Happiness without Boarders – Small World Machines shortlisted for Cannes Lions!

With the Cannes Lions Award nominees announced overnight, I am so stoked to see The Small World Machines by Leo Burnett Sydney score its top spot in the Outdoor Lions shortlist!

When I first saw this campaign I was truly moved. The relationship between India and Pakistan has for too long been damaged by their political history. Attitudes and perceptions towards one another have been indented into the culture leaving the neighbouring countries no closer to one another as time goes on.

Alas, with Coke as the client (an incredibly popular drink in both nations), the campaign set out to create a moment of connection between the nations by setting up a live communications portal in the form of a vending machine in the two countries. If you haven’t experienced the disconnect between the two countries first hand, you might not quite be able to fully grasp how interesting this little experiment with technology actually is and why it excites me so much.

In March this year, the vending machines were placed in either country and prompted people to put their differences aside and complete a friendly task together – such as wave, touch hands, trace a peace sign together or do a little dance. Once the shared tasks were completed, a celebration screen emerged which triggered the vending machine to dispense a free Coke for each person.

Coke and Leo Burnett crafted 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming live video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously recording through the machine to capture a moment of live emotional exchange.

Myself being a first gen Australian with an Indian heritage, have been bought up to never truly trust someone from Pakistan. However I do not hold those values at all. It is just the obvious disconnect between generations, a strong culture and a shared history of struggle. When my mother randomly decided to visit Pakistan one day, her reaction was one that surprised her immensely. She expressed that they were no different to herself and was incredibly touched by the kindness and hospitality she experienced, which is exactly the kind of insight that this campaign allows hundreds of others to do without having to physically cross the boarder.

This is a very cleverly thought out campaign and I hope it wins a few awards and gets the recognition it deserves =]

(via The Inspiration Room, mUmBRELLA)