Nimble as a Mouse

14 May 2010

Advertiser: Toyota New Zealand

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Copywriter: Matthew Page

Art Director: Carolyn Davis

ECD: Dylan Harrison

Director: Leo Woodhead

Producer: Nick Beachman

Production Company: Thick as Thieves

Editor: Ian Bennett

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand has released a campaign for Toyota iQ, the world's smallest four seater. 

Saatchi & Saatchi had the idea to turn the car into a mouse, so it could move a cursor on a giant screen and operate a computer. 

The idea posed a technological challenge. At the time, there were ways to track a car’s movements. But there was no known method for turning the car into a fully functioning mouse, with the ability to click, draw and drag. So working with a web developer, the agency devised custom software to make it possible. 

The feat required a large indoor space, a web cam, two laptops, an LED for the car, and a projection screen.

The camera tracked the light on the car and translated its position into X-Y co-ordinates. The first laptop sent these co-ordinates to the second laptop 30 times per second. The second laptop read these co-ordinates and moved its mouse cursor in real-time. That image was then projected onto the large screen.

Then, before an exclusive audience, the iQ operated a giant computer to design its own newspaper ad, complete with webcam photo, mouse-drawn logo and a copy line, which was typed using a virtual keyboard. 

The live event was shot and edited into a short film and a behind the scenes video. 

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