Archives for category: innovation

As some may say, Pokémon Go motivated more American kids to get off the couch in one week than the last seven years of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Even though these kids are glued to their phones, they are actually going outside and walking around! American kids exercising at their own free will – what is happening to the world?  The mobile application has taken over the nation as one of the most viral applications of all time. In fact, the number of active daily users on Pokémon Go has topped Twitter and sees more engagement than Facebook!

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So what is so special about Pokémon Go and how is it surpassing powerful social media tools? Well, the app uses location-based augmented reality to engage users into capturing, training and battling virtual Pokémon that appear in real-world settings. As a player travels throughout the real world, the player’s avatar moves along the game’s map to find Pokémon near the player’s location. Pokémon show up on the player’s screen in real settings where players can capture them with Pokéballs. Sounds fun right? Yes, but warning: it’s highly addictive to “Catch them all.”

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The images above show what the game looks like from the user’s perspective. The far left represents the real-life augmented reality and middle and right screens show the virtual maps.

Since the game uses augmented reality, it is engaging users with the technology of both the real and virtual world of the game in one place. Many establishments have seen a boost in business, especially in walking-accessible cities like NYC and Chicago. Niantic, the company that created the game, wants to offer businesses an even more powerful method of bringing new customers into businesses through Pokémon Go. Soon establishments will be able to become “sponsored” spots in the game that will drive sales and traffic even further. These businesses would pay the company to become locations within the virtual game board with the promise of more foot traffic.

The high engagement level of the game has advertisers interested as a perfect place to target their audience. When locations are sponsored on the game, advertisers could pay per visit, similar to the pay per click on Google’s search ads. The potential for paid advertising that encourage players to visit a business or store is a huge opportunity! More details will be coming soon from Niantic, so keep a look out for new advertising opportunities within the interactive app. Whoever would have thought that Pokémon would become a phenomenon twenty years after the first game on Gameboy was released!

P.S. Plus they show up in funny places too!

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Tips for a Great Discussion

Last week, I had the opportunity to help Jess Thompson conduct interviews with Pat Conway, the co-founder of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Bill Boor, the CEO. It was an awesome experience to see the brewery first-hand and learn how the company was founded. The brewery has picturesque red brick structures dating back to 1870 and was once located in a crime-infested area of Cleveland. After Great Lakes was founded in 1988, it became a catalyst that transformed Ohio City into the thriving area that it is today. As soon as I met Pat Conway, I could see the engaging, witty personality of the brand as he was cracking jokes throughout the entire interview.

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Along the way, I learned a few client interview tips:

  • Preparation is essential: Have background knowledge of what you will be discussing or else you’ll look as clueless as Patrick Star. In all seriousness, make sure your questions are to the point, unbiased and hit your goals.
  • Follow the flow: Follow your questions, but don’t change the subject too fast if the interviewee says something interesting. Ask unscripted questions to get answers you do not expect.
  • Be personal yet professional: The conversation is much better if the interviewer (or interviewee) is not a complete robot. Have fun, but don’t go so overboard that you come off unprofessional.
  • Make eye contact: Bring a note taker (me!) to take down the detailed answers the client says while you have an authentic conversation. Take brief notes as you go through each question, and make constant eye contact with the client.
  • Follow up: Most of the time, you wont have a chance to get through every single question and that’s okay! Follow up with the client for another interview in the near future. Chances are they want to interview again to give you all the information you need to create a great campaign.

Interviews are essential to understand the history, values and goals of any client who is working with an advertising agency. From interviews, agencies obtain a better idea of the brand’s personality and learn how to reach the brand’s specific target audience. It is important to talk to upper management, and employees from different areas of the company too. As Pat Conway said some of the brewery’s most innovative ideas come from his inside staff when he least expects it. Great Lakes puts a emphasis on its employees and loves to hear new ways the brand can make an impact in the community – especially with sustainability. I am looking forward to interviewing GLBC’s staff next week to discover their personal ideas on how to make GLBC thrive.

The people have spoken and Snapchat has listened. If you’re on social media, you’ve seen the conversation—Snapchat users wishing to rewatch stories and see images past their current disposable nature. The popular messaging app’s newest update will allow for just that. Users can save photos and videos to a newly launched “Memories” page on their app. They can choose to keep images to view later, resend an image or video, and even edit captions.

Snapchat also installed the ability to photo search for simple terms in the images within Memories. If you take a video of your dog, simply type in “dog,” and all those adorable images will pop right up. (If only Apple had that capability…)

Memories will show users data they’ve saved from the past, much like the TimeHop app. Any images users put into their Memories folder will show up on the app on the same date in the future. This “blast from the past” idea has been a well-liked update to Facebook as well. Even better, users can combine their stories to make one long video to share. A lifelong friend’s birthday roast seems like the perfect use for this feature.

Snapchat is consistently improving it’s offerings, giving more incentive for users to stay within their app longer, or for light users like me to get on more often. Snapchat is even growing rapidly among users over age 35. The continued improvements to the application will allow Snapchat to see user growth and soon, Snapchat might be the next Facebook contender. Stay tuned…

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