Smoke Signals

September 29th, 2011

Welcome to the Tribal DDB weekly Smoke Signals trend report, news from the frontier of digital marketing. We’ve scoured the net to bring you the hottest stories in the digital, media, and marketing space. Have any thoughts on any of these stories? We want to hear what you think!

Click here for the PDF version of this weekly report.

In this issue:
Bringing Digital Back to Reality
Multiscreen Strategies Provide Results

Bringing Digital Back to Reality

LEGO is thinking beyond its physical bricks. A new product called ‘Life of George’ ties mobile gaming to the brand’s offline experience. Users are provided with 144 bricks, a “Playmat”, and an iOS app. The app presents players with objectives, or things to recreate, and the phone’s camera is used to snap a shot of the work, verify it, and then award points for speed and accuracy.

This isn’t the first time that LEGO has blurred the line between the digital and the physical. The company provided Mindstorms NXT owners with the ability to control their creation using an Android application. And a kiosk in the LEGO store at Rockefeller center adds a digital layer to product boxes using augmented reality.

Implications: Hybrid products aren’t merely about novelty. They are beginning to present new business opportunities and can be pivotal in strategic marketing. Suwappu is a popular example of a hybrid product thatuses physical toys as a canvas for character development and storytelling. As seen in LEGO’s ‘Life of George’, this type of thinking can be executed effectively only if product development and digital strategy become more collaborative.

Multiscreen Strategies Provide Results

New research from Nielsen argues that marketers should embrace and create cross-platform experiences. The research was commissioned by Google and ultimately released in a report called “Better Together: Examining the Incremental Utility of Cross-Media Campaigns”.

In short, consumers were brought to TVCity, an interactive lab in MGM Las Vegas, and were asked to watch ads on a TV set, a computer, a smartphone, and a tablet. According to Media Decoder, twenty-two percent of the group members watching the video on TV were able to recall specific details about an ad. That number was bumped up to 39 percent when the video was watched across all four screens.

Implications: Devices are splintering and consumers are beginning to form personalized collections of screens. This new reality is bound to drive new behaviors and present opportunities for advertisers to get involved. For those looking to get started, there are already emerging patterns. Precious Design recently published a report on multiscreen strategies, where they present thought-starters for understanding and designing within an ecosystem of screens.

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