2nd March 2015, 3:35pm
Creative industry accolade for ‘Control Joe’ internet experiment
'Control Joe' An advertising student who put control of his life in the hands of thousands of internet viewers to raise awareness of a serious neurological condition is one of two undergraduates from the University of Lincoln, UK, named as finalists in a major international competition for the creative industries.

Joe Lovett, an undergraduate on the University of Lincoln’s Creative Advertising degree course, challenged the public to ‘Control Joe’. With a camera attached to his head, streaming live footage via his Twitch.tv internet channel, Joe invited viewers to send him instructions which would determine his next movements.

The project was launched in response to a brief set by global advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy. The agency invited young creatives to use the power of the internet for good and to ‘make the world a better place from your bedroom’.

Joe and fellow Creative Advertising student Jack Snell saw the opportunity to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The competition attracted entries from around the world, and the Lincoln team were named as one of the agency’s top ten submissions.

The ‘Control Joe’ project was designed to highlight the difficulties encountered on a daily basis by people living with MS, by attempting to mirror a certain lack of control over one’s own life. The live stream was viewed by an audience of more than 4,000 people and, through donations, the project has so far raised around £1,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

MS is a neurological condition which affects around 100,000 people in the UK, with most people diagnosed between the ages of 20-40. The condition affects the central nervous system and disrupts messages travelling around the body.

Joe said: “We appreciate that this experiment may not have even scratched the surface of what people with MS experience on a daily basis. However, we are delighted that it has captured people’s imagination and started a conversation about the condition, which can take away a person’s ability to control their own life.

“’Control Joe’ has received such a fantastic response that we are now keen to extend its reach even further. We would love to continue the experiment on a much larger scale – making it bigger and better, and ultimately raising even more awareness of MS.”

Following their success, Joe and Jack travelled to the Wieden+Kennedy offices in London for a celebratory event hosted in collaboration with the Young Creative Council.

Justin Tagg, Senior Lecturer for Creative Advertising in the University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture & Design, added: “Joe and Jack are fantastic creatives. They have a wonderful ability to really understand the core of a problem and use smart, surprising solutions to deliver their idea effectively. But more than that they make things happen; they don’t allow their ideas to live on paper, they bring them to life and really hustle to make a difference in the world around them.”

To view footage from the ‘Control Joe’ project, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yml5Eenfj4
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