AR VR Innovate RDS, Dublin, Friday 10th May, Augmented Reality campaigns and solutions.

Return2Sender develops Augmented Reality solutions and Augmented Reality campaigns for brands and business will be exhbiting at AR VR Innovate, RDS, Dublin, on Friday the 10th of May.

Come along to AR VR Innovate to learn about how Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can drive growth for your business.

Exhibitors include United Airlines, BBDO Dublin, Return2Sender, Utility AR, Octagon Studio, Immerse, V-Stream, DAQRI, VRAI, Pixel Legend, Somewhere Else Solutions, Simvirtua, TSSG, Volograms.

Visit Our Stand at AR VR Innovate to learn about Augmented Reality campaigns for your brands and to play our Augmented Reality game for a chance to win prizes.

Posted in Blog

McDonald’s App – A Great Loyalty Case Study / Video From McDonald’s Spain

Here’s a great case study on the McDonald’s App from McDonald’s Spain. 

The video explains how McDonald’s developed a personalised loyalty app experience that rewarded gold,

silver and bronze users with offers, incentives, and personalised menus over a 4 week period. 

The overall app experience is completely integrated with all of their point of sale systems for QR code 

and receipt scanning so that every time the McDonald’s consumer makes a purchase they are aggregating points 

in the app. These points can be used against additional purchases within McDonalds as well as McDonalds loyalty 

partners ( Music, Film Fashion etc.). This is brilliantly executed campaign showing what you can achieve when your 

of sale and ordering systems are integrated with your app. Bravo! 


Posted in Blog

Latest Work: Keeling’s Januberry Promotion – Win A Staycation Every Day

Return2Sender the mobile engagement specialists, are delighted to be working with the nice people at Marketing Network for the technical component of the delivery of the latest 2009 Keeling’s Januberry web promotion. 

The promotion, which is an on-pack promotion is offering shoppers a chance to win a staycation every day this Januberry. 

All you have to do is describe Keelings berries in 3 words and enter the 6-digit code under the promotional label of your punnet of Keelings berries and you will be included in the next draw. All entries will also receive an exclusive Keelings discount code for Trident Holiday Homes as an extra thank you for buying our berries.

To get a promotional code you must purchase a punnet of Keelings promotional berries like the ones below. 

Keelings Januberry Promotion Technical Solution Delivered By Return2Sender

Good Luck! 


Posted in Blog

Prize Fulfilment using SMS – save time and automate the entire process with our Prize Alert platform.

Prize fulfilment is one of the more time consuming jobs that need to be done when running a promotion or competition.

There are so many things to do: pick the winners, phone them, transcribe their details, pack up their prize, post out the prize and then manage all of the calls and missed calls for people who didnt reply or didnt answer the call in the first place or worse still didnt actually get their prize. This process is always complicated by people taking to Facebook to vent their frustrations. 

We cant help with all of those things but using Return2Sender’s SMS ( and or web page) prize alert platform, we can help automate a few of the steps along the way to make the process of prize fulfilment easier. 

Using SMS and Return2Sender’s  automated prize fulfilment we can automate this process. By using SMS instead of telephoning winners you will save time and money because no one answers their phone from numbers they dont recognise and no one checks theri voicemail anymore!

Here’s how our SMS prize fulfilment service works: 

  • Send us the data ( the mobile numbers for each entrant) and the description and number of prizes you want to award, the terms and conditons for prize winning and claiming ( dates etc). 
  • We will pick a winner(s) for prize fulfilment using our automated draw script 
  • We will text each winner and tell them their prize, together with instructions to text back their details ( or fill in a web form for more detailed info) and the cut off times for claiming prize
  • If they *dont* text back or complete the web form in full, we will text them every 24 hours remining them to claim their prize ( we re-text winners until the cut off time)
  • We will aggregate all data of people who have replied ( for mail merge or other) 
  • We will report on number of replies and those who didn’t enter 
  • If people text in after the cut off time for replying for prize fulfilment we will text them back and say ‘sorry you are too late as per T&C’s we cant accept your reply’. 
  • We will text all of the people who replied correctly and tell them that their prize is on the way.

