Tag Archives: Stickybits

Turning Awareness into Engagement through Stickybits

(Full Disclosure – I am a part of the Chevrolet Texas team who executed the following work.)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a model that illustrates the different components of what I believe to be the “new” OOH.  The “new” OOH is less about awareness and more about engagement, specifically on the places and things around us.  Technology has reached a point where it can enable anything to become a “screen,” so while I agree that general awareness is still a critical component in any brand’s marketing mix, I think that brands have an opportunity to use those screens to engage consumers, to drive them deeper into a brand experience.

This past week, we had another opportunity to make one of those “things” around us interactive – a car.  We’ve done this before for the same client (Chevy) at SXSW.  Only then, we placed QR codes on the cars so attendees could learn more about the cars just by scanning the code.  This time, we’ve placed a Stickybit on one of the cars.

Stickybit on car

We’re caught up in the World Series here in Dallas.  It’s heightened because the Cowboys are a lost cause and the Rangers have been so bad for such a long time.  So, the fan fare down here is through the roof.  The Rangers have this inside thing about claws and antlers, so during the Yankees series, we created an “Antler Yourself” site where users could upload a photo and customize it with the antlers of their choice, then send it to all of their friends on social channels.

Chevy Antler Yourself

When the Rangers reached the series, we had an opportunity to extend it in a couple of places and one of the most intriguing was through the use of one of the cars in the fleet.  But instead of just advertising the URL on the car, we knew we could extend the experience even more through a technology like Stickybits.

Quick 101 on Stickybits – it’s a bar code-scanning technology that allows people to attach “bits” (content) to any bar code through scanning it on a mobile phone.  You just need the app and a bar code.  And for those items, like cars, that don’t have bar codes on them, Stickybits provides bar codes that you can put on anything you want.

By attaching the Stickybit to the car, not only are we able to allow people to upload their “Antler” photos directly to the bar code, we’re able to turn the car into a much larger virtual scrapbook.  People can send Good Luck messages to the Rangers via written word, or they can attach a video or a piece of audio, they can even attach different kinds of pictures (which we’ve seen, primarily with tailgating photos).  As of right now, there are 38 bits attached to the code, which means there are 38 different pieces of content that people can experience.  This is much more engaging than just placing the URL on the side of the car, which only serves the purpose of driving awareness.

Technology is giving brands the opportunity to do much more in any channel than they’ve ever been able to do.  We’re seeing this specifically in “Out of Home,” in large part due to the capabilities of mobile phones and all of the different apps that people have created.  We can now place a code on the side of a car and allow consumers to engage with the brand and each other.

So, while it may only be 38 pieces of content, and the content centers around the Rangers and not Chevrolet, it’s still incredibly valuable to the Chevy brand.  They’re bringing this experience to consumers, specifically fans of the Rangers around the most important time in the franchise’s history, that is not only unique, but engaging.

The next time you’re faced with doing something to create awareness, regardless of the “channel” you’re going to use, ask yourself if there’s a way you can turn it into an engagement?  Chances are, you can.

Antler Yourself Stickybit

Friday’s 4-1-1, Mobile-Style

It’s Friday and time for the 2nd Friday 4-1-1 series.  This installation is all about mobile, particularly the specific enabling technologies associated with mobile that have an opportunity to make brand interaction richer & deeper when coupled with OOH/DOOH/IOOH.  If you’re a new reader, I think there is a difference between what makes “digital” Out of Home and “interactive” Out of Home – “digital” is made possible through display technology, “interactive” is made possible through enabling technologies.  These technologies enable deeper interaction with a brand and its OOH/DOOH installation.  You can think of it like this:

Enabling technology (and there are many of them) + OOH/DOOH = IOOH (Interactive Out of Home)

Display technology + OOH = DOOH

My premise is “Digital” Out of Home cannot be made interactive without any of these enabling technologies.  So, today, I’ll focus on 3 mobile enabling technologies – augmented reality, geo-location, and of course, QR codes.  Here’s the 4-1-1:

