Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

The Genius (And Risk) Of Pokemon Go: Will Search For Snorlax

In case studies, Mobile, Mobile App, Uncategorized on July 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

If you’ve left your house in the past three days (or even if you just went to the office), you’ve probably seen a twenty-something staring down at their phone intently. wandering around flinging Pokeballs.

Released to the Apple Store and Google Play on July 6, Pokemon Go already has 27,328 customer ratings, over 50,000 downloads in it’s first 24 hours, trending topics on Facebook and Twitter, loyal fans and dedicated haters.  The mobile app presented Nintendo, Pokemon and Niantic layers real life locations with poke spots, utilizes a phone’s camera feature to make Pokemon appear in the user’s location and surroundings and generally causes addictive behavior.

For those wondering, I’ve been able to catch 24 different species and more than 50 Pokemon in my downtime the last few days despite the dreaded “Servers Down” screen that many have been experiencing.

Just like when us 20-somethings were in the 4th Grade and our teacher banned Pokemon Cards from the playground because we couldn’t look away, Pokemon Go has taken over the playground of adulthood. Much more than it’s creators anticipated as the game crashes every 20 minutes or so due to overloaded servers. Users have to sign in over and over, which for me is particularly tedious because i’m the fool with two step authentication on most of my accounts.

This issue with the game though, did not put it in the category of DIGG malfunctions, instead, the opposite. When users log in to the same successfully, the world around them fades, focusing soley on the game and feeling lucky that they are in.



Here’s a look at the Genius (And Risk) of Pokemon Go:



  1. A GENERATION NOT FORGOTTEN: Gloom, Pidgey, Dratini. These words not only illicit childhood memories, but in my circle of friends spark back intense knowledge of species, battles, HP & more. I can’t remember a game this ubiquitous since maybe “Words With Friends.” Since it’s launch three days ago, it’s been quickly adopted and heavily used. I was at a concert in Miami last night, talking to strangers about the Polliwags they were able to grab by the concession stand. Everyone at the show who wasn’t snapping photos of the Miami Skyline had the familial green and blue Pokemon landscape on their screen. Dozens of folks set up lures (which attract virtual Pokemon) and actually, I’ve talked to more random strangers with a happy instant connection than ever before. High Fives all around when we spotted that Slow Poke.
  2. GET UP AND MOVE: To hatch an egg into a Pokemon you have to have the game open on your phone and walk (or bike) between 2 and 10 kilometers. For everyone who says video games promote laziness, this one has made me walk in circles around my apartment complex in search of nighttime Clefairies. The game literally forces you to walk to catch, so it’s a decent option for a lunchtime break or morning stroll companion. Overheard at the concert between complete strangers: “Yo bro, a Snorlax has been spotted in the Arts District, do you guys want to go?”
  3. REAL LIFE LOCATIONS: This one is both a genius idea and a risk. The Christopher Columbus Statue at Bayside Park is a Pokestop. You can go there, spin an image when you are close enough and collect eggs, Pokeballs and more. Reminiscent of Geocashing, it’s really fun to go out and explore live locations, run into other people playing the game there. It’s layered with what appears to be Google Maps Data and cellphone usage, so popular areas are crawling with species encourage exploration, travel and companionship to catch the rarest species.



  1. REAL LIFE LOCATIONS: Yeah, this one’s both. There’s a ton of risk in making a local Church or landmark a pokespot. Namely, the location didn’t agree to that. Some places may love the attention and traffic and others not so much. Secondly, there’s inherent risk in people wandering around places they don’t know, staring at their phone sneaking Snorlax.
  2. PERSONAL BOUNDARIES: The game warns you to “be alert” of your surroundings at all times, BUT I’ve seen people walk across the street hunting pokemon. It’s not a stretch to say people are likely driving, not paying attention to the world, walking into lakes looking for Horseas and worse while fixated on this game. Of course, it’s up to the user to be smart, but it certainly encourages a world that’s purely digital and non responsive to reality.


Now bring on that Clefairy.


My First On-Demand Geofilter

In Mobile, On the look out, Snapchat on March 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

The hardest part about launching an On-Demand Snap Geofilter is the graphic design. I only spent about three seconds on mine, but if you can google map your way to a destination, you can launch your own filter.

It took me all of 10 minutes to mock up a super quick design in photoshop using the provided template, geo-fence an area, choose a time frame and go live!

