Meet the latest addition to the Matmi team, Ian Lawrence!
Before we get to meet Ian, I think a special mention is needed for one of our past employees; Mr Tibbs esq… or just James if you prefer. He started at Matmi 8 years ago, working on award winning campaigns such as Gorillaz, Lily Allen, Let It Flow and Optathlon.
He moved from being a simple coding monkey, to lead programmer and finally to project manager. A big thanks to James for all his hard work over the years and we wish him well on his freelance adventures.
But time stands still for no man. Taking over the hot seat of project manager, please welcome Ian. I managed to find 10 minutes to sit down with him (no rest for the newbie) and pester him for some personal information.
What did you do before coming to Matmi?
I was working on a project sponsored by the BBC and Arts Council England called the Space. We were focussed on the Literature & Spoken Word section.
How To Motivate Customer Engagement With Your Brand
“The Optathlon programme has been a resounding success and has generated millions in revenue for United Airlines.”
Extract from United’s campaign video, February 2011
Matmi is proud to have so many very happy clients – but this was a first. Not the quote so much as the fact that our client (via our American partner, Barrie D’Rozario Murphy) was so happy with the results of this campaign, they made a video about it!
What did we do?
If reading is not your thing, then check out the short video explaining the campaign in a nutshell.
Still with us? Good, I’ll continue.
When you’re a global brand, it gets more and more difficult to be bold because there’s more and more at stake.
How refreshing it was then to be approached by United Airlines and the US advertising agency, BD’M. Not only did they want to use advergames for the first time; they wanted to use five of them in a suite on a number of platforms, and put them at the very heart of a promotional campaign for passenger upgrades.
The three online Flash games in the suite were designed to be viral, driving traffic to the Optathlon website. The website drives traffic to the mobile games, and the mobile games drive traffic back to the Optathlon website – which drives traffic to the…. You get the picture. All points of access educated and entertained the customer, leading to a greater understanding of UA’s flight upgrades.
Matmi’s skills on display
The development work took Matmi from our Flash roots for the online games, into Unity 3D for the development of the mobile phone games. The mobile games are on Apple’s iPhone platform and on Google’s Android platform for smartphones (which at the time was one of Unity’s first outings on Android). It was a fantastic learning process for us and enabled Matmi to show just what we are capable of.
Not to boast (I’m going to anyway) but I think the number of industry awards the campaign won proved we had achieved something innovative at the time that also resulted in an incredible ROI for the client.
This was two years ago. Developing mobile apps has become second nature to us, as will be seen with the release of 3 apps later this year (including one featuring Warwick ‘Ewok’ Davis). Not ones to stand still, we continue to push the boundaries in digital advertising – working with companies to create online educational suites, augmented reality apps, face mapping solutions and much much more.
Very fancy but how did the campaign perform?
A stunning success.
During the first three months of the campaign, over 1 million unique visitors had played the online games and tens of thousands had downloaded the games from theOptathlon suite for mobile. Forget the fact that they’re free; feedback was great. 5/5 ratings in the AppStore, and great comments in forums and blogs. 85,000 passengers also claimed on-the-spot flight upgrades via the games (oh yes!) and United Airlines almost got an excess baggage charge for the campaign’s positive PR coverage.
And on 15thOctober 2010, one lucky player won a sweepstake worth $20,000 in United Airlines’ air miles.
But what’s intrigued us is that the Optathlon games suite is still flying high – even without the incentives of free flight upgrades and a $20K sweepstake on offer. The stats are now at over 8 million plays, which means that millions more customers (and potential customers) are learning about United Airlines’ range of flight upgrade options 2 years after the campaign was first launched.
That’s not just a stunning success. It’s subzero on the cool scale.
Why use branded games in your next campaign?
Let’s return to WHY United Airlines came to us in the first place. The original objective was to break a vicious cycle: passengers didn’t book flight upgrades until they had tried them out – but they didn’t try them out because they didn’t understand them. UA wanted to educate their customers about the upgrades without the individual needing to spend a single penny.
This is where Matmi and our innovative cross-platform branded games came in. Entertainment was the key. Think back to your school days; the majority of people find that the best teachers or the things they still remember are usually the ones that were built upon a foundation of entertainment (whatever form that took). They demanded your attention in a positive manner which increased your engagement with the subject/teacher.
Our suite of games filled that role perfectly, like a digital MC. Pulling in the attention of customers (current and potential) with the games, leading to that all important increase in engagement with the brand followed by a greater understanding of what United Airlines had to offer them. Which lead to the fantastic ROI mentioned in the above video.
It’s important to note that it’s not enough to just develop any old game and expect it to reproduce the success of the Optathlon campaign. It first requires an understanding of who your target audience is. What they want, where they go to access it and what motivates their behaviour.
So ask yourself, -how well does your brand know its audience? And more importantly – how well do they know you? I can feel a brief coming on…….
When you are ready to maximise your potential for customer engagement, loyalty, motivate buying behaviours and increase exposure …You know who to call.
For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:
Matmi have just launched an updated HTML5 version of the “Mementos of Closeness” game for our friends over at Nivea and ITV.
We were asked to update the previous flash version of the popular hidden objects game that we created last year adding a new colourful jubilee themed level for 2012.
The thinking behind the HTML5 conversion was to use the new technology to enable the game to be played on ipad and across multiple platforms; this not only increased the brand reach but also gave us the chance to carry out our first Html5 conversion.
Apple, Microsoft, Google, Mozilla - four of the largest tech companies are actively pushing HTML5 in all areas, including gaming. More importantly, their products account for 97% of browser usage.
Html5 is a big player with a bright future in the digital industry, but is still in its infancy…There is an argument to say that it will take over from Flash in the games arena but this remains to be seen.
With Unity3D throwing their hats into the platform ring again by adding the ability to export to Flash, this debate could go on for a while yet; and whilst the W3C still hasn’t come to agreement on the HTML standards -it’s certainly an interesting time for developers!
With Matmi’s strong standing in all of these platforms, we are ready to take on any challenge!
Award-winning niche games agency, Matmi, has launched its new viral game for BP called Carbonator. This is the latest release in a long line of branded games developed by Matmi, stretching back 11 years (wow - as I typed that I suddenly got a shudder of old age creeping up on me).
Why a branded flash game?
WDMP approached Matmi to assist in the development of a viral game to help promote BP’s Target Neutral campaign. The campaign is focused around BP’s offer to offset carbon emissions of all the people who will be travelling to London 2012.
A branded flash game (advergame) is a fantastic way to get massive exposure online and to ensure your potential customers have fun while being engaged with your brand.
The aim of this game is to not only raise awareness of the BP’s Target Neutral offer but also to drive traffic through to the BP Target Neutral website (http://www.bptargetneutral.com/) - and what better way to raise awareness than to have an online product gaining exposure from the millions of flash gamers on hundreds, or even thousands, of websites. Add this to the social integration where you can share the game with your friends and you have a perfect mix for a viral game which could be played millions of times in it’s life. A permanent online interactive advert for your brand.
So what is the game all about?
The London 2012 games are here, but the Carbon Orbs are threatening the very safety of the world’s oldest sporting competition.
Spitting out of all the cars, buses, taxis, planes and trucks clogging up London, the Carbon Orbs are multiplying at an incredible rate. Without your help the games are going to be overrun with carbon clusters.
Your e: mission is to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, neutralising as many of the Carbon Orbs as you can along the way and keeping the air as clean as possible for all the BP Target Neutral Athletes.
Play the game and submit a score to show your support for the Target Neutral campaign and help BP bust 1million tonnes of Carbon Emissions!