A handful of start-ups presented technologies that were relevant to the world of marketing. Below are four companies that brands and agencies might benefit from meeting.
This mobile and Web app matches props and locations in movies to products you can buy and places you can visit. They have 185 movies logged so far, and the app can identify a logged film via audio cues (like Shazam). Want to buy Tyler Durden's sunglasses or visit the National Park seen in ?Boyhood"? This app takes you right to a purchase opportunity. Platforms like this allow brands to leverage the value of their product placement investments and convert more sales. There is also a mechanism for watching a trailer with pin marks overlaid identifying products that can be purchased.
There are many large players in the digital signage space, but Crown TV enables retailers to deploy an easy-to-manage network of screens across numerous locations. The content is centrally maintained and can be controlled dynamically. Thus, "big data" logic can be fed into the system controlling which items are promoted in which locations. For instance, an overstock of a particular item can trigger creative promoting it without user intervention. The system can also accommodate brands' social feeds for display in retail environments.
Static banner ads tend to have notoriously low click-through rates, while interactive banners are often costly to produce. Plyfe is a platform that gives advertisers a turnkey solution to deploy IAB-compliant ad units with rich interactivity. These units are meant to be creatable without needing a programmer. Your ad can feature polls, trivia quizzes, social photo galleries and more. Once created, the platform generates the code needed for hand-off to ad networks like DoubleClick.
Messaging apps are getting a lot of attention from brands these days, but this start-up is trying to drive campaigns within the confines of basic text messaging. Users who sign up for the service opt in to have short branded content or offers appended to some of their messages (e.g. 10% off a Starbucks purchase). In exchange, the sender of the message gets paid a few cents. With this tool, a brand's message gets to ride along with an authentic conversation between people who know each other. The product is in beta, so it remains to be seen how many users will opt-in for this sort of thing. But it certainly is a novel way for brands to either reach (and hopefully not annoy) their audience.