It was just a few weeks ago that Snapchat announced their new On-Demand Snap Filters.

The process is designed to get your custom filter up and live as quickly as a Facebook campaign. You just need your snapchat log in and a credit card. Follow the posted guidelines, and your cost is based on how big of an area you want your filter to cover and how long you want it to stay up.

This was a GENIUS move from Snapchat. During the Super Bowl, it was heavily publicized that sponsored filters could set you back huge $$$. The International Business times reported upwards of $750,000.  Obviously this closes many small businesses, local festivals, etc. out of the race. Of course you can launch your own community filter, or enter a licensing agreement with snapchat for a more permanent filter for your location or business. But this quick-launch style feature allows Snapchat to rake in easy cash and will forever change weddings, huge birthday parties and small businesses snapchat strategies.

Their advertisement positions the on-demand filters as a great birthday gift:


  • Plan ahead to ensure your filter goes live when you want it to. I received this confirmation email only a few hours after purchasing. It was scheduled to go live at 9, but I didn’t notice it until around 9:15, so give yourself a cushion from when you really need it.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 10.35.58 AM
  • Focus on your design. As you can see, mine was tossed together quickly just as a test, but spend the time creating the image you want. Be mindful of not including photos, and avoiding any copyright mess ups.


  • Don’t cover too much of the screen with your design. Think about what the font of any text will look like on a background and think about the user experience of discovering your filter.

ALSO, my filter is only live in my garden for today, but it only cost $5 for 9-5 p.m. just in a small area. Give it a try and build your own filter today.

Case Study: Sports & Push Notifications

In Cannes, Mobile, Sports Media on July 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I can remember a time when I would ask friends to text me updates during Penguins Hockey games when I couldn’t watch them. That reliance on someone, something was in place to assure that you knew the score, even when you weren’t at the game or in front of a TV. A lot has changed since then. Twitter’s inception has forced both news organizations and sports entities to constantly communicate in the now. No longer needing a text or the next day’s paper to inform you, you can know the second that anything happens. Play-by-Play and commentary come from the teams themselves but also journalists and anyone, allowing the pool of information to grow. However, even as technology advances all of these required the user, or interested person to go and search for the information.

Enter Push Notifications. Many of us have them for our favorite news organizations or sports teams. Fitting in with the developing Web 3.0 trend of the news and media coming to you, an alert or nice looking text box will appear on your screen and sometimes send you into utter distraction reading whatever article or latest score update has come your way.

Self admittedly, I’m a junkie for push notifications and have allowed them to become an integral and absolutely daily/regular part of my life. I was really excited, then, when I came across Urban Airship at the MMA both at Cannes Lions. Specializing in mobile marketing management, Urban Airship offers management of push notifications from creation to delivery and also houses analytics to study how push notifications are viewed or used.

Their website features several success stories in sports, one of which being the Vancouver Canucks.

The case study says that for the first agency who attempted to institute a push notification program, a scalability problem arose. With over 100,000 downloads and multiple notifications per game and night, size was massive. After utilizing a platform such as the one Urban Airship offers the results were as follows:

“The reaction was astounding – not only did the team exceed their expected downloads by 600%, but over the course of the season the Canucks sent out over 90 million targeted push notifications to fans and grew the opted-in fanbase by 56%.”

This is just one example, but you will be hard pressed to find a professional team in the NHL, MLB, NFL, or European Soccer that doesn’t consider push notifications as a given.  Not all AHL or minor league teams have created such offerings yet, but the notifications have become common place.

The next consideration is how to use them. When downloading the general NHL app or even an ESPN or TSN app, favorite teams can be selected and notifications set up through that platform as well. In this way, you could receive score alert information in the form of push notifications from 4 apps at once. It all comes down to preference, however. You have the option to choose to receive notifications after each period, or in real time, or even just once after the game. This allows for preference for a number of teams, giving the fans the ability to get limited news about some teams and heavily detailed updates about others.

In the land of social TV, sports is one broadcast in which live and timely will never disappear. Post airings of sport games or time shifted information will never be successful when up to the minute remains the priority in this sphere. Push notifications allows for fans to have all of the information at their finger tips and not search for it, it comes to them.

I think this type of information sharing will only increase as digitization continues and the shift towards a web 3.0 goes on. Perhaps will see customizable push notifications being offered such as indepth line up or injury reports, or even fun facts before a game. In this way, it can almost become a form of content creation rather than just statistical notification.