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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Manchester City Tokyo Campaign

Finalist in Creative Use of Technology


Ahead of Manchester City’s pre-season tour to Tokyo and Seoul in the summer of 2023, their in-house creative team ‘City Studios’ came to us with an idea to help launch the team’s arrival in Asia in a viral and innovative way. Collectively we decided that this was a great occasion not just to create CG but to show it in a way that played into the futuristic aesthetic of the city they were landing in – Tokyo. We agreed on the Shibuya Crossing as the perfect setting, a place instantly recognisable with a global audience and perfectly matching the neon colour tones we were looking to recreate. We decided to create CG with three-dimensional holograms that displayed the portraits of City’s biggest players. We also put the neon frames on branded Man City buses all built via CG. We created the detailed CGI versions of real buses making them hyper realistic, with the neon holograms beamed above each of the buses. As an additional trick and final flourish, we even added further Man City promotional visuals for the tour to the billboard screens around Shibuya, to give the video a true ‘takeover’ feel.

Strategy and Execution

The most challenging part was the shooting. We did this in a guerrilla style right in the middle of the street. In the case of filming in Shibuya we couldn't “erase” and "clean" all moving objects from the video for easy CGI production, but we succeeded in turning cons into pros with the creativity and assistance of City Studios. Then we paid attention to creating the holograms and following assets. We were supplied with the tour brand assets by City Studios in order to create the artwork visuals used on the holograms and screens. We also replaced the advertisements on Shibuya’s famous screens with generic artworks so as not to violate any copyrights. Then we added additional screens with "generic" content broadcasted on it for the first couple of seconds in the video, before then switching the screens to Man City content to make the video feel as authentic as possible. Another creative challenge was to put realistic buses with hologram projectors into an overcrowded street setting. As a result the viral effect of this video exceeded all our expectations. The Drum magazine made a long-read article about the Manchester City campaign in Tokyo and highlighted the power of CGI technology as the driver of a new and viral trend.


Total engagements incl. reposts and organic views: 42 159 000 audience reach in Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter 
Audience reach on the client's account: 7 100 000 views, 759 000 likes


Video for Manchester City Tokyo Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Vertex CGI & Manchester City


Entry Credits