Kids love pretending they're superheroes. They dress up as their favorite Marvel characters and leap around with abandon. Running and roughhousing, they throw caution to the wind and may even imagine they can fly.
Of course, such play can lead to injuries, even broken bones.
Thanks to an augmented reality initiative from the Meuhedet Health Fund in Israel, when kids do break their hands or arms, they can enjoy superhero perks to help brighten their recovery.
Applying a special band to their casts unlocks the experience. Scanned with a mobile device, the limb transforms on screen into a mighty appendage of power with retractable spikes, laser beams and more.
Kids can share footage of their super-hands in action. They can even download copies of the special band itself, so others can play along.
AR's been used before to aid sick kids. Cancer-focused efforts from Honda for the Children's Hospital of Orange County, and an app devised by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, proved exceptional. Here, the focus is lighter, the task less urgent. Still, for youngsters who are dealing with a broken limb for the first time, acquiring virtual superpowers could provide some comfort and ease their anxiety. (It's an immersive distraction, at any rate.)
BBR Saatchi & Saatchi's technology chief, Roy Zoaretz, came up with the idea after his young daughter fell and broke her hand. He wanted to show her that she was brave enough to triumph over such adversity, just like a superhero.
Agency staffers met with kids in focus groups to refine the concept, and worked with technologists at Appearia Co. to design the actual experience. The app needed to scan kids' arms while their limbs were in motion (that proved the toughest challenge), with an appealing, easy-to-use interface. Also, the effects couldn't mimic TV and film heroes too closely, as no licensing deals were involved.
Meuhedet is making the AR band available at two Tel Aviv orthopedic medical centers.
"We hope they will see the value of the program and decide to extend it nationwide," says BBR account manager Hilla Rahimi. "In the meantime, we have already started working on extending the superpowers. So, kids will have a wider range of 'bionic arms' to choose from, and will be able to switch it up."
That could help their moods and imaginations soar up, up and away as they heal.
Client: Meuhedet Health Fund
Agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi, Israel
Chief Executive Officer: Ben Muskal
Chief Creative Officer: Yaron Perel
Creative Director: Kobi Cohen
Copywriter: Nofar Birenbaum
Art Director: Shani Sofer
Chief Technology Officer: Roy Zoaretz
Project managers: Alina Yavsenko, Nofar Birenbaum
Digital Creative Director: Naor Itzhak
VP Client Services: Aviv Benzikri
Account Supervisor: Rotem Mizrachi Yoshia
Account Executive: Hilla Rahimi
Planning Information Specialist: Eva Hasson
VP Content & Production: Iris Yisraeli
Producers: Bosmat Ben David, Maya Palmon
Video Editor and Director: Leehou Porat
Studio BBR Manager: Yaron Keinan
Studio Traffic: Mor Hay
Traffic Director: Ronit Doanis
Studio BBR: Zehava Gonen Greenberg, Chen Ariel Graizman, Masha Varshitsky, Noam Carmel, Jenny Gindus, Dana Schossberger, Eyal Vinitzer, Gabi Levi Elkayam
App development: Appearia