Tag Archives: app

Thoughts on the new Jelly App

In a guest post Tim O’Neill, co-founder of Reactive spends a few thoughts on the Jelly app.

This week saw the launch of Jelly, the new start-up from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. This pedigree guaranteed a certain amount of hype and uptake, with curious early adopters jumping on the Jelly wagon and testing it out, myself included.

Jelly is a blessedly simple concept: you can ask or answer image-based questions.

To pose a question, take or upload a photo and write a question (e.g. “what part of France is this wine from?”). Jelly connects to your Facebook and twitter accounts, and then posts this question to your Jelly-using network.

jelly-blog-pic-f2ddf44a-abe5-4e31-8232-ec566f0fe3e6-0-400x1055

To answer questions, swipe through the lovely ‘deck of cards’ interface, find a question to answer and write (or draw) a response.

Many have compared the site to existing services like Quora, Aardvark and Yahoo Answers (which are all Q&A services), however Jelly feels different – in particular with the focus on images. It also has an (almost) gamification aspect, with ‘Thank You Cards’ and ‘Good Answer’ messages when you’ve made a particularly thoughtful, accurate or funny response. This will likely develop over time.

One very cool aspect of Jelly is that it runs as an iPhone app, Android app and also as a mobile site – and you can share questions via SMS or email with people that don’t have the apps installed. This is supremely clever and impressive technically too.

One significant area of improvement is ‘App-store SEO.’ Currently searching for ‘Jelly’ in the iTunes App Store shows a lot of games, but not this app.

Naturally, the chatter on and around Jelly is a) how will brands jump onboard, and b) how will Biz Stone and his esteemed investors seek to monetise it. A good article on this is on Medium.

Right now, only one thing is sure: that this first release of Jelly is just the beginning and will certainly evolve (or maybe ‘pivot’) in the coming months as they learn from user feedback and usage patterns.

There will be the inevitable land-grab for Jelly “firsts” by brands, agencies and the like. Some of these will be heralded as genius, most will be predictable, others will create a customer backlash (it will be irresistibly tempting for a brand to start posting ‘branded questions’ and spamming Jelly).

I would end with “follow me on Jelly,” but currently there is no way to find or follow a person. Instead, download the app and have a play.

Follow Tim O’Neill on Twitter here

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What about IP? Remuneration for creative in social networks

or: IP licence versus one-off fees to get consumers continuous engagement.

In the light of developing applications and branded entertainment for social networks, I encounter the question whether we in advertisement should choose to “license IP” rather than ask for a one-off payment of creative service. I find that there is at least one very good reasons for agencies to be against selling an idea and execution for one-off payments: research and development.

Research and development in an agency context

image by Wili_Hybrid

In terms of payment clients have a natural hurdle to overcome here. Marketing departments usually buy campaigns with a limited time span (mostly the media schedule), and measure the numbers of customers exposed to their brand rather than them being continuously engaged with it. But as we know, a social network app has the potential to grow and continue its own life if done well. We would like our fabulous branded content to live on and be mashed-up into eternity. And we creatives actually like to turn over parts of our material for “fair use” so that we make the campaign live longer, but do we currently get paid accordingly?

Now would any agency or brand manager in their right mind take campaign content down and send “cease and desist”-orders to disobedient consumers that keep distributing a copy – simply because the campaign schedule has officially ended?

Cease and desist

image by Foxtongue

Apps and online content can be so much more independent and alive (dare I say magical?) than a print or banner ad that ran with a certain awareness or click-through target. And if not magical by creative means, they might make the clients smile when e.g. selling virtual avatar goods inside their social app becomes a revenue stream.

That is why I want to pitch R&D as one aspect of how Creative Departments can work better and I reckon it will make sense to both sides. Taking the example of an application in a social network (like our work for SEEKat NetX) I can predict that keeping a flat-fee structure means:

  1. no client wants to pay 100% of the R&D effort it really takes to be successful in these new environments
  2. no creative department (and ultimately agency MD) can sustain paying for this learning curve with overtime and “award project” status.

Change the model around to an IP approach and:

  1. the client only pays for a portion of the R&D,
  2. the client participates in the agency’s growing expertise by getting better creative products,
  3. agency and client work together (sharing insights, results, feedback) and tweak the output rather than one talking up the immediate results of a static product and the other mistrusting what they are hearing
  4. the agency can retain creative guns (“advertising engineers” anyone?) with more than funky interiors, relaxed dress codes and hefty salaries by simply letting them share the IP-revenue (for as long as they are part of the team),
  5. the agency has an incentive to keep improving the creative so it fares well and over time delivers more and more entertainment, service, social cohesion, or whatever its focus is. Then the agency can re-use it for another project.

The last point might have caused you to cringe if you understood it to be about standardization of ideas. By no means do I propose a cookie-cutter “that will do just as nicely for our next client!” creative approach. What I mean is “re-using your knowledge how it all works”. Examples include how to compress video for optimal viewing pleasure (technical), how to let social peer groups know about it (media) and how to design interactions with it so it becomes easy and compelling to share (creative).

When creative departments in integrated and digital agencies build a sustainable model around research and development they will establish themselves for the long haul. As I wrote before, creative in advertising won’t get any easier.

IP determined