CareerBuilder Activates Digital Mosaics at SHRM
The Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference may be a real hootenanny, but it’s hard to top the excitement of a World’s Fair. CareerBuilder last June combined the best of both experiences into one show strategy when it chose the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair as the theme for its SHRM booth.
The brand is headquartered in Chicago, so the Fair theme was a natural. The technological innovation that was at the heart of the World’s Fair was also a perfect fit. To bring both ideas to life—and engage attendees in the process—the brand worked with M1 Interactive to create an interactive photo mosaic that displayed photos of iconic World’s Fair landmarks. The system created the mosaic images by combining thousands of submitted photos and then displayed them all over the booth. SHRM attendees submitted the photos to the brand through Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #EmpoweringEmployment and #SHRM13.
CareerBuilder displayed the mosaic photos on four 80-inch monitors and hung them at the four corners of the booth for maximum visibility. Each digital mosaic was built from 3,000 photos, and as they slowly faded into one unified resolution, they combined to reveal an image from the Fair. To ensure participation, the brand sent attendees an email and a direct mail piece that encouraged them to use the tagline Empowering Employment as a hashtag at the event. And for each time they used it, they were entered into a sweepstakes to win prizes.
As a final incentive, CareerBuilder also donated $5 to a local job training charity for every use of the hashtag, and $10 for every pre-mail piece that was returned. M1 created the Digital Mosaic application using Processing, a programming development environment. The agency wrote custom code to analyze and extract visual data from a database and assemble it in the form of a larger image on the screens. Visitors to SHRM took photos all over the show, and using the custom hashtags, submitted them to Twitter or Instagram servers, adding to a “pool” of photos from the event. The application then accessed and tracked the posts, pulling the photos and shrinking them down into tiny, thumbnail pieces of the mosaic. Using color analysis algorithms, the program matched the color profile of these photos to the colors of the larger image, and placed them accordingly on the screen.
Coded calculations animated the images into the proper coordinates, where they eventually faded into the larger, iconic images of Chicago. Survey says: Awesome, for the win.