Using real-time technology to blur the lines of reality and fantasy

In 2014, Argonaut approached Psyop to help develop a cast of quirky animated characters for Cricket Wireless to be the brand's spokespeople. In the years that followed, this cast of characters grew, as did Cricket’s unaided brand awareness (which rose by 12 points). With fanbases of their own - our CG characters were mini-celebrities in their own rights.


The Ask

For their Holiday 2018 campaign, Cricket challenged us to think of a way to take our now familiar characters and use them to engage audiences in new and surprising 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.


With 5.3M views, 176K engagements, 50K shares and 11M impressions the activation occupied 41% share of the category during the week of the event.  Throughout the OOH 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. The overall brand campaign helped the brand reach more than 10M subcribers, an increase of 5M subscribers in the five years since joining the AT&T family - making 2018 the best year in Cricket’s 19 year history.


Unreal Engine: Psyop Generates Huge Brand Love with Real-time Characters

Social Press Junket:

Campaign: Cricket Wireless wishes us a ‘very share-y Season’

The Drum: Cricket Wireless: Four for the Holidays

Shoot Online: Cricket Wireless' Four for the Holidays' Short Film