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Kevin Daley/Khari Streeter, art directors
Craig Johnson, writer
Craig Johnson/Khari Streeter, creative directors
Kevin Daley, group creative director
Lance Jensen, chief creative officer
Rob Erskine, creative technologist
Michael Walton, developer
Steve Callan, technology director
Mike Grasela, director of photography
Mike Rubenstein, integrated producer
Gretchen Taipale, executive producer
Kevin Boyle, editor
Jennifer Maiona, project manager
Chris Martin, quality assurance
Hill Holliday Bubble, editorial company
Hill Holliday, project design and development/ad agency
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, client

“Smartly leverages digital out-of-home to create an irresistible sharing opportunity that also feels like a natural part of the experience.” —juror Ben Hughes

“A personal way for visitors to connect with the government. I especially liked how kids could literally see themselves as senators—what a great way to encourage young people to consider public service!” —juror Libby Bawcombe

Overview: It’s easy to be a senator for a day at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate (EMK Institute), where visitors can stand in a full-scale replica of the US Senate. To reflect the EMK Institute’s participatory vibe, an app by Boston-based ad agency Hill Holliday pushed photos of visitors out in real time to digital billboards–turned–campaign posters. Images of the billboards were then captured so the participants could share them on social media. By extending the reach of traditional media with modern channels, the campaign punched above its weight and helped motivate the public to participate in its democracy.

•Hundreds of visitors participated in the campaign while it was live.
•About 20 people worked on the project.
•The project took six months to complete.

Comments by Rob Erskine and Craig Johnson: 
Describe any special interactive features. “We built a custom administrative control panel that let EMK staff approve campaign stickers as they were taken. This data was sent to our media partners in XML and updated in real time, so EMK visitors had a good chance of seeing their campaign stickers on a billboard on their drives home from the museum—we wanted to make them senator for a day on the same days they visited the museum.”

Are there any special navigation features? “We put a lot of care into the experience because it had to be fast and easy: How do people usually hold iPads and take pictures? How do they type when standing and holding the device? These questions framed our navigation. We built a linear progressive navigation that sweeps from panel to panel to make users focus on the task at hand. This engaged users and made the experience feel a lot quicker than it actually was.”

Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “The whole experience is a single-page application whose front end is built on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The back end is built on a PHP microframework called Slim. On the front end, we built a custom photo-cropping tool to work seamlessly with pinching and other multitouch gestures. We then sent the photo as a Base64 string to the back end, where we generated multiple campaign stickers to serve back to the user in a matter of seconds.”


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