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.
Introducing the biggest little celebrity on the planet…
Matmi are very excited to announce the launch of PocketWARWICK, the brand new app for international actor and all round good guy Warwick Davis.
Matmi were approached by technology investors Offficial, who are producers of the app, and Warwick Davis to develop Pocket Warwick. Working alongside Warwick and Offficial over the 7 month development time was incredible, providing more laughs than any other project.
Warwick loves his gadgets and saw PocketWARWICK as a perfect extension to his onscreen persona, allowing his creativity to flourish. The aim of the app is to give his fans a brand new, unique way of interacting with him; and having fun while doing so. It is a great showcase for bridging the gap between celebrities and gaming.
Within the first 3 DAYS, PocketWARWICK had reached number 14 in the iPhone free games chart and number 1 role playing game.
Matmi are exactly the kind of company I enjoy working with, Jeff and his team are so creative. Whilst making ‘Pocket Warwick’, I’d call up Jeff and say, “I’ve got a great idea”, and he’d say, “Yes, and here are three more ideas”. It was so amazing to see all of those new ideas incorporated in the next beta version of the game only a day or two later. I was so impressed by the way Matmi work, that I went straight back to them for my next project, an autograph and collectables website for my company, The Signature Shop. – Warwick Davis
Have your very own Warwick in your pocket!
Warwick Davis fans can get closer to their favourite celeb than ever before with this new free-to-play app. Combining elements of The Sims and Tamigotchi, PocketWARWICK features the star himself -feed him, tickle him, dress him as frog, take him to auditions, send him to the Gym – whatever it takes to keep him happy. Be part of and help him along his journey from Z-list to A-list celebrity status. At launch, the game will contain 100s of tasks to take part in with more added over time.
The Matmi team worked very closely with Warwick to ensure his personality and unique sense of humour was accurately conveyed via the games AI system- over the months of development he visited and chatted to the team constantly about how his character would react to certain events, his favourite foods (chocolate biscuits!) likes and dislikes – so we feel we have digitally captured his characteristics to a tee.
This system enables us to keep adding to the app new elements, updates, novelties, costumes and auditions – it’s a perfect way to keep a user engaged on top of keeping the game fresh and up to date.
The app was created using Unity 3D, a development engine that Matmi has been working closely with for some years (we were one of the first games company to publish on android).
Unity is free to download, has a fantastic following and allows a developer to simply and easily port a game to multiple platforms – we are huge fans.
As PocketWarwick is the first game that Offficial have produced we were entering the unknown somewhat when we started the project. Matmi have managed our expectations and offered advice guidance throughout which has led to a successful relationship from our perspective. We’re already actively seeking out opportunities for other projects we can take to the talented team at Matmi! – Offficial
Celebrity culture and mobile apps
Celebrity apps are revolutionising the relationship between celebrities and gaming.
Matmi has already worked with a number of music industry celebrities (Lily Allen, Gorillaz, Iron Maiden) producing great games with fantastic results; and have been championing bridging the gap between the digital and celebrity worlds; turning film, TV and music stars into app stars. Celebrities will have an increased presence in this digital form, representing a whole new platform, audience, branding opportunity and revenue stream.
The world of celebrities and games are becoming closer all the time and we wanted to take this even further. PocketWARWICK attempts to blend these worlds together more than any app before. Fans are already used to being able to interact with their favourite celebrity through social networks; PocketWARWICK is a mere extension on this. We expect the trend of celebrities getting more heavily involved in the digital world (and games in particular) to grow and we look forward to being part of it. – Jeff Coghlan, Matmi MD
Warwick already has a huge online social presence, with Pocket Warwick we hope to extend this audience reach and encourage fans to find new, fun ways to interact with their favourite celebrity.
For Matmi, PocketWARWICK is just the beginning…an exciting one at that!
Branded gaming has become a part of the digital landscape in the last few years, and it’s an area we here at Matmi understand perfectly. We’ve been creating branded digital games for brands for over a decade, and we know that a well-designed, branded games are one of the most cost effective ways to engage and communicate with customer, old and new. Here’s a few reasons why we think they are ace!
Have a think about how much a TV ad costs to produce. Not only is there the cost of the ad, the editing, the media buying and all the rest. Whatever way you cut it, it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands to make something special. Then take that cost, divide it by around 20 and you could have a unique, creative, digital solution that actively engages the audience, and will see them actively coming back time and again.
