At the 2017 EE BAFTAs, movie fans were given a new and compelling way to get their very own selfie with a celebrity from the red carpet: the EE Roboselfie, a robot built to snap thousands of personalised selfies at superfast speeds and tweet them back to the fans. Poke designed and communicated the Roboselfie in a bid to make the BAFTAs more accessible to fans through technology. The selfie-snapping robot was a media darling and tweeted out over 460 selfies on the star-studded night.
Our history with EE and the BAFTAs goes back a long way, but in 2017 it was all about the fans and bringing to life EE’s promise of "putting the magic of technology in the service of people". We knew that the BAFTAs would command everyone’s attention for one star-studded night, but that the majority of those glued to their screens would never get to stand next to their favourite stars. Our challenge was clear: use the magic of technology to get EE customers closer to the BAFTA celebs.
What’s the ultimate way of showing you were there? A selfie, right? Getting a selfie with a celebrity would not only show you're in with the “it crowd”, it would also make you the envy of all your social media friends and followers. But most of EE’s customers were going to watch the BAFTA red carpet from home, scrolling through their social feeds for the latest updates. So we set about building something that would enable everyone sat at home to get a selfie with a red carpet celebrity.
The idea of the Roboselfie was born. It was going to be a connected robot that would offer fans the opportunity to have their photo taken with celebs on the night, and have it delivered to them within minutes of it being taken. Simple insight, simple idea, right? The challenge was in building the robot and making sure it did not mess up on the red carpet (no JLaw slip-ups for us!)
We knew that we would only be able to grab a few seconds of time with the celebs but there would be thousands of people keen to get a snap. So we had to work out how many images we could capture per second, which image was on screen at any given millisecond, and finally how to be able to take a picture of the robot showing this image with someone standing beside it.
We ended up using audio timecodes to keep everything in sync and we worked out the “magic” number of 5 selfies per second, which meant that if a celebrity stood with Roboselfie for 10 seconds, we would get 50 raw selfies. Pretty impressive!
To get the fans going, we asked EE’s social communities to submit their own selfies with a bespoke hashtag #EEBAFTAselfie, and we collated the images automatically by integrating with the Twitter API. Facial recognition was used to ensure we were dealing with a human face and not…well, you know. We also had to build a small moderation interface just in case humans needed to have a look to approve or decline submissions.
On the night, the Roboselfie stood tall and proud (and dressed in some pretty fancy attire designed by Jany Temime) and managed to get personalised pictures next to celebrities such as EE Rising Star winner Tom Holland, Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis, Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and Noel Clarke. EE’s BAFTA partners, Laura Whitmore and Stephen Fry, excitedly tweeted about the Roboselfie and social influencers followed suit, making our Roboselfie an instant hit.
The Roboselfie captured over 1,400 selfies and 50% automatic tweets were sent out on the night.
EE’s initiative drove positive conversations with 99.9% positive sentiment recorded on the night for the Roboselfie.