This week, we launched an ambitious project…
“What if people could power some robotic teeth along a track, just by tweeting,” someone had suggested a few weeks prior. “To win a new phone!”
We confiscated their drugs and sent them home, but after the dust (and legal proceedings) settled, it didn’t actually sound like a bad idea. Just sounded like a tricky one. One that required Ben at times to wear a HEAD LIGHT:
The brief to us was to generate awareness and interest in Orange’s ‘Phone Fund’, with which you can ‘chat your way to a new phone’ (the more minutes you use, the more cash Orange give you towards your next phone).
As those pictures suggest, there was some pretty serious robot action going on. Here’s a test run before the teeth were at full chatter capacity:
It’s times like this I can only stare in wonder at the talented people I work with. And at the people we partner with.
It’s risky, doing things like this. The journey from a concept that makes sense, to building it and making it work, to creating an end experience that people throw themselves into is not smooth (nor is it quite as linear as that description). But when it comes off it’s pretty satisfying.
Is it perfect? No. The perfectionists in us could pick holes all day. But it works. And more importantly, it’s ‘working’: it’s getting a hell of a lot more attention that a campaign around a phone fund should get. At the time of my writing this, people are playing the game at a rate of one person per second (which is actually low compared to times over the past few days). It’s making a fairly dry proposition extremely fun. Oh, and THERE ARE SOME ROBOTIC TEETH THAT YOU CAN MOVE AROUND A TRACK.
The interesting thing with ideas like this is that you can’t possibly guarantee to your client that it will work. Because it hasn’t been tried before (not by us, anyway). But the passion and nervous energy that flows into projects like this, I believe seeps through into the end experience. It looks and feels like it was made by people that put everything into it. Even in details that I don’t think are even visible on camera, like the Orange properties that populate the mini city-scape:
If you’re reading this before Saturday 28th April 2012, then you can have a play too. Just add #phonefundprizes to your tweet and you’re in. Enjoy!