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- London N1 6AH
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- Beau Monde
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- Belfast BT7 2JA
- +44 (0) 28 9050 1910
Yikes we forgot about this one – the Life in a Day project gets featured in book, congrats to all the guys who worked on this huge 18 month project!
Q: How do you thank your customers for 10 years of support?
A: Well if you’re Google then you’re gonna want to send them all a unique personalised thank-you video with the name of the company projected on the moon, and spelt from 10Mil Dominos & robotic bees…
And here’s how we did it!
We choose a hand-made cut and paste style for the channel – photographing all of the interface and graphical elements in the studio before manipulating them in Photoshop.
For the first phase of the campaign we asked the Google AdWords community to participate by uploading their own personal AdWords success stories to the YouTube channel.
We worked with AKQA on the phase 2 which contained the personalised video. They created a challenging shot-list – so we immediately started to work on a bunch of prototypes to see how far we could push the tech. We’d done video personalisation before and this time we owned it!
Here’s one of the earlier tests that we put together, we had to produce the channel in 47 languages so we had to create a text parsing system to generate the company name dynamically over the top of the video.
During the course of the development we also worked on a few easter eggs, after all this was a birthday party & everyone loves a surprise on their birthday
Motion sensitive swarm of bees
Motion sensitive space invaders
Control the crosshair with your head, space bar to shoot!
The campaign launched, sent an email to each of their customers, the email contained a unique URL linking to the channel where users could view their personalised video.
This is an awesome display of what it takes to actually bring a project to life, check out the video below which shows our developers contributing to the project during its development. The animated tree places the root directory of the project at its centre. Directories appear as branches with files as leaves.
Click here to see the rehabstudio personalised video!
rehabstudio has joined the ranks of Aarra, as our exclusive representation in North America. Aarra is the first strategic sales management agency of its kind, overseeing business development for a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class digital shops.
Tim sat down with the guys from Aarra to talk about rehab, our personality and working in North America. Here are the results:
rehab does it all — interactive, user experience design, technology, front end, back end, mobile web, you name it.
And unlike some other blokes, they’ll take you out for a whiskey when they’re done.
Okay, two whiskeys. Three, maybe three.
rehab was founded as a collaboration between creative Tim Rodgers and technology specialist (*cough* hacker) Jurgen Prause. Together they created a working philosophy called “Hand Built Digital,” and it governs rehab’s entire thinking and process.
“Hand Built Digital is diverse groups of highly specialized experts collaborating openly and seamlessly,” rehab describes it. “It’s our mantra, it underpins everything we do. Approaching each brief as unique and building a bespoke solution to suit.
From strategic understanding, design, technology and engineering to the way we work with people. It brings a tangible, analogue feel to the work.”
- Strategic insight
- Expert craftsmanship
- People first
- Transparent & collaborative
One of the latest and most successful products of rehab’s process was the groundbreaking YouTube experiment, “Life in a Day”. The channel started as a couple scratches on a page when Google Creative Lab approached rehab for a treatment. It became an FWA Site of the Day, with over 37 million views and the record for most video uploads for a YouTube campaign.
Other projects rehab has under its belt include collaborations with BlackBerry, Last.fm, Red Bull, D&AD, Google, NYSE and Universal Music Group.
They’ve teamed up along the way with Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, Draftfcb, Fallon, Profero, The New Cruelty, and several other agencies.
- Four FWA Site of the Day awards (Google Life in a Day, Cadbury’s Spots V Stripes, Google AdWords and Doritos iD3)
- An IAB Creative Showcase Award plus recognition as a New York Advertising Awards Finalist for Doritos iD3
- Top marks at the Deloitte 2010 Technology Fast Track 50, with top 5 in Northern Ireland & top 50 in the UK.
Before kicking back to toast their success, we sat down with Tim to find out more about where exactly rehab’s beer money comes from.
Some of us Yanks don’t know rehabstudio yet. What are you guys known for?
Irreverence. Intelligence. Ironing. Honesty. Beards. Craic. And our work. You might have seen our most recent project for YouTube, Life in a Day.
How was rehab born?
Two Irishmen walk into a bar in Belfast. One’s a hacker, one’s a designer. After several days of non-stop partying, they decide it’s time for rehab.
