Wunderman Thompson always has a major presence at Cannes Lions, the five-day advertising and creative festival held in Cannes, France. In 2022 they would go on to win nine Lions, including one Grand Prix. Wunderman Thompson wanted to harness the unique storytelling potential of the metaverse to showcase and celebrate their global team’s success. During the five-day festival, the WT content team decided to use Odyssey to highlight a specific nominated work each day.
The WT had previously delivered their CES “Nature Dome” activation on the Odyssey platform, which they subsequently re-themed many times using Odyssey’s build in CMS tools, so they knew that they could quickly deliver new 3D and 2D content day over day without needing to rebuild an Unreal Engine environment.
The design team at WT aimed to create an immersive experience celebrating the essence of Cannes Lions, including the creative work, famous beaches, and the city itself. And secondly they aimed to create a believable and engaging environment that could accommodate a wide range of user experiences including networking, casual lounging, education, and inspiration.
Using asset packs from Unreal’s marketplace for Cannes-style architecture and the French coastline, Wunderman Thompson quickly built a base environment in Unreal Engine. High-fidelity Twin Motion assets were used to add scenic elements to the space that captured the spirit of Cannes Lion. Ambient sounds of waves, as well as a DJ booth added to the immersive experience and created a sensory-rich environment.
While different areas of the environment were designed in Unreal, the team left “content areas” that could be filled in dynamically within Odyssey’s CMS tools by the Wunderman Thompson content team. For example, while a plinth was placed in the Unreal editor, it was left empty so that GLTF models could be placed on it using the Sketchfab integration inside of Odyssey. This allowed the content team to swap 3D and 2D branding elements out dynamically every day without rebuilding the Unreal project.
Dolby.io streams were utilized in the space to deliver live video streams by the Wunderman Thompson executive team. And Dolby.io’s spatial audio allowed visitors to have private networking conversations while exploring the environment.
Wunderman Thompson effectively showcased their creative vision and engaged with their global community during Cannes Lion. The combination of Dolby.io Spatial Audio technology with Unreal Engine's unparalleled realism, all easily uploaded to the Odyssey platform, offered guests a unique and highly immersive virtual environment at Inspiration Beach.
Gareth Jones, SVP Global Marketing at Wunderman Thompson, said, “At Wunderman Thompson, we’re always looking for innovative ways to create a more inclusive customer experience. This is why we’re excited to launch the WT Inspiration Beach, a virtual activation in the metaverse to allow our clients and colleagues around the world to experience our take on creativity in a unique and highly immersive environment.”