Midnight Oil Takes Robot to College for SoftBank

By Erik Oster 

To promote SoftBank Robotics, the company’s agency of record, Midnight Oil took its humanoid robot, Pepper to campus—more specifically to the University of Southern California’s Los Angeles campus, as well as tech stores in Palo Alto and Santa Monica.

The agency recently launched a case study video showing Pepper’s stay at USC, where it served the dual purpose of driving traffic to The Ave’s clothing store located on the third floor of the campus bookstore. Pepper can be seen interacting with customers at the location and attracting curious passers-by in the door.

The activation, which kicked off on October 18 and ran for three days, increased foot traffic some 20 percent and increased revenue by three times. There was also an accompanying social media campaign involving Pepper taking selfies with customers, utilizing the hashtag “#PepperGoesToSchool.” Pepper helped drive up engagement for the brand, with a 98 percent increase in customer interactions and a 129 percent increase in total mentions.

“This is where technology meets art – robotics will be facets of our daily life in a few years, and I’m incredibly excited about the trifecta of interaction, commerce, and hardware that Pepper brings to stores everywhere,” SoftBank product manager Nicholas Beucher said in a statement.