Belgian rail company turns Brussels residents into giant hologram statues

Belgian train operator Thalys has been utilising holographic technology to turn the residents of Brussels into five-metre-high statues, all in a bid to prove the city is one that’s worth visiting.

The Human Monuments campaign was devised from the insight that Brussels is now only the 12th most popular European city among tourists, due in part to strong competition from the likes of Paris, Amsterdam and London, and the terror attacks of 2016 and 2017.

Partnering with agency Rosapark, Thalys devised a campaign to promote the city’s welcoming atmosphere by putting its residents on a pedestal – literally.

The brand employed holographic technology on site at the Mont des Arts in the centre of Brussels, inviting passers-by to enter a booth and have their figures captured by a camera in 360. The image was then turned into a grey, statuesque hologram and projected as a five-metre-high silhouette onto a plinth.

Copy underneath read: ‘In Brussels, the real monuments are its people’.

“The result was impressive – not just the technical aspects, but the pride of Brussels’ residents, of being ambassadors for their city,” said Jean-Francois Sacco, co-founder of Rosapark. “There was an incredible emotion that evening, this symbolism in the city that was more alive than ever.”

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