Going out to the movies just isn’t as popular as it used to be. And it’s certainly not something people plan for in advance. For the launch of The Secret Life of Pets 2, Comcast and animation powerhouse Illumination Entertainment teamed up to generate some buzz—well, technically, barks. 

Comcast partnered with Goodby Silverstein & Partners and GMR to create an experiential campaign focused on social engagement and powered by technology. The main component? A bark-activated vending machine that promoted both The Secret Life of Pets 2 and the concept of voice-activated ordering, mimicking the capabilities of customers’ Xfinity Voice Remotes. 

When curious dog owners at dog parks pressed the larger-than-life Voice Remote button on the machine, they would hear one of a few familiar sounds that drive dogs wild. The vending machine would then listen for the dog to bark and once they did, the machine would dispense a bag of premium dog treats in a limited-edition, The Secret Life of Pets 2 branded bag. 

Inside the machine, our software engineers used machine learning technology to create and train a sophisticated neural network that could analyze sound and reliably identify when a dog barked in real time. On the outside, the brand message was the hero and we made sure that the movie and Voice Remote were the focus of all creative. 

We captured the experiences for social content leading up to the premier of The Secret Life of Pets 2. We also had social influencers at the dog park events, generating buzz among dog parents and fans online. The vending machine was a hit, generating significant buzz on social media and significant positive PR coverage.