[UPDATE: Added the playlist above of the event overview and each of the shortlisted pitches]
Last week I was privileged to host the inaugural SEEK event, a joint venture by Essence Digital and Forgather that aims to honour some of the most exciting innovations in marketing technology. It was a great opportunity to meet the people behind some really disruptive new ideas as I moderated a quick fire pitching session with Q&As from the judges: Victor Basta, Director, Magister Advisors, Laura Scanga, Concept Development Director, BSkyB and Andrew Walmsley who co-founded i-level in 1999 and is now an active investor in early stage internet ventures. The event was streamed live and I will post the recording below when it is live later this week, but I definitely recommend you check out the eight finalists if you are even the slightest bit interested in marketing and advertising as they are all doing some pretty amazing things. They were all winners just for being there in my opinion, but congratulations has to go to Drawbridge for winning both the judges and the audience choice awards with some pretty amazing pairing technology:
EVRYTHNG is a Web of Things™ software company, making products smart, simple and social by connecting them to the Web. The technology at the heart of making products smart is the EVRYTHNG Engine, which makes it easy to turn any physical thing into a channel for personalised digital services, one-to-one communications and on-going relationships, tied to transactions. EVRYTHNG’s technology helps world-leading brands get closer to their customers, and companies make their businesses smarter by accessing real-time data analytics about how their products are being made, sold and used.
Stipple is the global leader in image-based advertising and e-commerce. Stipple empowers brands to advertise inside images that actually contain their product, using unique technology that reconnects these dispersed images from across the web (including images on top tier websites, Facebook and Twitter) back to their original owners, enabling the distribution of interactive media, advertising and commerce through photos. Stipple delivers a network-wide average engagement rate of greater than 7% and a network-wide CTR greater than 1%, which is 10x the display advertising industry average.
Future Ad Labs have created PlayCaptcha, a compelling new form of digital advertising with potential to disrupt a large global market. PlayCaptcha is an alternative to Captchas (those hard to read words at the bottom of forms to prove you are human), replacing them with short fun mini-games. By using branded mini-games, unlike alternative Captcha based solutions, PlayCaptcha generates income for website owners and a positive experience for website users.
Appinions is the only opinion-powered influence marketing platform specifically designed to give brands the unrivaled ability to measure and ignite contextual influence. Built on more than a decade of research at Cornell University, Appinions’ patented algorithms extract and aggregate opinions – thoughts, feelings and statements – from more than six million sources encompassing blogs, social networks, and traditional media and use these opinions to identify and track influential individuals and entities on any given topic.
Wooshii is a Video Production Marketplace that connects buyers with a global community of video creatives including thousands of videomakers and animators, across over 250 categories and every continent. This gives agencies an efficient and scalable route to bespoke video production, and gives even the smallest business instant access to a global talent pool of video producers and animators.
Walkbase develops real-time consumer behaviour analytics, which allows retailers and brands to enhance their customers’ experience, pinpoint store specific problems and optimise their overall operations.
As smartphones with Wi-FI have become pervasive, a new sensor type for customer traffic analysis has emerged. Walkbase has developed a scalable solution for the next generation in-store customer behaviour analytics. By installing a small sensor inside a store or using the Wi-Fi infrastructure already installed, Walkbase is able to accurately track customer traffic using Wi-Fi signals. Aggregated behaviour data is presented via an easy-to-use web analytics dashboard. Further, with an opt-in, retailers and brands can relate specific store visits to online web activity and purchases, as well as in-store point of sale, providing full online-offline customer journey visibility.
Drawbridge is a cross-device advertising platform, which has developed a proprietary cross-device pairing technology to match users across devices without the use of any personally identifiable information. It is a managed, integrated solution, trafficking mobile ad campaigns on behalf of the customer, and using the data from their cross-device matching solution to achieve superior results. Drawbridge has already paired 600M+ devices and growing.
Chirp is a new system that allows consumers and businesses to share data using sound. Anything that makes sound (think TV, radios, smartphones and laptops) can now broadcast 2-second sonic barcodes, called chirps. Chirp turns a link to anything – pictures, music, coupons, tickets, video, you name it – into sound. It’s a simple idea with big potential. Chirp has been #1 Download in 6 countries including the UK, Germany and China, and was a Top 20 App in fifty countries worldwide, rated 4/5 stars by users.