The Caramilk Secret interactive installation was a motion-triggered projection for Cadbury’s long-running campaign. Unsuspecting pedestrians set off the projection of a 3D room into a storefront that appeared to contain a safe with Caramilk secret locked inside. Also triggered, were blaring sirens and five security states initialized to protect the secret: The room filled up with water and sharks were released; zapping Tesla coils rose through the floor; a barking dog bounded toward the window; a revolving floor swapped the safe for The Thinker statue; and vault doors slammed shut in front of the safe.

The goal was to draw attention by creating a campaign with an innovative artistic style, yet maintain the fun, family-friendly Cadbury brand. From a technical standpoint, the biggest challenge was making a photorealistic 3D environment convincing enough for the real-world storefront space it appeared in.

Working with The Hive, we selected two storefronts with similar dimensions in Toronto and Montreal to ensure the projection would properly fit into both spaces. We also chose the highest traffic zone in the entertainment district, and timed the projections during peak hours, while avoiding direct sunlight.

Referencing heist movies, we used hyperrealistic 3D modeling, and tweaked everything from the lighting to the grates in the floor, to recreate a high-security bank vault with sliding panels and doors to reveal our security states.

For elements like the barking dog, we shot live action footage and composited it together with 3D models to further suspend disbelief. Viewers heard muffled sounds of water filling up in the room or barking coming from behind the storefront glass created through custom sound design.

The project generated surprise, delight and word-of-mouth spread for the campaign, making it a massive success. Caramilk also became the #1 best selling chocolate bar in Canada during the summer long run of this campaign, helped to a large degree by this word of mouth created from this campaign.

As part of the installation, an integrated campaign was launched hiding keys in random Caramilk bars in stores across the country. In the end, several lucky winners found keys and were granted access to the real safe hiding the secret!

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