Events in malls are the tried and true way of getting the word out to many people at once, but this is a million miles away from your usual stand, sales people and humdrum prizes. In a busy Moscow mall, S7 Airlines’ Imagination Machine gave shoppers the opportunity to see how far they could travel using only the power of their imagination. Part of the Russian airline’s recent - ‘Fly to any place you can imagine’ campaign, the installation put the wonders of the world in the grasp of anyone who could truly stay focused on their dream destination.

Created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam in collaboration with Tellart, the Imagination Machine sees a participant steer a small physical plane on a large 2-meter projection-mapped globe with the power of their brain. Seated in front of the globe and having first been instructed to choose their destination, users are fitted with an EEG-brainwave headset that monitors brain activity throughout gameplay via a forehead biosensor and which determines a participant’s level of focus. This brainwave information is then sent from the EEG headset to the Imagination Machine’s algorithm that calculates the flight path in real-time to control and maneuver the plane.

Starting halfway around the globe, each participant had 45-seconds to make it to their chosen destination. Once the game begins two paths appear on the globe – the ideal flight path that takes you to your destination fastest, and a flight path that follows the user’s level of focus. The more focused a user is on their dream destination the closer the plane stays to the ideal flight path.  If a user gets distracted by the crowd or thinks about what they will have for dinner for example, the plane will veer off course. But if they could stay focused and guide the plane to their dream destination within the given time, a return trip to their destination is won. This is kind of amazing, guys.

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Creative Directors, Szymon Rose and Daniel Schaefer, comment:

"It’s very exciting when you think of being able to steer a plane just by using your imagination. What makes this idea even more engaging though is the fact that we empower people to use their imagination to physically travel somewhere that they dream of going in the world. The Imagination Machine proves that the old saying ‘if you dream it, you can do it’ is actually true."

Matt Cottam, CCO at Tellart Amsterdam said:

"It is incredible to live in a time when we can access almost every corner of our planet through sensors, video feeds and global communications that are practically free. Even with the highest-fidelity connections, the sense of virtual presence in a remote location will always pale in comparison to the real experience of being there–the sounds of a street, the smell of food, the light, the faces of strangers. The Imagination Machine combines sensing with a digital Earth and the exciting opportunity to travel the real world in all of its color."

The Imagination Machine stunt was held last week in Moscow’s Afimall City mall. Over 200 people took part throughout the day, with 50 participants winning a round trip to their dream destination along with 5,000 S7 Airlines miles. Those who took part, but who weren’t successful in landing their plane also walked away with 5,000 air miles. Everybody wins!

WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM Executive Creative Directors Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy Creative Directors Daniel Schaefer & Szymon Rose Art Director Vasco Vicente Copywriter Evgeny Primachenko Head of Content Joe Togneri Head of Interactive Production Kelsie Van Deman Broadcast Producer Judd Caraway Planner Nick Docherty Group Account Director Kirk Johnsen Account Director Nick Campion Account Executive Yulia Prokhorova Head of Studio Jackie Barbour Creative Technologist Kees Plattel Studio Artist Noa Redero Project Manager Stacey Prudden Business Affairs Kacey Kelley INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE DESIGN & PRODUCTION TELLART Executive Creative Director Matt Cottam Creative Director Paul Skinner Art Director Ivor Williams Producer Charlie Ledbetter Design Lead Christian Ervin Senior Designer Zaza Zuilhof Senior Technologist Pierluigi Dalla Rosa, Kuan-Ju Wu FILM PRODUCTION PRODUCTION COMPANY WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM / OPERATOR AMSTERDAM Producer Pavel Ananich (Operator) Agency Producer Judd Caraway (W+K) Director John Filipe (W+K) Editing John Filipe, Robin Pijpers (W+K) FILM & INSTALLATION SOUND DESIGN PRODUCTION COMPANY WAVE STUDIOS Sound Editing Alex Nicholls-Lee, Juan Pablo Thummler Sound Design and Mix Alex Nicholls-Lee, Randall Macdonald