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Lucy the Robot

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Double Robotics created a telepresence robot with the desire to push the device into the Australian market. The device allows a user to manoeuvre the robot from their home or office, and to interact with the world via video and audio devices. 

Agency Atomic 212 had two targets: generate buzz around the unknown brand and generate enough leads to cover the campaign budget. Primary: Launch Double Robotics Telepresence Robot to the Australasian market. Secondary: Support existing North American and UK activity. 

The marketing challenge was harnessed on a poor awareness surrounding Robots. In essence, there is no category in Australia. The consumer robots category is a fledgling category globally. Some markets like Japan are more advanced in this space, but in Australia, from a business and consumer perspective, this was an untouched area.  

Awareness of the brand in Australia was essentially nil. Where normally this would be considered a disadvantage, the agency decided to turn this into its advantage by tapping into the fact that customers had absolutely no preconceptions of robots. Therefore, the territory of robots presented a wonderful opportunity to engender the imagination and interest of customers. Due to the broad nature of the brief, the audience was also broad – consumers in Australia, Asia, North America, UK – essentially consumers from around the globe.  

Atomic 212 proceeded to conceptualise an immensely ambitious campaign titled 'Lucy the Robot'. In essence, it identified the launch of the iPhone 6s as a suitable platform and set about developing an idea to add relevance and entertainment to all those fixated on the event. It wanted to piggy-back on the event in a unique way that made consumers and the media welcome Double Robotics, and its robot, to the event.   

The agency targeted technology adopters, as well as younger consumers in the 18-35 age bracket who had disposable income. Just as important were business consumers, as this was simultaneously a B2B and a B2C brief – it targeted businesses with office environments who were most likely to be interested in the Double device. 


Consumer Insight: Absolute relevance and absolute entertainment drive fanaticism. The agency needed a launch platform that would cost almost nothing, provide powerful positive mass reach and add value to everyone’s experience. Some would say it was asking the impossible. 

Robots ignite the imagination. But they can also lack personality. The agency recognised the need to create an engaging story surrounding the robot. It needed to ignite the imagination while simultaneously building a story of the robot as a useful, functional … being, if you will. The robot needed a personality.  

Strategic Concept: Seek out and identify a positive, almost fanatical world event of such significance that the eyes of customers and media would be focused on it. Give the robot personality, drive massive user generated content and, more importantly, drive massive media generated content. 

Support: The campaign was driven by PR, digital outreach, content marketing and social media. Once the concept had been developed, the agency targeted a number of mainstream publications like or The Australian, and television programmes like The Project, as well as well-known technology websites like Mashable. It suspected that if it targeted the right media, there would be a snowball effect where media outlets would end up approaching them. It approached digital, print, radio and television sources. This was the most effective way to satisfy the ‘make us famous’ brief.  

The secondary phase came immediately after the mainstream phase – the agency used the hype surrounding Lucy the Robot to target specific business titles and programmes regarding the practical uses of the device in the workplace.  

A microsite was developed to support lead generation and sales which funneled sales leads, as well as a number of videos and social media profiles into the sales engine. The search marketing push which was driven predominantly by search engine optimisation and backlinks was in support. 


Atomic 212 identified the launch of the iPhone 6s and set about developing an idea to add relevance and entertainment to all those fixated on the event. To add a human element, it focused the execution on Lucy Kelly, the girl behind the device by placing the humanoid robot outside the George Street Apple store in Sydney to line up for the global release of the iPhone 6s. It sat in the torrential weather for days and interacted constantly with others in the queue, the media and public onlookers. On the other end of the device was Lucy Kelly, who controlled it from her home and office. Lucy drove the device from her office to the Apple store and waited in line (via the robot) for two days. 

The agency took the global hype surrounding the iPhone 6s launch, combined it with cool, new technology, then added a human element – it was a recipe for success. It then created compelling content around the story and seeded it across digital.  

With Sydney being the first Apple store to release the iPhone globally, the robot or droid was the first to buy it globally. The story simple was: Robot buys first iPhone 6s in the world. The story was fun, exciting and exceptionally consumer- and media-engaging. 


Reach: The story was covered in 4,000 stories across print and broadcast – including The Australian, Gizmodo, BRW, Seven News, Nine News, The AFR, Mashable. Globally, it was translated into 32 languages, reaching 123 million people in total, with an average frequency of 7. Estimated media value of $73.2 million. 

Sales and leads: 12,452 enquiries generated in 72 hours - $44,777,392 in sales opportunities.  

Brand: recall +780%; brand favourability +1200%. 

Innovation: The Robot was first out of the Apple store - the first iPhone 6s sold was bought by a robot. 

The campaign period was a short burst of intense activity, and results were recorded across a 72-hour period. In other words, there was a direct link between this activity and the results. The cost per thousand people reached was $0.12 (Total cost of $15,000, reaching 123 million people). 

The agency’s task was to generate leads and brand awareness – from an overall campaign budget of $15,000 it generated $44.8 million in sales opportunities. As an added benefit the Apple store PR team invited the Robot to be part of its own marketing effort with invitations to a red carpet event, publicity shots and onsite videos. 

The results were remarkable by both Australia and global standards and according to the Mobile Marketing Association have set new benchmarks for true, genuine viral media campaigns.

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