Advertising as immersive apps for Digital OOH and retail

October 7, 2011 by Dave Haynes

Suppose when you wandered into the subway or were hanging out at a transit stop that a nearby poster, humping that day’s hottest new smartphone release, caught your eye.

There would be a beauty shot of the phone, and some brief but excited text hammering its biggest selling point.

You’d remember that, maybe, and when back home or at the office, perhaps go online and dig a little deeper into the spcs and how it really looks from different angles.

Suppose, instead, that poster was digital and you could easily look at the thing from the front,side, back, whatever and probably drill into other aspects. Maybe even get a product brief or promo offer pushed to the crappy phone you want to  ditch.

That’s just one way I could see applying the technology from a Silicon Valley start-up, called Cooliris, to Digital Out Of Home and in-retail digital signage.

Palo Alto-based Cooliris is marketing a solution built for mobile – specifically for iPhones and by extension iPads – that makes advertising interactive, touch-controlled, 3D mobile advertising. The development kit is the company’s own spin on XML, and while right now the work is in the Apple mobile operating system, the company also supports HTML5. That means it can run on other, non-Apple devices (like Android-based processors) and does not need a CPU-gobbling pig like Flash to make things happen on a screen.

“The advertisement experience does not have to be sub-par compared to the application experience,” Cooliris CEO Soujanya Bhumkar tells ReadWriteWeb (which is where I spotted this). “Good experience matters, because that is what delivers high engagement.”

To deliver that experience, Cooliris has created a standalone business unit called Adjitsu to build 3D mobile ads that users can touch to move, pinch, zoom and explore products.

“What we wanted to do was create a new generation of ads that allowed people to decide which parts of the experience they wanted to indulge in,” says Aneesh Karve, product manager at AdJitsu. “Our mantra is pretty simple. It’s ‘Beyond HTML5.’ We think [AdJitsu ads are] the next generation, which goes beyond video and beyond HTML.”

“Video is telling the consumer what they should look at,” Karve says. “What we’ve tried to do with our ads is to allow the consumer to decide which part of the ad they’re most interested in.”

Ads are essentially apps, giving users the ability to use now natural swipe, flick, pinch and zoom gestures to look over a product. Because the ad is an app, it can be as deep as makes sense. In a Digital OOH environment, depth probably doesn’t make as much sense as calls to action to capture emails or mobile numbers to push more information. In retail, deep is good, particularly with products that have to be under lock and key to prevent theft – like phones and cameras.

Interactive is already, certainly out there in some posters (think the ClearChannel interactive bus stops in San Francisco) and in retail. But something like this that’s lean, and laser-focused on consumer engagement is pretty interesting.

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