The Making of Oreo WonderchutesApril 19, 2016
Recently The Ideamongery was given the exciting opportunity to work with the creative minds of Mojanation in an imaginative campaign for one of our favourite sneaky treats… Oreo! We were asked to develop and create 2000 bespoke miniature Oreo parachutes as well as a way to drop them from the sky in a ‘wonderfilled’ way. The campaign was all about high energy, smiles, rainbows and happy vibes. We were of course super thrilled to be a part of the process! Back at The Ideamongery, we started by putting our diverse minds together and brainstormed thousands of parachute configurations, packaging and deployment options. After copious amounts of coffee, scamps, cardboard cut-outs, material origami and workshop time we came up with a few really fun, great looking and viable solutions. Some of our favourite deployment methods were an air cannon, hand held sling and large customised balloon blimp.
After consultation with our client, we decided to go for the multiple air cannon option, because lets be honest you can’t beat air cannons, they are just power! Of course with any idea you run the risk of encountering a few problems and this was no exception. We initially looked at outsourcing the hand held cannons but to our surprise and dismay we found out that there were no suppliers of t-shirt cannons or the like in South Africa and our dwindling exchange rate made importing them unfeasible… No problem… 'We will just make them" said Dan Carstens our fearless and ever knowledgeable production manager. So that’s exactly what we did because #wemakestuff! In our initial experimentation we began by using small 12g C02 tanks and standard plumbing fixtures but let’s just say this left us with a rather pitiful and sad deployment. So moving onward we decided to go bigger much… much bigger with 20 ounce paintball tanks which we fired between 12 and 24 bar. As we blasted the parachutes into the sky the sweet sounding ‘scabooosh’ filled the air at Montecasino as we preformed our test shoot! Ahhh success we thought… but were we now over compensating? I mean it’s not about the size it’s how you use it right? More importantly the risks involved with such high pressure tanks can be quite catastrophic if dropped or misused. In an attempt to make our air cannons as user friendly and as safe as possible we ventured forward into our last developmental phase. Finally we customised a standard 1 litre pressure rated tank which allowed us to fill it to the exact pressure (100 psi) which we would need for our application using a standard compressor. This gave us more control of the process and lowered the air pressure risks, at this stage we were 100% happy and ready to move forward (have a look at our development below).
The final cannon designs were based on the tested working prototype and an organic, ergonomic and amorphous skin was developed to create a fun and approachable feel. The surfaces were vacuum formed from a thermoform plastic and finished to a high gloss Oreo specified blue. Additionally, the clear muzzles added to the enticement of the cannon as the parachutes were visible within the tubes. The translucent rainbow coloured candy strips on the muzzles reflected the bright and lively campaign.
The production phase also saw us printing sheets of nylon into rainbow coloured parachute patterns through dye sublimation. We lay the sheets over netted material then heat sealed and cut them using a hot tipped blade. This nifty method ensured that the two layers remained aligned during sewing. 2000 finished mini parachutes later and we began attaching their customised dye cut Oreo cookie packaging which had been developed through numerous previous iterations. Lots and lots aaaand lots of folding later and ta-dah the pre-packed and folded parachutes were ready to take to the skies!
The day had finally come to spread the joy and wonder through the Oreochutes and we were so excited! With stationary and customised hand held cannons at the ready, we were all set for the great surprise. The parachutes were top secret and we were eager to see how everyone would react as we blasted the Oreochutes into the sky for the first time. We lined up for the count down where the large crowd had gathered in anticipation, the excitement was tangible…4…3…2…1…BANG! The folded Oreochutes soared high into the blue sky accompanied by streaks of joyful rainbow confetti and as they slowed down, they opened up and gently drifted down to the crowd in a magical moment of wonder. The sight was spectacular and even we had goosebumps! The look of amazement on people’s faces was extremely memorable.
As the event went on, we fired parachutes periodically into the air for four consecutive days and each time was different but always wonderful! The wind was sometimes a challenge, but we managed to compensate for these tricky situations by aiming in an alternative direction. We were intrigued at how tactile people were as they always seemed to want to touch the Oreozookas which rested on the ‘wonderwagon’ between shots. At one stage a little girl walked past, tugged on her dad's pants pointed to the air cannon and asked ‘’Daddy, can I have one?’... So to sum it up, we had made a potentially dangerous air cannon look attractive, approachable and fun… hmmm… job well done we’d say! What was even more interesting, was the high value that people began to place on the parachutes and many children (and adults) fought tooth and nail to get one. All we can say is that there were many extremely happy smiles as well as a few large eyed, wobbly mouthed ‘puss in boots’ moments. In a lot of cases children were more interested in having the parachute than the prize token that it held, which we of course loved!
What a great project this was! We loved everyone that we met and worked with along the way in bringing Mojanation's concept for Oreo to fruition! It was so incredible to watch people interact with the parachutes which we had made and their positive response was really rewarding. We learnt so much making the cannons and parachutes and if there’s one thing we love at The Ideamongery, its knowledge! Although challenging, it was an absolute pleasure and awesome experience being the #wondermakers. This was certainly a top project and now we will be dreaming of Oreos for days… nom nom!