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New frontiers: mobile

From: Creative Inspirations: Trigger, Interactive Design Studio

Video: New frontiers: mobile

(Music playing) Jason Yim: iPhone has, especially this year, has become a huge component of marketing campaigns. Before that, we have tried to run, like, SMS campaigns, but because of how the mobile eco-system around the world is set up, there is no one-size-fits-all sort of approach. Literally, you would have to run every individual market.

New frontiers: mobile

(Music playing) Jason Yim: iPhone has, especially this year, has become a huge component of marketing campaigns. Before that, we have tried to run, like, SMS campaigns, but because of how the mobile eco-system around the world is set up, there is no one-size-fits-all sort of approach. Literally, you would have to run every individual market.

You would have to have another carrier relationship, another relationship with the middleman for the SMS outbound messaging and all that sort of stuff. And on the Nokia, there is twelve phones that this will have to work for and you would have to tweak it for every single phone. So that's, basically, time and cost prohibitive. So the clients weren't really pushing for that, until the iPhone. And the reason why the iPhone works so well is that, as a developer, you create one iPhone game or application.

You can build the multiple languages into it and that one packet gets sent to Apple. They check it, QA it, approve it and they launch it, within all their stores around the world. And then, suddenly, it's a campaign that's working globally. So it's the first time, I think for ourselves and our clients, that you can actually get content on a person's phone. So, instead of a text message that can be deleted, instantly, it's something that's twenty minutes of game play, shows the characters, shows the world that this movie is going to be about.

At the end of 2008, we were talking to our client at Sony. And he was saying that "If you guys want to grow, next year, iPhone is "really important to us." So we, literally, hired our first iPhone guy two months before any work started coming in, just to prototype, and we found that that approach has been really successful for us. We did the same thing for social media. When we knew that our clients would be interested in it the next year, we actually started hiring, started developing on those platforms so that when the clients were ready to go, we could bring something to the table that was already functioning and could prove our expertise.

Loc Le: We started with iPhone development about 8-10 months ago, and in that time we've have released about six iPhone apps, already. And, in doing so, we learned that by prototyping, we were able to eliminate a lot of the issues that a lot of companies would encounter along the way because they never got to the point where a problem would exist before they can solve it. And sometimes we had to actually come up with solutions before there was an answer. So we tried to think modularly, where this solution makes the best sense, but in case the client changes his or her mind or the other vendor decides to do this instead, we are going to develop the game so that we can change our feature set very quickly.

Anthony Palacios: The attention of someone just to sit there and play an iPhone game, they are doing it at the coffee shop, at the bus stop, on the street while they are waiting for the light to change, so we have to make really clean, concise gaming experiences that will keep their attention for a limited time, but still be really, really fun. So I think that's a unique challenge for us is creating these really quick, fun, engaging games that'll make an impression on the user, but not necessarily be like really, really in depth.

So, we'll tend to focus on the heavier gaming aspect on our online games, our web games. Jason Yim: We are starting to move into non-entertainment iPhone apps. The first one we will launch is actually for Jenny Craig. This will be a dining guide. So they have a book that their members receive that's very well researched. It covers a lot of the chain restaurants and stuff, and it breaks down everything on their menu, calorie counts, and stuff like that, and what they recommend and what they don't recommend.

For the non-entertainment side, it becomes more about creating a useful tool versus an entertaining experience. It's not a sit down for twenty minutes and have the coolest experience. It's more about, I hope they use it one minute a day, every single day for as long as possible. I think we have had enough success on the marketing side, on the iPhones, that we think that we would like to push into the retail side. For the marketing iPhone games, we basically bid and get a project fee to build the game and it doesn't matter how successful it is.

We just get whatever we bid for in the beginning. On the retail side, the deals are more like the partner is going to provide the intellectual property, so we'll get a character. Instead of us paying for it, we are exchanging kind of development time for it. We are really excited because it's a first time we are going into retail. The idea that, I think on the service side, to be any good, you have to be right like, nine out of ten times.

Anything less than that and you are kind of mediocre and you'll start losing clients. Now, hopefully on the retail side, like, if we can do five of these deals and you are just paying one of them, that's a game changer for us, I think. So we are really excited about that, and I think there is, our advantage is we have the client relationships. We have proven that we can build these games on the marketing side. We'll double the development time on the retail side, so that the games are more fleshed out, they are much longer game play, more value for the user, and try it, both with Asian based IP and US based IP as well.

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Creative Inspirations: Trigger, Interactive Design Studio

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Jason Yim
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