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Botched Face Mashup


We created a digital experience for fans of 'Botched' to botch their own faces and share the result with their followers.


What We Did

User Experience (UX) | Visual Design | Technical Architecture | Prototyping | Web Development & Integrations

The Challenge

In E!’s television show Botched, two renowned plastic surgeons in California aim to fix plastic surgeries gone wrong. Working with BBH and E! Entertainment in Los Angeles, Impossible Bureau was briefed to create a digital experience for the launch of the second season.

The Experience

Our clients wanted to create a social experience for fans to botch their own faces and share the result with their friends and followers. What resulted was a responsive microsite where users could create a new image of themselves by mashing up their own portrait with donated eyes, nose and mouth from photos of their friends and Botched models.

Botched Flow Diagram

Facial recognition

The first challenge to solve was how to create the best result possible for the botched faces. This required us to perform advanced facial detection on multiple photos, such that we could accurately detect where the eyes, nose and mouth were placed in order to both create the donated parts, as well as to place them in the correct location on the base image.

We experimented with our own prototypes and a number of open source services, but finally decided to use Rekognition by Orbe.us. We also created various prototypes to make sure that the style of the resulting image was in line with the overall art direction of the campaign.

Botched Facial Recognition

Facebook integration

We wanted to make it easy for fans to create their own Botched image, while also making sure the application couldn’t easily be abused with photos that did not belong to our fans. We achieved this by integrating with Facebook. Through the Facebook app, users granted access to their profile photos and photo albums for use in the experience.

All these photos were pre-filtered and pre-scanned before being presented to the user, to both ensure that there were faces featured in the photos, and that any photos of friends were tagged. Any Facebook users who did not have tagged photos were still presented with a seamless experience to botch their face with features from the models.

Botched Facebook Integration

Sharing #BOTCHED faces

Once fans had finished selecting photos, the botching process began, and they were presented with a botched face that included donated parts from the models and their own friends.

Users could keep botching until they were happy with their new face to share on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. For users on desktop, we also gave them control to change specific parts to create their desired new face.

Thousands of fans botched their faces over the season and shared them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, with the best botches being featured in an online gallery.

Botched Results & Sharing