Celerity worked as the technical lead on a Facebook viral video campaign for a world-leading battery manufacturer.
The campaign was to promote a new wireless battery charging product and involved a video showing electrical cables rising up and attacking hapless gadget owners. The message was clear: those charging cables can be dangerous!
From the outset the campaign creative team wanted to utilise the power of Facebook Connect* to personalise the video. The Flash team therefore had to make provisions for dynamic content, to insert custom text and imagery into the playing video. The viral element involved using the user's Facebook contacts at the end of the video. The idea being that you could "sacrifice a friend" in order to save yourself.
From the user's point of view, they would see a message on Facebook from one of their friends, apologising for "sacrificing" them. Intrigued, the user would click the link and see a professionally produced video, with subtle customisation based on their Facebook profile. For example, a hand-written note reading "Sorry, it was either you or me" signed by their friend's name, and with various picture frames and screens in the background showing their own photographs.
As the video ended, they would see a photo of themself on an iPhone, surrounded with (angry) cables. The iPhone screen then changed to show a list of all their Facebook friends, with thumbnail images for each. The user would choose one to "sacrifice" in their stead, the relevant Facebook wall posts would be made and the cycle would begin anew...
This project was a lot of fun to work on but posed significant technical challenges as well. The Facebook API was in a transitionary phase (not unusual in our experience!) so we had some headaches to overcome in ensuring we could pull the required data from people's Facebook profiles smoothly.
We also had to write various web services for the Flash team to integrate with, and of course the usual database capturing code (After the video ended, an optional registration form was displayed to allow the user to sign-up for future updates etc).
* now rebranded as 'Facebook for Websites'
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