Live from DM Days: 'Magic on Your Desktop' Tom Goosmann Explores the World of New Media
June 12, 2008 — Yesterday, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, Tom Goosmann, founder and chief creative officer of True North Inc., presented a luncheon keynote entitled “Magic on Your Desktop.” The keynote presentation took place during the DM Days New York Conference and Exhibition, which concludes today.
Goosmann explained that rich desktop applications such as widgets, which are standardized on-screen representations of a control that may be manipulated by the user, and RDAs (remote desktop applications), have actually been around for quite some time, and offer many benefits to marketers.
One advantage of RDAs, he explained, is that they can run straight to the desktop, without being connected to the Internet. “These applications provide information that consumers need on a daily basis and can all be pushed to the desktop, where it is readily available and easy to access,” he said. RDAs allow users to “pull sweetspots from Web content for fun, engaging desktop activities.”
In the case of the DVD release of the film “Finding Nemo,” Goosmann explained that rich desktop applications were employed, enabling users to download ads from their desktops. Once an ad was downloaded, he said, “you were immersed in Nemo’s world, and Nemo was swimming around the desktop like in an aquarium, while on the right-hand side, the window that was open gave you access to a bunch of content.” Consumers were also directed to other websites where they could find more of Nemo’s friends and bring them back to the desktop.
However, selling the idea was a challenge, Goosmann explained. Clients got cold feet on an unknown challenge, and feared damaging their operating systems. Further, he explained, “Consumers had fear because it involved downloading an unknown exe file, and even feared they might bring the whole Internet down!”
Goosmann told DM Days attendees that the public wasn’t beating down the door on adoption, and were reluctant to give up precious desktop real estate. “Still, we didn’t give up on what we believed was a very powerful window of opportunity,” he said.
“What has changed today?” Goosmann asked, “Is it time now to consider RDA as part of the mix?”
Two years ago, Goosmann said, the average user didn’t know the difference between MySpace and Facebook. “Today, the masses have moved, and spoken, and their behavior has changed. Suddenly, it’s all about widgets, gadgets, and apps. The social Nets have softened up the user to appreciate the functionality and fun of gluing together mini apps.”
Further, he went on to explain, broadband is almost everywhere, and many people keep computers on and connected all the time. “So last year, when we began planning the promotion for the platinum DVD release of the Disney classic ‘Peter Pan,’ the groundwork was laid and the client was ready,” Goosmann said.
The most critical thing in a DVD release, he said, is day-one sales. “It’s the harbinger of how the release will do overall, and creates a snowball effect with word-of-mouth,” he told conferees. Goosmann’s team selected Tinkerbell as the main symbol for the campaign. “We knew from research that Tinkerbell is the most beloved character from the story. What better front pixie to put out there to remind fans of all ages what the release date was?”
Goosmann said the app was set up so that users could download Tinkerbell to their desktop. “Once downloaded, Tink became your personal companion,” he said. “She sprinkled pixie dust. It didn’t matter what program you were in. Tinkerbell would be there. You could turn her off, but while she was awake, she would giggle, blush, and flirt, and smile at you.”
Tinkerbell provided a link to trailers and other information about the DVD, and especially reminded users of the all-important release date. In the end, Goosmann said, over 160,000 fans downloaded this app and maintained their desktop.
By the way, the campaign went on to win DMA’s 2007 International ECHO Digital Award.
Goosmann said that, although there have been dire predictions of the demise of online display ads, “the type of ad that is dying is the type that tries to force old methods into new media.” In an era of consumer rules, he went on to explain, effective online advertising has to add value to the online experience. “If your promotion or ad does not deliver on social value, entertainment value, or some economic value, I will not bother to give you my attention. This is so much more true in the desktop environment, where the real estate is the most exclusive.”
According to Goosmann, using rich desktop applications, is “really about being invited into consumers’ online home and letting them sell you.” Therefore, marketers must ask themselves, “Am I targeting those I have a relationship with, first and foremost — those who trust me, those that love me?
In conclusion, Goosmann provided a checklist for success in using desktop apps. First in importance, he explained, is that marketers ensure the user knows and trusts them. Secondly, the application needs to bring value to consumers’ daily online activities, he explained. Third, marketers need to remember that RDA requires commitment. Therefore, the content has to be kept fresh, and not be “regurgitated.”
“[Desktop apps is] not an acquisition tool,” Goosmann said, “It is a medium that leads to viral payoff, and leads to leads to relationships.”
# # #
back to top