Case study: Engaging users through mobile advertising

For the old-at-heart amongst us who consider taking a cellphone into a movie theatre apostasy, brace yourselves.

New technology from Christchurch, New Zealand has been picked up by tech-savvy young people in some of the largest markets in the US, and it’s not going to please the traditionalists.

Best Buy Movie Mode is a mobile phone app that allows viewers of a movie to also watch additional content on their smartphones as the main movie runs. No more telling kids to put their damn phones away – you’ll have to take yours out as well just to keep up.

The app was used to great effect when the animated kids’ comedy Despicable Me launched in 2010. In the movie, small creatures called ‘minions’ jabber away in an indecipherable language – but Movie Mode translated their humorous mutterings for the audience, synchronising with the playback of the movie.
Best Buy movie modeThe buzz surrounding Movie Mode helped ensure a movie destined to take in $US29 million in its opening weekend actually raked in $60 million, saw half a million viewed of the film download the app, and led to it being listed as one of the top 10 branded applications of the year by AdAge magazine.

For Motim Technologies CEO Andrew Plimmer, Best Buy Movie Mode was certainly cool, but he’s on to even bigger things. A current project see the company work with Beck beer on a global campaign allowing leading artists to create innovative content that can be seen by a special mobile app. Launched in New York City mid-2011, the first piece imagined a 3D sculpture floating above the Statue of Liberty. Since then, thirty pieces of art have been launched to markets around the world. 

The melding of artistic creativity and technology is one that particularly excites Motim’s team of eight software engineers, says Andrew. One of the reasons the company chooses to target the clients it does is because it can see unlimited potential in the 16-35 year old market for high-end mobile apps that really take engagement to another level. 

The global giants on Motim’s client roster are happily and easily serviced from the southern corner of the southern hemisphere – Christchurch. And it’s all with good reason.

“New Zealand is really making a name for itself in this space,” he says. “We don’t tend to have large research teams, or lots of hierarchy to cut through - we simply do what many other of the best Kiwi companies do – we take creative concepts, apply a bit of lateral thinking to them, and deliver totally unique creative technology to our clients.”

The company has just launched its first product marketing campaign for a New Zealand-based client – Pump bottled water (owned by Coca-Cola) in which it created a suite of mini-games for mobiles that can be unlocked by scanning a pump bottle.

Coca-Cola Amatil loved the result, which was created in conjunction with Saatchi & Saatchi. Angela Broad, senior brand manager, says creating good branded apps is still in its infancy and not many have cracked it, but the company feels it has with the Pump campaign.

“We wanted to increase engagement, sharpen up modernity and enhance badge factor,” she says. “With this in mind, we wanted to ensure that we had a strong reason for doing this and have an addictive gaming aspect.

“It’s truly special to have this calibre of team working together.”

While mobile advertising may be niche at the moment, Andrew says the potential of the medium is about to take off. But it requires a clear understanding of the way people interact with their devices. And companies can’t just treat mobile marketing like a smaller version of other marketing streams. It’s not about broadcasting to customers – it’s about building personal, interactive relationships where clients can really choose their level of engagement.

“We are always very clear that we are not an advertising agency, and that we can’t do everything. We basically work very hard to understand a potential client, what they need, who does their marketing, and then we approach that party with an idea that we know will compliment their existing marketing strategies.”

Speed and agility are two other words that describe why a small Kiwi firm might be appealing suppliers to the Nikes and the Cokes of the world.

“People offshore are amazed at the speed at which we can do things, with the small team we have,” says Andrew. “But that is precisely why we can do it – our decision making is practically instantaneous, our team highly knowledgeable, and we know exactly what we are capable of.”

Motim Technologies offer marketers the opportunity to build personal, interactive relationships where clients can choose the level of engagement. Motim complements your marketing strategy. To find out more contact Andrew Plimmer, CEO Motim Technologies Ltd.

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