When the word “free” is involved, people will do anything. They’ll even stare at a new phone with eye-tracking software for an hour to win that phone for free. We can file this under the Must Be a European Thing Club, not because people will complete strange tasks to win free products, but because they did so as crowds of people cheered on the contestants. And it’s not as if they were just staring at a phone, they were staring at a phone secure in a tall box as chefs pretended to be on fire and motorcyclists drove by for distraction. If a contestant stayed focused on the phone for more than one minute, he/she received a 100 SFr (Swiss Franc) discount. If he/she looked away for a millisecond, their turn ended. One dude, looking very European in his sleek jacket with infinite pockets, won the grand prize, a Samsung S4, in the above video (go here for more). People cheered. He now has to pay for a monthly plan.
The campaign comes from Switzerland, where creative studio Perfect Fools and Swisscom agency Heimat incorporated the smartphone’s new eye-tracking abilities to generate some buzz. The original video was filmed in Zurich, and crews will also travel to Lucerne, Bern, and Lausanne for similar showcases. If you are a guy who owns a jacket with too many pockets, you may also be able to have an opportunity to stare at a smartphone for an hour. On your mark, get set, F-R-E-E.
Why I’m Curious
I thought this campaign was really interesting because it combined a lot of different roles within an agency. A live event was sold into the client with a box built for people to stare into and a mechanism that knew when they looked away. The people were filmed and after the videos were cut and then released online through social media. Actors were hired to distract people. I searched online but couldn’t tell if more social media was used day-of to encourage people to stop by but that is another tactic that could have been successful. This campaign could be a great application to bring to the US for some of our clients (Chase: cash prize, United: airline tickets, Verizon: devices/phones).