1.  Facebook Places Propels SCVNGR to 100,000 Downloads in 48 Hours – reality check, first of all – the “general” consumer doesn’t use geo-location apps like FourSquare, much less a new app like SCVNGR.  The penetration numbers for “digital” users who use geo-location apps are low (~4% according to Forrester).  However, I believe there is loads of potential for geo-location apps like FourSquare, Gowalla, FB Places, and SCVNGR (and the others).  These apps really enable a feature that I believe is core to a brand’s success in the new “Out of Home” space – reaching consumers where they are (out of home) and driving deep(er) engagement with the brand.  There are few brands who have really figured out how best to do this, but there are many who are experimenting.  As far as SCVNGR goes, their platform is really based on the idea of a Scavenger Hunt – users go around to different places (called “Treks”), when there, they have to complete a challenge, get rewarded via points, and then ultimately get rewarded with badges.  For brands, this platform is significant because it’s a built-out mobile platform, specifically intended to provide challenge-based scavenger hunt game-play experiences.  Yes, you can pretty much do the same thing with FourSquare (you have to work through FourSquare) and Gowalla (users themselves can set up “trips”), but they weren’t built for this very thing (neither of them are based on “challenges”).  In my opinion, it’s a better way to reward consumers who are loyal enough to your brand to go through a challenge-based scavenger hunt (again, outside of their home) vs. just checking in repeatedly at a single place.

2.  Four Seasons Joins Geo-Social Gold Rush With California Campaign – I’ve put together a number of campaigns with Gowalla – it’s not the Austin-based connection that I am high on with them, it’s really the experience they provide vs. FourSquare.  (In fairness, if I could put together any geo-location-based campaign, regardless of budget/time constraints, I would probably look at using both of them, but Gowalla is easier/more accommodating to work with.  FourSquare has sheer numbers, Gowalla has a more engaging experience, particularly on the brand side, in my opinion.)  So, it was nice to read about a brand like Four Seasons hopping on the geo-location bandwagon.  Again, this is yet another example of a brand driving engagement with consumers while they’re out and about, going through their normal day-to-day activities.  Who would have ever thought that just by “checking in” some place through your mobile phone, you could get rewarded with a hotel-stay voucher.

3.  Toys “R” Us Unveils Multichannel Mobiel CRM Tactics – here’s my QR code example this week.  Only problem with this is that it’s launching in Hong Kong only.  At least right now.  Solid concept though – targeted at their loyalty card holders, those loyal consumers can unlock exclusive content through these “R” (what Toys R Us is calling them) codes and from the sounds of it, with each scan, can earn more “loyalty” points, which is of benefit to them with real-world merchandise.  QR codes are commonplace in that part of the world, so I suspect this is going to be widely used.  Hopefully, the campaign will make its way here and even more hopefully, US consumers will actually know what to do when they see this weird code in front of them.

4.  Augmented Reality Campaign for Lustucru Pasta in 500 Supermarkets – pasta + a martian + tomatoes + Augmented Reality = AWESOME.  Forget about checking into places, whoever thought they could play a game with a martian just by purchasing a box of pasta?  Augmented Reality has come so far in a few short months.  Now, instead of needing a black-bound box that serves as a marker and a webcam, all you need is an AR application on your mobile phone.  It’s really unbelievable.  For this, though, I guess the question is, “does this drive more sales?”  Don’t know.  After I play the game, would I want to play it again?  Does it build?  Is there anything deeper?  If so, it could be the reason that I’d want to continue buying this pasta when I need pasta.  If not, on the surface, it’s a good engagement, but what does it do to achieve longer-terms goals?  It makes me smile, though.  Check it out:

“Uh-huh” – Reggie Bush hit the Holy Grail by combining geo-location (FourSquare) with social media (Twitter/Facebook) and the real-world (with StickyBits).  This is the perfect combination of driving Reggie Bush-brand engagement through the use of various mediums/channels, including a strong OOH play.  Basically, Reggie used FourSquare like a scavenger-hunt service (should have used SCVNGR!) so that fans could find autographed footballs around the city of New Orleans in anticipation of last night’s opening NFL game.  They could then attach messages to StickyBits for Reggie.  Great cross-channel program.

