Unilever challenged us to find a novel way of associating their Walls Ice Cream brand with unadulterated happiness. They wanted it to have a remarkable, never-before-seen, 21st century twist. So our teams headed to the lab to dream up a vending machine unlike any other, something that would help transform Walls into an ice cream brand for the digital age.
What good is an innovative vending machine if no one notices it? Thus, our initial mission was to get people passing by to stop and check it out. The key was creating an “attractor mirror” that superimposed people’s faces onto the heads of cute illustrated characters. Much like an amusing “Hall of Mirrors,” the experience was instantly engaging, making it incredibly difficult to walk by without stopping out of curiosity.
From there, our Share Happy machine asked people to come closer and smile for a free ice cream. Talk about an offer folks couldn’t refuse. Using facial recognition technology as well as a “stop motion” interface, the machine’s “smile-o-meter” detected the size of their grin (along with their age and gender), snapped their photo for Facebook and rewarded them with a free ice cream. They simply browsed the touchscreen menu and made their Walls ice cream selection for happiness…delivered!
The Share Happy machine debuted at the Rock in Rio Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, garnering 3,500 captures. Based on a study of the value of a Facebook fan, this translated into an estimated $650,000 in media per year per machine ($3.60/fan).
In France, happiness was also shared (and tasted) at the Cannes Lions Festival, where over 6,000 Walls ice cream bars were distributed and over 50 media articles were written about our revolutionary machine. You could say it melted quite a few hearts.