Please click here to contact Return2Sender if you are interested in trialing this service! 

Posted in Blog, What's New

ECR Shopper Marketing Conference

We are delighted to be part of the latest ECR Shopper Marketing conference with Declan and all of the team! 

If you are heading along to the conference don’t forget to bring your phones all charged up to play Return2Sender‘s ‘fastest texter’ promotion for all ECR Shopper Marketing delegates. 

We have a total prize find of €600 and if you are one of the first 30 people to text in on the day you’ll win a €20 voucher. Good luck! 

ECR Shopper Marketing Conference

See you there! 

Posted in Blog

5 Benefits of Augmented Reality Marketing for Your Business

Once upon a time Augmented Reality was the stuff of films like Avatar and Minority Report.

It had great potential, but it just wasn’t quite there yet.

Now, following the successes of MSQRD, Pokemon Go, Snapchat ‘rainbows’ and IKEA’s AR catalogue, Augmented Reality or, AR for short, is very very definitely mainstream.

Well, maybe not mainstream for Nokia Generation X but for generation Y ( millenials born 1982 – 2000) and generation Z, AR, is actually mainstream technology. 

And it’s also about to get a whole lot more mainstream when Facebook launch Augmented Reality newsfeed ads in Q4 2018.

So, if you’re considering investing Marketing budget in AR, here’s why you should dive right in and get experimenting now!

1. Augmented Reality is Personal

AR gives your consumers the opportunity to engage with your brand on a personal level. By using a platform that allows your target audience to really engage with your brand will boost not only your brand awareness but also your brand loyalty. AR is a win-win situation for everyone!


2.Augmented Reality is Relevant

Pokemon Go revolutionised the mobile marketing industry from an AR perspective. Their game demonstrated just how engaged people can become in AR and how many people it can reach. Pokemon Go made the use of AR cool and exciting. If you want your brand to stay cool and fresh, make sure you’re on the right side of this AR trend.

3. Augmented Reality is Memorable

It is every marketers dream to go down in history as the creator of an unbelievable marketing campaign such as the DeBeers creating the idea that ‘A Diamond is Forever’. The use of AR in your marketing campaigns can bring you one step closer to that dream. As AR can have a personal effect on consumers, that immediately makes it more memorable in their target audiences mind. In response to this, AR campaigns have the possibility of going viral as users want to share the experience with their friends and family. Remember, a viral campaign is a memorable one, and a viral campaign is a success. 


4. Augmented Reality can be Useful

If your brand offering adds value to your target audience’s life, then your marketing campaign should too. This can often be difficult to achieve using traditional marketing tools, however the use of AR is making this easier to achieve. Brand such as Ikea understand the importance adding value to their consumer’s lives and thus have created an AR experience that reflects that. AR makes your ads shoppable. Look at the success on L’Oreal and Sephora, both early adopters of AR.

Image: KLM’s AR Baggage Size Checker.

KLM Augmented Reality App

5. Augmented Reality Creates an Experience

As we are now living the experience economy, it is more important than ever to involve consumers in your brand’s story and create an experience. AR gives you the opportunity to do that. Due to AR being relatively new to the marketing world it allows brands to take a risk and create new experiences for their target audiences. A brand who uses A.R to create a consumer orientated experience has, in my eyes, already won.

Images: The limited edition A/R Jordan Snapchat lens. In a world first Snapchat people could use special Snapcodes to unlock an e-commerce experience that provided exclusive pre-release access to purchase the AJ III Tinker, named after the designer of the original Jordan sneakers, with same-day delivery. Via R/GA and The Drum. More here 

 Images: The purchase of A/R Jordan’s within Snapchat using Shopify ( we think!) 


