Next To You
From prank videos to skateboarding dogs, the web is packed with entertainment competing for our minuscule attention spans. And with the internet now the main channel for music videos, artists need to work harder than ever to get our attention.
German rapper Kontra K demonstrates an understanding of this with his latest project Next To You, an immersive interactive movie that lets viewers switch between the present and the past to find clues in a mysterious murder case. By holding down your spacebar or a finger on your smartphone screen, you jump to the past in a smooth switch from one film to the other. It’s not just the images that change, but also the music. In the present you listen to the original track, but you can also go back in time and hear a different, more subdued version of the song. Then, by releasing your finger or spacebar, the film immediately switches back to the present.
Both present and past dimensions contain hidden clues that are highlighted through visual cues – but only if you’re in the right dimension where and while they appear. The amount of clues you discover determines which of the three different final sequences you’ll get to see. Whichever ending you get, Next To You works is mysterious and thrilling. Absolutely worth your attention.
Credits: UNIT 9, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Four Music
Resn is a creative production company that claims to “infect minds with gooey interactive experiences and saturate the Internet with digital miracles”. So when they recently launched a new website, expectations were high.
The site does not disappoint. The main page features a big revolving crystal drop that can be spun around by dragging it with a mouse or finger. After clicking around a bit, you find out that if you click and hold your cursor or finger on the crystal for a few seconds, an interactive animation pops up. This animation is different every time: from apples on a psychedelic space journey, to a bat that lets you laser beam through the portrait of a man with the help of an ouija board. An engaging combination of weirdness and digital skill.
Once you release your mouse or finger the site returns to its original state. From there, you can also click through to the agency’s portfolio and office information. These pages are more simple with nice, smooth transitions and clear, user-friendly navigation. Yet, some unexpected surprises were added to the overall design of the site. Resize your web browser for example, and you’ll discover one.
Resn’s new site is super slick, full of character and packed with interactive web experiments and funny easter eggs. A wonderful showcase for the agency.
Old Spice joins the battle for online attention with YouLand, a personalised web game in the style of an 8-bit video game. By connecting to your Facebook account, the game uses your face as that of the protagonist, which makes getting set up already great fun. Your Facebook friends, location, date and posts are used to further personalise the experience and create a true digital ‘YouLand’.
Next, players get to choose between three different games. In each, you use simple keyboard commands to guide your character through levels packed with surreal characters and crazy events. In the first game, you slowly transform into a human car by dodging traffic on a highway and picking up spare parts and friends. A number of bizarre events and weird product placements later, you’re in space, using Terry Crews’ head as a weapon to eliminate the enemy. And that’s only game one.
My conclusion after twenty minutes and two more games later? YouLand is strange, entertaining and surprising – a perfect match with Old Spice and their difficult-to-attract audience.
Credits: Wieden + Kennedy, MediaMonks
Marieke Dekker is a strategist at SuperHeroes Amsterdam and part of the FWA global judging panel. Each month, Marieke shares her three favourite FWA entries on Creative Review.