Billington Cartmell, Brave and Closer Live :: Technical Director

I was appointed Technical Director of Billington Cartmell (www.bcl.co.uk), their sister adverting agency, Brave (www.brave.co.uk) and their experiential arm, Closer (www.closerlive.co.uk) in January 2012. The group of companies between them represent a phenomenal array of leading clients including Carlsberg, Panasonic, Sennheiser, Philips, Unilever, Kraft, GSK, Lexus, Morrisons and Ernst & Young.

Panasonic :: European Roll-out for Community Platform

Whilst at Brave, part of the Billington Cartmell group of companies, I was involved with a few significant projects for their lead client, Panasonic. The Panasonic Lumix G is their top selling prosumer camera and Brave had been running there very successful ‘Lumix Lifestyle’ UK community site based in WordPress that enabled professionals and amateurs alike to share images, techniques and complete in competitions all in a helpful, non sales orientated environment.  Due to the success of the community the client decided to roll out a similar platform across all their European territories. My involvement was to do a technical and code analysis on the existing platform that had evolved over time with numerous developers and make recommendations as to how the sites look and feel could be transported whilst completely overhauling the back-end to make more flexible, secure and future proof. The clients main requirement was to be easily able to manage the communities from within their local territories and seamlessly turn on or off localised content, assets and functionality within the shared platform. My recommendation was to use BuddyPress combined with a host of other bespoke and premium plugins on a multisite installation of WordPress.

John Frieda :: 'Bag a Box' Facebook App

Whilst at Brave, I was responsible for an amazing, yet challenging, build for a John Frieda App on Facebook. Called ‘Bag a Box’ the app was a HTML5 game based on the principal of snaffling, whereby users could grab an evening wear item that they want from the previous owner and if they happened to ‘own’ the product when the winning moment passed they would win it. Luxury items like handbags were featured creating a very competitive environment for people to participate ensuring masses of users and sharing. Technically we had to ensure that the server was correctly load balanced for the anticipated demand and that latency etc were minimised as much as possible in order to make the best experience possible for potentially hundreds of simultaneous requests. Other areas involved overseeing the back-end code and ensuring the future portability of the code into similar projects or creative executions.

Ecover :: Experiential Event R&D

Whilst working at Brave (part of the Billington Cartmell Group) I was asked to investigate and advise on the best way to allow two handheld Ecover Disinfection Sprays with ‘pull to release’ handles to be used as both game and content controls for an state of the art exhibition stand at a global event. After investigation into Arduinos and similar standalone hardware our decision was to use a midi interface with the amount the user pulls the trigger translating into the amount of left or right orientation required to navigate the content or aim at targets in the game. Factors like health and safety and ease of relocation and build strength were also challenges that we had to technically surmount.

Dyson :: AirBlade Facebook Campaign

Whilst Technical Director at Brave (part of the Billington Cartmell Group of companies) I oversaw their client, Dyson’s Facebook Campaign to nominate public restrooms in America for an AirBlade sponsored makeover! Users could self nominate a restroom by adding it to a searchable database then leave comments and votes on it. The leader-board mechanic dictate which restrooms needed making over and the winners received a full refurb including Dysons revolutionary AirBlade hand driers. My role as Technical Director meant i had visibility of the concept pre-client allowing me to rework some of the mechanics due to challenges such as pre-moderation, data integrity through spelling mistakes etc and UX considerations.

Babybel :: SpaceHopper Campaign

Whilst at Brave we created a Babybel’s SpaceHopper Campaign that allowed participants to upload their own picture (generally of children) and position and wrap it round a Babybel branded space-hopper. These were then printed remotely and delivered back to the user. The code was Php-based and the platform was WordPress.

Scotty Brand :: Pixar's Brave Facebook App and Website Updates

Scotty Brand, a Billington Cartmell client, is a leading vegetable brand sold in the majority of supermarkets. Scotty had teamed up with Disney and Pixar for the launch of Brave, the animated movie about a red-haired Scottish girl on an adventure. I was responsible for the build of the Facebook App which contained a simple game with ‘Magic Moments’, predefined winning times so users who took part could randomly and securely win prizes. Other features included the ability to check unique urns form on-pack codes and deliver prizes and coupon vouchers against them too.

Panasonic :: 'Flag Tags' Facebook and Mobile App

  Panasonic is the official worldwide Olympic partner in the Audio Video Equipment Category, and whilst working as Technical Director of Brave I was responsible for technically overseeing their 2012 Olympics campaign, Flag Tags. Flag Tags allowed people around the world to show support for their country in the London 2012 Games by projecting a map onto the users face, applying a displacement filter and allowing it to be creatively edited to produce unique and personal effects. These could then be shared (‘Share the Passion’ was the strap line) and / or submitted to your nations gallery for a Flag Tag country leader board. The campaign started within Facebook as a Flash / Php App and due to its unprecedented success it was then ported to mobile for both iOS and Android. Over 50,000 people globally took part with no additional supportive advertising proving the viral success of a succinct idea. As Technical Director my input included working out the back-end, CDN and server infrastructure, researching and experimenting with the flash developer the best way to achieve the displaced flag effect without it looking ‘stuck on’, selecting the appropriate third party for the mobile build and assisting with QA throughout.