Unilever Dispenses Ice Cream for Smiles

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Following up on the Coke Zero Happiness machines imagineered for Cannes in '09, this year SapientNitro plugs Unilever's ice cream brands - with a machine that dispenses the frozen desserts when a person smiles at it.

The "Share Happy" machine uses AR and facial recognition technology to detect a smile and rate it on a smile-o-meter. You can play with the image, post it on Facebooks and choose which ice cream you want.

The machine first appeared in Lisbon's Rock in Rio festival and is part of a bigger agenda by Unilever to use its communications to "engineer" happiness. Contagious says it will be touring the globe over the next 18 months.

Post-crisis, it's nice to see this kind of optimism infecting the attitude of advertising right now. It brings to mind something Ask Wappling of Adland told me yesterday: that advertising is just about hacking people. It stands to reason that one of the best ways to do {that} is to a respond to a profound desire they feel, but don't know how to name yet.

Battered by our gritted teeth, our economising and our swallowed complaints, we're thirsty for something that will bring childlike delight back to the surface of our skin. What better way than ice cream in exchange for a smile?

To demonstrate how the installation struck gold, if only because of curiosity, it underwent much-needed repair yesterday afternoon (after just two days in action!).

While rearranging its insides, the technician distractedly licked his last dollop of cold vanilla off a little wooden stick.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-24-10   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Good, Industry Events, Specialty   

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