From drones playing football (for Pepsi) to augmented reality driving glasses (for Mini), Richard Dodgson from events company Timebased (above) takes us through his favourite inventive uses of tech in ad campaigns.
DRONES: Pepsi Max – Drone Football
Pepsi Max has launched its first-ever global campaign, Genius, designed to transform everyday activities into exciting, surprising experiences.
In this particular case, a group of unsuspecting 5-a-side footballers are thrust into a game of Drone Football, in which a flying robot is the man of the match, delivering the football, refereeing the match and even dishing out yellow cards for foul play. A pitch drawn out with LED lights and a giant projected scoreboard are particular highlights, creating an interactive sensory explosion which keeps the audience engaged throughout the three minute clip.
The slot cleverly ties in with PepsiCo’s key messaging that the most exciting experiences don’t just happen – they’re created. Their new campaign is all about making experiences more exciting and eminent by surprising audiences with the unexpected.
VIRTUAL REALITY: Nissan – ‘Built to Thrill’ Wingsuit Experience
Nissan wanted to leverage their ‘Built-to-Thrill’ campaign and TV advert for the Nissan Juke, which features sky-divers assembling the car whilst free-falling through the air.
At Goodwood Festival of Speed, visitors had the chance to fly through a virtual 3D cityscape whilst strapped on a multi-axis motion platform. The experience begins with a jump out of an aeroplane at 21,000 feet – participants were given a mission to collect as many Nissan Juke components as possible and could steer by leaning on articulated wings. Nissan mimicked the rush of air and a wide-angle view through a state-of-the-art 3D head-mounted display.
This was a great fit for the Nissan brand and the prefect extension of their ‘Built to Thrill’ ethos – their target audience was spot on too.
AUGMENTED REALITY: BMW – Augmented Reality driving glasses for Mini
Designed to make driving simpler, these glasses allow motorists to navigate and monitor their speed via a heads-up display. They can also connect to a smartphone via Mini’s own app to receive calls and texts, which the driver can answer using controls on the steering wheel.
The product is unfortunately still a research prototype, but the brand rightly chose Mini to test out the idea due to its younger demographic and reputation as a fun car.
LIVE STREAMING: IKEA – Online wedding service
A brand more commonly known for good value, practical furniture – IKEA’s own wedding service allows couples to invite guests from all over the world and bring them together, virtually, via microphone and webcam, revolutionising the way that couples tie the knot.
Each respective wedding setting is decked out in IKEA’s own furnishings and decorations, all of which can be purchased at a click of a mouse – a clever ecommerce move.
Once everything has been arranged, the couple are allocated a six hour session for the wedding ceremony, which is live streamed for guests’ eyes only.
(Not legally binding by default, but can be made-so at a couples’ request)
PROJECTION MAPPING: Adidas – Adizero f50 boots
Adidas teamed up with Lionel Messi for the promotion of their new Adizero f50 Boots and ran a cool projection mapping installation to celebrate his return from the World Cup.
The projection stunt used 20k, 10k, 7k, and 3k projectors fixed to cars & bikes and even used a body harness to create the vision of Messi powering through the streets of Barcelona like a fireball, including the occasional glimpse of the city’s famous architecture throughout the clip.
3D PRINTING: Nasa – Competition for 3D printed space base designs
The US space agency has this week called for budding architects to create a proposal for a 3D printed future Moon/Mars base - and is offering the two winners $1.1m (around £715,000) each.
With 3D printing becoming ever-more accessible to the average consumer, there is great potential for some very useful and realistic designs to come out of the competition.
The challenge is a clever move from Nasa, who are positioning themselves at the forefront of the latest technology and engaging with the maker community as an exciting, current brand.
WEARABLE TECH: PayPal – Replacing passwords with brain implants and swallow-able computers
PayPal has claimed recently that passwords will one day be replaced by vein recognition, technology built into pills that can be swallowed, or direct implants into human bodies. It is currently working with partners to provide such technology, including vein and heartrate recognition.
Cyber security is a hot topic at the moment following a number of high profile computer hacks, and the brand recognises that passwords as we currently know them will evolve, and it aims cement its place at the forefront of these developments.
APPS: Uber & Spotify – Music for your ride
Uber joined forces with Spotify to enable customers to remotely control the music that plays through their taxi’s speakers.
They initially rolled this out in ten cities across four continents: London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto .
Music can be chosen at the same time as requesting a ride, and in the smoothest fashion possible, the playlist will automatically start when the ride begins.
SMARTPHONES: Burberry – Fashion show shot entirely with an iPhone
Apple partnered with Burberry for its Prorsum Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014 show in London, giving the luxury fashion brand exclusive access to the iPhone 5s handset and tasking it with filming the entire show. The focus was on the iPhone’s new upgraded iSight camera, with larger 1.5 micron pixels.
Technology is vital to the work Burberry does – it is a young-old company in the sense that the brand is very old, but behind the scenes is teeming with young people and energy.
This particular project highlighted how technology is very authentic in the way that the brand designs, the way it is organised and the way that they communicate internally.
AUTOMOTIVE TECH: Hyundai – tyre tracks to send giant message to astronaut in space
The car brand broke a Guinness World Record by using 11 cars to deliver a message from a daughter to her father in space.
11 of its Genesis models were used to create a giant tyre track image in a desert, big enough to be seen and photographed from space – the message was super-imposed onto the sand by stunt drivers using GPS technology.
The video received over 17m views in just one week – positioning Hyundi as a leading innovative brand.
Richard Dodgson is the creative director at Timebased Events. He founded Timebased in 1996 and is responsible for the GQ Men of the Year Awards, London Real Estate Forum, the launch of Galeria Melissa London and Vogue Festival to name a few.