Brooklyn Water Fountain Likes to Chat With People While They Drink

Y&R and VML New York Behind Tech-driven Stunt for the Partnership for a Healthier America

Published on Aug 27, 2014

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Thirsty pedestrians in Brooklyn and Manhattan may have been a little startled recently when they took a sip from an unassuming water fountain. Rather than the usual drink-and-dash experience, drinkers found that the H2O dispensers actually started talking to them.

The talking "Drink Up" fountains are part of the #spreadthewater iniative created out of Y&R and VML New York, for the Partnership for a Healthier America. They strike up conversation only when drinkers' lips touch the water --which is the point because the campaign's aim is to get Americans to do more good for their bodies, simply by drinking more water.

The VML team used Arduino, MaKey MaKey and Raspberry Pi -- hardware pieces that run on low voltages and plug into software-- an synced them to carefully sound bites while prototyping the fountain. They tested the average amounts of time people spend drinking at water fountains in order to improve the voiceover's delivery and sync the recordings. From there, interactive design collective YesYesNo built the final product.

For more on the campaign. Read the Behind the Work story on Ad

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Aug 27, 2014
Y&R New York
Chief Creative Officer:
Jim Elliott
Partnership For a Healthier America
VML New York
Executive Creative Officer:
Mike Wente
Group Creative Director:
Suzana Apelbaum
Creative Director:
Bruce Jacobson
Creative Director:
Alan Vladusic
Senior Art Director:
Harsh Kapadia
Creative Technologist:
Guilherme Pena Costa
Executive Director of Content Production:
Letitia Jacobs
Director of Business Affairs/Content Production:
Stacy Kallan
Digital Producer:
Amanda McCroskery
Content Producer:
Craig Sklaver
Content Producer:
Jenny Lee
Post Production Director:
Amy Saunders

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