High fives are a common reward for a job well done. Last week, Dutch-based advertising agency Eigen Fabrikaat (DDB Group) used this seemingly easy gesture to send people around the world.
The KLM Live High Five for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was an interactive outdoor installation in New York and Amsterdam that challenged strangers separated by an ocean to create the perfect high five.
For one day only as part of KLM’s World Deal Week campaign, two interactive screens with HD video feed and audio were placed over 3,600 miles apart in New York City and Amsterdam. The screens encouraged spontaneous interactions between people in the two cities as they worked together face-to-face to accomplish a simple-sounding task. Whoever could achieve the “perfect” high five with their counterpart across the Atlantic was rewarded with KLM tickets to the other city (either New York or Amsterdam, depending on their current location).
Celebrating World Deal Week with what KLM Netherlands’ VP of Marketing Bastiaan Hoogendoorn describes as “Journeys of inspiration,” the perfect high five was viewed as a universal gesture of success and accomplishment that could span continental divides. Dimitri Hubregtse and Michael Kouwenhoven, creatives at Eigen Fabrikaat, explained their reasoning in a company press release as such:
The power of the high five lies in the spontaneous character of this worldwide gesture. But we soon learned that making the perfect high five is not as easy as it sounds. So when the high five is indeed executed perfectly, you feel it straight away! That shared emotion was a perfect foundation for a game that crosses borders.
The KLM Live High Five was produced by integrated production company Minivegas. This undertaking required not only the management of sufficient audio and video streams, but also the creation of an interface that would fit many possible user scenarios, made sense, and was fun to play.
With the advance of technology and the growth of platforms such as Skype and FaceTime, this new twist on digital interaction is refreshing. As a practical application, it would be interesting to see if technology of this nature could somehow further bridge geographical space to help solve global problems such as medical care or education.