Brand Activation with Interactive Tech

Brand Activation with Interactive Tech

February 18, 2016

Highlights from the Deep Dive Session: Brand Activation with Interactive Tech at the Digital Marketing Summit 2015

The Deep Dive sessions were different from the main sessions as they were held in a smaller auditorium, thus enabling more interaction among the participants and attendants of the summit. Coupled with exciting demonstrations of the latest brand activation hardwares, the Deep Dive sessions were more engaging than the traditional ones held in a larger setting. 

“As a brand you’re trying to create an emotional experience,” asserted Syed Shadab Mahbub, co-founder of Webable. The first speaker for the Deep Dive session, he explained how interactive tech is all about triggering a delightful experience for the target audience. While Bangladeshi firms are already exploring the avenues of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, time has come to become more advanced and add that extra bit of fun, engaging element among the consumers.

“Connect hardware to software; offline to online; bridge the gaps,” explained Shadab. In order to achieve this, he continued, “We need to make dumb devices smart”. However, in doing so, it must not be forgotten that reaching the mass is an important objective of such interactive technology. “We must reach 70% of those who don’t have access to sophisticated devices,” Shadab reiterated.

Facebook, a social media platform which Bangladeshi brands are using to make their marketing campaigns more fun and interactive, is slowly losing its edge as it works the same way for all brands. With the latest interactive technology including augmented and virtual reality, brands can run free with imagination. Essentially, interactive technology is “user generated content in steroids”.

Augmented Reality an Interactive Tech

Take augmented reality for instance, it is a visual augmentation layered through third party apps. By pointing to QR codes our smartphones are directed to some website or video, thus giving the target audience an extra element of excitement. While augmented reality is the most cost effective when done through third party apps, having a brand’s own app does have the advantage of being more unique. However, in Bangladesh’s context, where the larger population is literate only at the basic level, a simple third party app can go a long way.

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Augmented reality apps that recognize visual layer, are a great way for businesses to give target audience an interactive display of real life premises. Google’s Business View is one such technology, which is similar to Google Street View, but shows office interiors. Webable is bringing this interactive resource to Bangladesh, so that consumers or interested parties can see a firm’s products even before making a purchase decision. For instance, tourists can have an interior of a hotel before booking a room there. The Business View can be embedded into the website and act as a self-promoting material. As explained by Shadab, augmented reality is taking something that’s not real and mixing it with something that is.

Some of the parameters to think about for augmented reality and takeaways for marketers:

  1. Don’t do something random: Think 360 degree communication. Augmented reality is only one of the several channels of delivering brand message. All touchpoints must be consistent.
  2. Build a user friendly interface: Make action (e.g. downloading) easy for user.
  3. Build an intuitive interface: Make the interface beyond user friendly – make it intuitive.
  4. Solve a problem and add value: Solve some of the issues related with complicated products. E.g. Google Business View can help real-estates show insides of homes.

Virtual Reality an Interactive Tech

While augmented reality is an app generated platform for interaction with target audience, virtual reality shows the audience something that doesn’t even exist. It is becoming a critical tool for brand activation for global brands. Oculus Rex, the very first virtual reality experience based only on web standards, shows how brands can create virtual reality even in browser.

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Google Cardboard technology takes 360 degree camera shots from every possible side. Using a smartphone, and the cardboard, user is able to enter a 4 dimensional virtual reality. Webable demonstrated the Google Cardboard showing the virtual reality of a pilot’s view as he takes off. Building the virtual reality required 12 Gopro cameras, thus making this technology extremely expensive, and probably impractical for most Bangladeshi firms. Becker, a global beer company however, innovatively used its box for virtual reality which consumers can turn into a cardboard viewer by following the instructions.

Hardware Installations

Following up Shadab, Riyadh Al Nur, Engineer at Webable continued the session with a talk on hardware. “Facebook is not essential,” explained Nur, “you need something that will make you feel special – that’s how you build brand value,” he went on.

But, in order to optimize technology for building brands, the interactive marketing must be local and relevant for the target audience. For instance, bus stops may have censors in the benches to help public service authority estimate the number of extra benches required in different locations across a town.

Hardware installations for geo locations is another medium for marketers to reach their customers in an interactive manner. It is part of the eco system for geo location products. It is cheap and affordable, and comes in different shapes and sizes – hence, its applicability goes far and wide. “It has the power of connecting your world with this world,” Nur explained that as this hardware technology can know your location, it can be used in a lot of creative ways.

When you walk into a shopping mall, you may get a welcome message along with suggestions for your shopping. In restaurants there is a lot of waiting, but with geo-location usage, customers can get the menu in their smartphone right when they enter, thus reducing waiting time. This technology is enabled by Google as data is shared through it.

Nur ended by showing an interactive brand activation video for Game of Thrones. “No banners, no billboards were used,” he referred to the activation video where a statue was brought down by people tweeting about it, pointing how the brand experience went beyond the traditional marketing mediums.

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