September 23, 2015

Digital Stories: Bacardi Batcam by Quidich

by Anusha Narayanan

October’s fast nearing and so is that helluva huge music event called the NH7 Weekender. While everyone preps their wardrobes, and keeps Shazam handy, here’s a look at something that Bacardi India, the title sponsor for NH7 Weekender, created last year: the Bacardi Batcam – a drone to capture all the happy faces at one of India’s happiest concerts.

Quidich, a New-Delhi-based agency, was given the job of engineering the drone. The brief was simple – “to gain visibility amongst the festival-goers and a strong association of brand Bacardi with music, fun and happiness.” The drone was designed to click photos of the festival-goers, tag and post the images to their FB timelines. How cool? You don’t even have to pause for a selfie, it’s all done for you.

To do this, Quidich came up with this two-step process via Facebook, one for signing up and one for sharing. After registrations, the festival-goers were all handed BatHands, with a unique number linked to their profile. The customised drones were patrolling the festival area, looking out for people holding out the BatHand. Wave the BatHand and your photo get clicked and shared to your timeline. All you have to do now is sit back and enjoy the music, and not constantly sign into social media on your phone to telecast your whereabouts to the world!

Bacardi BatCam_2

Bacardi batcam BatHand

“Advanced algorithms matched the IDs in the pictures to the registered participants and instantly uploaded the pictures. Through the BatCam, people had entire albums online with comments and likes pouring in by the thousands,” explained Shakti Shaligram of Quidich. One of the challenges was of course, the massive scale, and maintaining simplicity in the process; “and to achieve that, we developed proprietary technology which linked our drones directly to the Facebook walls of the fans”.

But the opportunities outweighed the challenges. The audience could get up-close with the drones, which tease the ultimate human fantasy – flight. “Drones excite audiences universally, but are perceived as inaccessible”; however, this broke that perception.

“Because the content was great images at the Festival, our audience wanted to post the images to their own timelines instead of being tagged on the event page,” Quidich pointed out. The festival-goers didn’t have to use any complicated technology to interact with the drone. In the end, their timelines looked as happy as their faces, reflecting the thrill of spotting and summoning a flying drone to click pictures of them!

Bacardi BatCam_1

So what would Quidich want to do differently, if they were to do this again? “In our efforts to create the simplest and smoothest experience, we had to use a sophisticated image recognition software which had a certain error rate, which had to be compensated for by manual intervention. In future, we would like to use technologies such as RFID which are immune to light conditions and environmental disturbances,” explained the agency.

Other than that, it was all a big happy moment for Quidich when the drone took off. Getting to know of this project and Quidich through the Kyoorius Digital Awards 2015, gave us just as much joy. Wish we had a drone to ourselves too!

Quidich won a Blue Elephant for Bacardi BatCam at the 2015 Kyoorius Digital Awards, in the Innovative Use of Mobile Technology category. Have a look at all the In-book and Blue Elephant winners here.

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