Creative studio Aggressive and ad agency Piro deliver CG sensation showcasing a new digital landscape for an upcoming marketing campaign by Viant. The film blends futuristic CG with live action to build a vision for the ‘New Open Web,’ the connected media landscape of the future that’s here today.
Set in a sunny city, the future-facing film welcomes us to life in the new digital landscape. Illustrated with captivating CG graphics, viewers are taken on a journey to explore these new possibilities, featuring fantastically re-configuring palm trees, AR holographic elements, quirky avatars, glitching and colour-changing floors, bubbly furniture, and even a hologram band. Through this diverse array of polished visuals, Viant illustrates its pioneering approach to media, combining AI with human insight for the next generation.
Aggressive was approached by Piro to craft the film for media giant Viant to usher in the concept of the ‘New Open Web’ - a diverse, dynamic, and connected media landscape where advertisers, agencies, and brands are linked across all platforms, from phone and music apps to gaming, television, OOH and more. Stepping up to the challenge, the creative studio seized the opportunity to utilise a vast assortment of their key strengths, mixing dynamic and concept-driven live-action with stylised, tech-inspired visual effects and UI design to craft an ultramodern AR world.
Determined to bring their full capabilities to the screen and comfortably shoot wherever will make the film shine the most, Aggressive brought Piro and the client to Warsaw, where the team had shot over a dozen times prior. Not only did it offer the perfect backdrop, but the location also allowed the crew to push the budget further and execute a creative that simply would not have been possible without serious compromises in the US.
To bring the ‘New Open Web’ life, Aggressive filmed live on-location, shooting over two days at a picturesque waterfront as well as other select locations in the city, following the protagonist as she explores this near-future world that blends reality with digital creativity and expression. The team then took this live action footage and swirled it up with all manner of vibrant design-driven CG and graphic visuals, seamlessly fusing the two in a manner that elevates the spot to the next level.
Tackling the project holistically from shooting through to finishing, Aggressive meticulously planned each shot to facilitate an efficient post process when navigating the sheer quantity of CG elements. Calculating everything from camera moves to lighting, textures, and references for ease later down the line, Aggressive distributed CG elements and animations across the scenes for manageability, scheduling and optimising which technique was used where to keep the pipeline moving.
The Blade-runner-esque hologram band performance posed a particular challenge, scanned live using an array of Azure Kinect depth-mapping cameras. Aggressive then turned their action into an animated point-cloud sequence which could be stylised and embellished in Houdini. Due to scheduling and an overall condensed timeline, the team had to film their scene a week and a half prior to the main shoot; however, since it was all captured in 3D space, they were able to adjust their cameras to match what was filmed later. The final scene also required some technical acrobatics, filmed live on location to capture the realism of the environment, but with the entire architectural space recreated in CG.
Alex Topaller, co-owner of Aggressive, comments: “One of our close friends and agents once coined that we are a “technique agnostic” creative studio, and this Viant spot offered us a great opportunity to showcase exactly that: we were able to reach into our toolbox of live action, design, technology, and CG, blending all those techniques together in fun and unexpected ways.”
Daniel Shapiro, co-owner of Aggressive, adds: “We had so much fun crafting this futuristic world, mixing live camera and lighting techniques with animation and VFX, as well as just a dash of 3D scanned performance-capture technology to keep things complicated.”
Corinne Lowry, chief client officer at Piro, comments: “We partnered with Viant to create a story around the New Open Web and the many new, emerging opportunities ahead for marketers. Given the massive shift happening in the ad industry brands need to approach media differently in order to reach consumers and create connections. So we wanted to communicate Viant’s innovative solutions to this challenge through a merging of the real and digital worlds with a story that we hope moves people to open their eyes to this shift. Together, we strove for exceptional craft of storytelling, CG and live action to create a powerful and visually-arresting new world that demonstrates how Viant is Built for NOW.”
Jon Schulz, CMO, Viant Technology, adds: “As a challenger brand in an advertising technology space made up of some of the largest companies in the world, we felt we needed to be both different and better. Our New Open Web campaign not only defines who we are as a company, but also the opportunity in front of modern marketers despite some of the recent industry changes and headwinds. We are proud of our partnership with both Piro and Aggressive to bring our vision to life in a way which we feel will not only elevate Viant’s brand awareness, but also align with our technology-driven vision of the future.”