Agency A-List 2012: Work Club, London
Welcome to the science fairBy: Ann-Christine Diaz, Published: Jan 28, 2013
London-based Work Club, the five-year-old independent shop founder by Mother alum Ben Mooge and Agency Republic vet Andy Sandoz, tested the limits of our imagination with a slew of out of this world projects that brought the idea of the science fair to branding, narrowing the divide between the digital and the physical worlds.
Coming off 2011's standout social media campaign for Ballantine's, which tapped fans to advise artists on a series of live projects, the agency turned to fashion. It moved status updates out of people's browsers and onto their chests via tshirtOS, special tees outfitted with ultra-thin LED screens that displayed tweets, photos, GIFS and even belts out Spotify playlists. To promote the shirts-- the agency created a Kickstarter-like intro fim and crafted an '80s inspired film starring a pair of lovable geeks.
Work Club also brought individuality back to the strip search with the Ballantine's LAI (aka Leave an Impression) installation at Amsterdam's Schipol airport. A 2.5 meter tall pod outfitted with a Microsoft Kinect, infrared and digital cameras and photo imaging software captured artfully abstract images of passers by, which they could then share through social media. (See one not-so-average looking business traveller at left) Music also became part of Ballantine's mix on Loud Blue, a social media campaign that brought a soundtrack to people's Instagram images. Shooters who tagged their photos #LoudBlue would receive a link back to a unique track representing their work, via the help of an algorithm created in partnership with Brazilian DJs Felguk, who went on to create a song using samples of the various photo-tunes.
For Strongbow Cider, Work Club turned the lowly bottle cap into the start of something really special. The agency embedded various caps with RFID technology, and, when flipped, they'd trigger a real reaction in the world out there, form a Foursquare check-in, to the firing of a cannon or activating a jukebox.
And finally, in a year full of buzz over big data, the agency translated hard stats, numbers and brainwaves into something truly fun via Sharp Fan Labs, to promote Sharp's sponsorship of the UEFA Euro 2012. The agency sought to answer which country's soccer fans are the more passionate. It created a website, an app and special brain-monitoring head hardware to collect attitudes of soccer fans around the world. Mobile football labs also traveled around Europe to gather data in person and every day, the FanLabs published the data on its site. And it wasn't just data for data's sake. The point, in the end, was to help Sharp make better TVs, armed with the stats on the viewing habits of 350-million-plus fans.
Meanwhile, the agency boasts 21% revenue growth and looks forward to bringing its brainy ideas to new clients Heineken & Google.
Check out the other 2012 Creativity A-List honorees here.