WORK: WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH 11 EXTRA MINUTES?
Inspired by a study that showed that every cigarette you smoke could take 11 minutes off your life, WNW Member #4183 Jeff Scardino came up with something unusual and thought-provoking. Instead of the usual scare tactics, Jeff and his team took a different route. They flipped the study around and made people think about what they would gain: every cigarette you don't smoke could add 11 minutes to your life. To demonstrate this, they built a machine that gives you an amazing 11-minute experience for just the price of a cigarette. Starting in NYC, Machine 11 is now going on tour.
We interviewed Jeff to learn more of the behind-the-scenes behind this important campaign.
Tell us a bit about your process of coming up with this concept. How many other ideas did you work through and how did you decide on this one?
Aetna was looking for inventive ways to highlight their company’s belief that they are helping to build a healthier world. As I researched different health issues I came across a study that showed every cigarette you smoke takes 11 minutes off your life. The study sparked the first idea I put down on paper, Machine 11, which was the idea that ended up being created.
Even though it was my first idea, I ended up still going through rounds and rounds of ideas. Some I have saved for future briefs. Others I have saved to try and create myself in order to get rich.
What was your biggest challenge?
I found out just weeks before our NYC launch date that there were some legal perimeters that didn’t allow us to give away experiences over a certain amount of money. And at that time, most of the experiences were big and/or involved celebrities. So gears had to shift quickly, and most of the praise goes to our amazing producer. I still can’t believe we pulled it off.
Did anything unexpected happen?
It naturally rained the day of the shoot. And not just a little bit. It rained the hardest I’ve seen all year. So again we had to shift gears and adjust how and where our 11-minute experiences took place. Thankfully it’s New York, and there was still a lot of foot traffic.
Any memorable moments?
One of the experiences people received was to spend 11 minutes being loved on by puppies. The puppies were brought from volunteers who were training and socializing them in order to become service dogs. We didn’t realize that meant the dogs had to be six months old instead of weeks old. So they were bigger than expected and because of the rain, we had to keep them cooped up in a tent.
So when one kid walked in with his mom who interacted with Machine 11, he got tackled and licked to the point that he freaked out. I think we may have ruined dogs for this poor kid for the rest of his life.
Any upcoming projects you want to share?
So Machine 11 is just the first of hopefully many initiatives that we’ll create for Aetna. The next one up is an idea I’ve had for a year now. There are big hopes for it so I’ll just give you a teaser — It will be a dream come true.