Mr Wasted Bin gets drunk for a litter-free NH7 Weekender

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : December 24, 2013
An interactive waste bin was installed as an activation aimed to tackle the 'littering' issue at Bacardi NH7 Weekender held in Pune.

Lack of hygiene in India's public places is not a new occurrence. It has stayed in the country for many generations and littering still continues to be a long standing issue at any public function.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender

Vijay Nair

Amit Basak

The aftermath of any great party or music festival sadly bears evidence only with the amount of empty booze-laden cups lying around. Persuading spirited fest goers to be responsible is an uphill task, especially with a traditional 'don't litter' campaign.

Only Much Louder (OML), the company which conceptualised and runs the music festival NH7 Weekender, came up with an interactive waste bin that gets drunk with the festival-goers. This activation was aimed to tackle the 'littering' issue at Bacardi NH7 Weekender held in Pune in October.

Conceptualised by Webchutney, the activation was called Mr Wasted Bin and it gave fest goers an engaging reason to not litter after drinking. The activation used a six feet modified waste bin which engaged with merrymakers and left a message. Real alcohol sensors were used inside the bin to detect the amount of alcohol in each cup. These real time readings were synced with a database of over 500 progressively 'drunk' dialogues. As more cups went inside the bin, it spoke in a more drunken manner to the fest goers.

Mr. Wasted Bin was installed outside the Dub Station arena in Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Pune, a few yards away from the bar.

Speaking about the idea, Vijay Nair, founder, Only Much Louder, says, "While the objective of reducing waste stayed, the key was to do it in a way that adds value to the entire Bacardi NH7 Weekender experience, without being a hindrance to it. And Mr. Wasted Bin delivered that. This has proved technology needn't just be 'cool' or 'share worthy' but also effective, and used to spread the right message."

The Wasted Bin was connected to an XBOX Kinect to detect movement of people around it. On detection, the bin spoke out and encouraged people to throw their cups inside it. Besides, there were motion sensors next to the lid of the bin to know exactly when it's opened and other sensors to detect the drop of a cup.

The bin also had alcohol sensors to gauge the level of alcohol inside the bin, using fumes emitted from the cups. Two high powered speakers were installed to blast each dialogue and there was an actual, smaller waste bin inside to collect the cups.

Amit Basak, creative director, Webchutney, says, "It's funny - you turn your head and there it is, it's a pretty big trash bin, talking and winking, and being drunk! A lot of hacking came together to make this possible - a thorough do-it-yourself (DIY) exercise done with a set of brilliant hands."

Basak adds that the agency could have gotten away with just one speaker and a regular looking bin. But by adding in some retro scan-line eyes, robotic kiosk-like stance and voice, and topping it off with gloss red paint and blue contrasting vinyl, they ended up with an immediate head turner for anyone around.

Word about the 'talking dustbin at the Dub Station' organically spread around the fest, and the bin was surrounded during peak hours of the fest by inebriated fest goers waiting to throw their cup in and get entertained. Each of them turned into socially responsible citizens without even realising it!

Bacardi, the title sponsors of NH7, did a pilot installation earlier in the year at Club Lemp in Gurgaon, where, after a night of partying, people were made to walk on a straight yellow line by placing one foot in front of the other until they reached the other side. If and when the person reached the end of the strip, a set of lasers further confirmed that he or she was sober enough to drive. The lasers, placed on either side of the strip, detected deviations to trigger an alarm if the patron failed the test: the person was provided a chauffeur-driven cab for the drive back home.

NH7 Weekender is a music festival conceptualised and started by OML. It is organised in Pune every year, but is being held now in Delhi, Bengaluru and for the first time, in Kolkata.

First Published : December 24, 2013
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