Amplifying JBL’s brand presence on Amazon
JBL is an American audio electronics brand, best known for producing speakers and headphones. JBL entered the Amazon cosmos as a well-known brand with the goal of maintaining a consistent brand image not only on Amazon, but across its entire web presence and beyond. FACTOR-A/DEPT® took on the challenge of optimizing a huge product portfolio in multiple marketplaces to increase brand awareness and product consideration while staying true to JBL’s beautifully cultivated brand identity.
Building a brand on Amazon
JBL asked us to optimize the product content for its very large portfolio on multiple marketplaces, while building and maintaining a uniform brand image in the Amazon cosmos. We needed to develop an Amazon presence for JBL to reach new shoppers and appeal to loyal customers, while fitting seamlessly into its existing e-commerce and corporate identity.
The main goal of this project was to achieve efficiency and feasibility. Cultivating success not only for the present, but also setting up for success in the future.
A comprehensive approach
We took a comprehensive approach, working to adhere to the Amazon content regulations while staying true to JBL’s international brand image, keeping a customer focus and raising brand awareness and product consideration.
When working with such a large portfolio across multiple markets and categories, it can be complicated to maintain a uniform brand image and to optimize the content in a timely manner. For JBL, we developed a master layout / design guideline with a one-size-fits-all design concept that could be applied to every content type in every marketplace.
This, combined with our Amazon expertise and local insight, allowed us to sustainably push JBL’s performance while creating a strong international brand image. In combination with content creation, we implemented content monitoring to ensure the maintenance of the optimized content.
Efficient & relevant content creation
Forms of content
Brand building on Amazon: We worked with the designs provided by JBL to maintain a consistent brand image across all aforementioned forms of content.
Brand building across products: Our design concept ensured a consistent design across multiple different product types.
Brand building across marketplaces: By applying our concept to every marketplace, we built a globally recognized brand image, regardless of which country customers are shopping in.
Monitoring optimized content to ensure continued quality
The energy and resources used to create relevant, optimized content for JBL is only fully exploited when it is monitored. Due to the high possibility of content deviation on Amazon, our optimized content does not always remain as the version that is live.
We implemented content monitoring for the JBL portfolio in order to:
- Notice the overwriting of already optimized content
- Quickly detect and correct any changes
- Monitor and adhere to changes in the Amazon guidelines
- Keep the intended, optimized content live at all times
Brand presence and time saved
With the help of FACTOR-A/DEPT®, JBL has built a strong, uniformed brand presence across all products, categories and marketplaces. The content design concept and implementation has boosted scalability and will cut time in half for future product optimization.
Head of Editorial at FACTOR-A/DEPT®
An immersive metaverse gaming experience
Star Atlas is an AAA space exploration strategy game and blockchain-driven virtual metaverse. The highly anticipated game has epic graphics, compelling lore, and a forward looking blockchain-based economic model including Play-to-Earn and other DeFi features.
The brand is set to revolutionize the future of gaming, entertainment and beyond. Creative studio Hello Monday (part of DEPT®) partnered with the Star Atlas team to build an immersive digital experience to create excitement around the game’s launch.
A portal to the future
Star Atlas, set in the 27th century, combines everything a sci-fi gamer’s heart desires; it’s about space exploration, territorial conquest, and political domination. The teaser homepage features a galactic portal that pulls users right into the Star Atlas metaverse. The color palette is colorful and light to move away from the traditionally dark and moody sci-fi aesthetic to help Star Atlas stand out in the world of sci-fi gaming.
The navigation structure is inspired by the solar system. Hello Monday (part of DEPT®) worked to develop a motion approach and iconography style that felt unique and reflects the Star Atlas brand.
Users can easily download the Star Atlas whitepaper, sign up for more information or click “play now” to visit the marketplace, where they can view the game leaderboard and buy and sell resources and services both in and outside the game. This combination of blockchain based in-game currencies and a fully decentralized, non-fungible token (NFT) asset ownership makes Star Atlas a truly innovative game.
Visualizing the metaverse
Users can scroll through various chapters that introduce the game lore, and interact with 3D visualizations of spaceships and planets inspired by the Star Atlas world.
The 3D visuals are rendered as point clouds, a set of data points in space, alluding to stars in the universe. They needed to be recognizable and visually appealing while staying abstract to help tease for the upcoming game aesthetic. To achieve this look, the Hello Monday team wrote a custom WebGL point cloud shader that gives the illusion of a depth-of-field effect while staying very performant.
The 3D models are made from projecting light rays onto the surface of actual game models, and pre-processed in a custom compression pipeline based on Draco, an open-source library for compressing and decompressing 3D geometric meshes and point clouds.
Star Atlas is among the most talked-about Play-to-earn games. We were excited to help bring the digital experience to life and try to make it just as forward-thinking as the game itself.
