Client – S7 Airlines

Markets – Russia

Timing – April 2015

Agencies/Vendors – Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, Tellart

Tech Word Cloud – electroencephalogram, brain wave detecting, gamification, interactivity, outdoor experience

S7 Airlines’ The Imagination Machine allowed consumers to fly a virtual plane to the place of their dreams using just the power of their imagination.


S7 Airlines, Russia’s third biggest carrier, has a reputation for innovation. But few people are aware of S7 Airlines’ partnership with ‘oneworld’ (the world’s premier airline alliance) and even fewer appreciated what that meant for them as travellers. They wanted to put the wonder back into air travel and give the brand new stature by communicating that S7 can connect Russian travelers to 900+ destinations worldwide.


Focusing on the insight that ‘the place of your dreams is just one flight away,’ they developed The Imagination Machine – a machine that turned brains into game controllers and allowed users to fly a virtual plane to the place of their dreams by using only the power of their imagination. If participants were able to virtually maneuver the plane to their chosen destination successfully, they won a round-trip ticket to actually go there. If a player got distracted, the plane veered off course and they lost the game.


Participants were fitted with an EEG-brainwave headset and asked to choose a destination. The headset’s Biosensors monitored their focus as they attempted to fly the virtual plane across a 2-meter projection-mapped globe. They were able to calculate the flight path in real time via the brainwave information sent to the machine’s algorithm. Each participant had 45 seconds to make it to their chosen hotspot. The more people focused on their dream destination, the better the plane on the projection- mapped globe stayed on the ideal flight path.


Following the launch of the airline’s broader national campaign “Fly to Any Place You Can Imagine” in March, S7’s agency, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, and experience design and engineering firm, Tellart, partnered to create ‘The Imagination Machine.’ The focal point of a wider campaign, the stunt was held in April in Moscow’s Afimall City mall. Although the installation involved several complicated technologies, the team focused on keeping the end user experience very simple throughout the creative process.


Over 200 people took part throughout the day, with 49 successfully landing their plane and winning a round trip ticket to their chosen destination. Additionally – over 4,500 signed up to become S7 Airlines loyalty program members on the stunt day, bookings increased by 20% and unique site visitors increased by 53%. After the stunt, the story received more than 82 million earned views across global media and the event film received 1.3+million views in the first week.