Launched first on 22 December 2017, the AKQA Tree of Lights app harnesses augmented reality to allow people to customise and install their own unique Christmas tree in any virtual space. Through World Land Trust, for every app downloaded until 6 January 2018, AKQA has donated one real tree to natural spaces that need protecting. The aim of their ‘Plant a Tree’ appeal is to support the planting of native trees to reconnect fragmented habitat and provide additional food sources for bird and animal populations.
AKQA Group Creative Director Ginny Golden explains: “Tree of Lights shared the magic of the holidays and augmented reality to provide a gift to our planet. The idea is a powerful example of the digital world helping protect and preserve the real environment we all share.”
World Land Trust Director of Communications Viv Burton said: “Engaging, fun, and effective in its message, Tree of Lights helped spread the word about World Land Trust. Tree planting helps us restore lost forest and reconnect habitats, and the funds raised are enabling us to plant 1,000 rainforest trees with our project partners in Ecuador, Kenya and Brazil.”
Raising awareness and making an impact for a new generation, Tree of Lights is the latest AKQA collaboration to inspire a love for the natural world and respect for its conservation. Previous work includes WWF Together, an app that tells the stories of 16 endangered species through their own eyes. The BBC Story of Life app brought together more than 1,000 memorable moments filmed during Sir David Attenborough’s pioneering career of natural history film-making. And the recently launched AI-powered chatbot from Climate Council Australia engaged young people with questions about climate change in an appealing and accessible way.
Tree of Lights continues the tradition of innovative festive greetings from AKQA. In 2016, the Snow Fox app brought a magical winter story to life through voice control to create a popular, inspirational and personalised reading experience. Other award-winning highlights include the interactive Mobile Orchestra and the viral hit Microwaves, in which 49 microwave ovens chimed the tune of Jingle Bells.