1. Agencies as experience creators: why Marina Bay Sands hired Imagination to create its famous light show

    August 15, 2017 by admin

    Two of the best-known landmarks in Asia Pacific have roped in Imagination, an agency, to create a light show; an unusual but increasingly common brief as brands look to create experiences for customers.

    Imagination is the agency behind the recently overhauled Marina Bay Sands light show in Singapore, a brief given to the agency after showing its expertise creating the Sydney New Year’s Eve show for seven years.

    Spectra at MBS occurs twice every evening, using more than 100 types of lighting and laser fixtures that are powered using the water in the bay. The show, which took two years to create, uses sound and water to create a show of four acts that aims to tell the story of Singapore’s origins as a cultural melting pot, ending on Singapore’s future as an innovative global leader.

    Spending two years creating a permanent show that runs twice an evening isn’t the normal brand-agency relationship, but Alistair Petrie, creative director of Imagination Asia, said that as storytelling becomes more important to brands, live experiences will play a bigger part.

    “Great brands and leaders know that telling a story in advertising is important, but it’s the delivery of that story through every touchpoint that is where customers learn to love your brand. We see our best clients recognise the power of creating meaningful experiences for the way they conduct sales on the front line, engage their people in order to deliver on a vision, drive engagement or change their business from the very core. UX is a term that has been taken over by the digital world – but it’s always been at the core of how we think when we create live experiences for people, and great clients have always recognised that,” said Petrie.

    Specific to the project with Marina Bay Sands, he added that trust was an important part, not least because the project was two years in the making but that the investment in the technology was sizeable.

    “All relationships rely on trust – it’s just this one needed the client to trust in something that was so far outside of anyone’s sphere of reference, so they really needed to just believe in the collective team’s experience and creativity on this one. Unlike advertising where so much of the work can be re-worked in post-production, we just don’t have that luxury. Millions of dollars worth of permanent engineering was being fabricated to deliver this show. We all needed to be working so closely together daily, and the client needed to trust in the process more than ever,” he commented.

    In line with the reputation for innovation that Singapore wants to carve for itself, it is fitting that the country’s most recognisable modern icon Marina Bay Sands creates an innovative and scaled-up show. According to Trevor Smith, production director at Imagination Sydney, the technical challenge was largely in the underwater lighting technology that it built.

    “Spectra sets itself apart from other light and water shows because of its use of new underwater 500 watt LED fixtures – specially developed for the show. This allows the lights to show perfect whites and richer colour hues. In total, there are more than 100 types of lighting and laser fixtures used in the new show. The show only uses energy-efficient LED lights and the fountains are powered by water filtered and recycled from the bay, in an effort to make it more eco-friendly,” he explained.

    The demand for experience-led activations and businesses that can deliver on live experiences, is growing. In the UK, out-of-home specialists Exterion Media recently launched a Live offering due to demand from clients for experiential know how. However, the ability to deliver on experiences on the scale of Spectra is another matter and the briefs may not be as regular. Nevertheless, agencies like Imagination are able to carve a niche for themselves that’s likely to come further into demand.

    This article originally appeared on The Drum.


  2. Geronimo leaps to Tapit Media’s rescue; snaps up NFC firm

    August 10, 2017 by admin

    Nearly two years after launching in Australia mobile CX company Geronimo, led by Amobee’s former MD Matt Hunt, has acquired Tapit Media; a global tech platform enabling Near Field Communications (NFC) for marketing, AdNews can reveal.

    Hunt says NFC technology is a major growth area in mobile marketing and the deal brings proprietary technology, data and IP to the Geronimo tech stack. It also sees founder of Tapit Jamie Conyngham join the Geronimo management team as the CEO of the Tapit business.

    In June this year Tapit, which helps connect brands and digital content to consumers via their mobile devices, was placed into voluntary administration. A liquidation notice was listed on ASICS as recently as July 20, but Hunt says Tapit’s strong legacy of innovation in the mobile arena is just what the market needs.

    Hunt said Tapit had signed an agreement to be acquired by a mining company as part of a reverse takeover and listing on the ASX. Unfortunately, the deal didn’t go ahead due to unforeseen circumstances. The business had spent the best part of a year pursuing this strategy and did not have a replacement funding option.

    “As a result, the directors of the business decided to run a process to sell their assets,” Hunt explained.

    “Having seen the business from the inside I’m surprised that Tapit is not listed on the ASX today. It’s an amazing business. That said, we were in the right place at the right time and were delighted to begin a new chapter with Jamie [Tapit CEO] and the team.”

    Why this buy and why buy now? 

    “The timing is perfect. The directors of Tapit were looking to sell at the same time that Apple announced that it was adopting core NFC as part of the latest operating system release in September. This opens up a further 40% of the consumer market,” Hunt said.

    “We think this acquisition will encourage our clients to go deeper into their thinking about how you connect with customers and this will have a positive impact on our overall business.”

    Geronimo will keep the brand and the trademarks and will work through other details during its post merger integration plan.

    Brands have been quick to catch onto the contactless communications sector and since 2011 Tapit has worked with global brands including Google, Microsoft, Unilever, P&G and Nestle.

    Tapit puts its technology in places where brands have a physical presence so people can tap their phones to interact with them rather than typing in URLs, using QR codes or voice controls. The platform understands who is interacting and captures the data to help improve future marketing efforts.

    Case studies on its website also highlight work with Nike, McDonald’s, Westpac, Cannon, Visa and Paramount; largely related to retail and out of home (OOH) activations. As an example it launched Westpac’s first NFC mobile wallet and helped promote the launch of the new McDonald’s mobile ordering app. It also teamed up with Pernod Ricard to create the world’s first connected stubby holder, allowing people to simply tap their smartphone to access exclusive content from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival of which Pernod Ricard was a major sponsor.

     

    Hunt says the move cements Geronimo’s position as an innovator in the mobile marketing industry and enhances the capabilities of its mobile customer experience (MCX) platform.

    Geronimo itself, which encompasses mobile marketing strategy, tech, data, creative and media, works with brands including Pfizer, Westfield, SBS, NIB and CommBank.

    Hunt says contactless communications provides global brands with a scalable, innovative and secure way to engage consumers via their smartphone directly from physical environments turning foot traffic into web traffic with a simple tap.

    “Geronimo is all about improving a customer’s experience with a brand using mobile. Tapit’s platform helps us connect the physical world with the digital world and we believe the platform will allow people use their phones to transact with companies in the future,” Hunt said.

    “If you sit in any chief marketing officer’s role in Australia, I think it’s difficult to argue there is any more pressing issue than focusing on the customer and improving the way you connect with them. That’s why investing in NFC technology and why mobile innovation is so key for our clients and for the team at Geronimo.”

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