Driven by
Mind Control

Yes, really!




Experiential and Innovation

The brief

An #Epic demonstration
of smarter driving

Your car insurance premium will soon be calculated by the readings from the telematics box inside your engine. This Big Brother gadget measures your rates of acceleration and braking, top speeds, and the location and time of day you are driving. So for cheap insurance, it won’t be enough to have a clean driving record, you’ll need to continually demonstrate safer, smarter driving. And this ‘smarter driving’ message is what MoneySuperMarket wanted Splendid to get across, in the most epic way possible.


Our Brains
To Work

We started scribbling down increasingly far-fetched uses of creative technology. Then some bright spark at Splendid piped up, "How about we build a mind-controlled car?". We laughed. And then wondered, what if? Computer driven cars have been proven by Google’s self-driving car. And EEG headsets that enable you to control basic computer commands have been around for a few years. So what if we put them together?

Firstly, we needed a full-size remote control car. Enter, Dr James Brighton and his robot driven BMW. Then we needed to connect the EEG headset to James’ robot, and find a way of turning brainwaves into steering commands - think left, turn left, think right, turn right. After A LOT of calibrating, testing, calibrating, and testing again, we got it working. #EPICMindDrive was ready. Now it was time to find some drivers.

your head

Splendid had recruited a number of very excited driving and tech writers, plus celebrity brainiac Carol Vorderman. We were tasked with finding a member of the public to join them on the test track, by creating a competition which required drivers to use their heads.

We created a dual-screen game in which players used their mobiles as controllers and desktops as monitors. Once they’d dialled in on their mobile via Skype or Facetime, we used face-tracking software to turn tilts of their head (captured through their phone’s camera) into driving commands - tilt head left, turn car left. The person who navigated our Tron-like track in the quickest time won the chance to drive our mind-controlled car.

The result

Ready, Steady, Think!

Two days of filming produced #epic video content of our drivers battling with their brains and mastering our mind-controlled car.

Once Splendid seeded the story and video to publications and websites, and backed this up with strategic search advertising and SEO, news quickly spread. The success of the campaign has since been recognised with award nominations from Marketing Agencies Association and UK Search Awards.