Posted in Blog

How To Create A Snapchat Geofilter For Your Business in 5 Easy Steps

Geofilter? No problem! Find out how to make your own brand geofilter in 5 easy steps!


The best place to start your geofilter journey is on Snapchat’s own website. Login, click on on-demand geofilters then choose ‘create a filter’ and let the fun begin! Step 1 complete.


2. Upload Your Own/Create Your Own

This is where the difficulty level moves up a notch. You can upload an image and use it as your filter or use Snapchat pre-existing templates. However, if you chose to upload an image Snapchat have made things easier by providing a list guidelines to follow:

  1. The size of your image should be 1080 x 2340 pixels.
  2. The image should have a transparent background (it is a filter after all!), and no branding  should cover the centre of the image. The centre of the image should stay completely empty.
  3. You should save your selected image as a PNG-24 prior to uploading by first choosing ‘Save for Web(Legacy)’ and then as PNG.

If you feel that using your own brand image isn’t worth the extra hassle don’t worry, Snapchat’s own templates more than do the job!


3. Personalise Your Filter 

Once you’ve chosen the template for your geofilter, you can now personalise it by adding text saying anything you want! This is where most businesses that use Snapchat’s own template write their business’ name to make their filter unique and help make their business stand out.


4. Dates

The next step is to simply chose the dates and length of time you want your filter to be made available from.This is one element Snapchat uses to determine its price so be aware that the longer your filter is available, the more it’s going to cost.


5. Location

Finally, you just have to chose the location you want your geofilter to show up in by simply typing in the address of your business or where you want the filter to appear. Once you’ve determined the location, all that’s left to do is drag the corners of Snapchat’s geofence around your chosen area and you’re finished. Congratulations! Just proceed to the checkout and complete your order. Snapchat then review all filters before giving them the go ahead, but once you’ve been approved you’re good to go! Happy Days!


Posted in Blog

Examples Of Mobile Marketing

Mobile Inspiration 2019- Scroll & Scroll. 

If you’re looking for some great examples of mobile marketing to get you inspired you’ve come to the right place. 

You can bookmark this blog post because this is where we will be regularly posting new and interesting stuff that has caught our eye! 

Whopper Detour – Burger King. 

How do you do something fun that will get a) Burger King talked about b) will get people to install the Burger King app and c) drive footfall. 

Watch the video below! 

Hint: players had to go to within 600m of a McDonald’s ‘geo-fence’ ( yes their main rival) to get their reward and then do u-turn and then to back to their nearest Burger King to get their prize! Very mobile-y indeed.

QR Codes are everywhere 

Here’s a nice example of how QR codes can enhance your exercise routine in the park. 

This is a good example of a ‘micro moment’ where people are open to using QR codes. 

The clever people who make the exercise machines in Herbert Park have QR codes linking to video tutorials to help joggers get the best out of the video machines ( if you look closely at the image below there’s a QR code linking to the tutorial videos). 

One of the great myths of marketing to say, younger millenial, consumers is that ‘millenials’ dont have the attention span or interest in long form content. Everything has to be ten seconds long! Apart from being patronising, this isn’t true. It’s simply a case of adpating your message for the right content.

For example people wont watch a long form video in a busy supermarket but they will watch that same video lounging on the couch in the evening or on the bus when deciding what to eat for dinner

Context, really, is king when it comes to mobile. Where the person is determines the type of mobile experience that will work. Traditional media has this all worked out but digital media is getting there and of course it’s easier to track digital media. 

Lucozade UK – NFC ‘Unstoppable Bottle Campaign’ – IPM UK Grand Prix 2018

A first of its kind activation, the ‘Unstoppable Bottle’ idea took the Lucozade Energy and gave London commuters the chance to ‘find their flow’ and travelon the underground for free.

