Good morning!

For those who have been doing the math, little-boy Jensen is set to come any day now. With that, if you see us miss a Monday in the next few weeks... You will know why! 🙂

We have heard your feedback (both qualitative and quantitative) and are taking a more tactical shift in the content of SPARK. Moving away from long-form, thought pieces will allow a quick scroll to learn more about tech and tactics brands are using to heighten the overall customer experience, without 1000+ words.

In addition to the stories below, this week's Fast Five podcast with OmniTalk was one of my favorites. We covered everything from the new 'Shopping with Instagram' to Amazon's latest jab at small brands... You can listen here or subscribe via iTunes!

Hope you enjoy this week's collection. Chat soon!


Airports & Brands Look to Elevate the Pre-Boarding Experience

Those who frequently fly, both for business and pleasure, know how time-consuming the process may be. Checking in hours in advance just to wait at your gate for the 7+ zones of boarding to progress leaves an interesting gap to create experiences that add value in this captivated space.

Over the last 12 months, the following brands and platforms have looked to this affluent audience to bring their experiences to life at the gate. Utilizing both new technology and traditional convenience, each look to create engagement in this unique environment...

BIW: Roam Fitness (link)
Roam Fitness believes your fitness routine should not hit pause during your travels as their micro-gyms, in-airport, provide everything from the workout equipment to clothing and showers. Travels can safely lock their professional clothing in provided lockers as they take on whatever workout their time allows.

DFW: International Airport - Gaming Zone (link)
Airport customers waiting for their flights can access two Gameway video game entertainment lounges at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Each of the 36 gaming stations is equipped with a leather chair, an Xbox One loaded with 19 games, a 43-inch TV, noise canceling headphones, charging ports and space to store luggage. Players can pay 42 cents a minute or $20 for unlimited play time.

JFK: Periscope VR Experience Center (link)
John F. Kennedy International Airport unveiled a virtual reality experience that offers a range of VR games and activities. After being greeted by an on-staff VR ambassador who helps them decide the best game for them, customers can then play a range of games that include playtimes from 10 minutes to an hour, payable by credit card. (Personal Opinion - Public VR, and most VR, in general, has too large of a barrier to entry to provide a positive, accessible experience...)

In-Air: AppleMusic + American Airlines (link)
American Airlines and Apple Music have closed a deal that will give passengers access to the full library of Apple Music songs on AA flights. Apple Music’s more than 50 million songs will be available on any domestic American Airlines flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi at no extra cost to customers, marking the first commercial airline to offer exclusive access to Apple Music via in-flight Wi-Fi.

Text and research sourced from PSFK.

Cavalier's Fans Use iMessage for Beer Refills 

Cleveland Cavaliers fans have one less reason to leave their seats while watching games at the Quicken Loans Arena. The basketball team partnered with Aramark to test a program that will allow game attendees in certain areas of the stadium to order beer and water through Apple Business Chat.

To use the service, iPhone users can scan a QR code on the back of one of the arena seats with their camera, which will open up an iMessage conversation with prompts on how to make and pay for the order using Apple Pay. The service will be available for the remainder of the Cavs’ 2018-19 home schedule.

“The integration of Apple Business Chat with the ordering process is not only fan-friendly and easily accessible, it’s reflective of fans’ changing expectations and behaviors and we’re looking forward to Cavs and Monsters fans giving it a try...” —District Manager for Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment division, Kevin Kearney.

🍻 See All the Details | Learn More about iMessage Business
Text and research sourced from PSFK.

Burn it down! - BK's new AR app.

Flame-grilling has always been Burger King's signature cooking technique since opening in 1954, and now the burger chain is taking that to the next level by using virtual flames to "burn" its biggest competitors. (While the YouTube teaser spot doesn't specify McDonald's by name, the pixelated imagery of billboards and print ads suggests that the app campaign is directly targeting the key rival. )

The AR feature is a way to engage mobile users with an amusing activity while promoting the BK Express service that lets customers skip the line and quickly pick up their food. Delivering a coupon for a free Whopper to users' phones is a creative way to encourage them to view the full virtual burn and drive more customers to Burger King locations.

Real uses for AR in marketing are far and few...
I have always been short on the idea of incorporating buzzword technology into a brand campaign, especially if A) the core idea does not depend on the technology and B) it does not add any value to the core consumer.

But, this example of AR is spot on as it perfectly aligns with rebellious nature of the BK customer while both incorporating directly into their app (minimal barrier to entry) and providing a value-adding kickback to get consumers into the store.

Beyond the direct benefit (free burgers) to the small group of consumers who used the app and the AR feature, the PR of this story alone is set to surpass any real user experiences,​

🍔 Learn More | 🏀 Turner Sports - March Madness AR App
Text and research sourced from MobileMarketer.

The Next Step
Customized research, presentations, training and formal reports are available upon request. Please reply to this email or send me a note to get in touch.

Thank you for giving the first few rounds of "Spark" a shot.
Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
What is Spark all about?
Consumer Connections - Beyond stereotypical social and e-commerce platforms, we look to focus in on new and emerging ways consumers are connecting with each other and brands. These stories are then summarized and paired with actionable next steps for marketers, brand leaders and really, all who are curious.​

We write these pretty fast so please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors. We're trying.
Topics this week were quoted or directly sources from a variety of sources.

Copyright © 2019 CJC, LLC.

The information listed within has been sourced from the noted publisher.

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