As pedestrians get out and about once again in the world's major cities, out-of-home advertising and experiences seem to be having something of a resurgence, with streaming platforms being particularly prolific. Netflix, for example, got people's attention with pushes around the likes of "Squid Game," "A Classic Horror Story" and "Stranger Things."
Now, a billboard campaign from Amazon Prime Video for the new series "Wheel of Time" looks certain to grab some attention.
The company is using super-realistic "anamorphic" 3D technology to promote the fantasy series starring Rosamund Pike, in what it claims is the first time such tech has been used by an entertainment company to market a show. (Earlier this year, anamorphic technology attracted headlines with one featuring a giant cat that ran in Tokyo.)
In the illusion, we see an epic battle between the "Light" (represented by Pike’s character Moraine, of the all-female organization the Aes Seda) and the "Dark," (represented by Fade, the evil commander of the dark army). The two appear to break out of the billboard screen in 3D, with Fade delivering a terrifying scream.
Created by London creative studio Amplify, the billboard debuted in London’s Piccadilly Circus this week and will also appear at New York City’s Big Kahuna in Times Square and Tokyo’s Cross Shinjuku Vision. (For the Times Square world premiere, Prime Video this Friday will have street teams bring the billboard to life, with actors interacting with it on the ground.)
The anamorphic content is site-specific; Pike delivered separate performances for each location to maximize the extremity of the illusion. Captured on greenscreen, the live-action performance was composited into each scene. Pike’s hands were also match-shot to create the effect of Moiriane channeling her powers, which were then rebuilt in CGI. In creating Fade, Amplify worked with the show's VFX teams at MPC and Amazon Studios, to harness the CGI model and animate it.
“The Wheel of Time is a world full of diverse, exciting characters, storytelling and environments," said Alex Wilson, executive creative director at Amplify, in a statement. "A world which we wanted to build on, place the audience in the heart of, and then have break out into our reality. "