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Virgin Mobile’s ‘BlinkWashing’ YouTube ad lets your blinking eyes take control

Businesses the world over are constantly looking at ways to grab the attention of consumers, with gimmicky ad campaigns a popular option for many.

Virgin Mobile, for instance, has been tinkering about with some webcam technology that lets you control a video by blinking.

The wireless carrier worked with creative agency Mother NY and digital production lab Rehab Studio to create its ‘BlinkWashing’ ad, which highlights one of Virgin Mobile’s monthly phone plans.

Though dialog from a single script plays continuously throughout the YouTube video, you can change the scene and actors simply by blinking. There are plenty of scenes to work your way through, some stranger than others. You might see a gorilla in a kitchen doing sign language, for example. Or a woman digging what appears to be a grave. Talking penguins feature, too.


To have a go yourself, make sure your face is well lit and check there’s no bright light source behind you. You’ll also need to give the eye-tracking technology access to your webcam and perform a couple of test blinks to ensure it recognizes your fluttering eyelids. For the best results, a fast Internet connection is recommended.

Once you see the message,“Your eyes are now in control. To stay connected, don’t look away”, you’re all set.

I gave it a shot and it worked well, though I have to say I paid far more attention to my blinking than the content of Virgin Mobile’s ad.

[via Business Insider]

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