Digital Domain’s work on “Virtual 2Pac at Coachella” – the virtual performance of the late rap star Tupac Shakur – was recognized with a Cannes Lions Titanium Award at the 59th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Saturday in Cannes, France.
The Cannes Lion Titanium Award recognizes the most groundbreaking work in the creative communications field. “Virtual 2Pac” was chosen by a jury of experts from 10 of the world’s top advertising agencies as one of the year’s most innovative, breakthrough ideas, from an initial field of over 500 entrants and a shortlist of 45.
“We were thrilled to be part of this project, this completely new idea in entertainment,” said Ed Ulbrich, chief creative officer of Digital Domain. “When Dr. Dre came to us with his vision, we knew that the world had never seen anything like this and that the response was going to be huge. Having ‘Virtual 2Pac’ and the idea of virtual performers recognized with a Cannes Lion Titanium Award is beyond exciting.”
Dr. Dre envisioned “Virtual 2Pac” as a way to bring fans a performance that was beyond the scope of imagination – an original performance of the late rap star. Working with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, Digital Domain, Philip Atwell and Dylan Brown produced “Virtual 2Pac,” the performance of a completely believable, computer-generated likeness of Shakur projected onstage to create the illusion that he was performing live alongside Snoop Dogg.
The impact of the performance spread worldwide. Following the two shows at the Coachella music festival, each playing to an estimated 90,000 fans, YouTube videos of the performance amassed 15 million views. Google search results for Tupac hologram exceeded 50 million. Tupac album sales increased 500 percent and downloads of his song “Hail Mary” rose 1,500 percent. There were thousands of media stories, assessing the impact of “virtual 2Pac” on everything from music to entertainment, ethics, technology and intellectual property.