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Q&A that Trigger head honcho Jason Yim did with Cynopsis. Check it out!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on September 18, 2012

Trigger Q&A with Cynopsis Digital

Good morning. It’s Monday, September 17, 2012, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Jason Yim, President and Executive Creative Director of Trigger, has led the development of multiple digital/mobile games and experiences for a wide array of entertainment companies. Most recently, Trigger built an augmented reality app for The Amazing Spider-Man, which he speaks about in the following Q&A. The company has also done work with the likes of Sesame Street, Nike, and Cartoon Network, and has also developed a game tied to Anthony Zuiker’s upcoming digital movie, Cybergeddon, which Yim “couldn’t” comment on at the moment, but is coming out soon.

You developed an augmented reality app tied to The Amazing Spider-Man. What does the app do?

The main component is that there are 13 augmented reality missions that the consumer can engage in. Each mission requires a marker, which is something the user can point his phone at in order to activate the augmented reality mission. The marker can be almost anything — it can be something the user prints out to use it at home, or it can be distributed via marketing partners or movie collateral; a movie poster, a page in Entertainment Weekly, the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man video game, things like that. The app tells you where to find these markers as well. For example, I believe mission 12 is one that directs the player to go find the video game cover. All the player has to do is point the app at the marketer, after which they’ll see a custom 3D animation overlaid on top of that marker. So if you point it at the movie poster, you get this animation of Spidey crawling up the poster.

If you had to pitch to an entertainment company, say a studio or a television network, or even a brand advertiser — on why they should consider an augmented reality campaign — what would you say?

The best way to look at it is that whatever the property is, whether it’s a movie or a TV show, you are already generating a ton of collateral for it. From paid media to earned media, there is already so much print out there that contains your imagery. With AR, you can enhance all of that. So instead of a person just seeing that first layer, you can now put additional content over it, as well as offer transactional stuff, such as movie times based on the GPS capabilities of your phone and the ability to purchase tickets. Additionally, AR can be used to look at the product and get additional information such as ratings and reviews directly from the web, and in some cases, even a special price. It kind of closes the loop and brings the consumer all the way to the point-of-sale by just looking at the product or a piece of collateral.

What’s an interesting project you’ve done with a television network or brand that used AR in a cool way?

We did work for Sesame Street that kind of demonstrated where AR can go. Sesame Street and Qualcomm partnered up with IDO to create a line of toys. Our job was to bring these toys to life. So let’s say you have a tablet. You point the tablet at these toys of Sesame Street characters, and when you look at them through the tablet, they actually come to life and talk and interact with each other. For example, a Bert toy would ask the child to bring Ernie into the scene, and then when the Ernie toy is dropped in, those two would start talking. In a similar way, another AR interaction allowed kids to drop a jukebox toy “into the scene,” after which music would start playing from that jukebox. With augmented reality, it no longer always has to be up to the imagination of the kid. And this can extend to other lines of toys. Imagine all of your action figures having the ability to fire missiles and do other cool stuff. It’s more engaging and more exciting. It’s the future of what playing with toys can be.

I was recently told that entertainment marketers are generally on the leading edge of mobile advertising. Would you say that is correct? Describe where the entertainment industry is when it comes to mobile advertising and engagement.

I’d definitely agree that entertainment is a leader in the space; especially in terms of the content they’re putting out there. We’ve been developing gaming apps for films and bringing them to market for two years now. For The Karate Kid remake, we launched an iPad app the same day the iPad was introduced. So the studios are definitely thinking in that kind of advanced way. However, there are certain disadvantages they have to deal with. The lifespan of a movie is quite short. You come up with an idea and you market the film and you push, push, push, and then it launches, and then you ‘re done and moving on to the next film. So it’s hard to collect all of those users into a larger effort. You have to restart each time. If you look at the aggregate number of all the users of all of the apps that we’ve developed, it’d be big.

So then would you say there is a greater opportunity to do something with AR and/or mobile engagement if you’re a television company?

Definitely. There is a great opportunity on the television side to produce compelling second-screen experiences that incorporate social interactivity so that users are regularly engaged and keep on coming back. Even though compared to movie studios their budgets are smaller, networks have the advantage of being able to add additional content on a weekly basis, through multiple seasons. So unlike the short lifespan of a movie release, there’s a great opportunity to build community around your content and brand if you’re a television producer or network.


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