"There's something we miss when everything becomes virtual and goes online," says Tyler DeAngelo. "Tactile-ness gives it something that is more interesting and a deeper connection and makes it more meaningful." The ad executive invited us to Havas Worldwide's Chicago offices to show off his latest creation, and with Fifth Avenue Frogger, the Check 'N Chew Foursquare gumball machine and the Buzzed Buzzer under his belt, we took him up on the offer. His latest creation was born of the same desire to bridge the physical and the virtual. Created for a beer client, the bottle opener has Arduino Nano-based circuitry built-in, which connects with an Android handset via Bluetooth, sending texts to friends when you crack open a bottle.
"I'm definitely not the first person to say this, but creativity comes from finding meaningful relationships between things that already exist," explains DeAngelo. "Nothing I'm doing is going to change the world. A lot of the stuff I do is wasting people's time, but I still think that making someone think differently or making someone laugh or have fun -- wasting time is an important piece of innovation." It's also, naturally, an important part of engaging a public increasingly immune to sales pitches. Getting people's attention in an ad-saturated world requires a lot more than clever jingles. "i think the most innovative things in the media field should be happening inside ad agencies right now," DeAngelo adds. "If they're not, those who aren't innovating are going to be dead."