Collage of Lucy
Monday 10 April 2017

Effies winners revisited: Atomic 212°, Double Robotics and ‘Lucy the Robot’

Atomic 212°’s campaign for Double Robotics was awarded a Bronze Effie last year in the ‘Technology & Electronics’ category – and last week it was named in WARC’s World’s Best Campaigns. In this post we go behind the scenes to reveal what made this campaign a hit.

Double Robotics created a telepresence robot which it wanted to launch in the Australian market. But the consumer robots category was a fledgling one globally, and in Australia, a largely untouched area. Awareness of the Double Robotics brand in Australia was also essentially nil, but Atomic 212° decided to use this to their advantage by tapping into the fact that customers had no preconceptions of robots – presenting a wonderful opportunity to capture their imaginations.

The challenge

With the brief and audience broad – technology adopters and consumers aged 18 to 35 in Australia, Asia, North America and the UK, as well as businesses with appropriate office environments – Atomic 212°’s challenge was not easy. Their two key targets were to generate buzz around the unknown brand, and generate enough leads to cover the campaign budget.

They needed a launch platform that would cost almost nothing, provide powerful positive mass reach and add value to everyone’s experience – impossible, some would say. The agency recognised the need to create an engaging story surrounding the robot, igniting the imagination while simultaneously building a story of the robot as a useful, functional being with a personality.

To do this, and drive massive user generated content and media coverage, Atomic 212° recognised they needed to make someone else’s moment their moment, by making it more relevant and enjoyable. They needed to seek out a positive, almost fanatical world event of such significance that the eyes of customers and media would be focused on it.

Enter Lucy

The solution – to capitalise on the publicity generated by the iPhone 6S launch and to humanise the robot by shifting the focus to the girl behind the device – Lucy Kelly, a young, energetic, innovative young woman who didn’t want to stand in the wind and rain to wait for the new phone.

Thus ‘Lucy the Robot’ was born. Atomic 212° placed the humanoid robot outside Sydney’s George Street Apple Store to line up for the new Apple device. It sat in the torrential weather for five days and interacted constantly with others in the queue, the media and passers by. On the other end of the device was Lucy, who controlled it from her home and office.

Atomic 212° then created compelling content around the story and seeded it across digital. With Sydney being the first Apple Store to release the iPhone6S globally, ‘Lucy the Robot’ was the first in the world to buy it. The story was simple: “Robot buys first iPhone 6S in the world”.

The results

The campaign was driven by PR, digital outreach, content marketing and social media. Once the concept had been developed, Atomic 212° targeted a number of mainstream media outlets across digital, print, radio and TV – the most effective way to satisfy the “make us famous” brief. The story received over 4,000 pieces of coverage in outlets such as the New York Times, BBC, Le Monde, The Australian, Mashable and others.

The secondary phase then kicked in – using the hype surrounding ‘Lucy the Robot’ to target business media regarding the practical uses of the device in the workplace. A microsite was developed to facilitate lead generation and to funnel sales leads, which was also supported by videos and social media profiles, as well as a search marketing and SEO drive.

The results were remarkable by both Australian and global standards, and according to the Mobile Marketing Association, set new benchmarks for genuine viral media campaigns. A significant number of leads were generated in 72 hours, representing millions of dollars in sales opportunities. Brand recall shot up by 780% and favourability spiked by 1200%.

Atomic 212°’s campaign is a clear example of the power of relevance and entertainment. If a brand is supremely relevant to its target audience, and if it provides them with a compelling story, the results will flow. ‘Lucy the Robot’ is a prime case study of effective guerilla marketing, and how to capitalise on fanatical fan moments.

Click here to read the full entry and here to watch the video. On time Effies entries close April 20. Visit to enter.

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