The Lunar New Year holiday is about coming together to share the joy and good fortune. The traditions of the holiday are deeply rooted in Panda Express’ culture, and to help bring those traditions to life, we created five interactive experiences to educate and entertain people across the globe.
We worked with Chinese-Japanese illustrator Ayumi Takahashi to create a series of five video filters, each its own mini augmented reality experience: festive lion dancer masks that encouraged you to show off your best moves; bright red lanterns that offered a cozy glow; a feisty mythical monster named Nian you can spook with a firecracker; red envelopes stuffed with good fortune; and Panda Express foods like shrimp and egg rolls that will bring lots of luck in the new year
The filters encouraged our team to push the boundaries of what’s possible with Spark AR and challenged us to do a lot with a small file size. We only had a few MB to work with, but we managed to create a custom physics engine inside of Spark AR for one of the five filters.
The interactive experiences were a massive success. Hundreds of thousands of
people had a blast playing with the AR filters, posing like lion dancers and trying to catch shrimp in their mouths. It wasn’t uncommon for them to share multiple videos so they could try them all.
This project was a joy to work on from start to finish and set a great tone on our team for 2020. We enjoyed sharing that same sense of good fortune—and good food—for the coming year with people around the world.