iPad App

Get Inspiratored by Bentley Motors.

Earlier today a friend sent me a link to the Bentley Inspirator, which is an iOS app that uses facial recognition to help determine and configure the Bentley you should purchase. For some reason I felt compelled to download it and try it out. Surely the Bentley app would know to put me into a Continental. It did not. It put me into that ugly ass new Bentley SUV the Bentayga, and it chose the color brown.

The app itself  is pretty slick. Using the camera on your iPhone or iPad it tracks your expressions and eye movements as it shows you a series of photos and then determines which car is right for you. If you don’t want to use the facial recognition, you can use the touch version and physically make your choices.

Now, even though the app is pretty slick I think the reason it put me into the Bentayga, is because that is the only real choice. It looks as though this app is specifically promoting that product. The reason I say that is, after going back through the app several times, using the touch feature instead of the facial recognition feature, I always got the brown Bentayga. No matter what images I chose.

Its a well made app that links back to the Bentley site which also very well put together. The production value of the video components in the app are really well done, which you would expect from a brand like Bentley. And it is an engaging form of entertainment wrapped in advertising for a product that is geared to those that can afford it.



Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” Goes Interactive.

How do you take a song that is almost 50 years old and breath new life into it? You create a compelling interactive experience that creates an entirely new way to experience it. Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is just that. The interactive video can be found here, and if you install the dedicated app, you can get the full experience.

Produced by New York based VFX studio The Artery in conjunction with Israeli director Vania Heymann, the interactive video comprises the look of 16 interactive TV channels. It’s absolutely brilliant, and about a million times better than Dylan’s latest album release. This is actually quite addictive once you get into it.


The Monkeys + IKEA + Scrapbooks = KLIPPBOK.

KILPPBOKEvery time I turn around, IKEA is introducing some new digital marketing piece. It doesn’t matter if it is for the European stores, or as in this case for IKEA Australia. IKEA is a brand that understands how to use digital to extend brand presence and drive traffic to purchases of physical product.

KLIPPBOK is an iPad scrapbooking app that was designed and built by The Monkeys for IKEA Australia. Taking advantage of intuitive touch functionality, KLIPPBOK allows the end user to mix and match IKEA products, and experiment with ideas for their home. The app allows you to create scrapbooks, swatchbooks or roomsets,  of IKEA products. Your saved KLIPPBOK pages can then be published and shared to Pinterest, or Twitter. (note that Facebook is not on the list)

My only gripe about this product is the lack of online catalog integration, and hooks to the IKEA online stores. I’m sure the thought process behind leaving this out has to do with the fact that the product prices listed in KLIPPBOK are for IKEA stores in  New South Wales, Queens Land and Victoria. Perhaps if this rolls out on an international level catalog integration will be included. One advantage of not including hooks to online shopping, anyone in the world can use this app to generate home decorating ideas using IKEA products.

Time To Bend Your Noodle and Fight Hunger in America.

CP+B have created a desktop and iPad experience for KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese designed to stop food waste, promote creativity, and help stop hunger in America. The application was built using flash and cross compiled to work on iOS. (I’m kind of surprised hey don’t have an Android version of this available as well since the desktop app was developed using Adobe Flash.)

KRAFT’s ‘Dinner Not Art‘ application donates 10 noodles to Feeding America for every virtual noodle saved in the macaroni art that you create. While this number seems small, think about the number of pieces used on average by a kid when making a macaroni masterpiece. It ads up fast. The application is easy to use and a little addictive. So long term, this could create a large payout for Feeding America if the application takes off.

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The application features a fun easy to use interface that is intuitive for younger children, and actually rather fun for adults. The bright colorful UI reflects the KRAFT Mac and Cheese box and branding colors, but does it in a way that never feels like Kraft is promoting their product. It’s this subtle balance that really wins here. Throughout the experience the participant is shown a counter that increases with each noodle added. (The feel good factor). At the same time the KRAFT brand is represented in an unobtrusive way, and subtly promotes the product. At the end of the experience you have the option of saving and sharing your creations. (another feel good factor).


