Blinkwashing from Virgin Mobile

Blink Washingt 560x315What the hell is blinkwashing? It’s a new concept developed by Virgin Mobile, where they attempt to brainwash you when you blink. Clear as mud right? Well they don’t necessarily brainwash you, but they are attempting to retrain your brain, and remove some misconceptions you may have about their service.

How do they accomplish this? With an ingenious and breakthrough technology implemented on YouTube which actually utilizes your webcam to detect when you blink. Each time the software detects a blink, they essentially switch you to a different version of the commercial, with the same script. It’s an effect you really have to try to understand :

The technology caught the attention of AdAge which noted :

It’s not easy for consumers to sit through a dry list of product offerings, but yesterday, Virgin Mobile and Mother took a stab at making the experience fun with an absurd online video that changes right before your eyes.

So while the message about their phone service is great, we’re blown away by how they created this commercial. It’s a truly groundbreaking usage of technology to provide the individual viewer each with a unique experience.

Blinkwashing works by scanning a person’s web-cam for motion detection, face detection and eye locations, and then compensates for movements to accurately detect blinks. Tim Rodgers, Creative Partner at rehabstudio says, “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.”

For each viewing of the Video, an average of 16 different film segments are utilized, which makes for about 2,042,975 possible versions. Sadly that technology goodness isn’t embeddable, but you can try it for yourself at Virgin Mobile’s YouTube page.

Philip Van der Vossen

Editor at Gunaxin
Philip Van der Vossen is the Editor of Gunaxin, a Men's Lifestyle Magazine that was established in 2008. Philip also created and hosts the Trail Trek Tour, a traveling series of off-road events for automotive media.

Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.
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