Virgin Mobile attempts to ‘blinkwash’ America

Virgin Mobile USA has today launched a new campaign, which its audience can control by blinking…

Virgin Mobile USA has today launched a new campaign, which its audience can control by blinking…

The ad, which is created by Mother New York, is the final instalment of the ‘Retrain Your Brain’ campaign and is designed to be watched on YouTube. It begins as a fairly straightforward ad explaining why it’s a good idea for you to switch your phone contract to Virgin Mobile, but every time you blink, the scene on screen changes, getting more and more ridiculous as time goes on.

The technology in the spot works by scanning each viewer’s eyes via their webcam so that the computer picks up the action every time they blink. The film is then designed to switch scenes with every blink.

“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,” says Tim Rodgers, creative partner at rehabstudio, who produced the campaign, alongside Greencard Pictures.

The ad is reminiscent of campaigns such as the Tipp-Ex Hunter Shoots A Bear film, which made similarly clever use of YouTube, yet feels even more intuitive as it’s controlled only by blinking. It is also an excellent example of how a brand can impart pretty boring information to its audience yet keep them watching, and possibly even ‘blinkwash’ them into switching their business over to them.

To play with the ad, go to Or watch the trailer below to get a sense of how it looks:

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