Beyond the Horizon
Understanding a changing landscape
The future is now — yet it’s constantly evolving, too. At Havas Mango we are committed to staying ahead of change. While we’ve been reimagining what experiential means for health and wellness brands, the past 12 months have been moving at warp speed.
For all of us around the world, life has been flipped upside down and with it a new landscape has emerged.
We’re excited to help shape this new space and leverage our creativity and the latest tech to do so. But we want you to join us in this journey. That’s why we created “Beyond the Horizon,” a refreshing look into the latest trends within the health and wellness space that are uniquely shaping the landscape for consumers and brands, an immersive storytelling experience built to inspire and kickstart the conversation around what we envision the future to be, for all of us.
Significant trends emerge
To begin, we wanted to understand the macro and micro signals shifting the relationship between people and their own well-being. How has the concept evolved? Who is leading the conversation around wellness? Which brands are building meaningful rapport with their audience?
Our team went down some deep internet rabbit holes to gather insights from thought leaders, niche communities, and emerging brands. No (digital) stone was left unturned as we searched for the next big thing. Stacks of reports were distilled into a curated repository of trends to watch, as common themes started to emerge.
We analyzed each trend, assessing their larger implications and potential to disrupt.
We narrowed our findings down to the top three trends that are undoubtedly making us rethink how we approach our relationship with our spaces (Active Silence), ourselves (Quantified Self), and our larger societal context (New Consumer Values).
More than a story — an experience
With a solid strategic framework in place (and more coffee), we kicked off the creative exploration of the environment and narrative of the overall experience. As is customary for the Mango team, a collective remote brainstorm was in order (one of many).
Our goal when creating “Beyond the Horizon” was twofold: we wanted people to submerge themselves in a stunning 3D landscape and simultaneously dive into each trend and walk away having learned something new.
To achieve this, we transformed each topic into a mini experience within the context of the larger experience (very meta). As the visitor navigates through the mini experiences, onscreen prompts invite different interactions from the user and deliver added commentary from the Mango team. These Mango insights are the thread that connects interactions.
The result is a minimalist, elegant, and playful experience that immerses users into a dream-like space without overshadowing the main storyline.
The design of the environment is meant to feel ethereal and convey vitality. To achieve this, we illustrated a range of geometrically inspired shapes along with floating structures to blend in with the different scenes.
Customizing powerful digital tools
We knew that immersion was a crucial point to deliver without compromising on ease of access. This fine balance was achieved with Unity — a game engine used to create multiplatform experiences ranging from 2D mobile web games to room-scale VR.
Unity offered us the ability to craft this 3D immersive environment and make it available through a web browser in WebGL, no additional hardware required.
We preserved the immersive quality we were after, while removing the hardware barrier-to-entry that is common for immersive experiences like VR.
Production of the 3D models was made possible through a joint effort with our partners at Havas Production Studios (HPS). The storyboard and visual direction we established served to kick off the creative development of the assets with the HPS team and inform various rounds of iterations. Crucial to this process as well were the technical requirements for development of the 3D models. Since the overall experience was designed to run on browsers, the models had to be light-weight and low-poly with minimal polygons to avoid long loading times.
Translating this environment into mobile required collaborating on another remote brainstorming session (our favorite). Currently, Unity’s WebGL does not extend to most mobile devices due to limited memory and rendering capabilities across the device landscape. To address this, we created a teaser experience leveraging a third-party JS library for detecting devices and some simple HTML/CSS for the user interface.
So, when a visitor opens the experience on mobile, they land on a page with a narrated audio version of the experience — embedded as an audio clip from SoundCloud — along with a preview of the 3D background environment, supported by motion tracking from the device they visit from, and clear pointers driving access to the site from the desktop for a fully immersive exploration.
What does the future hold?
“Beyond the Horizon” is an exercise that invites us to pause and imagine what our lives will look like in the near future; and that provides the opportunity to understand how we can influence the space from now to then.
While the dust is still settling on the macro implications of the latest trends, we are already picking up signals of where we are headed as health and wellness take center stage — and we enter a new era of experiential. Here, at Havas Mango, our team of creators are committed to crafting meaningful experiences for everyone, as well as redefining the current health and wellness landscape to make people’s lives better. We leverage the latest technology and infuse it with unparalleled creativity to shake things up.