Breakthrough marketing with a twist, shake and squeeze


iMedia Connection

By Alan Ruthazer

New iPhone applications open the field for creative marketing. Here are some examples of what’s in the works.

Developers looking for the next marketing platform see the smart phone as a hot opportunity, one that — with the impending launch of the new iPhone — is heating up fast.

With the release of Apple’s iPhone Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) earlier this year, there has been tremendous speculation, along with a few sneak peeks of next generation applications for this mobile device from the likes of, EA and Sega.

What’s driving this fervor? Apple’s elegant hardware and sleek user interface certainly go a long way toward forging a relationship between users and their device, but things really get interesting when one brings the accelerometer and multi-touch technology into play.

With the accelerometer the iPhone can measure gravity-induced reaction forces — spinning, tipping or flipping– and multi-touch functionality enables users to interact with the touch screen by simultaneously touching it in multiple locations.

As developers begin to tap into these technologies we will start seeing groundbreaking applications. This device also presents the opportunity to dramatically change the marketing landscape. That said, the following are a few iPhone-based marketing projects now under development in SiiTE Interactive’s idea lab.

Shakin’ things up
SiiTE is helping one of the fastest growing frozen yogurt franchises with a mobile coupon-generating iPhone application. Users make their fruit and yogurt choices, and then literally shake the phone to blend them up. Once the concoction is ready, a mobile coupon for their drink is displayed. Yogurt fans bring their iPhone into the store to have the onscreen bar code scanned and receive a discount.

For those about to rock
Since the cell phone has evolved as the replacement cigarette lighter for fans to hold high in solidarity at rock concerts, it is time for the evolution to continue. Soon music fans will be able to not only hold their lit iPhones to illuminate the concert halls, they will be able to shake them in unison to generate the sounds of maracas, tambourines, jingle bells, etc. This mobile music app may be among promotional items fans will download as they purchase their next iTunes song.

Give a little squeeze
To help a leading orange juice brand drive home the message that their juice is fresh-squeezed, users can take the “Juicer” challenge utilizing iPhone technology. Here, users try to beat the clock and fill as many glasses of OJ as they can by tilting their iPhone to roll an orange into a squeezing zone and then use two fingers to squeeze the juice from the orange. With a flick of the wrist, the used orange is flipped off screen as the next orange rolls into place.

Radical community
Nothing is quite as good as bragging rights when it comes to the world of board sports (surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding). Soon, thanks to the accelerometer, iPhone-equipped snowboarders will be able to verify whether that last spin was a true 360. They’ll also be able to keep a log of their tricks and share their info with fellow snowboarders as they virtually compete against other users, and even the pros.

Many say the art of letter writing has died as a result of email culture, but the ancient art of paper folding, or origami, may spur its resurrection. Users will soon be able to send an Origami-gram to friends. Thanks to multi-touch technology, people will be able to write a note, then fold the virtual paper into custom origami configurations. Their swans, boxes and flowers will be saved in online galleries for other users to enjoy.

There will surely be plenty more ideas to develop with these technologies as rumors about the next generation iPhones continue to spread. Some include the addition of a video camera, a broadband connection, GPS, and even haptic technology (a tactile feedback system where users will feel keys that aren’t there).

As clever uses of these technologies roll out in upcoming months it will be exciting to see how Apple will make an impression on us with “one more thing.”


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