Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mobile Technology as Art

The sheer proliferation of mobile phones in the world is opening up an amazing opportunity for self-creation and self-expression. Now that most of these devices are packed with the standard tools to create (camera, editing software, bluetooth, etc) the possibilities for people to create all the time is virtually endless. Add the ability to interact with the world around you (see the cell phone symphony below), there is a whole new category of digital/real art to be appreciated.

This article outlines some amazing cell phone engagement installations and installation art pieces, all inspired by mobile technology as the catalyst.

As advertisers/marketers, there is a whole new way of interacting with consumer via their cell phone.

The trick is not to get lost in the obvious consumerism that we all think customer want (i.e. bluetooth coupons sent to your phone when you walk by a store). Nobody wants that - think of the practical example of people handing out flyers in front of any retail location - most people cross the street or do whatever they can to avoid getting handed some useless coupon for french fries.

Instead, think of how you can add value to the experience. These art installation pieces are about adding value - whether just entertainment, thought provoking discourse or simple interaction. How can your brand play a role in the lives of your consumers when they are out in the world - align with your brand values and think about when you can intersect customers when they really need information or content from you. Transit that provides arrival times at your stops, real estate companies that deliver interior images of a house your standing outside of, interactive video games at amusements parks while you stand in line waiting to get on a roller coaster (here's a great example from megaphone/adidas)

Point being - its about adding value and harnessing your creative power to create content that people want. They don't just want coupons.