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Sweet Tweets

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Brand communications agency Uniform has created a very tangible way to reward its employees every time the team gets a new Twitter follower – by giving them sweets.

Every time the @uniformtweets account gets a new follower, a hacked cuckoo clock releases a gum ball onto a Heath Robinson-esque contraption, which weaves its way to the desk of a hungry employee.

The system – called Sweet Tweet – uses Arduino to monitor any new followers on Twitter. Up to 60 gumballs are stored within a shoot in the clock (one for each “minute” within the clock mechanism). As a new person follows the account, the mechanism is activated, releasing a gumball at the same time as a train whistle noise.

Each new follower then gets sent a link to the film that the agency made, explaining the project (above). The project was born out of the agency’s research platform ULAB.

Pete Thomas, Uniform’s Future Director, told “Gumballs aren’t perfect. If we can get chocolate footballs to work, it would be more popular amongst staff… but they don’t work as well in the shoot.”

He added: “It could get pretty disruptive if we get a load of followers!”
Sweet Tweet is what Uniform describes as a “physical app” — objects that are connected to the internet to perform tasks that enable users to access information or services intuitively without using a standard interface like a mouse, keyboard or touchscreen.

“Sweet Tweet is very much a project for us and our twitter followers,” Thomas explains, “but we think that as mobile touchscreens become ubiquitous, we’re increasingly going to see brands rely on physical apps to create more engaging real-world internet enabled experiences.

“Smartphones are great, but using a touch screen is a fairly bland experience — why should I perceive getting a new follower, or a message from my kids, the same way as I would an email from the bank or a calendar alert? We’re excited by the opportunities that sit beyond the screen.”

If you want to reward the team at Uniform, follow them at @uniformtweets.

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