Archive for Tom Edwards

Extending Virtual Reality at SXSW 2015

Posted by Tom Edwards on March 17th, 2015 at 10:09 am

Another year, another SXSW Interactive is in the books. Each year I look to get inspired, reconnect with publishers and 3rd party partners and look for new or incremental innovation that can add value for my clients. This year, one of the areas that caught my attention was the advancement of 3rd party integration and applications tied to virtual reality experiences.
In 2014, one SXSW exhibit in particular received a lot of attention for creating an immersive Virtual Reality Game of Thrones experience courtesy of Oculus Rift. 2015 did have it's share of branded experiences tied to Oculus, see Samsung below, but a majority of 3rd parties were focused on showcasing how they create value through integrating VR and mobile devices as they prepare to go to market.

Samsung - I had the opportunity to experience the Samsung Gear VR headset while at SXSW. The Samsung Gear VR is powered by an Oculus Rift headset that integrates with the Galaxy Note 4. The approach of serving as an extension of an existing device that can scale through various media and applications is the right approach to allow optimal personalization of experiences through devices and media entities that consumers already consume.
The #GalaxyLife VR... Read more

8 Marketing Truths about Snapchat

Posted by Tom Edwards on February 20th, 2015 at 9:35 am

Snapchat is deliberately distancing itself from the social platforms that have come before it. With a shift from a creation to consumption model, the roadmap on how best to leverage Snapchat is clear.

Here are eight truths that marketers need to understand about how Snapchat views itself — and the ideal approach to maximizing the value of the platform.
1 - Snapchat is Not a Social Network. The Snapchat team has made it clear that it does not consider itself a social network. Instead, Snapchat is positioning itself as an ephemeral communication and consumption platform. This is a key point to consider when defining an approach to maximizing the platform.
2 - Attentive Audience. Snapchat boasts 50 million users in the US with a primary demographic of 14-28 years old. The average user frequents the app 14-22 times per day. It’s clear that Snapchat considers its platform as the “new TV” for this demo. From an attention and eyeballs perspective, driving views with this demographic is a key benefit of the platform.
3 - Consumption vs. Creation. Initially, Snapchat was a 1:1 content creation platform. Snapchat viewed the native phone camera as a competitor. With the recent shift with the Our Story offering and... Read more

Connecting Gaming & Brands

Posted by Tom Edwards on December 22nd, 2014 at 8:54 am

Two of my passions are gaming and marketing. Whenever I have the opportunity for the two to intersect I am overjoyed. Previously, I have written on the topic of advergaming (imedia) and brand integrations (IEG). This article will highlight case studies of advergaming as well as introduce edutainment case studies.
Gaming is big business. According to Gartner, the projected worldwide video game market size in 2014 will surpass $100 billion dollars. In 2014, 58% of Americans have played a video game and 68% of gamers are 18 or older. With the fragmentation and shifts in media consumption, gaming provides significant dwell times with a hyper connected audience. Brands that create authentic and relevant value that empowers gamers will “unlock” value beyond impressions.
Let’s start with terminology refresher. An Advergame is an electronic game - often low-cost or free - designed to promote a brand or product.

ADVERGAMING - Advergaming is closely associated with both above the line, through the line and below the line integration where the advertisements or brand integrations are either explicit and may be an integral part of the game or products are embedded seamlessly into the existing gameplay.
ABOVE THE LINE EXAMPLES

Burger King - Xbox 360 Licensed Games

Coca-Cola - ... Read more

New Instagram Business Tools

Posted by Tom Edwards on August 26th, 2014 at 7:01 am

Instagram recently announced they are taking major steps to enable brands by providing greater insight into the performance of both organic and paid content. These tools are a welcome addition to the highly visual platform and will create tighter alignment with business goals as it pertains to tracking impressions, reach and engagement.

The tools are built around three primary areas of account insights, ad insights and ad staging.
Account Insights - Account insights is the primary dashboard for mapping performance and engagement of organic content. This includes insights around the weekly performance of content, aggregate impressions over time as well as additional insight into the brands audience.
Here is a screenshot from the Instagram Blog highlighting account insights

Ad Insights - Ad Insights is the campaign performance hub for Instagram paid media that houses brand analytics (impressions, reach and frequency). Instagram, similar to parent company Facebook, are heavily focused on reach and frequency vs. engagement as a primary value proposition for brands. The Ad Insights dashboard is a quick and easy reference against the current campaign goals and all of the data can easily be exported for additional client reporting.

Ad Staging - One of the more exciting tools, especially for Social Agencies that partner... Read more