This Was Louise’s Phone

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VOO & Federal Police of Belgium

Creating a heart-moving immersive
experience to educate people about
the hell of cyber-bullying

Brussels, Belgium

2016

/01 Context

  • Design
  • Web
  • Installation
  • VR/AR

Cyber-bullying is a living hell for countless kids around the World. When we got commissioned by McCann and the Belgian Police department in collaboration with one of Belgium’s main internet providers to help them raise awareness around our responsibilities towards this plague, we didn’t think too long before accepting.

Based on an original idea from McCann, we had the not-so-simple task of crafting a compelling, emotionally engaging and immersive web experience relying heavily on an existing real-life art installation, composed of hundreds of balloons displaying hate messages received by Louise, a local teenager who committed suicide a few years before.

/02 The experience

A descent into hell

The whole concept of the website relies on giving users a glimpse of the hell Louise had been in before she decided to end her days. In this 360° experience, the journey starts on the top of the balloon installation, the tip of the iceberg if you prefer. Every balloon you hover is displaying in a text-message speech bubble-like effect, the message written on it, and users are lead to follow a given path.

/03 Technicalities

Under the hood

Powered by Three.js, the experience needed us to not only recreate the entire balloon installation in 3D so the 360° pictures could match the position of those virtual 3D balloons (and therefore enabling us to interact with them), but the challenge was also about mapping the names on the wall of the actual warehouse, relying also on a bump map to give the impression the names were really adapting to the wall’s surface.

/04 Building the mood

An audiovisual experience

Guided  by her dad’s voice explaining her misery, each step down in the experience drags users lower and lower in the balloon structure, pushing the volume of the binaural soundscapes we designed to be even more oppressing on each level. The purpose is to close spaces, take out the light, and convey a sense of despair.

/05 Sign the manifesto

Make a difference

Once users reach the floor of the experience, they’re quickly facing the actual phone of Louise, the source of all those hate messages. The soundscape, now heavier than it has ever been, buzzes loudly in your ears.

An automatic rotation of the camera gets users to face the actual wall of the warehouse, where countless names are scrolling along the surface.

These are names of people who have pledged to stand up against cyber-bullying.

It’s now your turn to make a difference yourself and sign the manifesto so your name can join those of all the people who signed before…

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