Agencies in the US have a lot of choices stateside. Why hop the pond?
rehab is the aggregation of 2 companies in one: a world-class development company with 25 of the best devs in the world at our Belfast office, and an award-winning creative agency in London with 15 creatives and producers. The result is that we can handle any type of project, be it heavy dev, purely creative strategy and design, or (ideally) both.
We’ve been working with US-based brands and agencies for 2 years now and have disciplined systems in place to compensate for the time difference.
In addition we’ve developed our own backend campaign platform software which we bring to the party, it’s a robust suite of applications to allow agencies to manage and control modern digital campaigns in-house.
What’s your ideal job?
We’re huge fans of Ice Road Truckers.
Not a microsite or anything like that then?
Nah, Ice Road Truckers is better.
What are you looking forward to in your new relationship with Aarra?
Meeting with, working with and having a beer with some of the best creative talent in North America.
The Google AdWords 10th Anniversary has been a super huge amazing success, we’re going to post up our how it was made post soon, we’ve been really busy this year already. In the meantime here’s a copy of an interview with E-Biz about the project;
By Simon Fuller. Google knows how to say thank you – and how to say it in plenty of languages, to boot. The Net giant was looking for a way to say cheers for the support of advertisers using its AdWords product, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday. And so production company PostPanic together with digital creative outfit rehabstudio and ad agency AKQA San Francisco came up with a nifty short film themed around a bunch of Google boffins working out a way to say thanks.
In the film, directed by Mischa Rozema from PostPanic, a crack team of Google scientists trial a few ingenious methods of delivering a thank-you message to the AdWords advertisers, including using a huge swarm of bees which attempt to spell out the message. In each case, things go awry, eventually resulting in the scientists getting the boot in favour of a simple but heartfelt thanks from the assembled Google team.
“In terms of the concept development, the Google style is very handmade, very cut and paste,” explains Tim Rodgers, creative director at rehabstudio. “And our own process is hand-built digital, it’s a mad professor style, like a test lab.”
What sets this film apart is the way in which the message can be personalised for each advertiser. Rehabstudio put together a system which altered the content in the film based on the advertiser watching it. So, for example, during the scene with the bees, the insects will form the name of the company viewing the film. Google then sent invites to its advertisers, giving them access to a YouTube channel specially-created for the film where they could watch the version handmade for them.
“There was a lot of work to do in terms of how to optimise the video experience to reach as many people as possible,” says Rodgers. “[We worked in] 47 languages as AdWords has a huge numbers of customers, so we had to develop translations. The personalisation was going out to AdWords customers literally from America to China.
“We’ve actually been doing personalisation for a while, the first use was for a first person adventure movie, which made use of Facebook Connect to pull in a user’s info, friends, pictures, and superimpose them on top of a video,” adds Rodgers. “The AdWords film is the next level, we’ve achieved a professionally composed video for each user.”
And rehabstudio predicts that the level of personalisation seen in the film will soon become more commonplace.
“Personalised content is not like TV, it’s not like broadcast, it [allows] a changing storyline,” says Rodgers. “It’s much more engaging than standard industry stuff. Over time, it will become more ingrained.”
Originally posted on http://brand-e.biz/personalised-thanks-from-google_10915.html
DJ Gary Quinn Sounds the Klaxon Horn from rehabstudio Facebook
So, we’ve been busy over the past 12 months, as the good ship rehab continues it’s voyage, with a bunch of awesomeness lined up for 2011 we’re hiring for new positions.
So if you’re into rehab, Hand Built Digital and you like whiskey then you’re probably in the right place; we’re interested in hearing from a bunch of different peeps, have a gander at the places below and see if those take your fancy, if not then get in touch anyways at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative and Technical Roster
Digital Creative (teams)/ Art Director(s)
Digital Producers/ Project managers
We got our copy of w.e.b. magazine this week – the guys out there did a feature on the studio and our work to date.
Originally posted on http://www.worldweb.co.kr/web/overseas/list.asp
Another cracker month in the studio, October brought in 2 FWA site of the day’s for:
Life in a Day, SOTD 22nd Oct
For Google Creative Lab, London
The Impossible Hoop Challenge, SOTD 31st Oct
For Fallon, London
On top of that we’ve ranked in the Deloitte Fast 50 Winners for the second year in a row, #3 in Ireland and #44 in the UK.Boom.