Over a four-day window, rush hour at London’s busiest tube station turned into ‘Whoosh hour’ between 3.00pm and 4.00pm, the time when most workers dipin energy. Over 5,000 Lucozade bottle samples, featuring a bespoke RFID chip, were distributed providing Londoners with free journeys across the city.

With 80% of journeys across the London travel network using oyster cards and contactless travel, it was important for the Lucozade solution to offer the same ease for commuters to use.

To offer people a free journey, each unit had to be given its own set of banking details so the transactions could be processed. Given the complex process ofchip development and compatibility with TFL’s network, the potential risksinvolved were great and extensive prototyping and independent testing were needed.

The activation was supported with a full media takeover of all print and digital formats, barriers, tunnels and escalators at Oxford Circus tube. Bespoke commuter messaging hit daily strivers with targeted messages like “put some glide in your stride”, and “in the zone, whatever the zone”. Social and influencercoverage allowed the activation to reach over 34 million people. Video contents were timed with secured social media promoted posts which amplified the idea and ensured it landed with a bang.

The activity achieved national media and trade media coverage in print and online plus influencer coverage reaching over 34 million people.

Here’s a video showing how it works:

The Corruption Detector App was the most downloaded app in Brazil. 

What separates Mobile Marketing From Digital Marketing? 

Well, from our perspective there’s a few things that make mobile unique and slightly different from say digital marketing.

  1. On the go mobile. The activity tends to work only when people are on the move. An AR treasure hunt like Pokemon go is a good example of on-the-go mobile-marketing.
  2. Contextual: The brand experience integrates or replies on with the location or context. Tapping an NFC enabled piece of point of sale is a good example of that or using your phone to play a game on a bus shelter to win a prize.
  3. Personal: This is often over looked. Your phone is first and foremost your personal device and if say a brand wants to message someone or send them a push notification it has to be really personalised, relevant, non spammy. The type of display advertising that you see on your feed wouldn’t be tolerated in a messaging environment ( which kinda explains why Facebook has thus far failed to monetise Messenger WhatsApp so far).

    The final word below goes to the Cannes Lions Judges..

Posted in Blog

Snapchat & Marketing; What You Need to Know


The top 5 coolest things Snapchat can do for your business right now!



For any businesses with an app, this is a tool made for you. One element of SnapKit is that it allows other organisations to embed Snapchat features, such as their login and bitmojis, into their apps. People trust Snapchat with their information so this function makes your app more attractive and easier to use. As GDPR is a major concern for consumers right now, this feature on Snapkit is getting a big thumbs up from us.



                                                                          2. Snap Maps  

 When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last year, Houstonians were encouraged to use Snap Maps to track what was happening and to keep an eye on the location of their surrounding friends and families. In light of this, Snapchat decided to make Snap Maps available in a webview rather than just on the app. This change allows businesses, like restaurants and shops, to embed Snap Maps into their site, making them easier to find by Snapchat users. Snaptastic.


3. Snapchat Lens 

Augmented reality is here and Snapchat is bringing us straight to an A.R based future. Snapchat Lens uses augmented reality to create fun new scenarios for users to engage in. Brands such as Deadpool 2 have used the lens function to promote and improve their brand awareness. If you want to make a lens for your business, find out how you can here!



4. Snappables

Taking A.R and Snapchat to the next level is Snappables. Snappables combines filters with augmented reality to create a new game function on Snapchat where you can play with friends or by yourself. Get your brand sponsoring a Snappables game and stay cool with this fresh new trend.



5. Offline Sales Impact Tool 

Last but most certainly not least, are Snapchat’s new marketing tools. Their new tool Offline Sales Impact (OSI) will allow organisations to measure the impact of their promotion on their offline sales. This will allow organisations to understand just how valuable their campaign is. This could quite possibly be one of the most important tools for marketers on social media to date.

For more exciting stories check out our other news here 

Posted in Blog

World Cup Chatbot Promotion

Love football? The World Cup? & winning prizes?

