Wargaming Photo Activation Mimics ‘The Matrix’
The show floor at E3 is full of competing gaming companies fighting for the attention of thousands of rabid fans and jaded members of the press, each trying to get the most of the experience and make some sweet memories. Enter: Wargaming’s Bullet Time photo activation experience. Remember that special effect from “The Matrix,” where Keanu Reeves and others in the movie are shown in slow motion or “frozen” while suspended in mid-air, and from a 360-degree angle? Wargaming brought it to life, grabbing the attention of fans and press, alike.
Capturing this kind of shot involves using an array of cameras synchronized to shoot together and move around the subject. Wargaming called its application of the effect the BattleCam. Attendees took a flying action leap in front of a full-sized tank (although we’re not sure why someone would do that), and the camera array captured the participants at the peak of their jumps—at the key moment when their position is the most incredible. The images were then collected, processed into a .gif and emailed to each attendee in less than a minute. After that, the clip was immediately available to post to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. In addition to the wow factor, the concept generated repeat interactions and kept folks queuing up for three days to try different poses, positions and performances. Each time, the guest got a new .gif video to share, and they certainly did share them.
The way it works is deceptively simple. The consumer steps into the center of a semi-circle of cameras, usually between 15 and 50, and in this case about 30, and prepares to look badass. When the brand ambassador gives the go, the consumers do their best flying roundhouse kicks and each camera takes a snapshot, each one a millisecond after the one before. The result is a rotating slideshow which, when animated as a .gif, gives the appearance of a frozen moment in time and the feeling of ultimate awesomeness.
Over the course of the three-day trade show, more than 900 Bullet Time experiences were captured and emailed to attendees. The brand says there was always a large crowd at the booth and that about half of them were just there to watch the other half get in front of the cameras and participate in the experience. It’s one thing to draw in attendees who want to be part of your brand’s experience. It’s another to draw the kind of crowd that comes from an experience so good that people are happy just to watch other people take part.
Looks like Wargaming knows kung-fu too, Neo, and its kung-fu is strong.