Augmented reality marketing stunt by Pepsi frightens Londoners

Pepsi Max Augmented Reality Bus Shelter

A bus stop marketing stunt has caused a commotion as AR tigers and aliens scare – and entertain – viewers.

Typically speaking, the public transit system in London isn’t that frightening for morning commuters, but Pepsi decided to change that story through the introduction of its very unique and somewhat startling mobile marketing campaign based on augmented reality technology.

Londoners who were waiting at a bus stop for their morning commute certainly weren’t bored.

Through the Pepsi Max campaign at the bus stop, Londoners who were simply waiting for their bus in the morning suddenly witnessed giant tentacles bursting from the pavement and snatching up innocent bystanders, aliens in UFOs hovering above the street, tigers barreling toward them, and fireballs hurtling at them from the sky. All, through the power of augmented reality, built into one of the bush shelter windows.

The augmented reality images may have been startling, at first, but they quickly became highly amused by the tech.

The mobile marketing campaign transformed a bus shelter on New Oxford Street into a digital portal that had hidden cameras capturing the entire thing, from the initial surprise – and even terror – experienced by the commuters, to the amusement and wonder that they felt once they realized that nobody was in danger.

AR technology was used to display digital content overtop of images of the real world. This provided the illusion that the situations were happening in real life in front of the commuters who were watching it through what appeared to be an innocent window in the bus shelter.

While some of the Londoners who witnessed the scenes were terrified by what occurred before them, others were enchanted by the “magic” of the augmented reality bus stop and started to interact with the technology to create their own scenarios. They stood in front of the shelter and had their pictures taken through the glass as alien ships moved in behind them. Then used mobile devices to record themselves running from fast moving tigers that were tearing down the sidewalk. Most of all, they speculated about the technology and how it worked, and enjoyed the fact that it was there so that they could play with it.

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