Mind over matter?

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V Energy, with a little help from their friends at Colenso and OMD, pushed the boundaries of possibility at a two-day stunt where mental strength and technology meet.

“Last weekend, V Zero Battle of the Minds successfully took mind control from Hollywood into reality, when Kiwis used their mental focus to levitate a 20ft [6m] shipping container,” said V Energy senior brand manager John Alexander.

The challenge: use nothing but focus to levitate your end of the container for longer, over a two-minute game. At the end of the game, the player with more points wins.

To pull it off, V the partners used a state-of-the-art headset to measure each competitor’s brain activity. A series of algorithms then pinpointed the brain’s focus values, and translated those into a magnetic field under the container. As a competitor’s focus got stronger, the magnets lifted their side of the container higher.

Colenso came up with the idea/concept, figured out all the tech and programmed the algorithms, built the set up, structured and ran the experiential and activation elements. OMD booked the media.

“V Energy always likes to push the boundaries and challenge people’s perception of what’s possible,” Alexander said.

H said that even some people on his team weren’t convinced that this would work. “It was awesome giving people a crack on the prototype and seeing their reaction. There’s that moment when they realise wow! This is actually happening!”

MAD ed David Gapes is among the doubters. “This is an eerily impressive video – but I have to say that if you believe it, you’ll believe anything,” he said.

The stunt ends a three-week campaign that launched V Zero in New Zealand.


Client: Frucor Beverages
Marketing Manager: Luke Rive
Senior Brand Manager: John Alexander
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media: OMD

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