Video case study: Virgin Mobile tests blink-controlled YouTube ad

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Virgin Mobile USA has launched an interactive video campaign which a viewer can control simply by blinking- provided they are using a webcam. It begins as a fairly straightforward ad explaining why it's a good idea for you to switch your phone contract to Virgin Mobile, but every time you blink, the scene on screen changes, getting more and more ridiculous as time goes on. The technology in the spot works by scanning each viewer's eyes via their webcam so that the computer picks up the action every time they blink. The film is then designed to switch scenes with every blink.

View a trailer for the service here:

Brand: Virgin Mobile | Sector: Mobile | Country: US | Agency/Partner: rehabstudio | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Format: YouTube, Video

The 'Blinkwashed' YouTube ad, created by Mother New York, is the final instalment of the mobile network’s 'Retrain Your Brain' campaign.

“To keep the storyline smooth, the technology individually time-codes each word across the 25 videos, creating a smart caching system that switches seamlessly between videos whenever the viewer blinks,” says Tim Rodgers, creative partner at rehabstudio, who produced the campaign, alongside Greencard Pictures.

Virgin Mobile USA created 25 different YouTube adverts which can be skipped through during the commerical's duration.

Its YouTube channel has a BlinkWashing section which will first need to calibrate with a webcam. Viewers need to be in a well-lit room and it will ask them to blink a couple of times before the main video starts.

Once calibrated, users are faced with quick viral adverts for the American network operator and the technology allows you to quickly zip to the next one without having to touch a single key or button.


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