If you’re interested in football and love winning prizes this Summer 2018, then head on over to Facebook Messenger to play our World Cup Watch N Win bot. 

Not only can you win prizes by predicting the outcomes of the games but you can also use ask our handy bot to find out what games are on Irish TV. 

You can also select your favourite world cup team and follow them to receive timely game reminders telling you what channel your favourite team is on TV. 


Posted in Blog, Latest Work, What's New

Promotions – Our Behaviours and Attitudes research into in-store Promotions

Who enters promotions?

Our Behaviour & Attitudes research reveals all.

Point of sale visibility is vital for brands. There’s simply no point investing all of that advertising budget to build awareness if your product isn’t visible at the point of purchase. 

Packaging has to stand out on the shelf. It has to be engaging enough to get people to stop and notice your product.

Sometimes however, great packaging on it’s own wont ‘cut through’ at the point of purchase. There has to be something more. A lot of the time consumers ask themselves ‘but, what’s in it for me?’. 

On-pack and point of sale promotions are a great way of enticing consumers and standing out over price offers and securing retailer buy in. 

Why is this Important?

The best promotions not only encourage purchase but connect with a brands target audience at an emotional level. In this regard, new technologies have a pivotal role to deepen brand engagement and build brand loyalty and strengthen brand image.

At Return2Sender we’ve delivered literally hundereds of promotions for agencies and brands from simple SMS competitions and web campaigns, to QR code, NFC and snapchat promotions and lately augmented reality promotions.

But one thing holds true, for in-store promotions simplicity is key.

There’s no point in developing a great promotion that’s simply too complicated.People don’t want to be challenged at the point of purchase. 

SMS is cost effective and easy to set up. It’s quick and most of all everyone can take part. Retailers love it because it works on every phone and appeals to everyone. 

Beyond SMS though shoppers still want to use technologies and platforms that are relevant to them. 

But we’ve always asked ourselves: 

Who enters promotions anyways? 

What age are they ? 

What life stage are they at?

Where do they live?

What technologies do they use?


If you’d like to get your copy of our research, get our take on the research and find out what about the latest technologies please email Please include B&A Research in the subject line.

Thanks !


Posted in Blog, Insights, What's New

AR Innovate Augmented Reality Conference

Return2Sender, The Mobile Marketing, SMS, App Development, and Augmented Reality Specialists are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the AR Innovate Augmented Reality Conference in The RDS. 


On the day we will be exhibiting our AR Hoops, Augmented Reality Game where you can play to win instant prizes! 

Posted in Blog

EE Debuts Child Safety Mobile Controls

EE Debuts Child Safety Mobile Controls & Information Programme

Child safety online is a hot topic these days so, we love this campaign from EE. 

It’s s hard for busy, stressed out, parents to keep up with everything – especially technology. 

Did you know that on an iPhone for example you can enable restrictions to stop your children from usng specific features and applications on an iPhone, including blocking access to iTunes, restrict explict content and in-app purchasing. You can also limit access to the camera and sharing of photos.

Well we kind of knew this but EE have laid out all of the information in a clear and concise way. 

With their step by steps guides, they’ve made it simple and straightforward and then some – wait for it – they’ve created over 70 parental control how-to guides for major networks, devices, services and entertainment providers in your home.

Posted in Blog

We’re on the move..beside Gooooogle ahem!


Our new address is: 


3rd Floor Marine House, 

Clanwilliam Terrace, 

Dublin 2

Please use email for now as our phones are acting up a bit!



Posted in Blog

Vodafone App New Business Win | Return2Sender

New Business, Pitch Win – Vodafone App Charity Connect 

Vodafone App

We are delighted to be working with Vodafone Ireland following a 4-way pitch recently. The new Vodafone app which is called Charity Connect aggregates charities and volunteers in Ireland. Charities will be able to place volunteering opportunities within the app.

Volunteers will also be able to volunteer for charity opportunities within the app. 

