Droid Does Black Friday (UGC+DOOH)

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist

If you are one of the bazillion zombie tourists scurrying around Times Square on Black Friday, you will be witness to an event orchestrated by the four horsemen of the digital out of home apocalypse; Google, Motorola, Verizon and R/GA.

droidUsing a formulaic Times Square Domination package, Verizon has sequestered 20 straight hours for their UGC powered ad to tout the infamous anti-iPhone “DROID does” campaign.

As per my post from earlier this month, I’m reserving my critique on whether this experience is really going to be any different that the typical ‘crowd-controlled’ Time Square gags. I’m really curious to see how R/GA’s experience designers addressed the inherent problems that exist whenever you give the world control of two of the most prestigious LED spectaculars in the Square.

The online participants have it easy – they can play along at home and watch the fun via strategically placed webcams. However the people in Times Square have a much different experience, will they  actually wait around for their search results to show up on the screens and will they care enough to spend their precious time to make the call in the first place?

Based on the past year that I spent observing the behaviors of people in Times Square, it’s going to be a tough crowd – even if they are all tourists hey? Ed

I do hope that there are some serious moderation protocols in place, because if you are like me – I’m definitely calling in ‘special’ searches for things that I know will test that theory out.

Alternatively, if you have less mischievous motives than I, try this idea out; get all your twitter followers or your Facebook friends to call in to the sign at the same time- this will inevitably monopolize what is shown in search results.

For instance, if all we called in a search for “the DailyDOOH rocks” – it should theoretically show up in the top ten sooner or later. The more people that call in for the same search, the longer the message would show up on the signs.

The tech behind this event is the real deal, and R/GA gets some super mad props from me for the way they outfitted the signs to use actual DROID phones (a whole farm of them) that will take the calls made to 888-376-4336 number then throw up the search results on the big screen(s) and get this, they actually used the Android voice recognition APIs to make the whole thing legitimate.

Now that’s impressive!

One Response to “Droid Does Black Friday (UGC+DOOH)”

  1. Matthew Olivieri Says:

    HAHA- Nice post Manolo. Can’t wait to read your follow up post on this. Also I was in the mall yesterday and Metro Park’s screens were running “live” Tweets – or at least it appeared that way.

    I snagged a pic with my BB and will post on our blog.


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