IPG Media Lab at Cannes Lions 2012

As you might have heard, IPG Mediabrands rented a magnificent villa in Cannes, France last week for the Cannes Lions festival. In the villa, there were fascinating talks, interesting meetings and amazing parties. As part of this endeavor, the IPG Media Lab was invited to showcase some technologies we’ve been exploring. So we packed up a comically large Pelican trunk with awesome lab gear and set off for France.

We operated a couple screens withint he villa itself and then ran an informal experiment in one of the Tuk-Tuks rented for the occasion.

Our main feature was a Kinect-based OOH experience from Seattle startup Freak’n Genius. In this experience, when you approach the screen you take control of one of the cartoon characters and can pose them any way you like. You’re encouraged to bring a friend over to join you, and when they do they take control of the other character and can pose it. Once this happens, a snapshot is taken and posted online, where you can retrieve and share your photo. The photo itself is branded, so as the user shares their image across social media, a brand (in this case the Lab) goes along for the ride.

Below is a picture of the installation all set up in Cannes:

And here is a photo someone took during a party at the villa one evening:

In addition to this screen, we also showcased social media information around Cannes with a dashboard screen we pulled together. We had a Google Map showing the latest geo-tagged Twitter and Instagram posts from around Cannes, along with Foursquare data for select venues including recent check-ins. In addition, we had deep dive Foursquare data on the villa itself as a venue, and the latest news from our virtual lab. here’s what it looked like:

One other thing we added to it was a visualization of mobile device concentration, powered by a device from Euclid. Their gadget, which we will stress requires 12V DC power from a power supply that can handle the wall voltage of your location (not that we learned that the hard way), listens for mobile devices that are searching for wifi. Using this technology we were able to monitor activity levels at the villa. See:


Finally, we did an experiment with Technology from Immersive Labs. Their product is an OOH solution that controls what video is being shown on a screen depending on the demographics of the audience of that screen, and/or weather. We decided to try and install this technology in one of the Tuk-Tuks that had been rented for the event. Here’s what the vehicle in question looked like:


And here’s what the experiment looked like in action:

It’s showing me a trailer for Ghost Rider (see upper right) because I’m a guy. The experiment worked out pretty well, although we did learn a lot about the practical difficulties of trying to run a Windows box off the power supply of a small vehicle whose engine turns on and off frequently. We were able to gather some analytics though, which was icing on the cake.

In summary, Cannes was a great success for Mediabrands, but also a great opportunity for the lab to try our technologies out in the real world away from the comfortable world of 110V power outlets, advanced AV infrastructure, and air conditioning.