Panasonic Promoting Disc Recorder by Pranking Australian Guy for 28 Days

Panasonic - The Persecution of Rommy Gulla

Panasonic’s new Blue-ray Disc Recorder can store up to 28 days of HD content. To demonstrate the storage capabilities, ad agency The Campaign Palace will be filming 26 year old Australian Rommy Gulla with hidden cameras as they annoy him with pranks and challenges for 28 days. The results will be posted on the Panasonic Australia’s Facebook page, where fans can win weekly prizes for sharing and answering questions about the videos. Fans who want to be more ‘hand-on’ can get involved by submitting their suggestions on ways to annoy Rommy. Those suggestions will be promoted or demoted by the other Facebook fans.

But it’s not all fun and games, there’s a bit of controversy brewing about whether Rommy Gulla is a real person or an actor specifically hired for the role. In these days of 200 channels of reality TV, it’s not unthinkable that someone would put themselves out there in a campaign like this for a little cash and fame. However, a bit more transparency this case would be welcome and I don’t think it would hurt the campaign whatsoever.

In a press release sent to Austalian media & marketing site Mumbrella, Reed Collins, executive director of The Campaign Palace said:

“We decided it would be much more interesting to put him in a situation where he knows something’s going to happen every day for 28 days, but never what, when or where. His task is to survive the longest 28 days of his life and hopefully with his dignity intact.”

I’ve also read a few comments that express concern that the campaign will promote ‘bullying’, and with that being a hot button topic right now Panasonic may be walking a fine line here. The title of the campaign ‘The Persecution of Rommy Gulla’ alone is concerning, as is the awarding of prizes to others who join in as ‘persecutors’ (their words not mine, check out the rules).

The campaign begins Monday, what do you think? Does the theme of this campaign concern you, or are we becoming too politically correct and overly cautious?

Ford Puts New Grand C-Max Into Customers Hands Using Augmented Reality

In late February Ford of Britain launched the an augmented reality campaign using Panasonic’s new 3D depth imaging technology to promote its new Grand C-MAX. The user interface is based on natural movement and hand gestures rather than using printed markers as a point of reference as in ‘traditional’ augmented reality experiences.

Users could interact with the display by holding their hands up to the screen. They can then use virtual buttons to choose the cars colours, open doors or fold down the seats, rotate and explore 3D ‘virtual’ models of the cars on the screen and in their hands.

Mark Simpson of Ford of Britain said:

Mark Simpson at Ford said: “Using live interactive outdoor campaigns is a great way to really engage with the audience in a way that is not possible with static posters. This has enabled us to create a targeted and tactical campaign that is relevant and fun to use.”

The campaign was created by Ogilvy & Mather and digital production company Grand Visual.