3D animation on tablet devices

I’ve just come across this rather cool application by One Potato. One Potato specialise in making 2D and 3D photographic images for advertising, marketing and editorial using their bespoke technology ‘ Tilt-o-Vision’.  Essentially it’s a 3D photographic, accelerometer-powered animation you can control by tilting your tablet.  The results look outstanding in more ways than one!

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April Foolery

April Fool’s Day is always a good time to have a little fun with your advertising whilst simultaneously humanising the brand. Google’s elaborate hoaxes across their different platforms seems to be attracting all the headlines but I’m not sure I can be bothered to critique it here – life’s too short! Instead, I’ve opted to post about three simple campaigns which I quite like.

Lynx mobile spray app

I didn’t work on this personally unfortunately but the Lynx team at TMW have come up trumps with this useful mobile spray app – guaranteed to give instant sex appeal on the go – apparently! Promoted on YouTube and Facebook

BMW’s driverless running coach

BMW are known for doing April Fool hoaxes every year – in fact I referenced theirs a few years ago here when I first started this blog.  What I like about their executions is that they always tie them into their product or brand truths whether it’s linked to Efficient Dynamics, telematics technology or in this case their sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. So even though it’s tongue in cheek it’s still reinforcing their brand values and positioning in some way.

This year they highlight how their ConnectedDrive technology and surround view cameras can help turn their cars into driverless coaches where they follow the runner at a safe distance. And as with all their April Fool ads they continue to have fun with the email address too – so if you want more details you can email their Head of Futile Innovations, Alvin.Alaff@bmw.co.uk

via Nickburcher.com

Build your own mini
Mini Australia have come up with a farcical lease financing scheme where yu can now order a mini, one part at a time and build it yourself! Only 29,762 parts to collect…

Creating buzz around mobile apps

So you want to build a top-ranking mobile app?  Nothing wrong with that but it’s worth noting that the barriers to success can be phenomenal. The competition is fierce now and unfortunately there’s no secret formula to success, even if your app is the next best thing since sliced bread. In fact, unless you’re extremely lucky you’ll need to market your app considerably through a variety of paid, owned and earned media.

I pulled the presentation together below for the EGB Mobile and Social Media Conference earlier this month and put forward two different strategic approaches to ensuring you generate sufficient buzz around your app. One approach adopts a more linear approach to promoting your app whilst the other  relies on a more 360 approach where the mobile app is integral to the overall campaign.

But I also argue that chasing app downloads for the sake of it is not necessarily the holy grail.  Considering the challenges of building apps which can generate buzz for the brand, there’s a lot of merit in developing apps which support lower funnel objectives too.

I’d welcome your thoughts.

MINI Launch Mobile Geolocation Multiplayer Reality Game

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rather cool iphone app courtesy of Mini which uses geolocation data as part of the game mechanic.  Players have the chance to win a brand spanking new Mini too.   But don’t get too excited unless you live in Stockholm!

Via mobile inc


Using iphone apps as a CRM tool

At TMW we’ve just finished developing a new iPhone app for my client Infiniti Europe called Infiniti in Motion. I’m genuinely excited about this app as it’s quite different to a lot of the branded free apps you see on itunes these days.

The challenges

A popular approach (particularly within the automotive market) is to design an app around an advergame and hope this has sufficient appeal to generate awareness and engagement with your brand or product.  For example, Nissan CubeParty,  Audi A4 driving game, Mercedes E Coupe memory game, VW New Polo and VW Golf GTi (another driving game) have all adopted this approach in some shape or form. There’s no denying there’s merit in this approach particularly if it reaches the top of the app charts.

But the slight problem I have with this approach is that it tends to appeal to casual gamers rather than perhaps your core target audience.  Admittedly, if it gains enough popularity you will reach some of your audience by default but it does seem a fairly scattergun approach.  For the VW Golf GTi launch this wasn’t a problem as they identified their target audience over-indexed heavily with online gaming but for most brands this isn’t the case.

The other challenge with these types of branded apps is that they’re rarely used more than once. According to a Pinch Media Survey which analysed 30 million downloads, only 30% of people who buy from Apple’s App Store use the application the day after downloading it. With free applications it’s even worse, with 95% of people using it no more than once.  Hardly a decent return on your investment!

Applying CRM principles

This got me thinking.  If we want an app which has a shelf life longer than a day, then we really need to find a way to engage them on an ongoing basis.   It also occured to me that the great thing about mobile apps is that they allow consumers to proactively engage with branded content without any personal data ever needing to change hands.  That puts mobile apps in a unique position as you can essentially acquire handraisers and build prospect relationships over time to complement your database marketing efforts.

So for Infiniti, the strategic rationale behind this particular app was to extend the prospect nurture programme we already have in place so that enthusiasts, prospects and handraisers could keep in touch with the brand via their handsets.  So in the same way one can keep up to date with news and current affairs via the wonderful Guardian app you can do the same with Infiniti in Motion.

Interactive product demonstrations and shopping tools

As well as receiving regular updates the app showcases the entire range, allowing prospects to fully explore each model, from photography, 360° spins and colour selections to in-depth films, interviews and listening to the sound of their V6 engines.

Having explored the range, they have the option of requesting a brochure or test drive, or finding their nearest Infiniti Centre using the iPhone’s GPS technology.  All enquiries are fully integrated with Infiniti’s lead management and prospect database.

Conclusion

As I see it, it’s all about giving prospects a choice in the way they wish to interact with the brand. Whereas some prospects may be prepared to hand over their contact details to receive online or offline communications, others may prefer the anonymity and convenience of keeping up-to-date via their iPhone.

If you wish to download it for yourself please do – here is the link on itunes.  For the best user experience make sure you have wifi enabled.  If you’re aware of other brands which are using mobile apps as a CRM tool to foster closer relationships with prospects or customers, let us know.

A sacrifice worth making

If you’ve ever read Adam Morgan’s “Eating the Big Fish” you’ll be familiar with the credo of making certain sacrifices in order to do great things in other areas.   Theoretically speaking, to get noticed as a challenger brand it’s important to work out what you’re not going to do and then redirect that money, energy and resource into something you do want to do.

So in practical terms this could mean sacrificing a particular media channel, a market region, a customer segment, or even a product within your portfolio.  This will enable brands with more limited budgets to ‘over commit’ elsewhere.

As you may have heard, VW did exactly this when they came to launch the new 2010 GTi.  Instead of investing in traditional paid-for media such as print ads, digital banners or OOH they put all their eggs in one basket and produced an iphone app.  And that’s it!

If you’re not familiar with this unusual launch, check out this video posted on AKQA’s Facebook page as it explains the case study in full.

Calculating the true efficacy of social media

The other thing worth mentioning about this campaign is that if anyone wanted actual proof on the potential efficacy of social media, this is it!  By sacrificing all other paid-for media in favour of this app, they’ve effectively created a controlled environment where the true ROI of this activity can be measured without being skewed by other campaign initiatives.

Now that doesn’t happen very often…