PHAROS AR by Childish Gambino is the world’s first cross-platform, multiplayer AR music experience, and it’s now available on Google Play and App Store. The application is built with Unity and ARCore, Google’s platform for creating AR experiences.
Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) is a cultural phenomenon and celebrated music artist. You may know his Grammy-winning record, “This Is America” or his hit TV show Atlanta. The multi-award-winning actor, writer, and musician partnered with Unity to bring his immersive PHAROS universe directly into the hands of his fans with mobile AR.
Donald Glover performs as Childish Gambino on his This is America Tour.
Tapping Unity’s features for AR
The PHAROS AR app, developed by MediaMonks – a creative production company – lets you experience new Gambino sounds while you’re immersed in a cosmic, interactive journey. The AR experience, which draws inspiration from his PHAROS New Zealand event, is visually thrilling, with motion-capture-driven particle effects creating astral bodies and high-fidelity psychedelic effects accompanying the story.
The app also provides an immersive sound experience, using spatialized audio loops to slowly build up the highly anticipated new music. The designers used ARCore’s Cloud Anchors API on top of Unity to create a shared AR experience for both Android and iOS users.
PHAROS AR sends users through a portal on a cosmic journey.
Wolf + Rothstein, Childish Gambino’s management team, wanted to create a mobile AR app because they see the opportunity that other cutting-edge brands using the tech see – mobile AR gives them the opportunity to create compelling and targeted experiences that catch their audience’s attention and build positive brand association.
The evolution of experiential marketing
With over 1 billion AR-enabled smartphones on the market and rapidly advancing mobile technology, experiential marketing is evolving from low-reach, high-immersive apps to widespread, immersion-at-scale AR experiences.
PHAROS AR creates a sense of oneness that you can’t help but dance to.
More and more, brands across industries are using Unity to create these experiences, as we provide both the creative technology and the global audience reach (via the Unity Ads network) to help engage target audiences with mobile AR today and with the tech of the future. We don’t see mobile AR as an endpoint for immersive brand experiences, but rather as a training ground and gateway for wearable AR and VR experiences in the future.
There’s still time for forward-thinking brands to deliver unique and impactful experiences in this emerging realm, which often combines entertainment and technology in exciting ways; brands that delay getting involved will have to play a long game of catch-up.
To learn more about how PHAROS AR was created for Childish Gambino, one of the world’s most exciting genre-busting artists, check out the official Made with Unity page.