Vodafone – the Lead Partner of The British & Irish Lions for the 2021 Tour of South Africa – is to host a 3D immersive experience across London's iconic Piccadilly Circus.
In anticipation of the first test match this weekend, and as part of Vodafone’s aim to bring Lions fans closer to the Tour than ever before, the activation will see Vodafone’s 2021 British & Irish Lions ambassadors Sam Warburton, Maggie Alphonsi, Paul O’Connell and Jeremy Guscott brought to life as 25ft digital avatars as they burst through a building façade and stand proudly in front of the Vodafone Lions flag.
The digital avatars were created as part of the official Lions app which launched in October 2020 to allow rugby fans to ‘become a Lion’ and fully immerse themselves in the Lions action in the countdown to and during this summer’s Tour.
The 3D experience, which goes live today, will run until 26 July 2021. It is a celebration of the two iconic brands and a demonstration of how the power of Vodafone’s network can connect fans to the action.
The technology will be powered by forced perspective, a technique which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, which will be used to create the illusion of a 3D effect. Ocean Outdoor’s digital model of the Piccadilly Lights will be mapped to the precise angle of the screen, warping artwork for spectators to experience in 3D from an optimum viewing area.
Objects will move from deep in the scene towards the viewer, even appearing to extrude out from the screen itself. Piccadilly’s unique curvature offers an ideal stage for 3D animation to bring audiences even closer to the action in a digital out-of-home (OOH) experience.
The 3D experience takes inspiration from Vodafone’s recent ‘Lions on the loose’ TV campaign, airing now. The advert sees a pack of six Vodafone Lions ambassadors – Alun Wyn Jones, Stuart Hogg, Hamish Watson, Tadgh Furlong, Louis Rees-Zammit and Maro Itoje – running through the four nations and leaving fans in awe as they go. The players are filmed as they travel around the country, with fans seeing the rugby stars unexpectedly bring the sport to their local club, back garden, wedding, holiday and finally into their living room.
Vodafone’s OOH campaign will go live on 19 July using the partnership strapline Connected. United. Unlimited and the hashtag #UniteThePride.
Trevallyn Hall – Creative Director
Nick Sheppard – Senior Creative
Tom Webber – Senior Creative
Dani O’Donnell – Managing Partner
Danny Gilchrist – Account Director
Michael Fry – Project Director
Kate Middleton – Account Manager
Account Director – Emily Paterson
OOH Strategy Director – Lee Mabey
Senior Project Manager: Melanie Blood
Director of Ocean Labs: Catherine Morgan
Head of Design & Studio: David Tait
EP / Producer – Thierry Levy
Creative Director – Ric Comline
Creative Lead – Sean Cooper
Animation – Sean Cooper, Lawrence Scanlon
Note to Editors
About Vodafone & Rugby
In July 2020 Vodafone announced its role as Lead Partner of the British & Irish Lions for the 2021 Tour of South Africa. The two brands are united by a shared passion and commitment to connect people to each other and the things they love – the highly anticipated Lions Tour against the World Champions.
The partnership builds on Vodafone’s heritage of bringing technological advances to the rugby fan experience. In May 2019, Vodafone UK announced a two-year partnership with Wasps rugby and Wasps Netball to bring to life the benefits of 5G technology. Two months later, Vodafone worked with Wasps to create the world’s first 5G haptic rugby tackle. Using a haptic Teslasuit and the Vodafone 5G network, Wasps Rugby player Juan de Jongh was able to feel the impact of a tackle made 100 miles away by team mate Will Rowlands.
In October 2019, Vodafone trialed tech during the Wasps vs London Irish match which provided new camera angles and close-ups to get fans involved with the on-pitch play and give them “5Gamechanger seats” – the best seats in the house. Video from 360° cameras placed around the pitch – including in the players’ tunnel, dug-out and south stand – was streamed over 5G to give fans a real-time perspective on the game, getting them closer to the action than ever before.
In September 2019, Vodafone Ireland signed an extension agreement to be principal sponsor of the Irish Rugby team and communications partner to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) until 2024. The agreement also saw Vodafone become official sponsor of the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship. The multi-year deal will see Vodafone and the IRFU work together to use both new and existing technology to create events, activations and content that will benefit all rugby fans and Vodafone customers in Ireland.
About the British & Irish Lions
The British & Irish Lions are one of the most famous teams in the world of rugby. Every four years, the Lions – selected from the national sides of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – head to the southern hemisphere to do battle with rugby heavyweights New Zealand, Australia or South Africa.