If you have a smartphone you’ve probably been bombarded at one point or another by an ad for a freemium app (an app that is free and gets its monetary value from ads). The problem is these ads usually ruin the user experience because they aren’t applicable to everyone, they look like spam, usually aren’t recognizable brands, and get in the way of using the app in full screen. They’re are all around annoying. You’ve probably clicked on one of these at one point but I bet it was only by accident.
Brian Wong, CEO and co-founder of Kiip, is trying to change the negative experience you currently have with ads on apps. Kiip rewards users during moments of achievement with a gift from a brand that is applicable to you and the situation. Here are two examples to explain what it does:
- You’re playing Angry Birds and finally beat a level you’ve been stuck on. A pop-up with a redeemable gift congratulating you on your accomplishment would appear. The gift might be a package of skittles or another candy and all you have to do is enter your email.
- You’re on a run and using Nike+ Running when you beat your own personal record for your fastest 5k. You would then see a pop-up with a gift congratulating you on your accomplishment. Your gift could be a coupon for a percentage off your next Nike apparel purchase or for a free bottle of Gatorade and all you have to do is enter your e-mail.
The idea for this may have started and been tested on smart phone apps but Kiip’s mission is to own every single achievement moment on the planet. Meaning that whenever and wherever you get a virtual achievement there would be a redeemable gift from a top tier company (Coca Cola, Amazon, P&G, etc.) congratulating you on your moment of triumph. This could be an achievement on a gaming console playing your favorite video game, or on Netflix after you just finished a season of a new TV show, or you lowered your bill this month by being more energy efficient with your smart thermostat, Nest.
I’m excited about this from a marketing standpoint because this could revolutionize the advertising industry as whole. Here are 4 reasons why I believe Kiip will change marketing and advertising:
1. Personalized Rewards
Advertising is annoying when it doesn’t apply to you. Kiip’s back end allows advertisers to see where the achievement was earned and applies the best gift applicable for that moment. For example, it’s not going to send you a coupon to redeem a double cheeseburger at McDonalds just after you completed your longest run ever. It would make more sense to send you a gift that would have to do with athletics or health.
2. Top Tier Brands
Kiip only incorporates brands we know and trust. It currently offers discounts for Walt Disney Pictures, Amazon, Pepsi, P&G, Sony Music, and Skittles. You’re not going to get advertisments from a company that seems sketchy and could be a scam just to get your information.
3. Gamification 2.0
Gamification is the art of making people feel as if they are “leveling up” for their time and efforts toward completing a goal. Currently gamification gives users badges or other non-tangible token(s) for bragging rights. This will take Gamification to the next level by providing tangible gifts that users can redeem along with the bragging rights of a virtual token.
4. Positive Brand Impression
When users complete a goal—whether it’s on a video game or beating a personal lap time on a track—they get excited, happy, and pumped up. A company is able to come in at that point and get a positive brand impression during this emotional high. Even if the user doesn’t redeem the gift, you still get the positive brand impression that may ripple out to a redemption or purchase later on.
Whether you’re excited about this or not, I think it’s a step in the right direction. What direction is that? It’s definitely not spammy advertising—it’s timely and relevant. When you make advertising with brands you trust more personal and your marketing is considered more of a gift than an in your face ad, it’ll encourage greater engagement and a closure rate higher than ever.
Do you think this is the next step in online advertising? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please comment below!