Home Services Culture Careers Contact Blog

A ground-breaking experience using technology to enrich storytelling

Summary

Now audiences can embark on an epic, mixed reality adventure, fully immersing themselves in the world of Wallace & Gromit. It’s the iconic duo’s first new story in over a decade, where users play an active role in helping to fix up Bristol.

Challenge

How do we reimagine telling stories to a large audience using today’s technology?

Until now, traditional narratives have been two-dimensional. As audiences evolve, they’re wanting genuine agency in their experience. Something that’s more engaging and rewarding, yet free of all the usual tech gimmicks.

Digging deeper into how we could bring a new way of storytelling to life, we identified a key gap: there were no tools to help design a more immersive, real-time experience. So, we set out to build one ourselves.

With the help of a multimillion pound grant by UK Research & Innovation, we set out to develop a pioneering immersive experience.

Testimonial

Testimonial from Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director

“Wallace and Gromit have innovation at the comedic heart of their world. Working with Fictioneers has been a perfect fit, allowing us to bring the duo’s fantastic fictional contraptions into audiences’ homes using the latest technology.”
Bernard Grubb sketch The Big Fix Up workshop 1

Vision

In partnership with Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, we formed Fictioneers, a company dedicated to creating innovative forms of storytelling. Together, we set out to build an underlying platform that managed the delivery of the user-enriched story. The platform needed to be able to handle multiple media types, from CG animation to various AI applications.

To help bring our vision to life, we teamed up with several technology partners: Unity, which powers more than 60% of the world’s augmented reality and virtual reality content. Fantasmo and their 3D mapping platform to enable a city-scale augmented reality experience, bringing Bristol city to life. Plus, UI software developer toolkit Flutter and 3D distance scanning technology LiDAR.

We partnered with Aardman Animations, embarking on a collaboration that ensured product and narrative worked hand-in-hand to bring about a more engaging and satisfying user experience.

Fictioneers full-bleed image

Change

The result was The Big Fix Up, an award-winning app that put mobile at the heart of the story, delivering an incredibly immersive experience at scale. Now, anyone with a smartphone could enjoy an interactive story told combining AR, video, voice and mobile gaming. (While our dedicated backend platform delivered real-time story editing as users experienced the adventure.)

Users became employees of Wallace & Gromit’s new company, Spick & Spanners, bringing their favourite duo to life in AR as they interacted with the world around them. The app lets audiences help the pair carry out various odd jobs and get out of trouble - before solving the final mystery and saving the day. From augmented reality gameplay and CG animations, to in-character phone calls and extended reality (XR) portals, fans played a key role as the story unfolded in front of them.

To create even further engagement, the characters were voiced by much-loved celebrities, including Miriam Margolyes, Jim Carter, Isy Suttie, Joe Sugg and Ben Whitehead as Wallace.

A revolutionary form of storytelling emerged, allowing a Wallace & Gromit adventure to take place in the world of its audience - and vice versa - and become so much more than a traditional sitback experience.

The Big Fix Up character group shot

Outcome

Not only did the initiative lead to the formation of Fictioneers, a company dedicated to more dynamic and immersive storytelling, The Big Fix Up received more than 200 pieces of press coverage. It also helped change Aardman’s future approach to animation and the use of CG-based tech.

The application went on to become ‘app of the day’ in multiple markets, with 350M+ PR and media impressions.

Moving forward, the platform not only inspires richer narrative-driven experiences, but also ones in the real-time entertainment space - from major sporting events to location based travel experiences.

Fix Up The City splash screen

Fixing up the cities

We saw an opportunity to extend The Big Fix Up into several other major cities, increasing audience reach and engagement. So, Fix Up the City was born.

Using hyper-precise digital scanning, we went on to transform not only Bristol, but Cardiff and San Francisco too. Large-scale outdoor augmented reality experiences enabled fans to take on a giant cleaning robot, interact with Wallace’s nifty rocket and watch Gromit take to the skies in his plane.

An experience that lets users connect deeper with their favourite cheese-loving inventor and his loyal hound.

Discover more

Our work

Natural History Museum

A web experience as impressive as the Blue Whale

Discover a spectacular web experience that brings The Natural History Museum into your own home.
  • Design
  • UX
  • Build

Neurable

Neurable and brain-computer interfaces. A sound evolution

Headphones designed to remove everyday barriers, giving you greater control over how you live your life.
  • Strategy
  • Brand
  • UX
  • Design
A side portrait photo of a young woman wearing Neurable’s Enten smart headphones in white colourway.

Like what you see?

We're always excited to hear from visionary clients wanting a digital product expert to create solutions that connect with their audience in a more effective, relevant and meaningful way.