In February we announced our partnership with Unilever and now we can state which one of our favorite brands that it’s with, Magnum Ice Cream! It’s a digital marketing first: a CPG brand launching a P2P beacon strategy vs. a retailer. Before diving into how the campaign works with the video below, here’s a recap of beacon technology in marketing today.
Even with NewAer’s invention of any “beaconing radio as an action” nearly five years ago, the beacon world is still in its infancy and rough around the edges. Apple’s iBeacon is just one year old and the most well-known beacon proponent, and to our belief, the few retailers and stadiums currently using it do so via “spammy” experiences. Each time you walk by a beacon, it triggers your phone to create a message of the iBeacon’s intent within an application.
Think about it like this; when your phone vibrates, you expect it to be a phone call, text message or an application you’ve permitted to disrupt your personal space digitally. Now amplify this with a new type of walk-by spam, where a second pass by an iBeacon brings up the same message. With iBeacon’s current lack of silencing second events (we call this “flapping,” like a door banging in the breeze) they continue to pop up as new inbound messages. We knew from the start of NewAer that we had to eliminate that while putting the power of the technology into the consumer’s hands.
Summer is here – so what better way to illustrate our automagical, non-intrusive technology than via an ice cream social with a twist?
With the forthcoming Unilever mPulse application, debuting in London as part of the 25th anniversary of Magnum ice cream and powered by the NewAer Proximity Platform SDK, will notify you when a friend is nearby, helping to create a spontaneous rendezvous. This alert is similar to a text message from a friend asking to meet, except it happens automatically via our engine. When there is an ice cream cooler nearby you and your friends, that message gets relayed as well. What’s special for consumers, and critical to marketers, is that we’re creating opportunities to connect with friends instead of a barrage of one-way marketing. Equally critical is the ability to turn off your device beaconing if you want to “go stealth” for some alone time. Naturally, mPulse does that too.
Working with Unilever’s agency Karamarama we came up with the ultimate app for connecting and reimagining the ice cream social – one that is powered by NewAer’s SDK of invisible bits, to create impulsive unexpected connections. Only NewAer could accomplish such a sophisticated campaign (yes, even Apple’s iBeacon cannot) as we are the only company in the space who specializes in making mobile devices like tablets and smartphones themselves communicate as beacons.
The announcement of NewAer partnering with the Unilever Foundry:
Last week we were honored to attend Cannes-Lions as guests of Unilever where CMO Keith Weed generated huge online buzz when he took the stage to discuss their innovation in consumer marketing, with their partnership video featuring NewAer. The opportunities for magical consumer moments driven by mobile technology are endless, and it seems that the trade press is beginning to realize that too.
In sum, ice cream bars never tasted so good! We hope to digitally run into friends in London when we launch in late July, and with the mPulse app, you will too!