An out of this world homepage takeover featuring a live webpage image capture, a 3D animated astronaut, countdown to live event and all in zero gravity.
- Actionscript 3
This was one of those 'one in a million' briefs as we weren't required to just put the trailer in a box with supporting artwork. Quite the opposite in fact. After taking the brief from Channel 4, who were asking for something custom and impactful to promote their 'Live from Space' show, I got quite excited.
I wanted to feature an astronaut as this character was quite prominent in the trailer. But how to make this an impactful takeover required a bit more work, not just technically but whenever wanting to do something custom it requires A LOT of discussions with the publisher that will be running the ad. In this case it was the Telegraph. We've long had a good relationship with the Telegraph and when we presented this highly 'disruptive' concept we were half expecting a big fat 'no way' but fortunately we got a yes and the homepage takeover 'page suck' idea got the green light.
You can see the scamps in pdf here
The project is broken down in to a few key parts.
The astronaut: For this we engaged with Framestore who were responsible for creating the astronaut asset for the trailer.
The space station: Partners in crime FGreat, who we'd worked with on a number of other projects, agreed to create the space station and 'outta' space graphics.
The ad: This is where it all needs to be brought together.
Here's an exploded diagram of how each of the assets where combined into one final ad.
Most of this is pretty simple, it's just a case of loading in a graphic or a transparent flv. The tricky part was the page capture. You've probably seen a number of these executions where the publisher page 'appears' to get manipulated by the ad. In most instances this will use a screen grab of the site in question ... but done manually, meaning by the time the ad goes live the screen grab won't match the live site underneath. This in my opinion isn't good enough so in this execution we did it live ... or as live as DoubleClick could allow.
Every 15 minutes a web service provided by DoubleClick screen grabs the Telegraph site and updates an image on a DoubleClick server. The ad then 'onload' pulls that image down, splices it up into the individual 'divs' allowing for animation of said divs once the ad is expanded.
Doing the capture every 15 mins meant the image that the ad pulled most likely matched the live site underneath, resulting in less of a 'jump' between 'live' and 'fake' versions of the site. This was probably a little unnecessary and it did cause me some headaches in development but... it made for a much more seamless switch between the two versions of the site.
This ad went on to win x2 Lovie awards, a Bronze in the 'Online Advertising - Banner Ads' category and was voted the 'Peoples favourite' and awarded a Peoples Lovies Award.