IKEA has always developed smart, successful advertising for their stores, but the “BERÖRA”, sewing kit for IKEA Norway was a smash success for the company.

To promote the launch of the IKEA iPad catalog for the Norwegian market, IKEA developed a new product called “BERÖRA”; which was a simple sewing kit that allowed people to sew conductive thread into the finger tip of gloves and mittens. The kit allows you to use your gloved hand with the new iPad catalog. Something that is pretty important to people who live in colder climates.

12,000 kits were distributed over a two-week period for free in Norway. This generated a massive amount of online buzz, which pushed the IKEA app to number 1 in the AppStore, and which made the Norwegian IKEA catalog the most IKEA catalog downloaded per-capita in the world.

Not bad for a simple idea, with little overhead. This is a perfect example of ROI.

Tintin iPad app by Harper Collins

The Adventures of TinTin, which opened earlier this month is a prime example of the blending of technology, and integrated product development. The movie which is based on a series of classic comic books created by Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. Those comics have been reissued in book form by HarperCollins who licensed the film rights to Steven Spielberg. Both parties being smart and savvy business types saw an opportunity to extend the experience even further, and on movie launch day HarperCollins released an interactive book, as an iPad app.

The app, costs $5.99 in iTunes, and contains features that will ‘immerse you in the world created by the filmmakers’, creating a direct tie to the film which in turn keeps the buzz alive and potentially stimulates more product sales.

The application features viewing characters and environments in 360 degrees, and one of the best features I think; the option to “scrub” through the original illustrations by Herge and compare them with the animation from the movie.

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The app was published by HarperCollins in partnership with Holopad.

In addition to the interactive book, Gameloft has produced a companion Tintin game that was released on the same day the movie hit theaters. Yet another example of holistic thinking when it comes to product development in conjunction with content. The days of developing support products after the movie hits are long gone. I expect to see even more of this in the near future, and not just for children’s movies either. Expect this kind of product development to happen across the board.

BMW Summer iPad Magazine/Application.

I’ve actually had this iPad magazine/application for a couple of months now. I originally got it because I wanted to check out the interactive features, and the way BMW designed the interface and user experience. I started writing a review of it a while ago, but for some reason never finished it. Like so many other things, it just got away from me in the last 6 months. Anyway, as a new owner of a BMW 128i (the MINI was totaled back in June) I recently grabbed a number of the BMW iPhone applications and that reminded me of the iPad magazine.

Like most iPad magazines, the BMW magazine has all sorts of interactive features. Things that are only possible on a computer or in this case a tablet. The issue I am reviewing here is the summer issue. I don’t know if BMW released a Spring or Winter issue earlier, but I am going to assume if they did it behaved very much like this one. The BMW Summer magazine/application looks and feels like a beautiful glossy magazine. The difference is, it packs some very cool interactive multimedia features making it feel even more impressive.

As you work through the magazine, you scroll horizontally flipping from page to page with your finger. AT certain points they give you subtle visual hints letting you know there is additional content below the fold. If you scroll down, you see the article in its entirety. At any given point while scrolling the page vertically, you can move on to the next or previous article with a quick swipe of the finger. The navigation feels a bit awkward at first, but once you understand the metaphor it makes a lot of sense. The UI allows the reader to move through the experience more fluidly.

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As for the content, the pages look great and respond fluidly as you flip from article to article.   If you want to go deeper than just looking at the pictures or reading, you can can explore the app’s fun multimedia side which includes video, games, audio, links to additional content, etc. As with the content that was lifted from the print side, the interactive components are well designed, visually stunning, and created to extend the overall experience. Content includes everything from an interactive “Paint your own BMW Art Car” game, to a car navigation feature which will guide you to a restaurant featured in the applications travel feature.

BMW like Audi has long been an early adopter of Apple iOS technology With this latest application BMW is continuing to investment in connecting Apple device lovers with the BMW brand. This is not only a great iPad magazine/application, this is a great brand driver for BMW owners and non-owners. You don’t have to own one of their cars to enjoy what BMW offers here.