Pokémon Go, Traffic Gaaye and Prisma: Mobile’s Greatest Hits (this month)

In the first of a regular series for CR, Malcolm Poynton picks his favourite mobile experiences of the month, including an ingenious app to avoid cows on the road in India and, of course, a certain Pokémon game

Mobile is the one thing in marketing you cannot turn away from these days. Whether it’s in a meeting or on the way to or from the office, we’re all seemingly perpetually glued to our mobile screens.

And given Morgan Stanley research states that 91% of North Americans are within arm’s reach of their mobile 24/7 (sorry Coke, mobile just nailed your dream) it’s clearly the one thing consumers cannot get enough of.

So, as if you need it, here’s a bit more mobile. (Actually, it would seem the industry does need it since most of what consumers love on mobile comes direct from ‘brands’ and not from agencies. I’d insert a sad-face emoji only I’m typing this on a desktop computer. Not half as versatile.)

First up, something that was simply inconceivable this time last year and will surely be, given our increasingly Snapchat-like attention span, equally passé by the time you read this, is Pokémon Go. A mash up of the last five years’ worth of digital trend; a giant treasure hunt, augmented reality, GEO location services and by accident (or not?) an activity tracker, all thrown together on mobile. Prior to this year’s Cannes Festival, the only person bigging up AR was Blippar’s insightful Omar Hiwaizi. “AR? Treasure Hunts? So last year’s trend,” said most Cannes-going creative types. As for Pokémon, it’s a distant 90s memory at best. Just shows what a bit of real creative thinking can do, eh? As of now, Pokémon Go is not only the biggest mobile game in US history, but it has also:

  1. Hit No. 1 on the iPhone revenue chart in just three hours.
  2. Smashed all daily user records beating the previous heavy weight Clash Royale (1.67%) with a staggering 10.81% of all Android daily users.
  3. Attracted more daily users for longer (33min) than Facebook (22min), Snapchat (18 min) and Twitter (17min).

And that’s before it even gets beyond the US, Australia and New Zealand, who have all reported serious productivity down-turns in their work force. Not to worry, fitness levels are on the rise due to so many folk running about the streets in search of a flurry of leaves pointing to Pokemon characters that aren’t even there. Pokémon Go is the ‘third time lucky’ story for Google Maps’ recent spin off Niantic, after their first two projects did so-so. (Ingress was perhaps too ambitious and niche while Field Trip never had the partnerships or content to become huge). Team Valor, Team Mystic or Team Instinct? C’mon, this was 100% instinct all the way!

Next up, Traffic Gaaye. In Delhi, neighbouring farmer’s cows are left to roaming the streets in search of scraps to eat. Being sacred, cows are given their space as they meander unpredictably around the streets, and this can cause serious traffic jams. Thanks to a beta program in a small section of Delhi, recycled feature phones are attached to the cows’ neck collars, making them geo-located. This enables drivers to see the cows’ movements on GPS and avoid the streets they are on. Kinda the opposite of Pokémon Go. Only in this case, its an entirely lo-fi and lateral use of mobile to solve a unique problem.

Prisma photo app
From the Prisma photo app website

Finally, the Prisma photo app. Forget The next Rembrandt, you can be your own Picasso with Prisma. This free mobile app can turn your snaps into art. Not everyone will master its functionality to get the world class results but all the same, for those of you not Pokémon Go obsessed, Prisma may just get the better of you.

Now go, enjoy.

* For those of you that have not yet downloaded and experienced the revolutionary app that is NYTVR (New York Times’ Cannes Grand Prix winning VR App), do yourself a favour. I recommend starting with The Displaced – a poignant and eye opening journey into the lives of three 12-year-old refugees. Once again, only mobile can take you there.

Malcolm Poynton is Global Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide. He tweets @e1even5ive

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