Monday, July 17, 2006


This spot was for “LawnMiser”, a device that measures the moisture content in your yard and adjusts the sprinklers for optimal saturation. The client wanted an attention grabbing spot, and that’s always good to hear, but how do you convey the technical aspects of the product without sounding clinical?

The concept I came up with was to show what would happen if someone built (Rube Goldberg style) a contraption to do the same thing. One neighbor would have the eyesore contraption, while the other would have the elegant end effective LawnMiser.

Here is a rough sketch of the device:
(click to enlarge)

As the water from the sprinkler fills the umbrella with water, it pulls an arm down.

As the arm moves an indicator dial moves from “dry” to “wet”. While the umbrella moves down, the other end of the arm moves up, pulling a rope, this rope, attached via pulleys, pulls a boot (mine) up. Simultaneously, as the arm moves, a pair of scissors (connected via cables and pulleys) is pulled closed, eventually cutting the rope, thereby dropping the boot, falling on a valve, shutting off the water supply to the sprinklers.

What’s amazing is:

a) I was able to build this thing out of parts lying around.

b) It actually kind of worked. (almost, would have…)

As I was putting this thing together I also thought it would be cool to dis-assemble the unit 98% and with the help of fishing line, film it falling apart. (although we did have a collapse during production that set us back about an hour…) As it turned out, I’m glad I did because even though it wasn’t in the original storyboards, It fit in very well at the end of the spot to bring home the point.

At any rate, you can download a copy of the spot here: