John Lewis Draws Holiday Shoppers Into A Virtual World

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December 08, 2016
MPC Creative collaborated on a companion VR experience for upscale U.K. retailer John Lewis’ holiday ad.
  • MPC pushed creative and technical boundaries for the ad’s photorealistic CG animal characters.
  • MPC Creative developed a companion interactive VR experience for the John Lewis store in London.

Holiday ads are familiar fare this time of year, but prominent U.K. retailer John Lewis and Technicolor’s MPC have added another dimension to the traditional seasonal campaign. Pushing the boundaries in immersive experiences from on-screen to in-store, MPC Creative developed an interactive VR installation at John Lewis’ flagship store in London. Adding to the fun, it directly ties into Buster the Boxer, the animated ad campaign that the MPC team helped create for the holiday season.

The project saw MPC reunited with adam&eveDDB, who conceived the ad, and director Dougal Wilson of Blink. With extreme attention to detail down to the last strand of fur, the MPC team created the photorealistic CG cast of animal characters that start jumping up and down on a backyard trampoline they find set up for Christmas morning. Technically and creatively, the spot sets a high bar for what is possible in CG creature animation, creating holiday magic that never breaks the illusion of reality.

In conjunction with the animated ad, MPC Creative collaborated with adam&eveDDB on a companion in-store VR installation. The Buster’s Garden VR experience lets people step into the enchanting world of the holiday ad, interact with its furry cast of creatures – and then share on social media with a custom version that has them composited into the 3D scene. Buster’s Garden is also the first commercial VR experience that enables users to control interactivity with their own hands rather than physical controllers.

The team exported 360˚ video versions of the experience for other platforms, including Google Cardboard, YouTube, and Facebook 360.

The interactive VR experience MPC Creative developed for U.K. retailer John Lewis will be featured at CES 2017.

Experience the VFX artistry in the 360 world of Buster’s Garden.