We’ve also welcome Tom Le Bree (Creative Strategist), Hayden Peek (Designer), Brendan Farquharson, Ricky McAlister, Tom Creed & Steven McCullagh (Cake Bakers) to the good ship rehab.
We were approached by Google Creative Labs in July to come up with some treatments for Life in a Day YouTube channel at the centre of this ground breaking experiment.
The core of the idea was to record life around the globe on the 24th July – we concentrated on giving users a feel of the scale of the campaign and inviting them to be a part of it.
Early concept scamp:
We wanting users to get a feeling that the campaign was live, we focused our energy on designing a data visualization views that showcased locality, time and emotion.
On filming day we knew there would be a lot of activity on the site, to turn that activity into participation we created a simple tagging system which geo-located each video on the 3D globe, a heat-map view showed which countries were more active at uploading content to the experiment in a bid to encourage users from all corners of the globe.
Filming day homepage:
The rehabstudio campaign platform was utilized to pull in #LIAD tweets, run it through a blacklist filter and display them in the YouTube channel.
Post Filming Day
So, with 85k+ videos uploaded we needed to create a few different ways for users to explore the content on the site.
Hidden Easter egg (Unfortunately this part did’nt go live):
Globe view wireframe:
Globe view finalised:
Using a combination of the YouTube API & Campaign Platform we data mined the content to create the views which was all cached in memory on the Google App engine for performance.
The campaign has been a massive success, huge numbers, breaking all records for YouTube video uploads at 80K+, the actual channel has been viewed over 21 million times…
Big thanks and congratulations to the team at Google, we cant wait to see the final feature in January.
Oh and yea, and today, it’s Site of the day on The FWA !
The rehabstudio Belfast crew battled it out on Saturday night for the first round of rehabwars, Go-kart time
Chariots of Flame
Regular Belfast Saturday Night head gear…
Pit lane stand off
The old staring at the screen to get a better time trick…
The Winner, @adammcpeake, No.2 @PapaHurley, No.3 @GreasyFringe
The Cup… from @adammcpeake
Taste of misery and success ….
Take the Nations favorite chocolate bar and the 2012 Olympics, whisk in Fallon London’s Spot’s V Stripes Campaign, Add a hefty dose of rehabstudio super disco magic fairy dust, bake in the oven for 4 weeks and you get, “The Impossible Hoop Challenge”
It all started in May when we were approached by Fallon to create an online game to sit in the Spots V Stripes Hub, Fallon’s brief was to let people throw “something through something”. So we started by brainstorming the game concept how it should work, how to score points, what environments we should place the user.
We knew we wanted to make the environment realistic so we started to sketch up the scenes to see how they’d all fit together.
Early scamp for beach level:
After playing with this concept for a bit we decided to change it… and moved onto a slide on view of the game.
The direction from Fallon was quite photo realistic with a quirky twist, we worked hard with the development of the game graphics to create our 3 levels, Street, Park & Beach. We used matte painters to create the scenes from our sketches.
Development of game concept/ sketch:
Development of the in-game objects:
Initial Art direction:
Finalised Art direction:
In terms of the playability and games engine we wanted to create a game that takes seconds to learn and a lifetime to master! With that in mind we started to produce game environment prototypes based on our sketches which worked really well. We then decided to allow users to move the objects in the room so that they could setup some awesome shots. Check out one of our first demos;
Game-engine Demo: (Click n’ drag the catapult to throw)
Social share mechanic
We were keen on make the game work harder, we knew there was going to be a big push across the standard media channels but because of the random nature of the game we knew that players would be setting up some gnarly impossible throws, so we decided to give them a social media share function which allowed them to share the last shot they tool and post it to their Twitter feed or Facebook wall.
The site’s been an awesome hit – so much in fact that we assumed something wasn’t quite right with the leader-board as we’d racked up lots of plays and points on the first weekend, turned out we had already created a massive following of people playing it 24/7..
So far have racked up an impressive 300k + plays of the game in the first month and it’s crazy to think that at time of writing this the Spots / Stripes teams are within 1,800 points of each other!
And we’re now shortlisted on the FWA, nice.
So come go on, join a side and play the game here!
UPDATE – Ha ha! The game is now FWA Site of the day 31st August 2010