The new app which is called Charity Connect aggregates charities and volunteers in Ireland. Charities will be able to place volunteering opportunities within the app. Volunteers will also be able to volunteer for charity opportunities within the app. 

Charities will be able to place volunteering opportunities within the app. Volunteers will also be able to volunteer for charity opportunities within the app. 

Watch this space for more or contact us if your charity would like to get involved! 



Posted in Blog, Latest Work

Celebrate Bloomsday with the #IYFBloomsday!

Celebrate Bloomsday with the Hashtag #IYFBloomsday!

Surely you have heard about James Joyce?

One of Ireland’s most influential and celebrated writers famous by his inspirational novel Ulysses.

If you have, you are probably aware that every June 16th Blooms day takes place in Dublin to commemorate the author’s life.

During this event, his novel Ulysses is relived all over the city.

This year we have partnered with The Irish Youth Foundation and Brennan’s Bread to celebrate the occasion.

Using our MOMENTO Free Prints application and the Hashtag #IYFBloomsday anyone who shared their snaps was able to get a Free Print of their Bloomsday picture sent to them in the post. Analog cool!

Why does this work?


Event photo Printing Return2Sender

Why does this work?

Hashtags work!

While some are born organically from social and cultural flash point, brands have the opportunity to take a more strategic approach to using hashtags in their social media campaigns.

This allows them to spark and track the conversation online, as well as using a call to action that integrates offline and online campaigns. 

By throwing in free photos into the mix IYF and Brennans were able to boost their organic shares by giving people an even greater reason to share their snaps.

For more info about our Momento ‘ad funded photo printing,’ app/service have a look at the link here 


Posted in Blog, Latest Work

Beacons Power Gatwick Airport Navigation

Beacons Power Gatwick Airport Navigation!

Beacons appear to be finding their level right now.

This Gatwick Airport example shows that over 2,000 have been deployed to help time-pressed travellers navigate their way around the airport. 

It’s not that they never had their level, it just takes businesses to be very organised to deploy beacons in a meaningful way.

And of course, to create a nice user experience you need an app.

Beacons provide marketers with a very precise location of a product or service.

In this Gatwick example Google Maps will tell the user where the actual airport or international gates are.

But to pinpoint precise locations such as actual departure gates, toilets, vending machines or newsagents it is neccesary to deploy them. 

They don’t rely on the GSM or Wifi Network so they’re handy little guys to have around from that perspective. 

Another example could be a supermarket.

If you wanted to tell shoppers where to find gluten free stock cubes

You could integrate beacons in your app to pinpoint the actual location of such products. 

This helps to increase in-store conversion rate. 

Here at Return2Sender…

We’ve done a good few iBeacon here at Return2Sender.

Last St Stephen’s Green we created a game where shoppers had to go from shop to shop to collect points in exchange for a free Easter Egg!

If you want to know more about this project feel free to email us at 


Posted in Blog

Share Snaps, Free Prints

MOMENTO – Free Prints 

Momento is a photo promotions app that allows you to share your snaps in exchange for a FREE prints

Managed by Return2Sender.

How does Momento Free Prints work? 

If you’re looking to get people sharing at events or around brand occasions our social photo printing service an app could be a great bolt for your activity.

In short the Momento app works with Instagram

(that’s Insta only folks, trust us its the the only reliable channel for this – FB is too restricted!)

encourages consumers to share their pictures in exchange for getting free prints or the chance to win a prize.  

We take care of everything from POS and or leaflet design, Instagram ads, Instagram/competition monitoring, analytics and of course posting out those lovely photos in a branded envelope to your brand advocates. 

People can share via hashtags!

If they wish to download the app they can access other great promotions and use custom brand filters and stickers to enhance their photos.  

For more information email with MOMENTO in the subject line.

Or else follow us in social media!

