May 20th 2016

Creativity Meets Technology in Innovation Labs.

Posted by Will Shadbolt

As technology continues to improve and things that were previously just fantasy become reality (see, for example, last week's post about virtual reality), innovation labs become more and more popular. Even companies without them are embracing the general idea, partnering with start ups or other brands. The primary goals of these labs or partnerships is not just to work with new tech but also figure out ways to integrate them with client campaigns. Members of the innovation team will often sit in on creative team meetings observing pitches and briefs to add in ideas. The concepts that were turned into real items or ads have varied, but were almost always intriguing or thought-provoking.

One ad shows paraplegics confined to their wheelchairs looking on wistfully while their grandkids or nephews play outside. That is, until Adaptoys are introduced. A toy car is wirelessly hooked up to a headset that also features a straw. The user can blow or suck into it to control the car's momentum and turn their heads in order to steer. Now the children's elders are no longer relegated to the audience but are active members of the lawn fun. For those not race car inclined, there is a pitching machine for baseball that is voice activated. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation hopes to raise $155,000 in order to produce 100 of the race cars, but their long term goal is to give both the car and pitcher mass market releases.

One less serious example is Oscar Mayer's Mini Wiener Rover. A commercial shows a band singing along as a literal Mini Weiner Rover drives around an "extreme" set up, rolling around through mud and doing jumps. At one point, it stops in front of the band and opens a secret compartment filled with fresh hotdogs and condiments the band gladly takes. The initial batch sold out, but at this time there are no plans to make more. 

The startup LISNR, which produces inaudible signals that can turn on speakers, play an ad or video, or unveil special brand content, has contributed its technology to be played around with in an innovation lab. So far, it has been featured at concerts, such as Swedish House Mafia, and been used by the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T and Budweiser, among others. 

These labs are also beneficial in that they make a network of tech companies that can work together and foster an environment that brings creative innovation to the companies rather than them going out to look for it. As technology improves even more, who knows what type of products or advertisements these labs could make.

At Giovatto, we're also dedicated to innovation and will take care of all your creative needs—and more! Our creative team works hard to infuse innovation with all that we do and to ensure every ad we produce is the attention-grabbing message your brand needs.  With over 27 years of experience, we know how to make your next campaign excel.

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