Hitman: Mobile Marketing & Street Art Collide

On January 29th, 2013, New Science Agency, hired barcode artist Scott Blake to create a digital mosaic portrait of Agent 47 from the popular game Hitman HD: Trilogy. The mural is comprised of 9,985 UPC barcodes from the Trilogy game box.

Upon scanning any one of the many barcodes with their smartphone, the user will get information on where to buy the game. Hidden QR-codes within the mural unlock secret content such as the new video game trailer and special game artwork.

The Challenges

This campaign is quite interesting and unique as it combines both street art and mobile marketing. A seemingly easy campaign is actually quite complex under the surface. There were a couple of key challenges that the agency had to strategize for.

The main challenges seen in campaigns such as this one is the challenge of the scannable QR or barcode. When placing a scannable code outdoors, one must insure that the surface is flat and without air bubbles. Any slight distortion of the QR code might prevent it from being able to read by a smartphone.

It was also important for the code to be a very high resolution. Most outdoor printing is done at 72 dpi; however, when you need precession and quality, 72 dpi just doesn’t cut it outdoors. The agency needed to print at 150dpi to ensure that the code could be scanned across multiple phones and apps.

Red Laser seems to be the best app by far for scanning any barcodes, period. But they all worked for us, some just took longer than others to read.” – Kyle Mortensen, CEO + Creative Director at New Science Agency

The mosaic took 26 hours to render the image as the file was created at such a high resolution.

Lastly, they needed to make sure the mural was in a location with good cell coverage. Nothing would be more detrimental to a mobile campaign if people couldn’t get cellphone coverage.

Key Takeaways

  1. Quality takes time. Don’t skimp on the details
  2. Be sure your campaign is in a place of good internet/cellphone coverage
  3. Test the code and keep it flat!

The mural is located at 699 Third Street in San Francisco, CA. The agency encourages people to be one of the first 100 to check it out as there is a hint of a chance to win something special!

Hitman barcode street art by Scott Blake

Hitman barcode street art by Scott Blake

Hitman barcode street art by Scott Blake

Hitman barcode street art by Scott Blake

Read more & see more at New Science Agency

Written by Ryan Lum

Ryan Lum is the founder and editor of Creative Guerrilla Marketing. He is passionate about creative marketing, social media and design. Connect with him on LinkedIn,Twitter or Google+


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