Breaking new ground with the Clarks CICVAERSE multimedia campaign

Creating a Branded Metaverse

Clarks are entering a new market with their CICA trainers, designed around the demanding needs of action sport and to appeal to kids pushing the limits in parkour, BMX, skateboarding, breakdancing, the list goes on… To succeed in this audience and brand shift, Clarks are breaking new ground in the digital landscape with the launch of their immersive new metaverse in Roblox. At the core of this international campaign is the CICAVERSE, immersing this young generation of fans into a branded virtual world for them to take on the sports tournament of a lifetime, all of course while sporting the CICA trainers. The Clarks Stadium hosts games, such as BMX stunts, parkour and breakdancing. Three remarkable young athletes feature in the game who also played a significant role in the development of both the CICAVERSE games and the CICA trainers.

The supportive marketing campaign sees these three athletes being transported from the concrete playground where they honed their skills, to the vibrant CICAVERSE where they take centre stage in a lively arena with the electric feel of a live event. With the influencers filming being beautifully shot and edited by Extreme International and the CICAVERSE under construction, our challenge was to bridge the gap between these remarkably talented kids and Clarks’ new virtual world.

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The Pixel Effect

Nailing the transition from real world to the CICAVERSE was vital to delivering a memorable video which would also transport the viewers into this exciting new world and inspire them to get involved. Our 3D Motion Designers explored a number of styles for the transition which identified the resulting pixel effect that now features heavily across the multimedia campaign, signifying the leap into the CICAVERSE. One element that remained essential during this transition was showcasing the shoe to ensure the focus remains on the CICA trainers, drawing the viewer's eye to them as they transform into their 3D animated rendition.

Continuity Across Worlds

So how did we achieve this transition from live action to animation? Our 3D Motion Designers start by rotoscoping the influencer in the exact frame that the transition would begin, allowing them to then apply the glitchy pixelated cubes to the influencer’s silhouette and beginning the process of transporting them from one world to the next. Identifying the best place to reveal the CICAVERSE was the next crucial moment. Using the motion of the athletes presented the perfect solution to ensure the continual movement between worlds and achieving a fluid transition.

This all happens so quickly in each video that it’s easy to miss a lot of the effects that create such a seamless transition. For our motion designers it’s not such a quick process. The entire live footage scene has to be tracked in order to achieve consistency of camera angles. Camera shakes, lighting, texturing, colour grading and more all have to be fine tuned before the final look emerges. Dynamic simulations are applied, causing the pixel cubes to bounce and collide as you would expect when the impact happens.

Avatar Design

Both the athlete’s avatars and shoes began life as sketches before getting the 3D treatment. A sample of the physical CICA trainer was continually referenced to ensure that their unique design could still be recognisable when transformed into the Roblox exaggerated cartoon style. The avatars and their outfits were meticulously perfected and given the approval from the Clarks team before being brought to life with animation, including subtle facial expressions to inject some of their individual personalities.

The Clarks Stadium

Building the arena was the final piece to the puzzle. The brief was to create a larger than life atmosphere with the electric energy of a live event. The classic stadium arrangement instantly sets the scene and gives the arena a grand scale. Lighting, optical flares, camera flashes and even pyrotechnics bring the entire space to life as the athletes take the stage. Sound effects also play a big part in creating an immersive experience, taking viewers into the CICAVERSE and leaving them wanting to be a part of this new metaverse.

With more virtual experiences due to drop over the next year, the stage is set for a lasting direction for Clarks’ marketing, growing alongside the evolution of the CICAVERSE as a pioneering marketing platform for a range of their products.

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