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Prime Video's giant anamorphic billboards for Wheel of Time literally pop

The campaign will also include actors playing out battle scenes in Times Square

This article was originally published in Adweek on 16 November 2021.

Amplify partnered with Amazon to create striking anamorphic billboards to promote The Wheel of Time series. The work was covered globally in titles including including Forbes, Metro, The Daily Mail, The Drum, Adsoftheworld, AdAge, Campaign, AdForum, Insider Voice, YouMark and Little Black Book.

Amplify created which was covered globally in titles including including Forbes, Metro, The Daily Mail, The Drum, Adsoftheworld, AdAge, Campaign, AdForum, Insider Voice, YouMark and Little Black Book.

People in major cities worldwide including Paris, New York and Madrid might be startled to see fantastical creatures appear to pop out of giant billboards this week after Amazon’s Prime Video rolled out a series of out-of-home installations to promote its new Wheel of Time series.

The billboards, developed in partnership with London-based agency Amplify, use footage displayed in a three-dimensional anamorphic format to make it seem as if characters from the forthcoming show are bursting out of the screen toward passersby.

The campaign is also set to include a live spectacle near the Times Square billboard on Nov. 19 in which actors will play out key battle scenes from the series, which will be streamed on Amazon-owned Twitch. Meanwhile, a massive book installation at an Amazon bookstore in Midtown Manhattan will showcase the eponymous fantasy novels by Robert Jordan that provide the basis for the TV series.

“Our characters are so moving and relatable that we wanted to physically bring them into our world,” Greg Coleman, Prime Video’s global head of franchise marketing, told Adweek. “We didn’t feel traditional marketing options could offer enough of a sensory experience, so we looked to more tactile options such as: interactive experiences, 360 trailers and anamorphic billboards—all of which transport our audience into the world of the show.”

While outdoor advertisers have been increasingly experimenting with these sorts of anamorphic 3D effects, Amazon claims this is the first time such a billboard has been created in service of an entertainment series.

Each of the six billboard sites contains a customized scene shot to fit the specifications of each of the ad spaces. Amplify worked with Prime Video’s production team to film footage for the activations with series star Rosamund Pike, using green screen, CGI and visual effects to create the desired illusion.

The team built intricate models of each of the billboard screens, then storyboarded with showrunner Rafe Judkins to position the actor in such a way that would maximize the 3D effect, according to Coleman.

“The exact focal length, angle and height of each of our six global sites were matched during the live-action shoot with [Pike], which ensured exact alignment when we composited the live-action footage into the scenes,” he said.