This wearable tech tracked kids' laughter to find the most entertaining places in Tennessee

The state's tourism office used 200 'laugh trackers' to let children review attractions and parks

Published On
Jun 07, 2019

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One of the big problems with buying products for babies is that the users can’t explain whether they like what they’re getting. Adults get in the habit of asking other adults for recommendations and forget that they can eventually go straight to the source. Babies grow up into kids, and kids have opinions!

So the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development created a program that features kids’ reviews of attractions in the state. More than 200 children wore a “laugh tracker,” a bit of tech similar to a pedometer but for audible laughter, while visiting parks, zoos, hiking trails and outdoor sites. The devices measured heart rate and listened for responses, parsing loud talking, shouting and crying from squeals and giggles. More than 36,000 laughs were recorded over 450 kid-hours.

The campaign from VMLY&R also enlisted country singer and native Tennessean Dolly Parton, whose eponymous amusement park Dollywood hosted many of the kids at its new attraction, Wildwood Grove. “When I hear a child laugh, that is the most joyful sound in the world to me. You forget to laugh yourself when you get a little older,” she says in a short film explaining how the laugh trackers work. “Sometimes you let all your troubles and your worries get on you. But to hear a little kid laughing—just to hear that freedom and that glee and that joy—it’s like good medicine to me.”

Kids could also record their own video reviews in “Kid Reviewed” booths across the state. The reviews have been compiled online, where parents looking for kid-friendly places to visit can browse them.


Jun 07, 2019
Client :
Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Agency :
Global CEO :
Jon Cook
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Debbie Vandeven
Chief Creative Officer North America :
John Godsey
Executive Creative Director :
Allison Pierce
Creative Director :
Ryan Simonet
Associate Creative Director :
Stephen Kerry
Senior Art Director :
Mars Denton
Assistant Art Director :
Sydney Schulz
Associate Creative Director :
Harry Kniznik
Copywriter :
Randi Cantrell
Director Technology :
Ryan Schooley
Innovation & Mobility :
Ian Cahill
Lead Technologist :
Frank Fleschner
Analyst Solutions Delivery :
Amy Pettinger
Senior Producer :
Ethan Downing
Experience & Emerging Technology Producer :
Tracy D. Moore
Editor :
Kate McFerren
Senior Motion Designer :
Carson Catlin
Group Director :
Jason Cooper
Supervisor :
Jenna Pate
Account Manager :
Jessica Stieben
Director Strategy & Insights :
Nikki Hardin
Connections Supervisor :
Kelly Price
Connections Manager :
Bailey Vincent
Commissioner :
Mark Ezell
Deputy Commissioner Marketing :
Brian Wagner
Director of Marketing :
Nekasha Pratt
Director of Communications :
Amanda Murphy
Senior Media Manager :
Will Crockett
Production Company :
plan A Films
Director :
Chusy Jardine
Executive Producer :
Kathryn Large
Producer :
Andy O’Neil
Line Producer :
Joshua Indenbaum
Editor :
Andy O’Neil

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