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Chris Rutkowski, senior art director
Jack Collier/Ben George, writers
Sean Jackson, designer
Nick Rodgers, associate creative director
Josh DiMarcantonio, executive creative director
Andrew Gage, senior producer
Alex Cohn, executive producer
Sean Carnage, digital producer
Ricardo Diaz, digital production director
Zambezi, project design and development/ad agency
Stance, client
Launch Site

“The attention to detail in every aspect of this site was beautiful.” — juror Harold Jones

“Fun is horribly underrated; it can be incredibly powerful and open minds to new possibilities. Simple sensors and sophisticated computer vision help make this brand come alive while making playful references to the original films.” —juror Nathan Moody

Overview: With the release of a new Star Wars movie amidst the throes of the 2015 holiday shopping season, clothing brand Stance wanted to get people excited about its Star Wars–themed socks. An immersive mobile experience turned the tired product carousel into a Star Wars fan’s dream come true. Mobile users could tilt and shake their phones to shop, and the experience was equally compelling on desktop, where users could enable their webcams to navigate via hand gestures. So strong was the force that the socks sold out in less than two weeks.

•The underlying technology was a mixture of HTML5 and JavaScript. The custom framework, Hydra, was used for front-end development.
•The site has had 66,493 visitors since its launch.
•From concept to completion, the project took six weeks.

Comments by Sean Carnage:
What was the thinking behind the navigation structure? “We took visitors right to the product—Stance’s Star Wars character socks had such personalities, we made them stand-ins for the original trilogy actors in re-creations of classic scenes. The ‘force’—touchless accelerometer control on mobile and responsiveness to hand gestures on desktop—also brought a huge amount of magic to the user interface. The experience is ‘on rails,’ only progressing in one linear direction. This kept production and development costs down. It also reinforces the Star Wars narrative structure: a roller-coaster ride that always moves forward.”

Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “Unlike the webcam-enabled tracking algorithm used on desktop, on mobile camera, access via native web proved impossible. The mobile site accomplishes the force effect through touchless accelerometer controls that link a user’s accelerometer to a visual feedback loop—‘force particles.’ The motion tracking is stable, reliable and tolerant of 180 degrees of tilt at any angle.”

What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “Hide an Easter egg in the experience. If a user failed to defeat Darth Vader, it would populate a special Stance gift bundle in her or his shopping cart named ‘I’m for your father.’”

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