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The Famous Group utilizing Pixotope software to execute mixed reality advertisement for Carnival Cruise in live broadcasting
Pixotope08 July 20244 min read

How The Famous Group Brought a Tropical Escape to an NFL Game 

In-game advertising is revolutionizing how brands engage with viewers during live broadcast events. Broadcasters and sports organizations are increasingly turning to reliable, real-time solutions like Pixotope to deliver captivating and immersive advertising experiences for viewers both at home and in person.

At the forefront of this new frontier in innovative advertising is The Famous Group (TFG), a creative technology company with a twist: using new graphics technologies to reimagine how live events are consumed. They’re renowned for creating some of the viral moments in in-game advertising. You might even recognize some of them: Chipotle's giant burrito bowl on the ice during an NHL game, Gillette's flying razor on Monday Night Football, and more recently, a virtual recreation of Carnival Cruise Line's upcoming private tropical paradise, Celebration Key, on the field at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco.



A Celebration of Immersive In-Game Advertising  

To promote Carnival's upcoming tropical island escape, TFG was tasked with creating a larger-than-life mixed reality advertisement to air just before the kickoff of the San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions game on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. The segment featured a virtual version of Celebration Key, complete with beach views and water slides, all brought to life through advanced virtual production techniques leveraging Pixotope.

The activation's goal was to showcase Celebration Key by transforming Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco into a vivid tropical paradise. Leveraging Pixotope’s advanced virtual production platform, TFG utilized multiple cameras outfitted with real-time tracking to bring a virtual rendition of the island to life on the field. This innovative approach aimed to captivate viewers and provide them with an immersive sneak peek of Carnival Cruise Line’s latest offering, all without disrupting the audience by removing them from the high energy and excitement of an NFL game.

Overcoming Challenges in Live Broadcasts

Pulling off a visually stunning, real-time segment in a live setting is no easy feat. Tight timelines, ever-changing on-site conditions, and the unpredictable nature of live events can test even the most seasoned professionals. Pixotope's proven track record of flexibility and reliability empowered TFG to navigate complex elements seamlessly, ensuring a successful broadcast experience.

One of the foremost challenges in this project was ensuring that all creative assets, such as beach and sand elements, met Carnival's high standards for visual quality. This required meticulous attention to detail to achieve a visually impeccable result.

Additionally, collaborating with Fox Sports involved precise camera positioning and the use of SMT tracking technology. This was crucial for seamlessly integrating mixed reality elements into the broadcast, ensuring they appeared naturally within the live-action setting. Adequate rehearsal time was also a critical factor, allowing TFG to fine-tune camera movements and ensure that mixed reality components aligned perfectly with the live broadcast, maintaining a cohesive and engaging viewer experience.

Creating the “Wow” Moment For Carnival Cruise

The result of the activation was nothing short of spectacular. As viewers tuned in to the pre-game segment, they were greeted with a jaw-dropping transformation of Levi’s Stadium into a tropical paradise. Virtual palm trees swayed in the wind, crystal-clear waters rippled under the sun, and an intricate sand castle structure stood proudly, complete with exhilarating water slides. The seamless integration of these virtual elements into the live broadcast created an almost surreal experience, making it feel as though the stadium had truly been transported to the stunning shores of Celebration Key.
The backbone of the project was the Pixotope platform, which enabled TFG to turn Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco into a tropical paradise. By leveraging Pixotope's cutting-edge graphics and camera tracking capabilities, TFG was able to achieve real-time rendering of high-fidelity mixed reality elements, creating a visually cohesive integration between virtual and live components. This allowed TFG to execute complex camera movements and perspectives without sacrificing visual quality or realism.
Critically, Pixotope facilitated a more efficient production process by enabling real-time previews and adjustments with the What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) feature that allows users to see their video outputs, tracking, and compositing in real time while designing their level. This capability meant that TFG could quickly iterate on design elements and make necessary tweaks without incurring significant delays or additional costs. The end result was a high-quality, photo-realistic broadcast segment that met the exacting standards of both TFG and Carnival Cruise Line, ultimately captivating and engaging the audience.

Maximizing Fan Engagement 

For broadcasters, maximizing fan engagement is not just an opportunity - it's a necessity. Virtual production technologies like Pixotope offer innovative ways to captivate audiences, making advertisements more interactive and visually appealing.

The strategic distribution of the activation across in-stadium, television, and social media channels maximized multi-platform exposure, reaching a broad audience of up to 60 million during the NFC Championship game. This multi-faceted approach, combined with mixed reality technology, delivered a unique and engaging viewer experience that set Carnival apart from conventional advertisements. The campaign's captivating nature drove significant social media shares, enhancing brand visibility and extending its reach beyond the initial broadcast. Furthermore, introducing virtual spaces within the broadcast created new revenue opportunities for broadcasters. Overall, this innovative strategy not only amplified Carnival's brand message but also demonstrated enhanced ROI through increased engagement, visibility, and new revenue streams.

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