Posted in Blog, Latest Work

Coca Cola- CookByNumbers

Meal Time Inspiration: Coca Cola (CookByNumbers)

We’re delighted to be working with our client Coca Cola CCH and also with the lovely people at Goosebump on the roll out of the CookByNumbers website and messaging application. 

If you’re looking for inspiration in-store at meal times simply SMS MEAL 1 or MEAL 2, MEAL 3,4,5,6,7,8 to 50400/81515 to get an SMS recipe. 

Banner Coke V1

Posted in Blog, Latest Work

Check your website speed with Google!

Handy Site Speed Tool From Google: 

Google make it so “easy” don’s they? Simply place your web address into the box and click submit to see how fast or slow your website is. 

They’ll even send you a handy report on all the things you need to do to fix the issues.  We have a few things to fix ourselves unfortunately!

Check your website speed here



Posted in Blog, News

Guinness OGB VR

Guinness OGB VR:

Here’s a very simple app and 360 video we did for Guinness Open Gate Brewery. 

These experiences are actually quite easy to create and you can re-cycle your content for Facebook 360 / Youtube etc. 

Thanks to Steven Courtney for getting this up and running. 




Posted in Blog, Latest Work

McDonald’s Virtual Reality Campaign – Examples Of VR Marketing 1

One of the best ways advertisers can create great Mobile Marketing experiences is to leverage existing owned channels like point of sale and packaging and do nice overlays. By going into the store or picking up the packaging consumers are effectively opted in to be communicated. Its also the perfect connection moment to communicate with them.

With that in mind McDonalds Sweden has turned their Happy Meal boxes into cardboard VR headsets and created Happy Goggles . Of course there’s a nice super size link to purchase effect where you have to actually buy the Happy Meal box, tear along the perforated lines and actually make up the goggles yourself ( the lenses are provided and have to drop your own smartphone of course as well as downloading the app!). It’s not abundantly clear in the video but it looks like people have to buy the special Happy Meal box complete with cardboard VR goggles.

It’s interactive on a number of levels and the only watch outs for us are that you might want t have a few nice, helpful sampling staff on hand to manage the eventual chaos that might occur if parents or kids can’t get the whole thing working.

If you don’t have the budget to do VR you can still do lots of nice things with mobile like text and win campaigns, scan and win, snap and win etc.

Here’s the McDonald Video

Posted in Blog, VR Marketing – Virtual Reality

Think Small.

Think Small and focus On A Sustainable Messaging Strategy Before You Develop Your Mobile App




Since the birth of SMS, one of the things that us mobile agencies have had to do is work within the laws of constraint. Limited bandwidth, screen size, character length, battery life, on the go, privacy concerns, etc. have all imposed restrictions on mobile creative. Not to mention budgets!

But, this is actually a good thing because it forces the agency to become much more rigorous in how you develop your mobile proposition. It acts as a threshing machine separating the chaff from the wheat. It cuts to the content.

According to Jacob Nielsen headlines should be traditionally no more than 5 words.

Saatchi & Saatchi had their ‘brutal simplicity of thought’ (from Bertrand Russell’s Happiness where happiness can only be achieved by the painful necessity of thought). Simple messages enter the brain faster.

Brevity, the soul of wit, can be applied to your app strategy.

If you stress test your content and check if it would work as a standalone set of recurring app notifications (or even text messages) then you’ve got something enduring to build a relationship on. Once you’ve nailed that, you can then broaden your app proposition out into pictures, words, animation, games etc.

You can also extend your snack-able content to other bite sized platforms ( Twitter, WhatsApp TBC, SMS, FB Messenger TBC, We Chat etc).

Now granted, there are those killer apps that simply would not work without a rich immersive interface but for many companies who are looking to develop an app where they build something useful to stay top of mind with their customers this works well and it shouldn’t cost the earth to build, test, learn and then enhance with more budget.

This approach is really important as apps become less destinations people go to on their phones and more as widget type beach-heads for (contextual) rewards, and useful info on the go. — especially on iOS 9 and beyond.

