Comcast SXSW 2022

Standing out among the crowd at the world’s most advanced interactive festival

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a world-renowned film, music and interactive festival that takes place in Austin, TX every March. A playground for the world’s biggest brands to show off their latest innovation, debut a new gadget, or highlight a recent achievement. If you’ve never been to SXSW, it can be as exciting as it is overwhelming…And that’s where the challenge lies. How do you stand out and leave a lasting impression when even a company as well-known as Comcast isn’t the biggest fish in the pond?

Goal

Develop an interactive competition entry that stands out among the crowd and leaves a lasting impression on judges.

Action

Meld the digital and physical worlds to create an interactive experience that allows viewers to seamlessly travel through space and time.

Outcome

An award-winning virtual reality experience that highlighted Comcast’s efforts to bring internet access to low-income families during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality immerses users in a scene, creating a sense of presence. It has the power to make you feel as if you are in another place or time. Comcast went above and beyond during the pandemic to provide more than 1,000 Lift Zones to folks in need. These free high-speed internet access points gave low-income families the opportunity to connect with loved ones, attend college graduations and even land new jobs when much of the world was otherwise stuck at home. Leveraging the immersive nature of VR, CM&D was able to help Comcast and their agency of record create a stunning event activation that conveyed the power of connection and highlighted the benefits brought about by the company’s efforts during the pandemic.

Karri M – Comcast

"Thank you to CM&D for working with our team to create a killer VR experience!"

-Karri M., Executive Producer. Los York
CM&D
2022-08-25T17:21:58-05:00
"Thank you to CM&D for working with our team to create a killer VR experience!" -Karri M., Executive Producer. Los York
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CM&D

Interactive Storytelling 

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Experience Design

Working closely with the team at Los York – Comcast’s agency of record (AOR) on the project – CM&D was able to help the agency bring its vision to life by providing virtual reality experience design services and insight into immersive best practices. The final experience blended a digital representation of an on-sight 3D sculpture with 2D video and interactive virtual reality providing a self-guided style tour of Comcast’s great work during the pandemic.

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Creative Direction

To help take the experience to the next level and drive traffic to the VR activation, CM&D also conceptualized and built a custom mobile navigation system powered by Google Maps. SXSW attendees could easily scan QR placed across the city on their phones triggering turn-by-turn directions leading interested festival goers right to Comcast’s event booth.

Immersive Development

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Virtual Reality

The final VR experience was created using a combination of 3D models along with 2D video and audio all synchronized to a custom musical score. To bring all of the components seamlessly together inside of a VR headset, CM&D worked closely with the creative team at Los York to develop frame-by-frame cinematic virtual camera moves that emphasized the story the team was hoping to tell. The final experience was designed and developed to run inside the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.

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Web AR

Leveraging the latest in mobile technology, CM&D developed a web-based navigation system powered by Google Maps and triggered by custom QR codes. The team also helped Los York design and publish an event-specific Google Maps listing that included information about the activation, a teaser of the VR experience, and of course, step-by-step direction to the SXSW Comcast event booth.

Engagement

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Immersive Brand Activations

The final VR experience was the cornerstone of Comcast’s award submission for the 2022 SXSW Innovation Awards; an opportunity you only get once! To help ensure everything went off without a hitch, CM&D provided fully configured and tested VR hardware as well as on-sight event support. At the end of the day, all the hard work paid off; the project took home the 2022 SXSW People’s Choice Award for Innovation. Donuts served.

Outcome

#1

2022 SXSW People’s Choice Award for Innovation

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