Hello My Name Means

J&J | 2014


What is the history of a name? How have people with that name lived in the past, and what would that name mean for your baby’s future? ‘Hello, My Name Means’ is a tool that answers those questions by capturing real-time data from the world’s top social media sites to predict the future of a baby’s name.


About the project

“Hello, My Name Means” is an HTML5 microsite that takes advantage of complex APIs to compile and analyse large data sets from 5 independent sources. We show you where the name has been, where it is now, and where it is going to be.

Every experience generated by “Hello, My Name Means” pulls information from:

SSA.gov – We search for baby names in the public domain data SSA collected over the last 100+ years in the US. The extensive database—with more than 91 000 unique names—gives us an estimation of how many “Sarahs” and “Toms” are in the world and whether a name was more popular in the ’60s or the ‘80s or even today.

Wikipedia – Using various filters and flags to remove irrelevant content, we locate a suitable wikipedia article to find information about the origin of the name. We also use Google Translate to generate the variations of the name in English, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Last.FM – We’ll search the most recent tracks on Last.FM to get an idea of what music the “Sarahs” or “Toms” of the world love. The algorithm will pull and analyze songs inspired by the name, so parents can check whether their baby will grow up to listen to rock, rap, or classical music.

Twitter & Instagram – Finally—to learn more about modern interests, ambitions and popularity—we go through hundreds of tweets and Instagram posts with particular query filters to get meaningful trends and content.

The data is then used to generate a colorful animation that tells the story of the user’s chosen name. Using animations created by UNIT9 illustrators, the developer team used code to customise the experience for each search without compromising the quality of the animations.

To complete the experience, Hello, My Name Means generates an animated video for each search. Parents can automatically share the video and announce what their selection to their friends on any social network.

We wanted the movie to be close to a video, with proper controls. To achieve this in a web context we used a time-lining library (GSAP) that provided us with exactly what we needed. Other modern technologies used include Snap for SVG manipulation and animation, backbone for application management and stellar for some parallax effects. We developed the application using CoffeeScript, SASS, Jade & Python – other tools include Grunt and Bower.



Awards: Cannes Lions 2014 – Bronze Cyber Lion: Innovative Use Of Social And Community

Feature in: CreativityLittle Black BookAdForum

Role: Concept, UX and IA

Kind: Social Data driven responsive website

Technology: Django, Facebook API, HTML5, Python, Big Data, Cognitive computing, Data Viz

Client: Johnson & Johnson

Ad Agency: BBDO Düsseldorf

Production Company: UNIT9

Date: 2014