Like giving birth

baby.jpgThere are some projects that you work on in your professional career that you invest yourself in a little bit more. You take them extra personally. You dedicate yourself to the project outcome being a success. The journey is rewarding and paved with tears, hard lessons and moments of pure, inspired innovation.

I had one such project launch a couple of days ago and I'd love to share it with you now. Disclaimer - I work for DigiKnow, an interactive marketer in Cleveland, OH, and one of our sweet spots is sports and entertainment. We've built sites and systems for some great sports teams over the years.

About a year ago, we came up with an idea for revolutionary venue marketing product and were extremely fortunate to partner with the Cleveland Cavaliers to get it done. The marketing team at the Cavs was fantastic and as driven as we were to come up with the best possible solution. The final product is a patent pending marketing system called SeatServer.

The product, located here, combines Flash and AJAX technologies to deliver a smooth, realistic experience. The solution shows real video views from each seat section, allows the team to add an up-sell message in each section (e.g.; "Did you know that for $10 more you could sit in the lower bowl?"), incorporates the team schedule and a lot more (check out the interactive 360 video in the seating chart pull down). On top of that, the team can showcase premium seating options and give you personalized directions from your front door all the way to your seat.

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Sports teams are certainly becoming more aware of the fact that the experience is more than just what happens inside the arena. It starts when you come online, extends as you leave your house and concludes when they get back home. The more value teams can provide throughout that process the more successful their online efforts will become.

Do you have a project like this in your career? What did you learn?

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Super Ad Sunday is here

goal_small.jpgIt's not that I'm not a football fan, I am. But, I look forward to today (like many others in the marketing community) to see the ads. This year's advertising will be a mixture of user generated ads, from the likes of Doritos and Alka Seltzer, and the typical comedic beer ad shootout.

Ad Week via will be blogging the Super Bowl ads this year. Guest bloggers include Seth Godin, Joseph Jaffe, Tim Arnold, Andy Berlin, Chris Wall and Tom Messner. (I can't wait to get Seth's more pragmatic take to help cut through the hype.)

This is a nice experiment to engage top-level marketing bloggers and get real-time input. It will be interesting to see how the commentary works and what ads come out on top. Interactive marketers need to pay attention to the push to the internet and we all need to look at how/if these commercials drive real business results. More on that from me tomorrow.

For now, check out the SuperAdFreak site for the running commentary and enjoy the game.

Note: This Apple Macintosh ad really started the phenomenon of Super Bowl advertising as its own partitioned competition. Is the next groundbreaking commercial going to launch today?

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