Tired of Staring at Boring Billboards on a Road Trip? This Campaign Livens Up the Scenery a Bit

McCann Lima's latest work for Sodimac

Boy, billboards sure can ruin the view during a scenic summer road trip.

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of staring out the window at static ads for airlines, cars and sneakers, you could gaze at more compelling sights for a while? Like, say … outlandish animated representations of products available at Sodimac, Peru’s leading home-improvement chain, seemingly interacting with the surrounding landscape?

McCann Lima used virtual reality to create such an experience along a stretch of the Panamericana Sur, Peru’s most-traveled highway.

Over the past few months, thousands of Google VR viewers were distributed at toll plazas. Passengers could insert their phones and activate several immersive, 360-degree films between the roadway’s 11th and 97th kilometer markers. (Hey, drivers, keep your mitts off those goggles and your eyes on the road!)

Behold “The Hijacked Highway,” complete with colorful, outsized and extremely lively versions of items from Sodimac’s summer catalog:

Look out, that enormous desk lamp will crush us all! Phew, like almost everything else in the world these days, it’s just an ad.

The case study is perhaps a little misleading. It makes it look like users are enjoying an augmented-reality experience laid over an actual landscape, but that’s not the case. The cardboard goggles simply came with instructions on how to download the VR films. The films don’t sync up with the landscape in any way—they are preset and don’t have any GPS capability.

During summer, the Panamericana Sur becomes a prized and pricey marketing corridor. “The problem is that the highway is so populated by countless billboards that it becomes difficult for any message to stand out, regardless of how creative it is,” agency creative vp Maurício Fernandez Maldonado tells AdFreak.

“We saw in VR technology an interesting tool to literally show another reality,” he says. “We could erase all this visual clutter and show Sodimac’s products in a playful and entertaining way, without missing the sales objectives, since we added a call to action in this very same system.”

You can access a link to download the company’s catalog and buy what you see in the goggles. (Though there’s bound to be some buyer’s remorse when you discover that the red wagon isn’t really 100 feet high.)

“We ‘hijacked’ other brand’s billboards by our VR experience,” says Maldonado. “Sodimac got all the billboard attention without spending a dime in producing one of them.”

It’s a clever use of VR, and in tune with the times (marking the second campaign we’ve seen this week that features some form of billboard replacement).

While not groundbreaking, it provides a refreshingly wacky detour on our never-ending highway of consumption.

Client: Sodimac Homecenter
Marketing and client strategy manager: Angela Álvarez
Advertising and Communications manager: Rocío Miranda
Head of advertising: Cali Loli
Head of Digital Marketing: Diana Tanaka
Head of brand: Daniela Hoyos

Agency: McCann Lima
Creative VPs: Mauricio Fernández-Maldonado / Christian Caldwell
Creative Directors: Jomi Rivera / Pipo Galván
Creatives: Alvaro Soto and Gonzalo Paredes
Account service: Andrea Rosselló/ Mirjana Slavkovic/ Daphne Kizner
Planning VP: Juan Luis Arteaga
Production director: Alonso Palomino
Production house: Pierina Ravizza

Digital and BTL team:
Digital director: Virgina Caceres
Project manager: Angie Valiente / Monica Campos
Creatives: Andres Aranguren/ Luis Veliz
Designer: Akemi Calderón
Community Manager: Marco Hernando
Promotion director: Berenice Lu
General producer: Giovanna Rojas
Executive producers: Enrique Vicente, Andrea De La Torre

Production: Saturno

Production team: Alvaro Luque/ Cocler Diaz/ Paola Saavedra (PSV)/ Bridgith Peña/ Kimy Velasquez/ Gabriel Loret de Mola

Film crew: Juan Pablo Polanco/ Daniel Bacigalupo/ Daniel Hernandez/Victor Fernandez/Jesus Gallegos/ Wilder Ludeña/ Cesar Enrique Silva/Wilmer (Abby Mata)
VR Production: Plan B

Production team: Percy Kiyabu & Kurt Gastulo/ Julian Giraldo/ Alex Ocaña/ Emilio Naka/Victor Nakandakari/ Oswaldo Anchayhua/ Oscar Gomez/ Chubi Akama/ Williams Mantari/ Jorge Noriega/Oswaldo Anchayhua/ Oscar Gomez/ Chubi Akama/ Victor Nakandakari
Animation: Victor Nakandakari/ Williams Mantari/ Chubby Akama/ Emilio Naka/ Christian Orendo/ Cecilia Tamashiro/ Victor “Pulpin” Vegas/ José Custodio, Andrés Abad
Sound production: Sin Anestesia

Crew: Claudia Incio/ Jhonny Vasquez/ Charly Garcia

Singers: Richi Rodriguez / Daniela Guersi / Jhonny Vasquez / Claudia Incio / Jessica Vilchez