Category Archives: interactivity

Australian Open Social Shack

One of Melbourne’s prime sporting events, the ‘Australian Open’ is closing on a great two weeks of tennis with their finals. Stars like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Li Na battled on the courts, and their fans are constantly connecting with them and amongst each other via social media, especially with the help of Twitter and the official hashtag #AusOpen.

Here’s Reactive’s Australian Open Social Shack, which is all about bringing fans and players together through social media. Check out Twitter’s global blog post on the project here.

hash check in inside2 inside outside

Below outlines each of the concepts displayed across the screens:

Tug of War – Fans could engage with the display by hashtagging their favourite player to influence the game of tug of war. Two players go head-to-head and only win by having the higher number of hashtags associated to them. Each player had multiple hashtags associated to their profile to ensure  variations of their name, e.g. #teamwilliams were captured.

Social Cheer – This idea uses live data from IBM to display graphical social ‘cheer’ throughout a match. Player vs. player would be set up for live matches and based on the social chatter for each player the graph would grow or decline. The intelligence of IBM’s data was also used by pulling through content on fastest serves, longest rally and other stats.

Social Leaderboard – This application uses multi-screen takeovers and runs through a series of leader boards based on players social media accounts.  Tracking the most followed players, who tweets and instagrams the most.

Player Profiles – Fans can see an animated feed of players which displayed all their social media accounts.

KIA’s Greatest Fan – Built upon the user journey through the Social Shack, the first two screen are displaying a feed of photos taken in the KIA media booth. Once having their photo taken the fans would move through to the Social Shack where they could view their photo on the big screen and then engage with the above  concepts.

Lastly, a giant check-in button helps track the number of visitors to the Social Shack. An iPad app  ticked over every time its button was pressed. The 3D #AUSOPEN sign, commissioned by Tennis Australia, sits out the front of the Social Shack and is a perfect and very popular photo opportunity.


Innovation powers Reactive ‘Code And Snags’ BBQ

Take some of the brightest and most cutting edge developers in Australia, add a few high profile international speakers from companies such as Google, Financial Times and MailChimp, throw in cold beers, tasty sausages and a sunny balcony and you got the Reactive ‘Code and Snags BBQ’. As part of the renowned ‘Web Directions South‘ conference (currently underway in Sydney) we hosted an impressive group of technical experts who are busy creating the future of the web.


Walking through the crowd, you could hear our own Reactive ubergeeks discussing all kinds of questions with our guests, from the most pressing ones to the most decidedly esoteric. When was the last time you were chatting about musical robots, a metadata language for designers, the future of animation, why the Apple Newton lost to the Palm Pilot and finally the Internet of Things, all within an hour or two? Among our most esteemed visitors was Scott Jenson who used to work on the Apple Newton, Symbian OS, managed the Google mobile UX team and also spent time at Frog Design in California. Please check his blog for great thoughts on how to combine on- and offline in the Internet of Things (IOT).CodeAndSnagsBlog02-a4e6c02e-4c66-4e8a-afce-e42a25b32d76-0-400x1215

Drifting through our event was not only the scent of our grilled snags. It was (more metaphorically speaking) the question of ‘what it takes to innovate’. And the answer was present in the group of guests: a lot of experience and skills plus an insatiable appetite for combining things in a new way. And we are curious what these bright minds will come up with next. 

What’s the future of email?

Transforming brands, companies and whole industries towards a digital future definitely has one big drawback: no one knows where to find enough good talent for this epic undertaking. That’s why I have always supported progressive, digital education through organisations such as Tractor Design School, AGDA or AWARD. And it’s nice if you get support from your colleagues. My fellow Reactive Sydney creative David Brown for example is now working with the University of Sydney, and has just joined the judging panel of global student design competition OzCHI.

The acronym CHI stands for Computer HumanInteraction and is a vital component of our daily work. Knowing how humans understand, learn and use computer interfaces is crucial for digital success. And this year the OzCHI competition asks a pretty interesting question “What’s the future of email?”. Indeed, what’s the point in all of these 150 Billion (!) emails we send every day. Today workers spend on average 28% of their time in their inbox. And yet, we never seem to really catch up with it. And even if we manage to work through  all emails in a day, there is always a fresh new batch coming in tomorrow.

As a special rule of OzCHI, students can only work on their ideas with a 24-hour time frame. Although a pretty exhausting mental sprint for all teams, it also forces them to rapidly test assumptions, discard some of them and learn what will stick. Acquiring these agile techniques will prepare them well for the real world of businesses and brands reinventing themselves.

I can’t wait to see the ideas of the class of 2013.

ozchi04 ozchi03 ozchi02 ozchi01

Digital Trends 2013

In digital agencies we often work in uncharted territory and therefore spend much time thinking about the big question “What’s Next?”. Where and how do we spend our future creative efforts? For the benefit of brands, clients and agencies alike, we better get that one right. Read up on these three reports: Razorfish’s Outlook, Reactive’s Perspectives and VJ-Isobar’s FYI – and make the right calls for the future.

My agency Reactive‘s Perspectives ( free PDF download Slideshare version ) covers topics like ‘Who really owns your social content?‘, ‘The Personalisation of Everything‘ and ‘How to create great work‘.

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 11.51.43 AM

On our Facebook page we accompany these articles with some shareable graphs – extra points scored by using Venn diagrams.



Reactive Research and Development Day


We at Reactive pride ourselves in holding quarterly Research & Development Days. All 150 employees in our 5 offices (Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, New York and London) dedicate 1 full day to exploring creative ideas, trends and technologies. Now that’s about 1,200 hours of free (unconstrained and uncharged) thinking, 4 times a year. Here are two blog posts about past R&D Days:

This something that many agencies claim or aspire to do. But I can tell you, while it’s easy to say yes to it initially, it takes some commitment and preparation to pull off.  Using our Intranet we have collected briefs and ideas for weeks and there are some promising titles in there like ‘Do The Strand’, ‘NYC Hour’, ‘Dataism’ or my favourite ‘Interactive Netball Hoop’.

We have shifted the regular work around so people can dedicate themselves fully to the day. And we are getting quite good at making the most of this time and how to involve our clients in the results. I really look forward to today’s wildly inspirational sessions and the following presentations.