Anders Jessen, Founding Partner, Hello Monday
The stars aligned for Star Atlas
The unique immersive digital experience Hello Monday (part of DEPT®) created for the launch of Star Atlas received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both the Star Atlas community and different award juries around the world:
- Webby Awards 2022: People’s Voice Winner in the category Entertainment
- Awwwards 2021: Site of the Day and Site of the Year in the category Users’ Choice
- FWA 2021: Site of the Day
Founding Partner, Hello Monday (part of DEPT®)
Creating digital collectibles for an esports pioneer
With a staggering audience of 81 million people, the 24H of Le Mans Virtual has established itself firmly as one of the pioneers of the fast-growing world of esports.
Motorsport Games, the developers behind the virtual race, partnered with Algorand and DEPT® to launch an NFT marketplace to sell, auction, and promote iconic moments from the 2021 race as they happened.
A new first for a historic event
As the longest-running endurance race for sports cars, the in-person Le Mans race has amassed an equally long list of historic moments. The 24H race is punctuated by driver switches, pit stops, inevitable mechanical failures, and the transition from day to night. It’s a demanding test for both drivers and their vehicles and the race’s history encompasses everything from major wins to high-speed crashes.
When the in-person event was postponed in 2020 and Motorsport Games launched the 24H of Le Mans Virtual, the immersive simulation event was designed to have all of the hallmarks of the original—including those same historic moments.
For the 2021 race, Motorsport Games decided to celebrate the return of the virtual event with an NFT collection of these moments. Working with DEPT®, they set out to launch an NFT marketplace to package and sell the race’s historic moments both from its inaugural year and also as they occurred during the race’s second outing.
Iconic racing moments, now collectible
The 24H Le Mans Virtual NFT marketplace was built using Algomart, the open-source platform on the Algorand blockchain created by DEPT®. We worked with Motorsport Games to take Algomart out of the box and launch their branded marketplace just in time for race day 2021.
Using Algomart opened the door to what otherwise might have been nearly impossible. Building a full-scale branded NFT platform from scratch requires an inordinate investment of time and resources. And, with blockchain technologies still relatively new, most brands don’t have the in-house capability to marry the off-chain and on-chain systems needed to build a blockchain-based marketplace.
Algomart provided a solution to these issues that looked and functioned like a traditional ecommerce experience. Moreover, it put Motorsport Games in control of creating their own bespoke offering with a tech stack that could scale as needed.
Motorsport Games’s NFT offering consisted of five collections, each representing a world-renowned racetrack, and each containing multiple NFT packs. Much like the NBA’s successful TopShot NFT series, fans who purchased these could “rip” packs to reveal iconic moments of sports history. In the Le Mans case, these moments were captures of the race from the immersive platform created by Traxion.gg.
Depending on the rarity of the pack and just how iconic the moments it contained were, prices ranged from $5 to $50. But it’s also worth noting that Motorsport Games also released 526 editions of four “common” NFT packs for free, all of which were claimed within a matter of hours.
Ultimately, by taking advantage of Algomart, we helped Motorsport Games successfully enter a new and exciting market that fits the brand of a pioneering esport like the virtual Le Mans race.
An important foundation for the esport revolution
The first collection of NFTs for the 24H Le Mans Virtual was generally well received.
The promotional free packs were claimed quickly and nearly 60% of the total NFTs available have been purchased. Overall, fans were excited to see a sports car race enter the NFT world and even more excited that the Le Mans NFTs would be created on the Algorand blockchain.
By working with DEPT® to create an NFT marketplace, Motorsport Games has built the foundation early for an evolution in esports that seems inevitable. As blockchain technology ushers in play-to-earn gaming and draws more attention to the fast-growing world of esports, Motorsport Games will be able to expand their NFT marketplace accordingly.
Director of Web3 at DEPT®
The Drone Racing League
Creating collectibles for a sport at the forefront of digital innovation
The Drone Racing League (DRL) is the world’s premier professional drone racing property. Millions of fans watch the best drone pilots in the world compete in high-speed, highly competitive races broadcast on NBC, Twitter, and other international sports networks.
DRL partnered with DEPT® to launch a series of NFT collectibles by building a branded platform on the Algorand blockchain, making them the first brand to take advantage of Algomart.
A reputation for leveraging groundbreaking technology
DRL doesn’t just hold competitions IRL. During the pandemic they launched a full-scale virtual transformation by taking advantage of the DRL Simulator. The cloud-based technology enabled DRL to broadcast live races within an immersive simulation and proved so successful that it stamped DRL as a pioneer of a new era of sports racing.
With the rapid expansion of Web3 and the metaverse, DRL has since partnered with Algorand’s Playground Labs to take digital drone racing a step further with blockchain-enabled ticketing, fan transactions, and, of course, digital collectibles in the form of NFTs.
