Selling Your Car Virtually? Kelley Blue Book Made a Robot to Shake Your Hand Afterward

Zambezi introduces H.A.N.D.

What do you get when you cross a robot with a car dealer? We’re tempted to say, the fiery end of civilization as we know it. And ultimately, that may prove to be correct.

For now, though, you get Kelley Blue Book’s new brand mascot, the Haptic Android Navigable Dealmaker (H.A.N.D.), developed with ad shop Zambezi and the techies at Unlimited Tomorrow.

H.A.N.D. touts Kelley’s Instant Cash Offer promotion, which allows people to enter information about their cars online and receive cash offers that can be redeemed at participating dealers. Because such functionality bypasses the personal touch, the client built a jokey 5-foot-tall bot that connects visually to a live dealer and shakes hands like a pro.

Hey, wasn’t that a Dr. Who plot a few years back? (Of course it wasn’t. Daleks don’t make deals. Or throw in free floor mats. They just exterminate.)

“We targeted tech-forward car shoppers who appreciate convenience and cutting-edge accuracy when it comes to selling their cars,” Zambezi creative director Ben George tells AdFreak.

“It’s the perfect hybrid of a personal transportation device, a robotic hand and a telepresence system,” he says. “Car dealers wirelessly connect to a screen via webcam. Robot handshaking and movement are activated through a web-operated control system. The hand itself is triggered by user touch and responds by gripping and moving accordingly.”

The team considered fitting the bot with a more anthropomorphic hand, but decided that might be even creepier than a cold, hard fist of chunky 3-D printed plastic.

Its grip won’t pulverize delicate bones, right?

George assures us, “There’s a fail-safe to prevent hands from being crushed.”

Phew! Anyway, the mascot made its debut in February, pressing the flesh at the Cleveland Auto Show:

“Everyone in Cleveland wanted to shake the H.A.N.D.,” George recalls. “One guy grabbed the H.A.N.D. and wouldn’t let go until he received the price of a 2010 Cadillac ATS. The remote dealer onscreen used the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to look up the price on the spot.”

Well, that’s handy.

“There’s just one H.A.N.D. prototype for now,” he says. “We’re still fine-tuning it, but it would be great to deploy H.A.N.D. robots at car shows across the country.”

No doubt the cyber glad-handing battalions will roll off the assembly lines later on.

Oh, in case you were wondering: “H.A.N.D. is also pre-programmed to fist-bump and wave,” George says. “We’re still working on the high-five.”

Why bother? When that StubHub master kill-bot takes control of all the machines, H.A.N.D. will just give humanity the big thumbs-down.

Client: Kelley Blue Book

Agency: Zambezi
Chief Creative Officer: Gavin Lester
Executive Creative Director: Josh DiMarcantonio
Creative Directors: Ben George, Nick Rodgers
Sr. Art Director: Max Pollak
Sr. Copywriter: Brian Hallisey
Executive Director of Technology: Justice Erolin
Head of Content: Alex Cohn
Sr. Digital Producer: Ziv Sibony
Group Account Director: Chris Einhauser
Account Supervisor: Noelle Belling
Director of Communications Planning: Danielle Pak
Group Strategy Director: Ryan Richards

Production Company: Blink Studios
Director: Andrew Gage
Director of Photography: Joe Picard
Line Producer: Jordan Sider

Editorial: Blink Studios
Senior Editor: Ling Ly
Editor: Stacy Auckland
Assistant Editors: Alec Ernest, Dustin Mulstay

Audio: KillTheMess/Enger
Mixer: Sean McDonald

Color Correction: Apache
Colorist: Taylor Black
Executive Producer: LaRue Anderson
Producer: Caitlin Forrest

Flame Artist: Ling Ly / Jameson DeSantis

Music Supervision: APM Music

Song: Human Ingenuity A
Composed [and Performed by] Mark Cousins, Adam Saunders

Robot Build: Unlimited Tomorrow

Robot Fabrication: Flix FX

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