What news could be more interesting to millennials than news about themselves?
That’s the thinking, anyway, behind Mentos’s latest effort “Fresh News,” created by BBH London, which generates a parody news broadcast all about you using your Facebook account.
“Mentos’ core audience are heavy Facebook users, and they are part of a generation that are very interested in using social media to project their sense of self,” explained Pablo Marques, creative director at BBH London. “So Facebook is at the center of our strategies when it comes to digital.”
After you run the app, three news anchors present comical news items about you based on what you’ve been posting lately on Facebook – status updates, relationship statuses, photos and people’s comments on your wall – and talk about how fresh you are (or aren’t).
Each newscast is cobbled together from a list of pre-filmed segments that BBH made for a range of Facebook scenarios, from the generic (you just friended someone) to the increasingly narrow (calling you out for having a sugar daddy).
To figure out how many and what scenes they needed to shoot to put the app together, the creative team first came up with a list of what insights they could derive from people’s behavioral Facebook data algorithmically, as Marques explained. The newscasts are cobbled together from these pre-shot sequences and tied with your social activity.
“For that we’ve crossed Foursquare checkins, Spotify playlists and other APIs that enabled us to really try to be pinpoint sharp on our assumptions about people – it was a fun little exercise in artificial intelligence,” said Marques. “Once that list was ready it was only a matter of writing funny ways to deliver those insights.”
According to Marques they filmed scenes for a full day and ended up cutting the material down to 45 minutes of footage that would go into the app to create all of the various personalized two-minute news broadcasts. Marques claims that they filmed enough footage so that “millions of different combinations” are possible.
“The real struggle was to make sure we had a balance of content, content that was focused enough so that it would feel very personal and magical (if your mum posted on your wall and you didn’t reply) but would only be applied to small number of people, and stuff that was generic enough so that even the people without a lot of Facebook activity would still get a full length video made about them,” said Marques.
So come on, young people of the Internet, do what you do best and share more stuff on social about yourself.
Here’s a video based on this reporter’s feed:
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