Before I get into this week’s “Duh,” I’ll say this – I think that “OOH” as a media channel has changed drastically in the past few years.  My definition of “OOH” is “anything that the user doesn’t have to own to have an experience with.”  In these cases, a user needs a mobile phone, but the point in which that experience originates is always OOH and from something that they don’t need to own – checking in at a location doesn’t require you to own the location, using a QR code doesn’t require you to own the QR code, and even playing a game from a box of pasta doesn’t require you to necessarily own the box of pasta.  Lines are certainly more grey than they used to be in terms of “OOH” and it’s in this grey area that I believe lives the 11th Screen.

Now, my “Duh” – it’s not an example this week, it’s a piece of advice based on a few experiences that I’ve had this week.  Slow down.  Life and work move very fast and most often, we make decisions in split seconds.  Those decisions can have a profound impact on other people and your own work (substitute “life” with “work” if you want to).  There is nothing wrong with slowing down, taking a deep breath, having a think on it, and then moving forward.

I hope you guys have a great weekend.  Would love to hear anything you’ve got to say about any of this.  Just shout!

Life is Like a Box of (virtual) Chocolates

Life is becoming more and more interactive right in front of our eyes.  Today’s installment brought to you through mobile interactivity.  One of the most popular forms of mobile interaction, centered around our lives and connections, is geo-location based services like Gowalla and Foursquare.

I personally play both of them, and I emphasize “play.”  Not only do they provide another source of social connection, but they enable a game-like experience in my life.  (I’ve also helped implement one of the first B2C experiences in Gowalla, a trend with both of them that is now picking up more steam.)

New to the game, both literally and figuratively, is Stickybits.

Stickybits is fascinating.  The technology is centered around bar codes – these “stickybits” – to which people can attach photos, videos, and/or written word.  In essence, they enable any real-world object to easily be made into social objects, ones that can be shared, passed around, commented on, connected through – anything, really, that you can imagine sharing with someone, just through a simple barcode.  (You can either buy barcodes from Stickybits or you can use existing barcodes and download the Stickybits app, which is only available on iPhone and Android right now.)

As an example, think of a birthday card (which has a barcode).  Instead of signing a long, drawn-out message on this birthday card, I can record a special video message and attach it to the card.  Then, I can pass it around to others in the office for them to attach their special message to it.  Then, when the recipient receives the card, they can scan the barcode and experience everyone’s messages.  Cool, eh?

Think now, of applying/using user reviews.  If I want to see what others have said about a new pair of tennis shoes before I buy them, I can scan the barcode and see a list of user reviews, provided someone has started the “string.”  If not, I can create the review myself and attach it to the code for others to see who come after me.

There are cool things that you can do as the initiator of this string – you’re basically the moderator of all content posted thereafter.  Anyone who contributes to the string can receive automatic updates and become even more involved in the (virtual) conversation.

From a brand’s perspective, this should be really exciting.  Any packaged good that they produce has a barcode.  They can easily attach a brand message or a special call-to-action or exclusive content for all who come into contact with that product to experience.  You want to attach a special message from a thought-leader, or an executive at the company?  No problem.  You want users to vote on a particular flavor of soda (Mountain Dew)?  No problem.  You want Tom Hanks to deliver a Forrest Gump-like anecdote on that box of chocolates?  No problem.

I talk often about the power of merging the offline with the online.  It’s really what the 11th Screen is all about.  This technology not only enables that real-time merging, but it provides connection, interactivity, and a little fun.