Ad Council Because of You

Anrick

Ad Council: Because of You

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‘We used technology to highlight how small signs of friendship can help people deal with bullying.’

Anrick Bregman, Director, UNIT9
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You

The background

We don’t often realize how powerful our words and actions can be for others. The Ad Council wanted to impress upon people that small acts of kindness and small moments of support can have a profound impact on teenagers. But as they’re growing up, teens don’t always get the chance to thank the people who make a big difference in their lives.

So we let three teens create a heartfelt thank-you message for their unsuspecting
friends who supported them when they were bullied—and we let them deliver it as their adult selves.

Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You

‘Slowly, over the space of about a month, we sculpted the adult Jayna, Julia and Stephen, trying to imagine what they’d look like, sound like, how they’d behave and how they’d move, as their older self.’

Anrick Bregman, Director, UNIT9

The execution

Our team worked with Jayna, Julia, and Stephen to create highly realistic digital
versions of themselves 10 years into the future—all in a live, real-time setting. We developed a software stack built on Unreal Engine and got to work creating 3D models using 360º pictures of them as references.

We were careful to capture how they look, how they talk, and how they move, making them appear as realistic as possible. Because we used real-time software, we were able to edit things on the fly, adjust lighting, and add hair dynamics as we went.

Then, using a TrueDepth camera setup and combining real-time game engine
technology with live-action filming, we let the teens control their older selves and create video tributes for their friends. We captured the whole thing on film to inspire others to stand up to bullies and support their friends, too.

‘We used realtime technology to allow people to thank someone who stood up for them when they were being bullied – a powerful way to show the strength and importance of friendships.’

Anrick Bregman, Director, UNIT9
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You

‘The result created a weird sense of double presence – a person who exists in the same space twice – at different ages! The real Jayna at 16 and her older, virtual self at 30, both moving completely in-sync with each other. We were witnessing something magical.’

Anrick Bregman, Director, UNIT9
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You

The results

At first, Jaya, Julia, and Stephen’s friends were completely caught off guard. But once the surprise wore off, they recognized the future versions of their friends immediately. They didn’t realize how much of a positive impact they’ve made on them until they saw them as adults delivering such a touching thank-you message.

The experience was emotional for Jaya, Julia, and Stephen too. It was overwhelming for them to glimpse into the future and see an older version of themselves delivering such raw, honest words.

Overall, the project was as challenging as it was rewarding. It was a complex endeavor with very technical setup and a lot of moving parts, but the most important one was the message. We’re proud to have shone a light on how hurtful bullying can be and the power of friendship to help get you through it. In the end, we gave everybody involved an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

‘Our goal on this project was to create a way to say thank you to people who have stepped up to defend someone being bullied. Those who were there in a tough moment for someone who needed help, who needed some encouragement. This project was unique in that we were trying to find a way to give back to those who had the courage to say ‘stop’’

Anrick Bregman, Director, UNIT9
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You
Ad Council Because of You

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