Making Leap Motion More Human, Less Minority Report In A New Campaign

Dojo San Francisco and director Samuel Bennetts give the hi-tech device a personal touch.

When Leap Motion first unveiled its gesture control device for PCs and laptops last year, it unleashed a collective nerdgasm among technophiles who couldn’t wait to ditch their keyboard and mouse for a set-up that looked more like Tony Stark’s.


But when the company’s flash drive-sized device was finally released, there was some grumbling it wasn’t quite the hardware killer many thought it would be. Despite any mild disappointment that our Minority Report future hadn’t arrived just yet, the company has been quick to answer critics by doubling its number of apps to about 150 since the summer and getting rave reviews for its new sculpting app Free Form.

Leap Motion has already been integrated into another brand’s product–the HP Envy laptop–but the question is, could the company establish a clear identity of its own? If Apple has taught us anything, it’s that great technology is more powerful when paired with strong branding. Enter Dojo.

The San Francisco-based agency was asked to take the technology and make it relevant and realistic to consumers for today, as opposed to some far-off future. The result is a collection of ads, directed by Samuel Bennetts, that uses rich, warm visuals of happy people making music, making art, exploring space and science.

“We started with the idea of exploring what hands and fingers do already,” says agency creative director Carla Madden, who also happens to be the voice of the campaign. “We see the amazing dexterity they have, how they can communicate things words don’t, provide emotion and human contact, and then lead into all the incredible things your hands can do with Leap Motion.”

The ads give off an optimistic and accessible vibe designed to peel away any techie intimidation a new device like this might have for a broad audience. “They don’t want to be a faceless brand, they want to make these human connections with their product and that’s why the campaign looks the way it looks,” says Dojo executive creative director and partner Mauro Alencar. “It isn’t a futuristic world, it’s people right now having fun with their content.”

Alencar knows many people were expecting to completely control their OS from the get-go but his aim is that the new campaign will go beyond that. “The magic isn’t just in OS control,” he says. “There is Leap Motion beatboxing that is ridiculous. That’s the kind of thing people should know about.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.