Ask a gamer for his biggest nightmare, and the answer is lags—those slow-internet glitches that can make a character seem to "walk" through walls, a cat get stuck inside a pole or an elevator disappear as passengers ascend into thin air.
Madwell brings video game-like lag into real life for Verizon
Now imagine that happening in the real world.
Madwell and Verizon did just that in a wildly entertaining campaign to promote its 5G Ultra Wideband. The two-minute film, set to Joe Walsh's "Life of Illusion," demonstrates lagging in real life with quick cuts showing headless bodies on public buses, people plunging through floors and more before recreating a lag-free world under Verizon’s 5G network. As the world is reset, the same scenes reappear without lags—a utopian future, thanks to Verizon’s 5G service.
In an effort to assure gamers it understands them, the campaign includes Easter eggs and in-jokes. It also extended beyond digital with a stunning out-of-home component to demonstrate real-world glitches, such as an installation of a taxi sinking into the ground. Using motion billboards in New York, the agency designed imagery that mimicked the facades of the buildings behind them. When active, it appeared as if each was “glitching out” with lags of changing resolution and unsteady movements. Hidden messaging and QR codes in the display pushed passersby to view “The Reset” film, thereby promoting Verizon’s network product.