For Immediate Release

Santander Bank & Arnold Worldwide: A unique PSA campaign

September 20, 2023

How Santander created a personal one-to-one connection with consumers in a highly immersive and cost-effective manner.

Santander, as part of its marketing and community outreach efforts, launched an initiative to generate awareness around the multiple faces of homelessness, specifically that some people who have jobs still cannot afford housing and are forced to live out of their car. The bank sponsored a walkathon which donated $10 for every step taken by volunteers on their national awareness day to fight homelessness. To encourage participation, they imagined an attention-grabbing experience that used cutting-edge augmented reality to get consumers to empathize with the homeless and take action. Arnold, the bank’s advertising agency, planned a 5-minute volumetric video capture of a nurse living out of her car observed in augmented reality.


The creative design had significant challenges:

Cost: Most studios bidding on the project told the bank’s agency it was impossible to get what they wanted at the cost they wanted. The post production work alone would require many days of expensive animation labor.

Viewable on Mobile Devices: Having users view the experience on pre-loaded ipads at activation events doesn’t scale well, and the bank wanted to have a version of the app available in the Apple and Play stores. The 18Gb of data for the volumetric video capture was far too large for a consumer-downloadable app.

Emotional Impact: Many people have seen simple augmented reality experiences, but what can be done to differentiate above the rest and really establish a connection between a pre-recorded actor and the viewer?


Arcturus’ Holosuite technology proved to be an ideal solution to the bank’s challenges. This project made use of three key technology offerings:

Automated digital cleanup tools: These tools allow an animator to make a modification to a small section of the character in one frame and for the change to propagate throughout all relevant frames.

Compression: Arcturus’ open standard allows significant reduction in size of the volumetric video while retaining visual quality.

Dynamic retargeting: The software automatically rigged the character, and its runtime plug-in enabled the head of the actor to move independently at the end of the sequence and look directly at the viewer.

Arcturus team members also provided the manual services needed to carry the project through the steps of post-production.


Holosuite proved to be an effective solution to speed development and reduce cost while enabling the delivery of an emotionally impactful experience to millions of viewers.

6-figure bid was 40% lower than any other studio allowing both Santander and Arnold to focus on other parts of the activation. Arcturus post-production tools automated the digital cleanup of the performance eliminating costly manual animation work.

Improved reach from hundreds to millions of viewer: Arcturus compression technology made it possible to get the experience on a mobile device so the reach is now in the millions instead of a few hundred at scheduled events.

Tear-jerking emotional impact: The viewer’s realization that the homeless woman breaks the 4th wall and asks “Will you help me?” directly into the eyes of the viewer evoked surprise, shock, empathy, and even tears. Dynamically retargeting the actor’s head ultimately drove high conversion from viewing into action.

Placed over 200 people in homes: The campaign raised $200,000 in its first few days.

Award-winning campaign: Awarded [Adweek’s Ad of the Day] ( misunderstood-realities-of-homelessness/) on its release. Nominated for a Lumiere Award.