Changes Afoot At the Dunk Tank

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Times Square Dunk Tank, the product of a collaboration between Clear Channel Spectacolor and JUXT Interactive, has been entertaining hundreds of visitors every hour since Memorial Day Weekend, but there are changes afoot.

The Dunk Tank billboard demonstrates how billboards are interacting with social media and using gesture recognition innovations to transform the medium into a new form of advertainment.

Players vote for whom they want to see dunked by tweeting either #DunkGirl or #DunkGuy, and watch as their tweets are broadcast on the oversized HD screen. Once the votes are tallied and a dunk winner/victim chosen, he or she awaits atop the dunk plank as the crowd slaps, bumps and bats a floating virtual ball until it finds its way to the target and sends the dunkee into a gleaming pool.

One of the main components of the experience has revolved around a contest aimed at finding new talent to replace the current face of the project, pin-up model and Oxygen TV’s Best Ink star Sabina Kelley.

Judging duties were performed by Clear Channel, JUXT Interactive and Kelley herself who, after poring through numerous entertaining and talented entrants, found a new star in Garden Grove, California’s Amanda Shaw. The student and model will be able to add ‘Dunk Tank star’ to her resume when she makes her debut on the giant screen during Labor Day Weekend.

JUXT, based in Newport Beach, California, developed the concept, designed, and developed the experience, leveraging OpenFrameworks, OpenCV, real-time Twitter integration, and a Facebook-based photo retrieval system to bring new meaning to the word immersive.

“JUXT did an amazing job showcasing the power of crowd-based entertainment fueled by Clear Channel Spectacolor’s unique technology,” says Mike McGraw, vice-president of creative for Clear Channel Spectacolor. “This has really spurred some exciting creative discussions with our advertisers, and we look forward to some ground-breaking executions in the near future.”

JUXT is a part of Project: WorldWide, an independent engagement marketing agency holding company.

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