After learning about DEPT®’s role in creating Algomart, Algorand’s open source technology enabling brands to launch their own NFT platforms, DRL approached us for help in this endeavor.
A non-fungible, first-of-its-kind promotion for a 21st century sport
Building a full-scale branded NFT platform from scratch represents a hefty investment of both time and money. Furthermore, blockchain technologies are still relatively new and finding a team that can marry the off-chain and on-chain systems needed to build an NFT marketplace is tricky. Most brands don’t have this capability in-house, limiting options even more.
Algomart is a groundbreaking piece of technology in that it provides an out-of-the-box solution to these issues, putting brands in control and enabling them to enter a new and exciting market with a bespoke offering that feels like a traditional ecommerce experience and can scale as needed.
DEPT® helped DRL take full advantage of everything that Algomart has to offer. We worked with their team to take Algomart out of the box and launch their branded marketplace in under a month. Their first run of 400 NFTs featured fourteen drone pilot avatars created by the award-winning digital artist Metapunks. Of that first run, 387 NFTs were a “common” design and the remaining thirteen were one-of-a-kind “rare” designs.
Rather than releasing their first set of NFTs for purchase or auction, DRL debuted their marketplace at Algorand’s 2021 Decipher conference as a promotional offering. They distributed 400 flyers with QR codes which attendees could scan and find out which of the fourteen designs they had redeemed.
As a promotional release, DRL’s NFTs symbolized the brand’s place at the head of a first-of-their-kind 21st century sport. Additionally, they provide an exciting, low-risk way for DRL to test the waters for digital collectibles.
The entire ecosystem of blockchain and NFTs is going to bring people closer to the brands they love and open a whole host of new experiences.
Anne Marie Gianutsos, CMO, Drone Racing League
An exciting future
Going forward, DRL has big plans for their NFT marketplace. Recently, they’ve announced their official mobile game, which will allow fans to compete in play-to-earn virtual races for cryptocurrency and NFTs. The game was launched as part of DRL’s partnership with Algorand’s Playground Labs and DEPT® continues to have a role in helping expand the marketplace to include a secondary marketplace.
Play-to-earn games are a much-anticipated part of the future of blockchain. By integrating them with their NFT marketplace, the possibilities for new NFT offerings from DRL are almost limitless and will continue to be facilitated by Algomart.
Director of Web3 at DEPT®
Creating the soundtrack to the metaverse
Dequency is building first-of-its-kind decentralized music licensing marketplace for music and visual creators to connect, collaborate and transact. Built with web3 technology and ethos, Dequency seeks to connect visual creators with recording artists and other music rights holders and provide a simple, transparent, and fun licensing experience. They turned to DEPT® to help bring this vision to life and build the marketplace.
Building a decentralized music licensing platform
Dequency aims to build a platform that eliminates third parties from music licensing transactions to increase the speed of payment, reduce fees, and give control of the system to market participants. The Dequency platform will enable music and visual creators to connect and collaborate on NFT art and metaverse content more easily.
Initially catering to on-chain content such as motion graphic NFT projects, video games and metaverse productions, Dequency wants to showcase recording artists offering their music to license and facilitate communication between the parties to foster community. With the ultimate goal of creating a fully-decentralized, trustless music licensing marketplace, Dequency will also provide creators income-generating opportunities with minimum fees and instant payment.
The power of blockchain technology to help streamline music licensing
All visual productions that use music require a synchronization license (AKA “sync license”) negotiated between the copyright owner of a piece of music and the party seeking to use the music. The license permits the synchronization of copyrighted music to any other type of content.
Dequency believes that blockchain technology has the power to revolutionize the market for music licensing and create more opportunities for artists. The company wanted to build on Algorand, a blockchain that is known for its environmentally friendly “pure proof of stake” consensus mechanism. Algorand offers quick, efficient and secure transactions on its blockchain.
Licensing of music into film, tv or other applications in 2022 is currently akin to booking travel in 1975; inefficient, rife with unnecessary intermediaries and rent-seekers, and closed off to those unable to get through the corporate gatekeepers.
George Howard, Dequency Co-Founder
DEPT® is very familiar with building on Algorand, as we built the first white-label, open source platform for launching an NFT marketplace on the Algorand blockchain. And we’ve worked with a number of companies who are looking to launch NFTs or build platforms on Algorand.
Through a series of design and architecture sprints, we helped the Dequency team flesh out their idea. Over the course of five months, we then designed and built an MVP of the product, focusing first on offering up ready-to-sync music for visual projects that are legally licensed directly from the music rights owner, and recorded on-chain.
Shortly after the MVP was created, Dequency made history by executing the first-ever sync license on a public blockchain. “Late Night People” by Goldfish ft. Soweto Kinch was licensed through Dequency’s SmartSync contract for use in Algorand’s Decipher conference, held in late 2021.
