Three to launch world's first live holographic ad to promote 5G

Footage of four internet stars will be portrayed as 'supercharged' CGI avatars in real time.

Three: 106 cameras will be used to capture performers for holographic ad
Three: 106 cameras will be used to capture performers for holographic ad

Three is launching the world’s first holographic 5G ad at a live event in London this week.

The mobile operator, whose marketing boasts that Three is the only provider offering "real 5G", wants to show people what their future connected lives will be like with super-fast mobile tech at their fingertips.

The five-minute spot, created by Gravity Road and delivered by volumetric & 3D capture studio Dimension, will take four internet stars, including British musician Raye, and turn them into "supercharged" CGI avatars. 

Raye will be shown performing in a heightened DJ scenario; internet gaming star Vikkstar will battle buffering symbols; and football freestylers Liv Cooke and Andrew Henderson will show off their quick footwork. 

Three is claiming the event as a world first. While holographic ads are not new (Nike delivered one with Mindshare and JCDecaux in 2013), Three is using it for a live performance.

It will combine 3D video content and holographic projection at the event on London's South Bank on 26, 27 and 28 September.

The spot is being displayed through Microsoft’s mixed-reality volumetric capture technology, in which a human performance is captured from all angles to create a 3D video via 106 cameras. The user is supposed to be able to view any point of the performance from any angle.

Last month, Three provoked the wrath of rival EE after a marketing campaign in which it claimed to be the only "real" 5G network. Following an EE complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority is investigating Three’s ad, which said: "If it’s not Three, it’s not real #5G."

Three is pushing the "real 5G" line because it contains vastly more 5G spectrum than other UK mobile operators, following a government auction last year. It owns 100MHz of contiguous spectrum, while Vodafone has 50MHz, while O2 and EE have 40MHz each.