The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

September 23, 2021 | 3 min read

Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga and online video game Fortnite have teamed up to entrance citizens of London, New York, Tokyo and Seoul by creating a spectacular real-world immersive 3D billboard experience.

The attention-grabbing out-of-home (OOH) execution sees a Balenciaga-wearing Fortnite favorite Doggo looming larger than life over the sidewalks, bringing the partnership to the physical world in a very entertaining, and potentially somewhat jarring, way.

The billboard scene was assembled in Unreal Engine and the team leveraged real-time ray tracing and physically-based lighting materials to make Doggo seem like he is truly in each location. Knowing the sun’s position based on the time of day, as well as where it will be in the sky, aided in achieving a realistic aesthetic. Passersby have noted that the deep screens work best when you are standing at specific angles.

Running as part of a wider campaign, the fashion brand and Epic Games, which developed Fortnite, have painstakingly scanned materials and clothing from all directions for an authentic depiction of the brand aesthetic within the gaming world.

Players wishing to look their best will be able to drop into a virtual Balenciaga store showcasing digital attire, which can be purchased directly or unlocked via a physical purchase.

For over 50 years Balenciaga has been pushing fashion boundaries with era-defining outfits, and is the first high-fashion label to drop into Fortnite.

Its collaboration with the game, and ongoing work with Unreal Engine, provide a fascinating glimpse at the sorts of innovative cross-over experiences that are now possible, unlocking new ways to connect with each other.

High fashion’s migration into the world of gaming may seem like an odd pairing but it’s a trend that’s been growing in recent years. Brands that would traditionally cater to an elite minority, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Valentino, are now donning their collections on millions of in-game avatars. It’s a well-played move that opens them up to a whole new world of shoppers.


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