Bringing CG characters to life in real life

In 2014, Argonaut approached Psyop to help develop a cast of quirky animated characters for Cricket Wireless. These characters were to become the brand's spokespeople and represent the brand's values. In the years that followed, our characters evolved along with their stories. They developed personalities, names, friendships and backstories. They appeared in cameos with real life celebrities and became mini-celebrities themselves.

In four short years, they had raised Cricket's unaided brand awareness by 12 points since they were first introduced.

In 2018, Cricket and Argonaut approached us for their most ambitious campaign yet - one that built on the cult of personality behind their characters while engaging their audience in a totally new way. 


The Ask

How can we take familiar characters and present them in an entirely new way? 

Our Approach

Psyop collaborated closely with Argonaut, Shareability and Cricket to bring the beloved characters out of the animated world and into the real one via a multi-faceted approach: 

1. A Hollywood-glam, 3-min film and content blurring the lines of commercial and entertainment co-directed by Psyop founder Marco Spier and Psyop's rising star Jack Anderson. 

2. Magical activations that blurred fantasy and reality helmed by Jack. 

Using our real-time animation system utilizing Intera/Mocap suits and face tracking technology, we hosted a Facebook Live and Twitter press junket featuring CG characters Dusty and Rose alongside celebrity Mario Lopez making it the first time an animated character appeared alongside a live person in real-time. 

We also used this system again in a responsive OOH billboard activation where holiday shoppers could talk, direct and interact with Rosie, making a traditionally passive medium - the billboard - larger than life.


The Impact

Our Facebook/Twitter press junket got nearly half a million views on Facebook and over 4 million views on Twitter giving fans a new way to connect with the CG brand ambassadors. 

The OOH billboard generated over 5.3M views, 176K engagements, 50K shares and reached over 11M people. Throughout the activation campaign, the video maintained an engagement 5x the AdAge 2018 viral. 

The sentiment of the billboard video was 97.64% positive, which is extremely high for any brand nonetheless a wireless carrier. The viewers shared their love of the content, with many asking for more moments like this throughout the country. Additionally, viewers thanked Cricket Wireless and expressed loyalty - resulting in brand love through the roof.