Which Came First? The Tech or the Idea?

By May 28, 2014 Blog No Comments

We’ve been getting a fair share of press around the re-launch of our “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” interactive kiosk the past 2 weeks. In an article from Digital Signage Today, Editor Christopher Hall closes with a quote of mine:
“The gesture-interactive capabilities are a natural fit to showcase the environmental beauty and physical activities that the Philippines Tourism Board wants to promote,” Cohen said in an email. “Consumers have fun with it, which fits in perfectly with the brand’s messaging and is true to the tagline: ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines.’”

While this quote appropriately provides context for the program, there is a much larger topic addressed here…what is our process for deciding which technologies to use in bringing an idea to life? I feel that too often that we’re defined as technology consultants of sorts. Yes, Pearl Media is a technology centered company but the technology itself is not what determines the success of our programs. We do not reverse engineer the creative process by choosing a technology then supporting it with an idea. Like any other successful ad agency, the process begins at ideation.

When we receive a RFP from a client, our first plan of action is to discuss unique experiences that support the brand message. After we have fleshed out an idea, we determine what technology or combination of technologies can accurately bring the proposed experience to life. Often we find ourselves in a situation where the answer doesn’t lie in a single technology solution, but rather multiple or alternative ways of leveraging available technology.

One brief example of this is the development of our Korean Air program. The end consumer take away was intended to be a postcard of themselves visiting a landmark international location. Unfortunately, the experience needed to live outside in a storefront which poses some serious challenges. Augmented reality applications have tremendous difficulty superimposing objects from uncontrolled outdoor environments. However, the solution we developed placed the entire captured photo into clever places such as large building windows overlooking monumental locations.

The thinking and methodology that goes into tackling challenges like Korean Air is truly the key to developing successful programs. While the technology enables us to create such entertaining immersive experiences, it’s our ideation that delivers exceptional campaigns.

What has your experience been like? Do you try place the emphasis on the idea or does technology drive your thought process?