In a world first, Kia and its communications partners – mobile solutions agency Mnet, media agency Initiative and Innocean Worldwide – have collaborated to create an interactive mobile game that allows people to return a high-speed tennis serve live from their TV, PC and digital outdoor panels. Using their smart phone as a racquet, players have the chance to return a serve from the world’s fastest server (263kph).
Designed to maximise viewer engagement for Kia’s sponsorship of next week’s Australian Open, the ‘Game On’ App (www.kia.com.au/game-on) will be supported by a campaign consisting of six 30 second TV ads delivering six different serves, an online practice court, digital outdoor and activations.
Tony Barlow, Chief Operating Officer of Kia commented, “Kia’s partnership with the Australian Open Tennis provides us massive reach to a passionate audience to promote our great range of cars. The ‘Game On’ App will really enhance consumer enjoyment of the Tennis at home in a way that has never been done before. And of course, such an innovative and technologically advanced idea matches perfectly with Kia’s core brand values.”
Travis Johnson, CEO of Mnet said, “When you watch the tennis from home you can’t imagine the power of the players’ serves. We’re giving everyone the chance to feel the pressure and react as the ball zips past. The App syncs with the on-screen serve using audio fingerprint triggers, and the accelerometer to determine the accuracy of the user’s swing in a way similar to gaming consoles, but playable by anyone with an iPhone or Android smartphone.”
The Kia “Game On” App launches this week and ends with the Australian Open Men’s Final on January 26th.
The newly announced hackathon will take place in Sydney from December 6-8.
Only 20 teams will be accepted for the mobile development competition which offers unprecedented cash prizes for the top three placements; $10,000, $2,500 and $1,000. Teams will have one weekend to produce the best mobile application possible and the winning solution profiled to an audience of millions through various editorial channels.
Speaking to Gizmodo exclusively Travis Johnson, CEO of Mnet Mobile, commented, “We wanted to demonstrate our support for the Australian mobile development community in a very tangible way and host the type of event our own developers would like to see”.
The Hackathon, called BYOC (Bring Your Own Code) will be held during the first weekend in December at a venue hosted by Mnet Mobile, however all teams will break at midnight each night and then return in the morning. “We considered the standard 24-hour no sleep event, but decided to extend the competition over a weekend to ensure the teams have time to really explore their creative and technical abilities,” said Johnson.
Asked if the developers would be given a strict brief for coding Johnson replied, “The theme is top secret and will be announced at the start of the competition, but it is broad with a lot of room for interpretation. We are looking forward to seeing the diverse creative directions taken as much as the different mobile technologies used. Each team will create one app based on the theme and will be allowed to code for any operating system they choose. Mnet Mobile’s development staff are experts in all platforms and will be on hand with an abundance of mobile devices for the competitors to use and explore the possibilities.”
A panel of judges will vote on the entries during the closing Sunday afternoon and the winners will be announced that day. “We have also received great early support from like-minded organisations who want to be a part of this and are encouraged that partners such as MediaMind, Gizmodo and Lifehacker are on board. We hope to confirm further partners in the coming weeks.”
“BYOC Sydney is the first event of this kind we will be hosting, but we are planning on extending these to other cities,” said Johnson. “It is our aim to create a positive, competitive atmosphere that will uncover first-rate talent. Mobile technology in particular is advancing at an incredibly fast rate, and we want to make sure we are staying at the forefront of cutting edge concepts.”
BYOC is now accepting applications, to express interest go to: www.byocode.com.au
On Wednesday this week, Google announced planned changes to the way it ranks websites in searches made on smartphones.
The changes themselves will mainly affect websites with what Google terms are common configuration mistakes. These include poorly implemented redirects from desktop to smartphone websites, and smartphone-specific errors such as unplayable videos. However, it is the underlying point of the announcement – the broader acknowledgement by Google that ‘smartphone users are a significant and fast growing segment of Internet users’ and that Google have the specific intent to ‘improve the search experience for smartphone users’ that we found most interesting.
To give you a sense of how important this announcement is for brands, it is perhaps useful to talk through the history of mobile search rankings as we have observed it. Read More
IPG Mediabrands has acquired Australia’s leading full-service mobile solutions company Mnet Mobile, effective 1st February 2013.
Mnet is a specialist mobile communications business that provides mobile marketing solutions including strategy consulting, applications and website development, marketing services, content creation and aggregation. Mnet also provides enterprise solutions for corporates wanting to leverage mobile within their operations.
For the 8th year in a row, the AIMIA Mobile Industry Group presents the results of their annual survey looking at how Australians use their mobile phones. The report looks at how things are changing in the mobile landscape with the special topic for this year focusing on the impact of Tablets on Mobile Phone Usage.