Responses by Dentsu Creative South Africa, MakeReign and Salt & Pepper.
Background: “Most of Nigeria’s greatest artistic treasures are held in Western museums, which refuse to return them. As Nigeria’s proudly 100-percent homegrown beer, Trophy Stout wants to put them back in Nigerian hands,” says Dentsu Creative South Africa. “The website has a dual purpose: a digital experience that showcases the artifacts in a way that matches any museum, and to drive a mass social media movement demanding the artifacts’ return. The site was aimed at young Nigerians across the board.”
Larger picture: “All Trophy Stout touch points—cans, posters and OOH—unlocked the site via QR codes,” says Dentsu Creative South Africa. “The site itself lets users sign a petition and add their faces to AR filters while tagging Western museums. It also features pieces by modern Nigerian artists inspired by the artifacts, downloadable 3-D versions and interactive ways to explore Nigerian history.”
Design core: “We gave Nigerians a digital experience better than any museum without the need for a visa or plane ticket: a fully immersive, interactive online experience that lets users engage directly with each of the artifacts in a way that would never be possible in person,” says MakeReign. “We created 3-D models of the original masks that users can interact with and explore, immersing them in the museum experience. Furthermore, we drew inspiration from the museum’s visual appeal to create the overall site style, integrating sound and texture to evoke a genuine museum atmosphere.”
Challenges: “During the project, we encountered several challenges,” says Salt & Pepper. “The first was related to the tight timeline we needed to meet. We had to be especially concentrative, attentive and careful when choosing our technical approaches. From the technical perspective, undoubtedly the most challenging task was creating the impressive 3-D gallery. We spent a long time working with models, configured lighting, and used optimized textures to achieve maximum performance and visualization quality. Despite these, we’re happy with the results we achieved.”
Time constraints: “We chose libraries and frameworks with which we already had extensive experience,” say MakeReign and Salt & Pepper. “It helped us to speed up the development process, reduce risks and be sure of the final result. To fit the timeline, we were always striking a balance between complexity of the visual effects and their influence on overall user impression.”
New lessons: “Our team became more skilled in working with 3-D graphics and efficient planning during the tight timeline,” says Salt & Pepper. “We’ve developed new approaches to solving technical problems and became more flexible in addressing complex tasks.”
Technology: “To create our website, we used advanced technologies and tools like Next.js as a front-end framework for building web applications, three.js, react-three-fiber for working with 3-D objects and GSAP for animations,” says Salt & Pepper. “Our team paid special attention to model optimization and baked lighting to create a maximum realistic and engaging experience for users.”