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According to a study conducted by Millward Brown, apps are most often used when consumers frequently engage with a brand, retailer, or publisher, or crave the convenience of an app for an activity they do regularly.

From the consumers’ perspective, the benefits of using mobile apps are: providing content specialized for the task at hand, saving user’s information and being convenient through easier access.

Another study conducted by MindSea on millennials revealed that their favorite types of app are those for social networking, followed by messaging, games and productivity.

Regarding attributes of an ideal app, 49 percent of them mentioned that the thing they hate the most is an app that drains their mobile batteries, 41 percent disliked apps that send too many push notifications and 37 percent identified data usage as top- three concern when deciding whether or not they like an app.

A recent Gartner survey reveals that 52 percent of respondents have begun investigating, exploring or piloting the use of bots, chatbots or virtual assistants in mobile app development, which is surprisingly high given how nascent these technologies are.

These technologies belong to an era where the traditional app will become just one of a wide range of ways that functionality and services will be delivered to mobile users.

Application leaders need to understand the different technologies that are emerging to ensure their mobile app strategies remain relevant and succeed.

We selected 2 successful ad campaign case studies that combined creativity and technology in order to develop engaging mobile apps.

Champions App- the potential of an app to be your brand’s most engaging channel

In 2015, Milo saw an opportunity to expand the limited reach of its on-ground programs through technology. Milo set out to link the future of the brand with the future of the nation, using the Milo Champions Band and app to create not only an exciting new way to engage with moms, the main target but also a solution that encourages kids to be active again.

The Milo Champions Band was a type of wearable technology that tracks energy expenditure. The Champions app, its partner mobile application, then matched this data against energy intake, as logged in to a built-in food journal. Used as a system, the band and the app helped moms monitor children’s energy level tracking their physical activity versus calorie consumption.

Based on the child’s height, weight and age, the app computed the unique daily recommended number of steps for each child, as well as his or her nutrition and calorie intake. This data became the basis of the app’s personalized recommendations.

When the band detected that a child didn’t achieve the target number of steps for the day, the app sent out a notification to let the mom know her child needed more active time. Conversely, the app provided smart food recommendations based on the mom’s current input of food.

For the platform to really get engagement, Milo needed both moms and kids on board. Milo applied successful gamification principles to make hitting energy targets turn into a rewarding screen experience for kids.

Milo first launched the platform at the annual Milo Summer Sports Clinic. Kids received a band, and their moms were instructed to download the app. Both of them got to see how the system worked, as the app logged energy expenditure during the training. Beyond the clinic sessions, the platform became a mother-child bonding activity.

Through the Champions Band and app, Milo found a new way to not only make kids more active but also increase mothers’ involvement in the process. 98 percent of the moms recognized the platform’s relevance. They used the Champions app for an average of 63 minutes for the first three weeks. The Champions Band and app proved to be the most engaging compared to other Milo channels and other utility mobile apps.

Commitment Rings-  the mobile app that unites couples

Cornetto partnered with streaming services, like Netflix, to help stop couples from "cheating"- watching episodes of their favorite shows without their partners. The brand developed "Commitment Rings" with near field communication (NFC) technology. If the rings were not in the same room at the same time, the show could not be accessed on the couple's streaming service.

The "Commitment Rings" were linked to video streaming service accounts for six months. With the mobile app, couples could pick the series they wanted to watch together. Episodes of the show could then only be accessed when the rings were in close proximity to one another.

In other words, couples could only watch their favorite TV shows if they were physically together. If they were not together, the account was blocked, making it impossible for one of them to watch an episode alone. Because the idea was innovative, the initial objective was to do it on a small scale and test the functionality. The next step was to launch it on a wider global scale in key markets.

The initial test of the Ring functionality was successful, and thousands of couples registered on the website for Commitment Rings. The campaign also attracted global media attention.

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