Using the electricity transmitted through 50 or so kissing couples at a party at the Museum of African Design in Jeppestown, the agency allowed these couples to become the switch that lit up the night sky with neon hearts and confetti.
Hellocomputer is a future generation agency offering hybrid marketing solutions that span full-service-digital to through-the-line advertising.
Collaborating with FCB Johannesburg, an agency famous for building iconic South African brands, the 'Electric Kiss' activation was developed for Labello, South Africa's number one lip balm. The event created a unique experience for participants and spectators at the gathering.
Hellocomputer Johannesburg Executive Creative Director, Kerry Friend, explained that the 'Labello Electric Kiss' worked by using a 'smooch' to transfer an electrical charge between two people.
In each of the hands of the couple was a wire, which when the couple kissed, conducted a small current from the one, through the couple via the lips and out the other wire, effectively turning the kissing couple into a switch. This small current was then amplified and fed into a microcontroller that registered this boosted current input as a 'kiss' and then proceeded to trigger the lighting desk. All the lighting effects were controlled from this central lightning desk, which was activated by the kissing couple.
"The Labello Electric Kiss is a prime example of how Hellocomputer helps clients achieve their marketing objectives, delivering measurable results," said Friend.
"Briefed by clients to break through the clutter to engage young - and sometimes fickle - consumers in a way that excites them and earns their respect, our task is to bend, force or break old conventions to create something new and innovative out of the chaos.
"Bringing technology into the mix, such as we did here, helps to elevate the brand in an unexpected way. This creates more memorable and ultimately more effective connections between the brand and the target consumer," she said.
Labello Brand Manager, Lara Jourdan, added: "With a history spanning more than 100 years, Labello is synonymous with lip care worldwide, and has always been relied on to innovate.
"For example, way back in 1911, Labello was the first to introduce the slider tin case that gave you access to the balm by simply pushing the bottom of the case. More recently, Labello introduced HydraIQ technology to its lip balm formulations, proven to keep lips moisturised for longer.
"This electrifying activation is another first for Labello. It feeds into Labello's positioning as a young, vibrant and exciting lip care solution; and I'm delighted that Hellocomputer and FCB electrified us perfectly illustrating how Labello helps you keep your lips soft, and your love strong!" she said.
"A hunger to do things differently and brave clients are the ingredients needed for experimental projects like these," concluded Executive Creative Director of FCB Johannesburg, Jonathan Deeb.
"Creating unique experiences that give people meaningful ways to connect with brands is our responsibility as marketers today, and they require a different approach. What started as an outlandish idea and prototype in December were the seeds of this magical installation that had people queuing to witness just how powerful their kiss could be."
Client: Beiersdorf AG
Brand manager: Lara Jourdan
Agency: Hellocomputer and FCB Johannesburg
Joint Executive Creative Directors: Kerry Friend (ECD Hellocomputer), Mark Tomlinson (Group ECD Hellocomputer), Jonathan Deeb (ECD FCB Johannesburg), Simon Spreckley (ECD Hellocomputer)
Creative Technologist (ideation and technology): Nathan Gates
Designer: Matthew Hart
Junior Designer: MW van der Walt
Videographers and animtors: Grant Campbell, Dillan Fuller
External collaborator: Artist Jenna Burchell, www.jennaburchell.com
Creative Production - Events and Activations - FCB Johannesburg: Ginny Daly