Microsoft Xbox/BIG SHADOW – The Very Beginning of Video Projection Trend

In Japan it’s not unusual to come across outdoor street events promoting one brand or another. However, about 7 years ago, Microsoft Japan caused a bit of a sensation when it initiated the “Big Shadow” project in the Shibuya area of Tokyo. Shibuya is a part of town that’s especially popular amongst people 15-35—ideal targets for the product spotlighted at the event, the Blue Dragon video game for the XBox 360.

GT Tokyo drew on a certain function within in the XBox game, Blue Dragon – where the protagonist’s shadow becomes a dragon when he fights – for its promotion of the game in Japan. Focusing on the primordial human experience of shadows, the agency projected magnified shadows of ordinary people against buildings in Shibuya, Tokyo, and created a system whereby they could play with them. The projected shadow could suddenly change into the shape of a dragon, adding to the fun.

Technology formed the backbone of the project – the “shadow” cast were not real, but were projections of images captured by a video camera and manipulated with a specially developed program before being cast onto the wall by four powerful projectors. This combination of technology enabled the “shadow” to morph into shapes such as the dragon shadow images. The dragon would appear when partecipants performed certains actions, such as raising their arms over their heads. Minotaur and Phoenix shadows were also programmed to appear alongside projections of a giant hand, a foot and a cup of water.

Extra shadows could be added to the on-site wall projection in real time via the internet. All the relayed images were the archived online, where users could view them as a sequence of still images arranged along a time axis.

The event and website were awarded gold lion in Cannes and a gold medal in the interactive campaign category of the Tokyo Interactive Ad Awards for 2007.

 


One Comment on “Microsoft Xbox/BIG SHADOW – The Very Beginning of Video Projection Trend”

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