Take Vimto as an example. We developed a full interactive website which included a range of online games that have been played millions of times, and continue to generate interest over a year after release. Our ‘High Dive’ game has been played over 3.5 million times. That’s 3.5 million people who actively played a Vimto advert.
We don’t know of a TV advert that can raise that kind of awareness.
Now let’s think about those 3.5 million players some more. Another huge advantage of branded games is the positive, fluffy feeling they create. You can get millions of people repeatedly playing your game, and having fun. Those 3.5 million plays equates to nearly 250,000 hours of eyeballs on your brand.
What about great ROI?
If we look at all the games Matmi have developed, one similarity sits across them all. They’ve all been developed to not only be great games, but to act as traffic drivers through to our clients websites. And when we’ve never experienced less than 7% click though rate, it’s easy to see that they have all performed well. In fact 7% is the least you could expect. The highest click through rate we’ve seen was a massive 33%! 33% of millions of players means a lot of fresh eyes coming through to what you offer.
Show me the Money!
A branded game can also generate revenue. Not just in terms of raising brand awareness and pushing a commercial message, it will do that as standard, but actually making customers spend their hard earned £’s and $’s as a by-product of playing a game. Take the award winning Optathlon campaign we developed for United Airlines alongside BD’M.
We developed 5 online games, and 2 mobile games that went viral around the world, helping to promote UA’s range of travel options. The clever bit was in giving away a range of instant win prizes, ranging from flight discounts to free upgrade options. It was these discounts that encouraged the games millions of players to fly United Airlines, a simple promotional campaign that they felt help raise millions in additional revenue. Not bad for a simple branded game.
And the great thing is, these games keep on giving. Even though the competition element ran for six months, the games are still downloaded, and played by thousands of people online every day. So United Airlines still benefit from all the points we’ve made above, nearly two years after the initial campaign ended.
As memorable as some TV adverts can be (simples!), they do not go ‘viral’. This is where branded games come out on top. Matmi always create fully integrated social systems into our digital products. This helps the spread of the games through people sharing scores, UGC, pictures etc. via their favourite social networks.
Get it right and the players naturally become your brand advocates. Research has shown that brand recommendations made by friends have a greater impact on whether they will buy their products over a competitor. Nielsen’s latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report repeats findings from previous years. They show that the most effective and trust worthy source customers listen to are recommendations from friends.
With modern digital tv set-top boxes and on-demand becoming more popular, people are skipping adverts whenever possible reducing their effective ROI. Jumps made in the technology sector have opened up huge possibilities for creative cross-platform solutions for marketing brands.
Branded games provide the opportunity to create something unique and memorable. They have the potential to not only increase brand exposure and actively engage the audience but also can deliver revenue in their own right (e.g. in-app purchases). A branded game can be truly social and can be spread virally with little promotional costs compared to traditional advertising.
For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:
The Infographic from ProBlogger details out the anatomy of viral content, along with the different types of viral content, the reasons we share it, how it’s designed, the importance of integrated execution and a whole bunch of tips to create and seed viral content.
This is a great infographic detailing the TYPICAL processes you can go through to increase the chance of your content going viral. I say ‘typical’ because obviously there is a bit of luck involved (particularly with the amount of content out there) and you need content WORTH sharing.
Viral marketing is something close to Matmi’s heart. It is what we have been doing with games for over 10 years now. With some games such as ‘Brilliant Brushers' receiving almost 20 million plays to date and STILL getting played over 15 thousand times a day, 18 months since it launched. And 'Gorillaz: Escape to Plastic Beach' which has had 3.6 million plays and thousands of downloads of the App. All achieved through organic, viral marketing.
A worthy resource for anyone looking to understand the basics of how content goes viral or to explain it to a client.
However, that was not the end of our amazing week. Our chief Matmian Jeff Coghlan was nominated at the DADIs for ‘Individual Of The Year’ (fear not, my fellow Matmians shall keep his feet on the ground). Matmi itself was also nominated for ‘Agency of the Year’. We are all obviously very proud of the work we do but it’s always nice to be recognised by others.
The winners of the DADI awards are based on an open vote. If you feel the Matmians and their ever-so humble leader Jeff Coghlan deserve this recognition, you can vote here: http://vote.dadiawards.com/
If you need some persuading, check out our some of our latest work: