Cyber

Just in time for Cannes, we round up the best in Canadian cyber campaigns this year.

Sneaker freaks get their kicks online 
Adidas sneakers got a whole lot sneakier this year, with a high-tech campaign that allows consumers
to play 3D games online using their shoes as controllers. The “Adidas Originals AR” campaign, created by
Sid Lee in Montreal and Amsterdam, saw the launch of the world’s first footwear with a coded tongue.
When held up to a webcam, the special tongue grants instant access to the augmented reality (AR) Adidas Neighbourhood.
When Sid Lee brought the AR idea to Adidas in spring 2009, they had to move fast, explains Kristian Grove Møller, senior AD, since the shoes were already being manufactured. Within a week of pitching the concept, the tongues were being coded. Sid Lee partnered with Metaio to develop the AR – a new technology at the time – and with Xform for game development. They ultimately launched a Star Wars game in February (tied to a Star Wars footwear and apparel line
that debuted with Snoop Dogg leading a parade of Stormtroopers around New York), a skateboarding game in March and a DJ game in May.
Geared towards 13- to 19-year-olds, the virtual world features the same faces seen in “Adidas Originals Street Party” ads this year, with celebs like pro-skateboarder Tim O’Connor and R&B singer Ciara introducing the games. (Creative for TV, print and online was all obtained during a two-week-long shoot on the streets of London in September 2009.) But the campaign’s reach extended beyond the youth sneaker-freak market, garnering buzz on tech blogs, Twitter and in the mainstream media.
“The objective was to get Adidas talked about and acknowledged for pushing innovation – not necessarily just people buying the shoe – and we’ve done that,” Møller says.

Strong showing from Weak Shop
“Why stand when you can sit?” asks the main page of Theweakshop.com, an online store selling items for people too tired to do everyday things. “Chair pants” solve the first dilemma, but there’s also a “long arm tennis racquet” so you don’t have to run and a “food lift” for hands-free access to your dinner.
The shop is a cheeky campaign for BC Dairy, promoting the energy-boosting benefits of milk, but it’s no fake-out: the items were really produced by industrial designer Rob Johnston, with some of the smaller products available for purchase online and in a Vancouver pop-up store. 
Developed by DDB Vancouver and launched in October, the “Weak Shop” campaign also included transit shelter ads, online pre-roll, Facebook and Twitter pages, YouTube videos and even a Flickr account with snapshots of people using the products. Creative was modelled after cheesy late-night infomercials in the hopes of engaging teenagers and getting them to think about health.
“It’s not exactly a subject that’s at the top of their list,” says Dean Lee, CD, DDB Vancouver, “so by using humour, it allows the conversation to get going.”
But teens aren’t the only ones talking: DDB’s online “Chair Pants” infomercial also caught the attention of the staff at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, who linked to it on the show’s website.
Expect another big push from Theweakshop.com this fall, as teens head back to school and the site unveils the prototype designed by its “Inventions For The Weak” contest winner.

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