No, it’s not virtual reality. It’s real. You can touch it and stand right in it. For anyone who has ever wanted to jump into his or her favorite video game, Disney took a shot at delivering on this dream.
To generate buzz around the U.K. release of their new film Wreck-It Ralph, Disney commissioned sculptor Aden Hynes to remake Brick Lane in east London to mirror the video game theme of the film. Wreck-It Ralph is an animated film in which the main character, Ralph, tries to break out of his 8-bit video game to join a new one where he can be the ‘good guy.’ Check out the trailer below:
Wreck-It Ralph was released in the U.S. in November, but with the U.K. release not coming until February 8, 2013, Disney decided to use the gap-time as an opportunity for a unique, fun marketing event.
Hynes, who has worked on stage props for Pink Floyd among others, turned an entire street into an 8-bit version of itself, using scenic sculptures made of fiberglass and polystyrene (a Styrofoam-type material). On one corner there’s a boxy-8-bit police car, along an alley there are 8-bit pigeons, and on another corner sits a dog next to his little ‘present.’ Visitors to the street could ‘level-up’ by turning various corners and exploring new parts. For the real gamers, they even had the original arcade game for you to play.
The retro installation, which was on display from January 11-13, was a flashback to the world of pixelated images. In a media space cluttered with one-way advertisements, this was a fun way to engage with the target audience, allowing them to experience the 8-bit world before they see it on screen. (Go behind the scenes with the ‘8-Bit Lane’ experience below):
Brick Lane was an especially smart choice for the installation, as it’s very culturally diverse and well known for its street art. The famous graffiti artist Banksy has created various works there over the years and increased its notoriety. Additionally, the Brick Lane Market draws regular crowds on weekends, which helped ensure exposure for the installation.
Check out the gallery below to see more of the sculptures created for ‘8-Bit Lane:’