THROUGH THE DARK

Bronze Spike

Case Film

Demo Film

Presentation Image

TitleTHROUGH THE DARK
ClientGOOGLE
Product / ServiceGOOGLE PLAY MUSIC
CategoryC01. Digital & Interactive Design
EntrantR/GA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation R/GA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement ESSENCE DIGITAL Singapore, SINGAPORE
PR POEM GROUP Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production R/GA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Production 2 EXIT FILMS Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 3 XYZ STUDIOS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

We started with one of Australia's best-known and most loved acts: Hilltop Hoods. Their track, Through The Dark, is a deeply personal song written by band member Dan Smith (MC Pressure) about his son Liam’s battle with leukemia. Raw and real, the song connected deeply with audiences. The idea was to bring that to life, translating its conflicting emotions into something that would give a sense of a father’s world turned upside down and a journey through fear towards hope. The ambition was to create an immersive digital experience where users navigate through two simultaneous 3D worlds, The Dark and The Light, by rotating their mobile device. Once they’d experienced the song’s two worlds, users could also explore the making-of story behind the film’s creation, and take action by donating money and/or sharing Through the Dark on social.

Creative Execution

When a loved one is fighting for their life, your world is turned upside down, your emotions alternating between fear and hope. It’s this duality that we aimed to capture. Our inspiration was a photo by Marcin Ryczek: a man in black on a white, snowy riverbank feeding white swans on an ink-black river. A stunning contrast between two opposing worlds. We meticulously mapped two complete worlds existing in parallel, The Dark and The Light, to represent the highs and lows of caring for someone who’s battling cancer. We created a black and white identity using light poly animation, which we translated from Maya into WebGL for the mobile browser. The result is a personal story transformed into a powerful visual experience: a seamlessly flowing interactive film where users navigate their own path from fear to hope.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Through the Dark transformed the Hilltop Hoods’ song into an immersive digital experience, meticulously rendering the two complete worlds so that users could move between them with unprecedented interactivity. Digital technologies were pushed to their limit, positioning Google Play Music as an innovator in the crowded, streaming landscape. With over 400,000 unique user interactions, social share of voice for Google Play Music doubled to 24%. And best of all, the thousands raised for CanTeen helped launch Side of Stage: an initiative conceived by the band to help young Australians living with cancer access live music and meet their favourite artists.

The strategy was to position Google Play Music as an innovator and active supporter of the Australian music industry by collaborating with local artists and creating exclusive content fans would love. The insight: it had to go beyond sight and sound, giving fans a completely new experience, using technology in a way only Google could, while remaining true to the artist’s vision. Our technical ambition was to create an interactive digital experience that was not only beautiful and original, but groundbreaking. And because Through the Dark was such a personal song for the band, we wanted to convey its moving story on the most personal of devices - mobile. We also wanted to leave a legacy, giving youths living with cancer ongoing access to live music. So each click-through from Through the Dark to the album on Google Play Music generated a $1 donation to CanTeen to kickstart the initiative.

Credits

Name Company Position
Hamish Stewart R/GA Sydney EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Michael Armstrong R/GA Sydney CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Blake Kus R/GA Sydney ASSOCIATE TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR
Jess Bateman R/GA Sydney DESIGNER
Shruti Rai R/GA Sydney SENIOR EXPERIENCE DESIGNER
Aaron George R/GA Sydney SOFTWARE ENGINEER
Kate Allan R/GA Sydney COPYWRITER
Justine Cusack R/GA Sydney SOCIAL STRATEGIST
Cory Nicely R/GA Sydney MARKETING SCIENCES MANAGER
Julia Rush R/GA Sydney PRODUCER
Natalie Brend R/GA Sydney SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
Jeff Donios R/GA Sydney SENIOR TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR
Gertjan Leppers R/GA Sydney EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
Mike Daly Exit Films DIRECTOR
Kim e
Marco Palmieri XYZ Studios LEAD ANIMATOR
Kim Wildenburg Exit Films EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Richard Osellame XYZ Studios SENIOR TD
Stevie Watkins XYZ Studios CG LEAD
Garett Mayow XYZ Studios EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Eran Hilleli XYZ Studios LEAD DESIGNER
Gina Moore XYZ Studios CG ARTIST
Tim Murphy XYZ Studios CG ARTIST
Heath Pagram XYZ Studios ANIMATOR
Eran Hilleli XYZ Studios ANIMATION DIRECTOR
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