Case study: Epic thinking with Boston Digital

For the release of the 3D animated adventure Epic, 20th Century Fox New Zealand wanted to take Kiwi kids and their parents along on the adventure. Fox called in Boston Digital to put together an experience that was a little bit epic in its own right.

boston digital film experience epicFor the release of the 3D animated adventure Epic, 20th Century Fox New Zealand wanted to take Kiwi kids and their parents along on the adventure. Fox called in Boston Digital to put together an experience that was a little bit epic in its own right.

Boston Digital’s stock and trade is usually of the 2D variety – but the team really loves getting stuck into those campaigns that go beyond the usual. So when 20th Century Fox approached Boston Digital, a part of the Image Centre Group, to create a display for one of its movies and requiring a truly surprising and delightful experience for kids, it jumped at the chance.

The movie, Epic, is a 3D animated children’s adventure story set in a magical forest world where an epic battle for its survival takes place. Fox wanted the campaign to recreate a scene from the movie in a way that kids could experience and interact with. Neil Lambert, 20th Century Fox New Zealand’s sales and marketing manager, was keen to incorporate technology as part of the install.

“The key to this campaign was for the kids’ experience in this shopping mall adventure to be as magical as the world that Epic portrays,” says Lambert. “We’d heard good things about the capabilities of augmented reality and wanted to find a way to use it to enhance our marketing.”

Augmented reality describes the experience of viewing a real world object through a mobile device that overlays supplemental information or experience.

Such an object could be a tourist spot or artwork in a gallery – or any other physical thing or place. Augmented reality is still relatively unknown, but Boston Digital knew just who to bring in for the job.

Imersia is a Kiwi digital marketing company with a specialisation in augmented reality. Boston and Imersia worked together to bring Epic to life for kids all over New Zealand.

The Epic campaign took place in Westfield malls across the country. It incorporated a treasure hunt – making use of the augmented reality app to reveal clues around the malls – and a colouring competition. Once the coloured pictures were completed, kids made their way into the life-size diorama bringing the world of Epic to life.

Using creative elements from the film in a specially-constructed set in Westfield St Lukes, Boston lead children on a journey across a lake on lily pads, and into ‘Nim’s place’ – an oversized tree stump where they could meet Epic’s main character Nim. There, kids could place their pictures in front of a special monitor and – through the magic of augmented reality – see their drawings come to life on a large hanging display.

“Seeing the kids’ and their parents’ faces light up and their mouths just drop open – we knew we’d done something right,” says Luigi Cappel, Imersia’s chief creative officer.

Boston Digital designed the scene, manufactured the framing, and output the large format print all on a tight timeframe to make sure it was ready for the first weekend of the school holidays.

The project was carefully planned. From the floor decal to the oversized ‘tree stump’, the team patiently worked alongside Fox’s exhibition specialists Red Events to complete the six-hour install.

“The display lived up to its name and looked pretty epic,” says Rob Ah Chong, Boston Digital’s business development manager. “We pulled out all the stops to make it happen.”

And with the success of this first interactive display, there’s a chance more of the same will crop up in the future.

“Designing and installing this set up was everything we love getting stuck into,” says Ah Chong. “We got to flex our creative muscle, work with great people, do what we’re good at and bring a bit of joy and wonder to Kiwi kids at the same time.”