A True 11th Screen Example: Nike’s Precious

Nike one-ups the Chalkbot with Precious – the bike with a brain.  This “brain,” made by Breakfast, New York is the ultimate enabling technology.  It not only merges the real-world (offline) with the virtual world (online), it actually processes data like a brain and then responds (via Twitter) accordingly. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve made.

They’ve explored an interesting angle here, one that is much more in play here vs. Chalkbot – the thing (bike) is the hero, not the person (bike rider).  (I also think it’s way cool that they’ve given a voice to Precious on the website, and taken it away (for the most part) from the rider, as you can see by the picture-only blog).  This is a great example of the potential of the things and places around us – not people or true “screens” – that can engage consumers in ways we never thought possible.  Technology is key to this. And in this specific instance, this brain technology actually enables the messaging to take on a life of its own.  These messages are not customized based on the audience, they’re customized based on the messenger, powered by all of the context leading up to each message.

For marketers this is one of those game-changing ideas and executions.  A thinking, talking bike?  A “thing” that can provide content with a more-than-decent level of context. It truly learns as it goes.  This is what gets me excited.  This is the potential that I see in this space – those who are effective (will) understand the power of merging offline (which to me, is “out-of-home”) with online to create deep, meaningful brand experiences for their consumers.

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