The 2016 Río Olympic games had the entire world buzzing. Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi LA took it as an opportunity to bring us all a little closer together with the #LetsJoinHands campaign, touching broadcast, social and experiential.
In partnership with Twitter, a custom hashtag emoji was developed, and Toyota planned donate $20 for each tweet using it -- up to $250,000 to the United Way. The cause is motivating, but a campaign to inspire us to join hands would not be right without a tangible way to do so beyond a TV spot and a tweet, and the "Stand Together” live experience was born.
Working closely with the Saatchi team, we conceived a live video stream between Los Angeles and New York City, pulling passersby into spontaneous connections with strangers 3,000 miles away.
Users place their hand on the screen, pinging the other location and prompting them to do the same. Then, a collaborative drawing game takes over as the two users share the screen and join together to create playful scenes of city skylines, outer space and sunny days.
Along the way, we captured the video feeds and drawings on each side, with a cloud-based renderer automatically editing each session into a 30-second highlight reel that was tweeted back to users from @ToyotaUSA.
Making It Possible
Two locations with high pedestrian traffic were targeted -- Herald Square, New York City and Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles -- and coordinated overnight installs of the two footprints began in both cities.
Despite the urban nature of these locations, the high-speed bandwidth required to live stream video and user drawing interactions was far from readily available -- at least in our six week production timeline.
We secured special 4G LTE frequencies from our partners at AT&T, enabling flawless streams to nearby cell towers through skyscrapers and overcrowded city centers with heavy data use from tourists and others. We paired the hardware with our custom HD video streaming software, VPN and OSC protocol to communicate real-time drawings with minimal latency across the United States.
With the necessary infrastructure in place, users have the simple engagement of stepping up to the touchscreen, writing their name and waving hello, and the magic of their counterpart doing the same with them live on screen.
Live events are always a whirlwind, but also among the most rewarding projects. Often, we don't have the luxury of observing users interact with experiences first-hand. In the live space, we can truly see if our UX is intuitive, and the message resonates.
We were pleased to see smiles and joy across everyone's faces as they participated in this high-tech handshake. #LetsJoinHands is an important reminder that the products we create are intended to inspire and create emotional response. While the technical and creative challenges are fueling, happy, engaged people are even more so.
Not only did Toyota reach their goal of $250,000 in donations, but they left a lasting mark alongside the 2016 games that will springboard them well beyond.
- 250kDonated to United Way