Totino’s Bucking Couch
Imagine a mechanical bull. Now, take away the bull and replace it with a couch.
What do you get?
A Bucking Couch.
That’s right. It’s a fully custom, mechanical couch designed to spin, rock, vibrate, and buck anyone brave enough to ride it. And it is the newest addition to Totino’s Pizza Rolls’ “Live Free. Couch Hard.” campaign.
“The Bucking Couch is a real life manifestation of Totino’s living its brand purpose, which is to make the everyday epic,” says Brad Hiranaga, business unit director, Pizza and Tacos. “For our fans, spending their free time unapologetically indulging in their favorite form of entertainment like gaming is most definitely epic. So, Totino’s is amping up the entertainment and creating an opportunity for them to participate in the fun.”
So who gets to sit on the couch? More on that, in a bit.
The idea was brought to the Totino’s team by 72andSunny.
“We’re all about celebrating the freedom to do what you want. And sometimes there’s nothing you want more than to stay in and couch hard by binging on your favorite shows, or playing video games until the sun comes up … all while crushing pizza rolls,” says Adam Szajgin, creative director, 72andSunny. “But ‘couching’ takes commitment. So the idea for the Bucking Couch came from the simple thought of actually making couching hard – like, mechanical bull hard. From there we partnered with a team of engineers to bring this wild, first of its kind, piece of furniture to life.”
Street Factory Media in Minneapolis made the Bucking Couch a reality.
Marie Bergen, executive producer at Street Factory Media, says making the Bucking Couch consisted of 60 percent creativity and 40 percent engineering.
“We took 72andSunny’s direction and thought about how to make this couch look as natural as possible while maintaining a safe experience for the user,” she says. “We did this by creating a structurally sound aluminum armature embedded within dense and soft foam. Using skills our team learned as sculptors, we achieved the look they wanted. Through the help of an upholsterer, we customized a slip cover that could hold up to constant use and abuse this couch will see throughout its life.”
Street Factory Media consulted with an expert in mechanical bulls to ensure the Bucking Couch included custom movements for an exciting ride.
“The Bucking Couch required us to incorporate several specific motions that are not traditionally on a mechanical bull – including vertical, vibrate, and reclining movements,” says Bergen. “The traditional movements included spin and buck. All the movements except recline run off hydraulic motors. The recline movement is powered by compressed co2 which drives a piston.”
Brad believes that Totino’s marketing needs to not just say it’s about Living Free and Couching Hard, it also needs to live it.
“Beyond our campaign, our team is committed to fostering the Totino’s lifestyle, which is about maximizing fun, celebrating absurdity and indulging in life altering entertainment,” he says. “With the Bucking Couch, we’re creating our own ‘Live Free. Couch Hard.’ experience. If you’re riding or controlling the Bucking Couch, then you’re most definitely living the Totino’s lifestyle.”
The couch will debut during “The Totino’s Bucking Couch Bowl” on Sunday, February. 7, at 2 p.m. (Central), during a four-hour livestream event on Twitch, the leading social video platform and community for gamers to watch and talk about video games. According to Twitch, the site has more than 100 million unique viewers per month and 106 minutes of Twitch stream is watched per person per day.
“From the couch, gaming influencers will take turns playing games, but the real control lies with our fans,” says Justin Wright, creative director, 72andSunny. “Using the Twitch chat room, viewers will be able to tune in and take charge of the bucking motions and environment around the gamers to add an unprecedented level of difficulty.”
Hear Brad talk about the Bucking Couch and Twitch in this audio clip.
Viewers will vote in real time and use the Twitch chat to command how they want to see the couch buck.
“Since only one player will sit on the Bucking Couch at a time, the second player will have to deal with other surprise disruptors to their gameplay, which will also be controlled by the Twitch viewers,” says Brad. “There are a bunch of additional distractions that will come into play, which may or may not include flying Pizza Rolls.”
The Bucking Bowl won’t be the couch’s only rodeo, though.
“The Totino’s Bucking Couch will be a centerpiece of experiential events that celebrate our fans’ passions,” Brad says. “The Bucking Couch was engineered for our consumers to take a ride on, so we’ll be taking it across the U.S. to events where we can ramp up their entertainment and pizza roll eating experience.”
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