Ten days ago, I uploaded the first photo for the Phone Faced Down campaign. That photo was taken in my favorite coffee shop in Jaffa, Israel – “Casino San Remo Cafe”, AKA “The Casino”. I went to sit there almost every morning, with my thoughts about the Digital Diet and how we can raise the awareness for this important issue. The reason I love this place so much, is not just because they know how to make a great espresso. It’s because the workers there are all young, passionate, smart and lively people. I was talking with them about the Digital Diet every day, we were brainstorming ideas, and thinking of concepts. Between taking an order, and serving another dish, I’d stop one of them for a moment, asking him or her what they think about this or that. And I always got their honest opinions, hearing their stories about iPhone addiction, getting some graphical advice.
I had four meetings there with Yonatan Ben Knaan – the first guy to join the team – where we talked and brainstormed endlessly about the Organic Apps, the Digital Diet, and about how musicians should ask their audience to put their phone in their pockets before the gig starts. A lot of this brainstorm is what led me to the Phone Faced Down concept. And many other great ideas are yet to be published.
For three days I “almost” had it. My mind was full of ideas. I wanted the message to be as simple as possible, and it had to be doable. We are not trying to make a revolution, but an evolution – if you only put your phone faced down, once in a while, you get few moments of quiet. You don’t have to leave it at home, or burn it, or switch it to a dumb-phone, just put it faced down for a bit.
On the third day, I got the Casino – and I told Josef – the bartender – “Eureka! I got it! We’ll tell people just to put their phones on the table, but faced down!” In a second, Josef, Darel and the rest of the cafe team helped me to take that great photo that inspired the whole campaign. I sat there for five hours, trying few designs, Darel had to teach me Photoshop, Josef helped with the wording, and then I finally had it. Few color adjustments – again – asking everyone for their opinions – and that was it. When we saw this image, we knew it’s going to be big. But how it got so big, in such a short time, that’s a story for next time…
Six workers of the Casino are participating in the campaign. I took their photos myself, some of which appeared in the online media and on TV. This is my “Thank You” for them.