So the next time you’re developing your app (assuming of course you’ve got content people actually want) start with ‘would people like my app if it could only pop up now and again with 5 words’ ? Or if our app budget got slashed could it exist as an occasional text message?

Posted in Blog

Let’s Talk Messaging

It was around this time last year that I took my final descent into Dublin after a year in China. It wasn’t until I started working here in Return2Sender that I realised the pivotal role WeChat plays in my everyday life. I remember my first few weeks settling back into Irish life, I was walking down Grafton Street and couldn’t help but notice the strange looks I was receiving. It took me 2 weeks and 22 glances in the mirror to realise it wasn’t a make-up error or food on my face, it was the positioning of my phone. Then it dawned on me, audio messaging is an alien concept in the West. How is an action that is so natural to one set of users, so foreign to another?

When I first arrived in Beijing, the first thing I was told to do was download Wechat. WeChat provided me with grounding in the Chinese way of communication both on a personal level and a business level and a social toolkit that made my life as an expat a lot easier.

Wechat is a text and voice messaging app that is embedded in the Chinese culture with features such as messaging, moments (newsfeed), mobile payments, voice, video ‘sight’, book a taxi, browse commerce stores options and games. It provides brands a platform for a more targeted reach and one-to-one marketing as well as opening up possibilities for user-generated content. This means that brands have the opportunity to build brand loyalty with that personalisation factor. Multiple brands have taken advantage of this opportunity.

Pepsi for example ran ‘Bring Happiness Home’ campaign in China that allowed WeChat users to customise a Pepsi theme song called ‘Bring Happiness Home’ with a personal memo with the addition of sound effects such as a train or a galloping horse (as it was the Chinese year of the horse).
McDonalds have also exploited WeChat’s voice capabilities with their ‘Big Mac Rap’ contest. This consisted of users recording and sending a rap in the style of Hua Shao, the MC of the popular show ‘Voice of China’- who popularised a style of staccato syllabic speech.

Voice and audio messaging opportunities are not limited to the WeChat app however. Many software companies are taking advantage of the increase in mobile usage. Apple’s AI knowledge as a result of its acquisition of VocalIQ and iOS 10 will allow Siri to understand more with faster replies and more content use. The SiriKit response APIs are now advanced enough to allow these apps to reply with their custom UI.  Although it is currently limited to 6 categories of apps – Ride-sharing, VoIP, messaging, payments and workout/fitness apps, the announcement highlights the importance of in-app voice capabilities.

Nuance Communications, an American multinational computer software technology corporation, provides speech and imaging applications mainly for the health care sector. Nuance’s Voice Ads creates an interactive customer experience as customers can have a one-to-one conversation with brands they love. When an ad appears it prompts the customer to participate in a conversation. These software innovations and updates, Nuance in particular, mirror the capabilities of WeChat and highlight the slow yet positive adoption of voice and audio-centred applications.


So what does this mean for brands?

Voice messaging provides the perfect solution for Millennials that would usually choose a screen over personal contact (Well I know I would!) as well as satisfying the convenience urge. It is the feature of the future. Imagine waking around a supermarket with an app that provides the total cost of the contents in your basket with a simple “Uncle Ben’s Rice 250g”. Or instant voice messaging replies from your favourite designer suggesting what accessories to wear with your current outfit.

Apple has taken the first step, Siri’s third party integration gives brands the opportunity to create interactive applications or update their current apps whereby Siri voice assistant can enable brands’ engagement with users on a one-to-one level creating seamless customer experiences. If mobile users in the East have utilised voice messaging so greatly, why hasn’t the West? Opportunities for Western adoption of voice messaging exists, the question is – how will brands exploit voice capabilities and the existing software available to reach their customers on a one-to-one level and ultimately become leaders in mobile marketing?


Katie McCullagh – Return2Sender


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