Google’s “Find That Thing” Campaign
Google’s “Find That Thing” campaign utilized traditional OOH advertising in a surprising way. The ads encouraged people to use Google Lens – a function that lets you search what you see – by taking photos of bus shelters, wallscapes, and billboards that were made from real fabric and materials inspired by Gen Z fashion.
To successfully market to Gen Z, you need to utilize the technology they already use. When Google realized that TikTok was Gen Z’s go-to search engine, they ran a huge campaign that focused on their already-in-place search feature to physically show them how convenient using Google can be. Gone are the days when you have to type up a search description and hope that something matches. Now you can take a photo of exactly what you’re looking at and get instant results. TikTok can’t do that 😉
A Faux Fur-Covered Wall
Atomic partnered with The Project Place, a new, local, soft goods design and fabrication studio in St. Paul to complete this project. Four fabricators hand stitched a 29’x24′ wall made entirely out of 4″ pile pink fur! The green fur letters were hand-cut, stitched, and sewn to the wall, and the yellow and white brackets were made from fleece. The fur wallscape was then stitched to a flex vinyl backer so that it could be stretched and hung in a standard flex vinyl frame.
The Google app has a camera icon within the search bar, and once it’s activated, four brackets appear that match the yellow and white ones shown on this wall. By lining up the brackets on the wall with the ones in the app, and taking a photo, Google will then compile shopping results that match your image. The results from this ad brought up colorful fur jackets.
A Pair of Preppy Plaid Billboards
Since real plaid fabric wouldn’t scale to this size, we opted for a custom-designed plaid graphic that was printed on billboard vinyl, with hand-cut fleece and felt letters and shapes for the copy. The letters were glued onto the face of the vinyl and they were stretched over an existing frame. The Google search resulted in shopping links for preppy and unconventional plaid tops.
A Giant Puffer Wallscape
Spanning 80′ long, this Y2K puffer jacket-inspired wallscape was a sight to see! We sourced the metallic fabric and hand-stuffed each of the 54 quilted blocks. The letter backs were CNC cut out of plastic and topped with cut PVC rubber to simulate branded logos that often appear on jackets. The panels were joined during installation to simulate a seamless, 80’ long piece of quilted fabric. The Google Lens results brought up shopping links to all sorts of retro puffer jackets that were popular in the early 2000s.
A Sparkly Strawberry Billboard
Cottagecore fashion is known for floral prints, pretty lace details, and flowy fabrics. This was another design that wouldn’t scale because all of the fabric options are made for dresses, and the sparkly sequin strawberries would never read from this distance. Instead, we had a billboard vinyl printed in light pink and hand-cut sparkly vinyl strawberries. The reflective finish of the vinyl gave the effect of light bouncing off of the sequined applique. The lettering was hand-stitched fleece and felt, and attached to the vinyl using glue. The Google Lens results brought up shopping links for dresses, art, and blankets.
And Custom Transit Shelter Inserts
For each of the above displays, the advertising space inside the bus shelter frame was replaced to give us enough room to insert a three-dimensional display.
• “Find That Faux Fur Thing” was essentially a smaller-scale version of the Fur Wall, with lighting. The Google Lens results brought up shopping links for faux fur bucket hats, jackets, and gloves.
• “Find That Pearlcore Thing” was made entirely out of strings of pearls and cubic zirconia. The lettering was applied to the inside face of the box with transparent vinyl lettering and edge lit, so the words would be illuminated. The Google Lens results brought up gowns made entirely out of pearls and diamonds.
• “Find That Craftcore Thing” was made from found, independently made, granny square blankets and cut to shape. The lettering was made out of hand-cut felt and attached to the front of the quilt. The Google Lens results brought up shopping links for knitted tank tops and skirts.
This campaign won a 2023 Gold Obie Award from OAAA for Creative Excellence.
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