The Coffee Cupid

The Coffee Cupid

Gravity Coffee were big and bold on this one! What would happen if you took the above the line spend for the year and invest it in digital? Or as Shine the agency involved puts it... "Coffee Cupid was an idea that used viral media to reinforce the brand's positioning as irreverent iconoclast."

As the loudest, most extroverted, most contemporary coffee out there, Shine wanted to do something for Gravity that no other coffee would do.

So they created a digital wingman, Coffee Cupid, to bring Gravity's irreverent attitude to life and get people talking about - and drinking - Gravity coffee. Supply Coffee Cupid with some details and he'll pay a virtual visit to the person you fancy. They then have an opportunity to guess who you are, and if they guess it right you both get a voucher for a free Gravity Coffee.

Interactive video; yes, but not as you've seen it before. More than 250 clips make up the unique video combinations, with over a billion variables to make the experience as personal as possible.

"From a small truth in people wanting to meet over a cup of coffee, came this explosive idea in which we made Gravity the vehicle," says Lucien Law, Creative Director at Shine.

By going viral, Law says they have created something which is a union of marketing and entertainment, rather than being just another uninvited guest shoving advertising in your face.

Shine worked with visual effects and digital media specialists Oktobor to create the Coffee Cupid website.

"It was a real partnership from the beginning," says Oktobor's Creative Technologist Mark Zeman. "There was an enormous amount of logistics to cope with to make the creative work properly and all the while keeping true to Shine's original concept. To keep things tight we did the entire live action shoot at our in-house studio and then our motion design team set about editing and compositing over 25 minutes of HD footage. It was a mammoth task."

With all the possible variables, Coffee Cupid has no qualms about telling you that your job is boring or that you need to get a haircut. But unlike most interactive videos, Law says, the Coffee Cupid isn't trying to fool people into believing the computer knows all about you.

"We have been transparent in letting the recipient know that a secret admirer is making contact. And providing all these options lets people have a little fun, whether they're hoping for a date, or just a laugh."

Law collaborated with renowned Creative Oliver Green to write the Coffee Cupid's script, and inadvertently ended up starring in the campaign. "We realised that there was only one person who could pull off Coffee Cupid, and that was Ollie."

After 40 pages of revised script and four full days of filming, Law says the finished product is better than they could have hoped for.

"It's a great example of a convergence project, pulling together live action, design and digital techniques to deliver a custom personalised experience.

Oktobor Digital Design Director on the project Matt Von Trott agreed, "It is a project that's tailor-made for each user. You can tell how much work and how many different disciplines are involved when you try it for yourself. In order to make the experience flow properly we cut it like a TVC and for each variation of outcome, edited another option. We then keyed all the footage, put all the backgrounds in and imported each scene into After Effects to add the finishing touches and detail. The result is high quality video that fills your screen and that's quick to download - something that hasn't been seen before."

But beyond that, Law says the new campaign is also about having some fun.

"Coffee Cupid is a bit of a rogue but he is also a guy that does his job, which is to put people together.

"The difference is, he knows exactly what happens when two consenting adults get together and it has bugger all to do with heart shaped boxes of chocolate."

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