Burger Time

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's parent company, CKE Restaurants, told Dustin Callif to build an advertising campaign that would wow consumers and distance the fast-food giant from the competition. The managing director at Spacedog went hunting for emerging technologies that could create the perfect application.

Spacedog's pitch relies on augmented reality technology developed by French company Total Immersion. If CKE approves the proposal, the campaign will launch within months. "We have begun to continually meet with different technology companies to stay ahead of the curve," Callif says - while preparing for a Los Angeles-to-New York flight to meet with "futurists" at Brand Experience Lab.

Many agencies are turning to technology to wow brands. Amy Shea, executive vice president and global director of Brand Keys in New York, says, "The star (of the pitch) now becomes the technology and application, rather than the concept or vision."

Nissan's 2008 Infiniti EX35 was the first major automotive brand in the United States to build Total Immersion's augmented reality technology into a campaign, designed by Los Angeles advertising company TBWAChiatDay
and its in-house digital interactive division, Tequila. The technology, which was embedded into kiosks, first appeared at The History Channel's "City of the Future" design competition, held in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Atlanta.

The popular kiosks were then put to use at auto shows in Chicago, New York and Atlanta, where consumers held up trading cards to the kiosk's display screen to interact with a 3D virtual Infiniti EX. One card held close to the kiosk projected a ghosted picture of the car's interior onto the flat-screen display, providing details of the instrument cluster on the dash panel.

"Agencies are being asked by clients to keep an eye out for what's next," says Ian Beavis, executive vice president at Carat. "We're interested in consumer behavior, so I don't need to know how the technology works, but rather what it can do." 
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