The last 48 hours was an educational and engaging experience for the Canadian digital landscape as Dx3 hosted its 2nd annual event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. With a focus on digital marketing, digital advertising and digital retail, Dx3 2013 brought together every type of player in the industry – agencies, publishers, media, brands, retailers, start-ups, entrepreneurs – to mix, mingle, showcase and share ideas. While the event boasted big names like Microsoft, AOL, Blackberry, Rogers, BBDO and OgilvyOne, it also contained many young, up-and-coming players like Splenty, FanCrank, Bubble Finder and Plastic Mobile. While there was a palpable buzz on the showroom floor during the two day conference, the biggest highlights (for me) were keynotes given by Mike Volpe, CMO at HubsSpot and Alan Huggins, President of Lowe’s Canada, as well as two live pitch-offs for Microsoft Advertising and Intertainment Media.
Below is a brief overview of three exhibitors that created buzz and the Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge.
Founded by Lyon Lee and based in Toronto, FanCrank is social loyalty and activation platform built to engage consumers and drive sales. While they didn’t have the biggest exhibit or the best location on the showroom floor, the well-spoken Lee was easily able to communicate his product and services. As Lee says, “With FanCrank installed on your Facebook Page you can easily find and reward the top 10% of your fans while incentivizing the other 90% to be more active, happy and drive sales directly from the Facebook Page.”
If you want increase your social engagement and convert engaged users, FanCrank is definitely worth a look.
Bubble Finder is a Toronto-based start-up specializing in app software, location management and mobile marketing solutions. Valuable to brands and consumers, the Bubble Finder app can geolocate the best deals in your “bubble” (you can set locations as close as 1km and as far as 50km) and easily curate deals and promotions that interest you. For example, if I’m in Chicago on business and want to eat out somewhere close to my hotel, I can pull up the Bubble Finder app, set a location of approximately 5km and start scanning for something that suits my budget and taste.
With integrated social features, monitoring capabilities and a sleek, intuitive design, Bubble Finder is great for marketers looking to get upper hand in mobile.
Plastic Mobile's CEO, Sep Seyedi, established the company back in 2007 in an attempt to bring innovative change and creativity to the mobile space. Six years later, and Seyedi’s team is still disrupting with creative work for clients that include Microsoft, Unilever, Rogers and Fairmont. Delivering strategic, sleek and customizable mobile solutions, Plastic is sure to be on the forefront of the digital and mobile spaces for years to come.
The philosophy at Plastic is another thing to take into consideration. If you’re looking for a partnership rather than a client/vendor relationship, Plastic is your go-to choice in mobile solutions.
Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge
On March 6th, 2013, Microsoft Advertising invited five Canadian agency teams – Critical Mass, Juniper Park, OgilvyOne, BBDO and Havas Worldwide – to be briefed on the Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge.
The Challenge: Agency teams are given 27 hours to go from concept to pitch after a creative briefing for Movember Canada’s 2013 campaign. Teams must integrate digital products and tools from Microsoft Advertising, including Skype and Xbox.
Mitch Joel - President, Twist Image
Jon Finkelstein - Accomplished Canadian Creative
Doug Hawe - President, DH Consulting
Kelly Jones - Global Research and Insights Lead, Microsoft Advertising
Matt Matheson - PR and Communications Manager, Movember
Andrew Millard - Communications and Content Manager, Movember
Winner: While each agency presented creative, engaging pitches (OgilvyOne’s ‘Make it Mofficial’ pitch as a personal favorite), it was BBDO Toronto that took home the top prize with their 'The Moustache Police' pitch.
Top Prize: BBDO Toronto's SVP of Creative Operations and New Business, Timothy Welsh, will accompany Microsoft Advertising on a trip to the 2013 Cannes Lions Advertising Festival this summer. An Xbox and Kinect prize pack will be awarded to other member of the winning agency team.
The Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge was a first for the company, and one that will get more attentions as the tech giant continues to build partnerships with agencies, publishers, start-ups and entrepreneurs. “This was the first time we did something like this in public or at an event like Dx3,” says Lynne Clarke, Marketing Director, Microsoft Advertising. “It’s time to challenge what can be done with digital products and start building new, creative platforms for ideation. We want to provide a blank canvas for great ideas to share across screens and across devices.”