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Talking to Yourself: Orange's Digital Time Travel
By: Jennifer Graber
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Have you ever wanted to talk to yourself? And I don’t mean in a way that would cause others to be concerned for your health; more in a sense that you desired to impart wisdom on your youthful self. Or, perhaps you have wished that your future self would make a special appearance to give you assurance. And maybe that same futuristic version of yourself could provide a glimpse of what your life may look like years from now. That may be possible, in a sense.
The “Future Self” Campaign was recently launched to give you a chance to talk to yourself in a sane manner. Publicis and Jam3 created the campaign for Orange, a European communications company. To participate in the “Future Self” Campaign you visit the website and upload a photo of yourself. The website uses facial motion software to detect and map your facial features, which is then used to create a 3D model of your future self. The software sets your model age for twenty years from now.
After uploading the image you must grant the website/software permission to access your microphone and/or keyboard. Then the fun begins. The “Future Self” campaign software allows you to then interact with, well, your future self. You can ask yourself questions and just chat in general. The interaction is somewhat limited at this time. However, I would expect that to change based on the potential for success of Orange’s campaign.
The idea behind the “Future Self” campaign is to celebrate Orange’s 20th anniversary. The company wanted to connect with the younger, tech-savvy generations. Orange also wanted to encourage those younger generations to embark on a journey with them for the next twenty years. Orange’s, Publicis’, and Jam3’s campaign is novel and creative. It is likely to catch some positive attention. The “Future Self” campaign is a catchy, strategic move.
However, am I alone in feeling a bit like Hermione Grainger? Remember in The Prisoner of Azkaban when she warned Harry Potter about how awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time? Honestly, this digital stunt is either really great or slightly creepy. I am not sure how excited I would be about actually talking to a future version of myself. Sure, we have all wanted to change the course of our lives or wonder about what we would look like twenty years from now. But somehow this seems a bit different.  
Will you be uploading your image to Orange’s site and talking to yourself?

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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