The Business Dictionary defines innovation as a process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value. So as to be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.
Advertising agencies always attempt to create new strategies for their campaigns in order to deliver brand experiences that are more charming and innovative. And today, innovation is all about what users want and need.
A mobile map application can change the face of interactive advertising for your brand. Maps’ increased importance as a marketing medium has been driven by the growth in mobile usage, where maps play a crucial navigational role. More than a billion people are using maps each day. And this is the perfect opportunity to bring innovation in your mobile campaign.
In order to make its Maps product a more marketer-friendly environment, Google continues to develop a range of Maps APIs for business users. Retailers can hook directly into the Maps API to provide store locators or to analyze shopping behavior by geography.
In the last years, more and more advertising agencies realized the potential that the Maps API has in creating innovative and engaging product campaigns. And the ingenuity of 3rd party developers using the Google Maps API has created a dazzling array of apps and tools. We selected three case studies of innovative campaigns that used Google Maps in their implementation.
Pepsico India: creating an immersive technological experience with Google Maps and social media platforms
In a period where every other brand was running vanilla contests to woo consumers, Lay’s did a first-of-its-kind innovation that brought the two technological giants – Google and Twitter – together to create an immersive technological experience for its audience by creating a mashup using their APIs.
This was the first time that a brand innovated on the medium of mobile, by leveraging through a utility-based app: Google Maps. Lay’s created the first-ever treasure hunt, which was only possible to win through the map.
The engagement model was rooted in mobile and social channels, keeping in mind the media habits of the Lay’s audience during the tournament. For a cricket fan, there couldn’t have been any bigger reward than to watch the World Cup Finals live. Therefore, Lay’s wanted to find a way to be part of that reward.
Google Maps has always been centered on giving directions from point A to point B. Lay’s decided to leverage this ‘utility’ feature of the app and combined it with the social networking power of Twitter to engage its audience on a branded microsite created for the promotion focused on a treasure hunt. Users had to only log in on the microsite with their Twitter credentials and were instantly connected to the main interface, which showed a map with hidden tickets to the World Cup final.
The hunt was organized pan-India with the treasure being hidden in different cities. The level of customization was such that a participant in the hunt from a particular city only saw the marker for the tickets for that city. As the microsite required a connection to Twitter, user actions on the website were converted into tweets that helped amplify the event and at the same time created awareness about the activity. This microsite was optimized for mobile, as Lay’s was aware that the users who were participating were going to be on the go. It would help them get the next clues to progress on the treasure hunt.
The campaign garnered 409 million exposures, 27.7 million in reach, and 3.3 million people engaged, making Lay’s the second most talked-about brand among International Cricket Council sponsors, after Nike’s #bleedblue campaign, during the World Cup season.
Rate My Roof: personalizing the app experience through Google Maps in order to create awareness
Origin Energy developed a campaign called “Don’t Waste Your Roof,” a seamlessly integrated online journey that asked Australians to see the potential value in their roof space. It re-framed the humble roof as something of value not to be wasted. As part of the campaign, an app was developed that allowed people to measure the potential solar value of their rooves.
Using “Rate My Roof,” which was created in partnership with Google Maps, people could draw a square around their homes on a map to see how much money solar energy could save them over a period of up to 30 years, giving them the knowledge they needed to make the switch. The strategy was to get people to make the most of something they took for granted.
Origin Energy created an educational video piece that streamlined the entire process of going solar from the awareness through installation phases. The app was launched with an online “mockumentary” called “Solar Stealers.” It told the story of a loveable, middle-aged couple traveling around the country in their camper-van, stealing people’s sun from above their roof with a giant solar panel. The film introduced the interactive mobile tool, Rate My Roof.
For the first time ever, people were able to see how much money they could save by adding solar panels to their rooves. The Rate My Roof app was used by 150,000 people, increasing solar consideration by 70 percent. Google went on to launch its own version of the tool in America. In a category more hated than banks, 67 percent of people began to perceive Origin as a company that was both innovative and forward-thinking.
The Traffic Gaaye: creating useful tools by integrating Google Maps in your app
Cows are India’s most sacred animal. In the bustling city of Delhi, however, they are also a major source of traffic congestion. Videocon wanted to address the issue using its own innovative smartphone technology, in an attempt to drive brand affinity and grow its market share in the telecommunications industry. The brand developed the Traffic Gaaye app, which leveraged mobile technology to alert drivers to traffic caused by free-roaming cows throughout Delhi, and suggest alternate routes.
Videocon created special transmitter collars for Gaayes (Hindi for cow). Each collar used a recycled smartphone and a solar charger. The brand tracked the cows using the smartphones’ existing GPS capabilities, following their movements and providing updates on nearby traffic to users.
The collars tracked the cows’ longitude and latitude, and the Traffic Gaaye app was created with Google Maps’ open API, allowing commuters to avoid a very common source of congestion, the cows themselves. Users could see where the cows were, receive tweets with traffic updates, and even follow unique routes the cows used to navigate the city
With 6,000 km covered by the cows, Videocon developed a data bank of hundreds of unique routes. These, combined with the traffic updates and alerts showed that commuters’ journeys were reduced by an average of 15 minutes. The campaign drove a 13 percent increase in the Videocon brand affinity amongst its user base.