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Stoli pours shot of haptic technology into mobile video ad

Stoli Group USA is tapping a still-emerging marketing tactic by leveraging touch-enhanced haptic technology to offer a real-world feeling in a new mobile video ad.

Stoli has partnered with Immersion Corporation and Opera Mediaworks to roll out the ad, which is running in LDA-compliant Android applications within Opera Mediaworks? platform. As mobile video becomes a paramount tool to leverage when reaching on-the-go consumers, marketers will need to get creative in their efforts to stand out among the competition.

?Haptic technology makes a ton of sense for advertising in general given the device, its capabilities, and how consumers are interacting with their device on a daily basis,? said Mike Owen, executive vice president of North American sales at Opera Mediaworks, San Mateo, CA. ?Stoli is a forward-looking client who saw a clear opportunity to enhance its ?THE Vodka? creative to deliver a first-to-market consumer experience.?

Buzzing with memorable effects
Stoli?s new video ad is viewable on smartphone and tablet devices. After users click on it, they will spot a haptified bumper at the beginning stating that it is ?Enhanced with TouchSense Effects,? therefore alerting consumers that it will feel different than a standard mobile video.

The ad displays a cartoon woman bouncing around with a martini shaker, the contents of which she then pours into two glasses. As the drink-making device shakes, users? devices will mimic the action.

This will undoubtedly make the video-watching experience even more memorable for consumers, who are subject to a barrage of mobile content each day. Brands must differentiate themselves by thinking out of the box when it comes to mobile, a ubiquitous channel with plenty of audience reach.

?It is important to us to make sure that we?re using haptics in a way that is fun and engaging for consumers,? said Jason Patton, vice president and general manager of content and media at Immersion, San Jose, CA. ?The Stoli ad gave us this element to work with in designing a haptic effect that enhances the advertising and the brand message. 

?We believe that haptics are a design element, just like sound or color that advertiser can use to creatively add to their campaign.?

Haptic technology can be applied to any type of video, and has come far from its initial days, which saw it offer a simple buzz or message notification to viewers. Nowadays, vibrations can be put in place to demonstrate a thumping heartbeat or arrival of an approaching vehicle.

Effect on consumers
Mobile users have been shown to respond positively to watching videos with haptic effects. Immersion claims that it has conducted focus groups to gage feedback, which have proven that media enhanced with this technology has resulted in a better feeling of immersiveness, and consequently, intent to purchase.

Stoli is not the only marketer tapping into this new tool to enhance its marketing efforts.

Last September, Showtime partnered with Immersion Corporation to use its haptic technology in mobile ads for hit show Homeland, with the goal of increasing viewer engagement and retention (see story).

While the videos are currently viewable on Android devices only, the Stoli advertisement will likely surprise mobile users with a vivid experience that may help keep the alcohol brand at the forefront of their minds when deciding on their next drink.

?[Leveraging mobile strategy is] critical given the role the device is playing in Stoli?s consumers? lives,? Opera Mediaworks? Mr. Owen said. ?Not only are they reaching consumers via mobile, consumers' experience with Stoli tends to involve mobile devices which presents unique opportunities as well as presents one of the most efficient ways to connect the difficult to reach the 21 and over audience.?