David Perez is a Chicago based recruiter for Leo Burnett. He convinced his bosses to let him go to the Cannes Film Festival under one condition: he had to wear a webcam attached to his glasses the entire time and do anything (yes, anything) that his Twitter followers request. Thus, David on Demand was born.
So far, he’s had to get a tattoo of the Twitter fail whale, buy balloons for children, pole dance and generally make a fool of himself in public, all the while talking to his Twitter followers.
David (or rather, by the sound of it, David’s PR people) was kind enough to answer a couple of questions before his trip via email:
Q: Tell us a little about how this idea went from a scheme for a free trip to a legitimate ticket to Cannes.
It is widely known that I have always wanted to go to Cannes. So when I learned about this social media adventure, I quickly volunteered and helped sell it into my boss.
David on Demand is a social media experiment that takes living vicariously to the next level. It is created by Leo Burnett and combines three very important elements in modern marketing – spontaneity, creativity and real-time technology. For 24 hours a day, six days straight, I will be your eyes and ears at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Q: What I like about this PR stunt is that you are not an actor or an intern, but a creative recruiter. How do you think this will help with recruitment?
It will help recruitment tremendously! Cannes is all about creative talent and networking, and I am the guy who can help people connect the dots. Always wanted to work in advertising? I can show the world not at Cannes what it’s really like and my followers can direct me to talk to people they have always looked up to or want to learn from. Or, people can send me a link to their portfolio and it just may end up in front of key decision makers at Cannes.
Q: Do you have a budget for what you can spend on activities people request on Twitter? What do you want to do the most?
I’m hoping that both advertising enthusiasts and inquisitive consumers take the opportunity to Tweet me to attend the most sought after seminars, meet with creative luminaries, and participate in the award ceremonies. But let’s be honest here, I’m sure people will tell me to jump in a fountain or yell something spontaneously in the middle of a speech. And then you’ll have your crazy boundary-pushing requests that I won’t do. I have limits.
But again, I hope people seize the opportunity to tell me to interview people they want to hear and learn from, send them their portfolios so I can check them out, or help me chart his journey at Cannes so I can deliver what’s going on to the folks back home.
Q: Tell us a bit about what technology you’re using to pull this off.
I am sporting web-enabled glasses, a backpack with a mobile live streaming device, around the clock access to my Twitter feed and a dedicated “on-demand” crew. I will be the most connected man at Cannes! I am wearing a backpack that essentially holds six 3G phones connected to 11 antennas that will grab signals and broadcast his experiences live to David on Demand. I am wearing a camera on my glasses that will take and record everything I do for 24 hours a day for six days. The live feed will be sent to Justin.tv for the world to see. The site actually has three channels – the main screen and two additional angles of David on Demand. Viewers will be able to view the different channels and even see what I experienced earlier in the day.
I love this stunt. David isn’t a paid actor, nor is he an intern. He’s a fearless recruiter and he’s really entertaining to watch! And if a recruiter is willing to pull a bold, attention getting stunt like this, what does it say about the company? Would you want to work someplace like this? I would.