Barclaycard and Capital herald return of live music events in AR-powered campaign

The campaign leads up to a series of live, in-person events marking the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Capital Up Close billboards will enable smartphone users to unlock immersive creative
Capital Up Close billboards will enable smartphone users to unlock immersive creative

Barclaycard and media group Global are promoting a series of live gigs this summer with an AR-focused campaign celebrating the return of in-person events.

The "Capital up close with Barclaycard" campaign stars pop singer Anne-Marie and will run from 12-25 July. The work comprises outdoor, radio, digital audio and interactive 3D AR experiences, all designed to generate anticipation and publicity ahead of the first live event in the series on Wednesday 28 July.

From today (12 July), holding a smartphone camera up to a "Capital up close" ad on a Global billboard will unlock the immersive creative.

Anne-Marie – one of the UK’s biggest stars, known for her chart success with songs including Perfect to Me, Don’t Play and her Official Big Top 40 number 1 with Niall Horan, Our Song – will "step out" of the billboard to reveal how music fans can win tickets to the exclusive event hosted at London’s Under The Bridge venue.

The AR activation will also be posted as an interactive Instagram filter to radio station Capital’s 1.4 million followers, while a competition to win tickets will be promoted to Capital’s 7.9 million weekly listeners on air.

The AR experience has been built using the latest WebAR technology, which does not require phone users to download an additional application. Anne-Marie’s digital twin has been captured using volumetric video technology, which creates a detailed, human 3D avatar.

The gig, hosted by Capital Breakfast’s Roman Kemp, Sonny Jay and Sian Welby, will be streamed live exclusively on Global Player.

It follows a series of virtual events from Global and Barclaycard including "Radio X Presents Jake Bugg", "Tom Grennan and DMA’S with Barclaycard" and the hugely successful TV show The Best of Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard. Due to coronavirus restrictions, this is the first in-person event from Global and Barclaycard’s ongoing multi-year entertainment partnership. It’s also the first campaign for Global’s in-house brand experience team, which now covers audio, events and outdoor media.

Mike Gordon, chief commercial officer at Global, said: “The past year made us shift our focus to highly immersive, virtual performances for audiences at home, and together with Barclaycard we have created multiple successful events with some of the world’s biggest artists.

"In that time, we have been actively building on what we’ve learnt and enhancing our offering to deliver the best-in-class hybrid experiences."

Dan Mathieson, head of sponsorship at Barclaycard, added: “Our entertainment partnership has not only enhanced our offering to Barclaycard customers through a series of new events, but also given customers access to some of the biggest names in music to enjoy live performances once more.

"It’s great to see the industry back to what it does best.”