Taking the Internet to new places
In the summer of 2006 Nokia asked us at Farfar to come up with an idea in order to promote the new Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.
We instantly felt that the most exciting aspect was that with an Internet Tablet like the N800 the gap between using the Internet by using your phone or bringing a portable computer with you was erased.
You can now experience online material the way it was intended wherever you choose to.
Thus, the consumer, is able to physically take the Internet to new places. With this in mind, and the desire to create a product site that would be different from other product sites online, the idea was born.
We set out to create an online experience that would communicate that Internet can be accessed and used the way it would on your laptop – but in locations that seem odd and adventurous. Locations unlikely of being associated with the Internet.
But in order for this to be a captivating, standout experience we decided to add elements such as simple problem solving, interaction and a grand finale – a cliffhanger if you will... We also wanted to make sure that the mere execution would raise an eyebrow or two.
So - the Internet Walk was born.
We came up with six locations that the consumer were unlikely to associate with the Internet and that, to us, sounded interesting and exciting.
In each of these locations (airport, beach, city, burning coal, snow and the bungee jump) the narrator and the situation presents a minor predicament to the consumer.
Resolving these predicaments require the use of the Internet and the Nokia N800.
So, basically that is the idea and it is pretty straight forward. But in order to fully convey that you could take the internet to new places we wanted to create an experience that was seamless.
If the only thing in these six environments that remained constant was the Nokia N800 it would further make the point of a continous walk while the mere execution would attract attention - hopefully.
This solution, in retrospect, presented us with many interesting problems and proved that the making of the Internet Walk would be a challenge.
A walk in the park?
The main problem was deciding how we would actually be able to get a continuous piece of film where the feet would change (problem) with every transition of the ground (problem).
At the same time the N800 must be in focus and contain the different websites (problem) while in turn reflect the light as that of the different environments (problem).
In addition to this – the ground and the N800 had to be loopable during the time while the site was waiting for the user to interact (problem).
We simply found it too difficult to ensure that we could solve all the problems above in a single shoot.
So when faced with so many obstacles to overcome we, after some serious debating, testing and more, finally decided to shoot the hands and feet separately instead.
So, in November of 2006, we flew to Spain to shoot the beach, the snow, the burning coal and the bungee jump on locations such as Sierre Leone.
Surprisingly nobody on the team thought of places like a sewer, a graveyard or a desert.
The airport was shot on an escalator at Arlanda, the airport of Stockholm. The city was also shot in the Swedish capital. During all these shoots the person walking would have a camera-rig mounted on his person pointing towards his feet.
With all locations shot, a film was stitched together that featured all the interactions consecutively and included sections that we could later loop in the Flash environment.
A few weeks later we went into a studio in Stockholm where a complex shooting-rig was setup in order to film the hands and the interaction against a green screen.
The rig was constructed in a fashion that would allow us to (at the push of a button) simulate the different light settings in the six different locations.
So with the film of the feet rolling simultaneously the director would call out the lighting changes (‘Beach!’) so that they would match the different environments and transistions.
So, with two complete films (ground and hands) we then merged them together, added the voice-over and finally we had a complete internet walk – transitions, lighting, bungee jump and all!
Putting it all together
Putting the site together in Flash proved to be a bit of a challenge since it was important to make the transitions between loop and video as natural as possible while playing video, synching sound and more.
Also the performance of the site on different computers, the weight of it (loading times) and other factors played important parts (as always) when trying to reach and please a large audience.
Easter eggs, the result, traffic
The Nokia N800 has been on the market for quite some time but this has not discouraged people out there from visiting the site.
We feel good about the theinternetwalk.com and are particularly proud of the fact that the site essentially is a product site displaying a product and its features in a interactive fashion that is relevant and with a sense of humour.
As a whole we are definitely happy with the result. It was certainly a learning experience that gave us many useful insights about handling video and integrating that aspect into an interactive experience.
Nokia was great for letting us include bungeejumps, crazy crabs and more. Visual Art (the production company) played a major part in creating the site and we salute you!
Hopefully people out there will enjoy the internet walk and have a good time while being acquainted to the Nokia N800.
Oh, don’t forget the bonus treat on the site – the easter-egg! Type in ‘nseries’ to unlock it!
About the author, Erik Norin
Erik Norin is a web director at Farfar. He has worked on several award winning campaigns but that doesn't bother him. He still has street cred in the rough areas in his hometown Karlstad where he's greeted as a king by the villagers every time he returns.