Best practice from Media Therapy and Unit 9
Media Therapy asked Unit9 to help leverage the internet for the launch of a new product from Pearl Drops called ‘Instant White. Not only is this a new product, but it’s also a new concept among teeth whitening products.
Instant White is an innovative temporary direct application teeth whitener to be launched spring 08 to teenagers and young women. It will be positioned clearly in the premium cosmetic market. It is part of a young woman’s beauty regime, in their handbag, and can be applied anywhere, anytime.
Introduce the new innovative Pearl Drops product, ‘Instant White’ to plugged in teenagers and young women who are part of the digital generation.
1. Develop a product micro-site (instantwhite.co.uk) that has detailed information on the ‘Instant White’ product.
2. Create a campaign on the social networking site bebo that introduces the ‘Instant White’ concept and product to teenagers and young women by:
a. Creating an ‘Instant White’ bebo application that uploads your photos and ‘virtually’ whitens your teeth.
b. Set up a bebo profile as a make up artist to communicate how to use the ‘Instant White’ product. (This is to support the actual story line and product placement activities negotiated by Media Therapy that are actually going to be in bebo’s new online soap called Sophia’s diary).
*The social network application is a key tool to generate the viral factor and also to reach teenagers and early twenties women. Bebo was chosen as the social network in Europe, as it has proven to be the most popular SN amongst teenagers.
Matt Groves Partner and Creative Services Director at Unit9, said, “Many social networking applications are disappointing to use but the virtual ‘instant whitener’ is a great example of how a brand or product can cleverly tap into this new discipline.”
The Creative Approach
Our challenge was to transfer the concept of a new addition to your daily makeup routine into the digital world in a fun and product focused way, while demonstrating the cosmetic benefits of using Instant White.
The application and microsite were designed to be rich and elegant to convey the product’s premium cosmetic branding yet simple and inviting to use.
To emphasize the Instant White’s placement as a cosmetic product, we felt it important to avoid a simple ‘product demo’ and instead create a make-up tool, where users are able to apply lipstick and Instant White to their image to create that ‘perfect smile’.
A major consideration of the application is to encourage users to tell their friends about the application or send friends enhanced pictures from the application to spread the awareness of the Instant White product.
How do you design an interface that reflects the product such as Instant White? This was the major design consideration pivotal to the success of the 'make-up tool'. We incorporated the application into an all-inclusive circular interface, representing a cosmetic compact mirror.
By doing so we not only illustrated the premium styling of Instant White as a cosmetic product, but importantly, this approach demonstrated its ‘on the go’ appeal to modern women everywhere.
The target audience for Instant White is females aged 15 to 35, and so the application was developed as a Bebo widget, where age groups are typically teen to early twenties, and a microsite to attract a more sophisticated audience.
The Technical Approach
Integrating with Social Network software such as Bebo was an interesting challenge from both a technical perspective and from a usability / experience point of view.
The key challenge is to understand the territory you are working with, there are a number of different views within the application, and each view must display the appropriate data for all contextual changes.
The user must also be able to clearly understand the application in all of these various views. Technical challenges also arise regarding what can and what can’t be done with a particular Social Network API, and this is where a solid technology structure and strong experience and skills with Webservices’ access is an absolute requirement.
Applications based on network data exchange also turn-up a number of difficulties when it comes to debugging, and more time needs to be scheduled for the debug process.
Working on Instant White was challenging because it was important to get a great effect for the whitening tool, and make it simple and entertaining to use.
The end result for us is a great product and a solid foundation of knowledge to use for future social networking projects.
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