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Archive for July 2014

Calvin Carter set to judge the 2014 MediaPost OMMA Awards

Bottle Rocket Founder and President Calvin Carter is set to judge the 2014 MediaPost OMMA Awards.  Created in 2006, the OMMA awards celebrate innovative online advertising, creative campaigns and web sites in 66 categories within these three disciplines:  

-      Online Advertising Creativity

-      Integrated Online Campaign

-      Web Site Excellence

Carter will join a jury of executives from L’Oreal, Colgate Palmolive, Live Nation and many leaders from the most well respected agencies.

Bottle Rocket is honored to take part in awarding the agencies and advertisers that push the limits of online creativity. 

Visit the OMMA site for more information. 

 

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Rocketeer Charity: Twelve Hills Nature Center

For our latest charity drawing, Rocketeers are supporting Twelve Hills Nature Center - a conservancy built to "promote positive interaction between diverse community groups."

Rocketeer J.B. Chaykowsky entered Twelve Hills into our charity drawing. 

“The 12 Hills Nature Center board and volunteers are committed to creating an amazing, natural outdoor space to teach environmental stewardship. It is important we continue to give so that everyone in the community has the opportunity to learn about the ecological environment and what we can do to improve it," Chaykowsky said. 

We're looking forward to seeing what impact Twelve Hills Nature Center will continue to have in the Dallas community! 

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Turning User Experience into a Brand Experience

With each WWDC and Google IO, more and better UI elements and patterns are made available to developers for easy integration into the apps they build. This is great, it ensures your app will get to market quicker, look professionally designed, is usable and works as it should. Used correctly, these things can help make a mediocre app a good, fundamentally sound app. But how do you make a good app great? How do you make a utilitarian task an experience that users will choose over other and want to engage. How do you make the leap from a simple app experience to a brand experience? 

To build an app, all you need as the starting point is a list of desired features, functionality and content. Building a brand experience requires a deep understanding of the brand, the brand equities, and brand goals. Brand goes well beyond a logo, a color palette and some fonts. Brand is a combination of the consumer’s perception of the company, their understanding of the companies products and services, their expectations and relationship with the company.

This deep understanding of a brand takes a little time. Time that does not involve pushing pixels in photoshop or writing lines of code. It starts with research and discovery. Nearly every brand as at least a couple brand equities. Simple brand traits may or may not be unique and might also be found in other brands or in the competition’s brand. A Brand equity is something that has been built over time and is a unique promise to the consumer that is always delivered. It’s something own-able. As an example, let’s look at LEGO. Brand traits would include things like fun, colorful, and quality. Many toy companies share those traits. A brand equity of LEGO is that it inspires personal creativity and expression. Very few toy companies can claim that. Building upon that brand equity is a surefire way to ensure your app will stand out from all the others.

In the Showtime Sync app, the transitions from screen to screen needed to exceed what would be normal expectations for an app. The standard became the highly crafted motion and timing found in Showtime programming. Another Showtime hallmark is the depth of its character development. In the motion of the transitions a subtle zoom into the actor is also included as a dive into the mind of the character.

Apps that are brand experiences are not confined to well known consumer facing companies you would expect (ex. Coca-Cola, BMW, Starbucks, etc.).

A great example we are very proud of an enterprise sales enablement tool for Baker Hughes. BitGenie helps the sales team and engineers select the best drill bit for any drilling situation. The utility of this app could have been accomplished with straight forward standard UI elements like list views and common UX filtering techniques. That would have worked fine, but we saw an opportunity to deliver both the utility and to extend the Baker Hughes brand. The app reflects the brand traits of innovation, leadership, and technology but also introduces an entertainment aspect with an interface inspired my Iron Man’s Mach IV heads up display. The result is an app with a higher engagement level, engineers enjoy exploring and comparing the drill bits in a 3d game like environment.

Challenging ourselves to take this extra step into our clients brand ensures we are not just building apps. We are building brand experiences.

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For more information on how Bottle Rocket can elevate your brand experience, get in touch

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Matt Johnson on Virtual Reality

Matt Johnson, EVP here at Bottle Rocket and General Manager of Thruster, sat down recently to discuss his experience at E3 and the direction that virtual reality is taking with platforms like the Oculus Rift headset.

VR is moving beyond gaming and taking on practical applications, such as real-world training scenarios. With an Oculus headset, for example, first responders can train for emergency situations without the danger of real world consequences.

“Now they can just simulate these environments and give them evaluations, grades, and analytics on how they did in real time,” Johnson said.

Oculus will release the second version of its development kit sometime this year, with several improvements to its successful formula. For one, DK2 should help eliminate judder and high latency. This means that putting on a VR headset will feel less jarring and move more fluidly, which should help with the nausea that some people experience.

DK2 also adds positional tracking to the Oculus toolbox – meaning developers can now use sensors to track where a user is and allow for greater range of motion within the simulated world. All of these factors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) combined will help establish the presence that Oculus and VR developers have been working to cement.

“Having a faster response display is key to this. If they can get that to a point where’s there’s no visible judder, then less people are going to be sick and it can be more widely consumed,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, two markets are going to evolve in the virtual reality arena: one lower end consumer market for new challenges in gaming and higher end experiences like simulated art museums and monuments you can step into from half a world away.

“We’re still at the very beginning, but this is moving faster than anything that I’ve seen before,” Johnson said. 

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One of Bottle Rocket Apps' latest applications has given a fast-food bird some new wings.

Chick-fil-A's latest version of its mobile app, released last week for iOS, allows customers to order and pay via their smartphone. The app allows customers to use the new features at more than 130 locations, with more expected to roll out in 2015.

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