This weekend FC Barcelona demonstrated how football should be played by convincingly beating Manchester United in the Champions League final. Simultaneously, AKQA and Heineken demonstrated with Star Player how a branded iPhone app should be played by convincingly fusing gaming with social one-upmanship and entertainment.
I had seen this hype video when it came out a few weeks ago but only played it for the first time last night.
Heineken's Star Player mobile app
Both sides have a star player, Barcelona in Lionel Messi and AKQA/Heineken in this free iPhone app that will surely earn the agency some badges in the award finals (AKQA’s award page is here).
Here is the summary of my experience:
- Star Player is a well crafted application with a clear interface, reacting timely and succinctly.
- It contains good copy writing, egging you on while not being overladen with football mannerisms or brand-speak.
- The global stats (“this is how the world predicted”) give a nice context to how clairvoyant you really were.
- I could do without the quiz questions coming on intermittently, crucially the Barcelona’s first goal was scored while a quiz question was on the screen.
- One has to be (excuse the pun) ‘on the ball’ throughout, literally with your finger on the phone’s screen in order to predict goals.
- Playing ‘Star Player’ represents a great complimentary user experience to watching the game, especially when you are at home. Would groups of mates at the pub get a kick out of glancing at their phones during the game?
- Had I connected with fellow football lovers online (including live chat, like on the facebook version), it would have become an even greater social experience.
To me this app is a milestone in the development of the often-cited ‘dual screening’ or ‘parallel viewing’. According to the agency it hits extremely fertile ground as:
- 72% of UEFA Champions League fans around the globe watch the matches alone
- 75% of US television viewers are dual screening at home
- 50% of NFL viewers are watching the games in dual screen environments
In a local development, BBDO Melbourne launched Twelevision, an iPhone/iPad app to support TV viewers in their tweeting about the different shows. And their CEO Peter Biggs has ambitiously declared to create more useful apps and products (and consequently generate IP) as 10% part of their future offering. I wonder if AKQA managed to get some patent on the inherent game mechanics of Star Player? No reason why this app wouldn’t soon appear in other sporting codes, like Rugby Union where Heineken e.g. sponsor the World Cup.
I haven’t tested the corresponding facebook app (currently 125,000 users) yet and would be grateful if anyone can share an experience with it. The same goes for any information on other live sporting events (e.g. the NBA Play Offs) that might have rolled out similar apps.
In the category of voting & commenting reality TV show ‘Four Weddings’ had brides going to each others’ weddings and rate them – usually in a bitchy way – in different categories. Viewers where given the opportunity to rate the show online in real time. The results were screened in the end in comparison to the brides’ ratings. http://www.monterosa.co.uk/work/four-weddings
Dream/Fantasy team competitions have been around for a while, e.g. our client Toyota sponsors AFL Dream Teamwhere your squad of 22 players take on an opponent. You’re competing against 15 other teams in your Dream league. So gather your mates and prepare to duke it out all season to see who has the sharpest football brain. Another example is the F1 Live Timings complementing the main TV broadcast – even keeping you ahead of the commentary, and overcoming the irritation of ad breaks during the race.
Posted in Advertising, apps, Convergence, games, Mobile
Tagged akqa, Barcelona, champions leage, dual screening, game, heineken, iphone, iphone app, manchester united, messi, parallel viewing, star player, UEFA champions leage
Check one of the latest art projects to come out of Holler Sydney: The Haeckel Clock (free install). Its unique art direction was inspired by the artistic work of an eminent German biologist, naturalist, philosopher called Ernst Haeckel. Around the turn of the last century he discovered, described and named thousands of new species and drew microscopic creatures with fascinating skill and detail.
Holler’s Mike Hill, himself a zoologist and nature photographer before he entered the interactive agencyscape, is a big fan of Haeckel’s work.
The application is a pretty abstract clock that uses different sized balls to signify hours, minutes and seconds.
Hours floating together
Fittingly for such a scientifically-inspired piece the elements all adhere to the laws of gravity and have their own elastic coherence.
Hours, minutes and seconds separated
The modern genius behind this app is my frequent collaborator Lukasz Karluk, who developed the application in openFrameworks. He describes the project, its interface and technical detail here on his blog. Have a peek at the flow in his screen video and don’t forget to install this free clock on your iPad by going to the app store.
Disclaimer: I was only very partially involved in the clock’s design and development, mainly correcting any typos in German pieces of copy.
Posted in apps, art, games, Mobile
Tagged applications, art, biology, clock, ernst haeckel, haeckel, holler, holler sydney, iPad, iPad app, itunes, jena, lukasz karluk, mike hill
OK, we aren’t really tight with the mastermind of N*E*R*D fame. But we did manage to be included in the same wonderful iPad app.
Holler Sydney has contributed to one of the most successful new iPad applications, Granimator. Holler’s contribution is the only one from Australia and was designed by our own Kerry Edward and accompanied by sounds from Sydney musician Eli Murray.
The application which is currently in the Top 10 of free apps in the UK was developed by English studio UsTwo. It lets users design wallpapers, using only their fingers.
Holler pack on Granimator
The graphics are sourced from globally recognised illustrators and creative studios such as Airside, Buro Destruct, Rob Bailey, mcbess and Jon Burgerman. And now it also includes cross over groups like N*E*R*D (+ Friends with You).
N*E*R*D on Granimator
Also worthy of a click:
And just to round it up in style, here’s Pharrell/N*E*R*D with Everyone Nose:
Posted in apps, design, Mobile
Tagged airsie, buro destruct, granimator, holler, holler sydney, iPad, iPad app, jon burgerman, mcbess, nerd, pharell williams, rob bailey, ustwo
For a while my music finder of choice has obviously been HypeMachine – if you don’t use it already I would seriously recommend it to you. At least till Spotify is officially available in Australia.
As I tweeted a new discovery (go check out Wooden Birds) I was surprised by HypeMachine’s scorebot. A nifty script that automatically comes back with a display of my “musical influence”. I apparently made 39 other people discover and like the same band/act.
Hype Machine's Scorebot
Gave me a little pat on the back, like someone asking you if they could copy your mixtape (I know, waaaay back in the days). Or that nod of approval by the long-time employee of your favourite record shop. Nice.