Digiday Mobile Innovation Camp


Three developers find themselves in the deep end of the ad agency world.

Digiday’s Mobile Innovation Summit was an eye opening experience where three developers discovered how the greater ad agency world works, thinks and plays.


Set at the Bonita Springs Hyatt Regency we were greeted with mimosas, palm trees, giant dogs, and the warmth of the Florida sun (a welcome change from the chill of the oncoming Chicago and New York winters). After settling in we were off to the Digiday introductory sessions where after a brief icebreaker we were broken up into teams of 10-12 agency up-and-comers to participate in a “brand hackathon.” The teams were presented with client briefs and tasked with preparing and delivering a pitch in less than 48 hours.

Throughout the event, we had several opportunities to grow closer to our teams. Before even officially meeting everyone, we were tasked with a scavenger hunt during cocktail hour to find 10 items. Most items were something that someone would be carrying on them, making it a great time to find some of your teammates and meet them for the first time. After getting off to a stellar start, Team Yellow grew confident and decided to relax and socialize amongst themselves. While Team Yellow was socializing, the other teams wound up coming from behind to put yellow in last place. Team Purple with our mobile developer Vishnu Rajeevan took first in the scavenger hunt.

Following the scavenger hunt, we all met for dinner with our teams, followed by a challenge to build the tallest tower that could hold a cup of water with just 12 styrofoam cups, construction paper, some straws, and masking tape. Team Purple came out ahead once again, putting them in a solid lead, with Team Yellow once again in last place, but at least tying with another team.

After that we had a chance together with our teams to start on our brand hacks. Some teams worked well into the night, while others called it a night quickly to save up energy for the following day.

The first full day saw us start off with several presentations from the mentors outlining important topics in the mobile space like emerging technology and how to focus on the consumer. After the talks, we had the chance to get back in our team rooms to work on our hacks. Mid-afternoon brought us the chance to get together for some physical and mental challenges in the courtyard as part of Camp Olympics. This was Team Yellow’s time to shine as they wound up taking second place and Team Purple took last. We wrapped the day up with more socializing and more brand hacking in our team rooms.

The final day, saw presentations by some of the sponsors and a ton of brand hacking to finalize our pitch decks. Most teams were polishing everything up until the very last minute.. When pitch time was upon us, we saw 6 very different pitches, 2 for each brief.

Team Yellow (Mike DiGiovanni: Emerging Technology Lead)

The automotive brief asked for a campaign that can reach millennials who don’t need a car through an extremely social, always on, always tweeting car. Team Yellow took the approach of re-defining the test drive. Yellow proposed an experience that begins with an app that lets you customize a virtual car and compete with it in a game for the opportunity for a month long test drive. The program would launch from music festivals, then branch out for months, increasing and letting more millennials get extended hands on time with the car. They also intended to leverage social media influencers to share their experience with the car, from within the car during the months leading up to the launch. The buzz about this car would be driven by the millennials need to seek validation from their peers. Despite being one of the least diverse teams in terms of expertise, the Yellow team came together to pull off a fantastic pitch.


Slide Deck: http://www.slideshare.net/digiday/yellow-team-brief-c-solution


Team Red (Jakub Misterka: Senior Interactive Developer)


By working on the Samsung Olympics brief with team red, I got to see a unique perspective on the ad agency industry because I was the only representative from the tech world. Though everyone had varying titles and backgrounds we were all able to pull together and come up with a unified strategy and plan of attack. It was interesting to play different roles than I’m used to and to step out of my own comfort zone to see issues and ideas from different perspectives. The idea that we came up with ended up becoming a mobile social experience where users were able to become “Everyday Olympians” to raise awareness for the Olympics, further augmented through the use of Samsung’s product line. Users were to compete in weekly branded challenges delivered to their mobile phones from their favorite Olympic athletes and placed on a worldwide leaderboard from which the top contenders would get to go see the 2016 Olympics live. We all drew on past experiences in successful campaigns to come up with ideas that were not only innovative but had a proven track record. For instance, being able to “Olympify” your social networking profile, an idea that Roundarch Isobar used in the DRose campaign where users were given a modified profile picture to show their friends and family they were supporters of D Rose. Overall it was great fun to wear different hats and compete in an unconventional hackathon with Team Red. You guys rock!

Slide Deck: http://www.slideshare.net/digiday/red-team-brief-b-solution


Team Purple (Vishnu Rejeevan: Mobile Developer – Android)

Team purple chose to target the user themselves, rather than the millennials group as a whole. We decided that the car we wanted to market would give the user a fully customizable driving experience as well as reward them for their usage.

I found myself lost in the beginning of our first meeting, as the team makeup was roughly 80% marketing and 20% tech and the discussion was 100% marketing. However, I quickly began to catch on and threw out some ideas utilizing technologies that myself and the other developer on the team knew about. This allowed us to participate in what we thought was a marketing heavy conversation. Out of the all the teams, we had the most discipline diversity in our group, and this proved to be a huge benefit. Our UI/UX team member was able to quickly mockup a visualization of what all of us were thinking during planning. Having two developers meant that were able to rapidly prototype the product the designer had created and gave us a better handle on the idea we had generated as a team (this can be seen at www.dashcarapp.com). From this experience, I learned what it takes to design, budget, create and market a solution to an advertising problem. Additionally, I met some great people on my team that I really bonded with, across job titles and from across the country.

Slide deck: http://www.slideshare.net/digiday/purple-team-brief-c-solution



At the end of the day, everyone found that they had gained a lot from this experience. We met many new, interesting people who are the future leaders of the industry, as well as learned more about the marketing and advertising agency world than we thought we could in three days. Plus, we had a great showing from Roundarch Isobar, with teams red and purple winning the award in their respective section for “Brand Hack Champion.”

For more details on the Mobile Innovation Camp, check out Digiday’s coverage.