the street and were then activated over the live feed. Using an additional light sensor, the animations even adjusted depending on what time of the day it was.

The campaign garnered over 8 million views on YouTube–3 million in just 5 days. The Pepsi Max campaign has also been recognized with over 20 awards, including a Bronze Outdoor Lion.

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