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Netflix and Meta Use Hologram Tech to Promote New Releases

by April 29, 2024
Netflix and Meta Use Hologram Tech

Netflix and Meta Use Hologram Tech

Asgard's Wrath 2 | The Game Awards | Meta Quest

When Steve Jobs announced the first iPod in 2001, his presentation included some talking points and a simple slide show that my 11-year-old nephew could recreate on his Chromebook in about 5 minutes. But gone are the days when a much-hyped product or movie could be launched with a mere PowerPoint presentation. These days, companies are turning to cutting-edge AV technology to make headlines when they announce their latest and greatest stuff. Last August, Netflix hired the drone company Pixis to create a spectacular light show in the Santa Monica night sky to herald the much-anticipated release of the live-action Japanese manga series One Piece. But at the recent South by Southwest conference in Austin, Netflix upped the AV ante even further to celebrate the premiere of 3 Body Problem, a new sci-fi series from Alexander Woo and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Netflix One Piece Drone Show

Before the event, Netflix projected an ominous countdown into the sky near the tech show, followed by a spooky message saying that humanity would “learn to fear again.” Based on a Chinese novel about humanity’s first contact with aliens, the show later generated major buzz at SXSW via an enormous hologram-style video projected into the sky near Austin’s Paramount Theater, where the first episode of 3 Body Problem was screened to a rapt audience. The show is now available to stream on Netflix.

Meta Quest hologram

As exciting as the holographic projection was for those in attendance, this sort of AV showmanship is becoming more common. In December of 2023, a 100-foot-tall hologram appeared outside the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles, where the Games Awards ceremony was being held. The display was created to promote “Asgard’s Wrath 2,” a new video game for the Meta Quest VR headset. The illusion placed gods and mythical creatures into the night sky, reportedly using powerful projectors and a special “hologram gauze” suspended from cranes in a nearby parking lot. The spectacle was the result of a collaboration between ad agency BBDO New York and the London-based hologram production company Kaleida. They worked alongside a VFX company called Method Studios to deliver the hologram for Meta.

Our latest work for the “Asgard's Wrath 2” launch had every comments section wondering how we did it! …We brought chaos to the LA skies by gatecrashing the Game Awards. The games industry’s most influential figures (and thousands of bewildered locals) saw Loki and other beasts of “Asgard’s Wrath” burst into our world, ready to cause chaos and destruction.

— Joe Fox, Creative Director of BBDO New York


You might expect an entertainment company like Netflix or Meta Quest to harness high-tech AV at promotional events for new TV shows and video games, but they aren’t the only ones pulling out all the stops to create impressive displays. At the recent launch event for its new Dolce Gusto NEO coffee machine in Lisbon, Portugal, Nescafé hired AV supplier ADLC Audiovisuais to create a massive display in which 5 Christie Digital laser projectors (model M 4K25 RGB) lit up a wraparound screen over 74 feet wide and 27 feet tall. Another pair of projectors illuminated the stage floor, placing images related to the coffee brand in multiple dimensions. This immersive projection experience provided the backdrop for a live performance by Ritmos Urbanos, a dance group that choreographed a custom show to interact with the projections. On the wall of the auditorium, another two large screens shaped like glasses were illuminated by two more Christie projectors (model D13WU2-HS). The production highlighted Nescafé’s commitment to sustainability — both the Dolce Gusto NEO coffee machine and the coffee capsules that go with it are reportedly made from recycled materials, and all of the presentation materials were recycled after the event, according to Nescafé.

These projections, with such an original format, caused a unique impact among the audience. The client wanted to achieve a captivating effect on the audience, and boy, did we succeed. These (M 4K25 RGB projectors) have 4K UHD resolution, 25,000 lumens of brightness, and pure laser RGB technology, producing brilliant images and spectacular colors – and all with a super-quiet operation and a lightweight and compact package. Christie has outdone itself with this machine. All the projectors – which were different technologies, brightness and resolutions – performed excellently. The image was always impeccable. The equipment shone for its stability, robustness, and power throughout the event, without the slightest setback. The presentation for Nescafé has been further proof of the impact that projections have to enrich corporate events with audio-visuals. They have a power and possibilities that other display technologies do not reach.

— José Cordeiro, director of ADLC Audiovisuais

As AV technology becomes more advanced, it also becomes more intertwined into various aspects of daily life. Not long ago, an audiovisual production on the scale of those described above would have required extended development time, and would be hard to find outside of a Disney theme park, where it could be exhibited for years in order to recoup the gigantic costs of production. It’s hard to believe that a one-off launch event for a TV show or video game — let alone a coffee maker — can involve complex AV technology on this level. What previously impossible technology will be the next to be adopted by corporate buzz-makers? Where else might an unexpected hologram light up the night sky? Only time will tell, but we’ll definitely be on the lookout.


About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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