In early 2022, Dequency was also able to raise $4.5 million through an investment round led by Borderless Capital to further build out the marketplace. The funding will go toward building out Dequency’s peer-to-peer function, enabling music creators to upload their work to the platform and directly license for use in visual art projects.
DEPT® is currently working with Dequency on phase two of the project, focused on enabling music creators and rights owners to host their catalog on Dequency and work directly with visual creators looking to purchase the rights to use music in their projects.
When Dequency fully launches, the marketplace will be the only option to license music on-chain for blockchain-native content such as motion-visual NFT projects, games, and metaverse productions.
The Dequency platform built by DEPT® facilitates communication and direct transaction between music and visual creators, giving them the opportunity to benefit from this explosion of artists entering the space.
Keatly Haldeman, Dequency Co-founder & CEO
Resonating with gamers across the globe
SteelSeries has been a leader in e-sports gear for 20 years, and its contribution to e-sports gear has changed the game forever.
The brand prides itself on trophy-like achievements, such as creating the world’s first-ever glass mousepad and designing the most awarded headset in gaming. Having cemented its position as an e-sports pioneer, SteelSeries turned to DEPT® to help tell its ‘Glory Story’ in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary.
Until 2021, SteelSeries’ rapid growth had mainly been driven organically by its unparalleled product performance. The successful brand hadn’t started exploring the golden opportunities connected to claiming its brand story and basing it on its unique history and the immense role the brand has played, and continues to play, as a challenger of the status quo in the world of e-sports gaming gear.
As SteelSeries reached its 20th anniversary in 2021, it became clear that there was no better time for the brand to tell the world its Glory Story. For two decades, SteelSeries had fuelled the gaming industry by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for e-sports and passionate gamers everywhere. With millions of new gamers around the world constantly entering the market, the brand wanted to find a compelling way to share this heritage. Together with SteelSeries, we crafted an innovative campaign that resonated with gamers across the globe and turned 20 years of brand history into a 20% increase in brand awareness.
The strategy: making ads that gamers want to share
It was clear to both SteelSeries and DEPT® that the brand’s rich legacy was an untapped goldmine of growth opportunities. However, as we ventured into this uncharted territory with a wealth of material to choose from, a number of challenges presented themselves. The main questions were:
- How do we turn this into a cool and engaging story rather than boring self-praise?
- How do we strategically pick the right stories or achievements from the SteelSeries legacy?
- How do we best communicate these awesome stories to gamers who do not tend to watch 30-60 second flow TV commercials?
First and foremost, we needed to find ways to connect with different types of games. It was clear that relevance was the key to success, so finding the right messages and choosing the right channels was crucial to driving and maintaining interest.
The solution: ad sequencing with tailored storylines
To craft compelling content that would appeal to the target audience, we focused on three elements: enlisting leading creatives; targeting two core target audiences, and using ad sequencing for tactical storytelling.
Ensuring that the campaign would feel just as cool as the digital realms in which gamers immerse themselves was paramount. SteelSeries enlisted top-notch creatives to portray the world that gamers know and love; the world of gaming.
Smart targeting for smarter storytelling
We identified two core gamer groups and custom-built the narratives of the brand story to match their specific characteristics:
- PC console gamers: we showed them that we understand that SteelSeries is, has always been, and will always be a by-gamers-for-gamers brand. This was visualized through a series of gaming moments that make gamers feel glorious. We also showed them our long line of gaming innovations and how they’ve continued to elevate the performance of gamers everywhere.
- E-sports gamers: we showed them our huge involvement, support and commitment to the e-sports community, centered around the fact that e-sports pros have won more prize money with SteelSeries than any other brand.
Ad sequencing for tactical storytelling in the digital world where gamers live
Having outlined the big idea and how we wanted to customize this message to each of our audience types, we wanted to ensure that we not only met the gamers on their preferred platforms; we also wanted the campaign to stand out as the extraordinary story that it was. It had to be more than just another marketing campaign.
To achieve this, we made use of a number of tactical elements. With first-class visual content, strong storytelling and bold, attention-grabbing statements such as “if you suck, that’s a problem we can’t solve” in place, what we needed was to get gamers to start watching.
Initial testing of non-skippable ads showed that these did not achieve the significant impact that we were looking for, so we needed to find a different tactic to pique the interest of our target audiences. Using ad sequencing on YouTube allowed us to divide storylines into shorter segments and craft them into sequences tailored to each target audience to increase the chance of catching the gamers’ attention.
Moreover, if a gamer skipped an ad, we used customized messaging based on the gamer’s previous interaction with the campaign with ad copy such as “we know you skipped our last ad, but you’re really missing out”. As results quickly showed, combining ad sequencing with this approach significantly increased the chance of catching the gamers’ attention and seeing them complete the remainder of the sequence.
The results: 85 million views and a 20% increase in brand awareness
Fast forward a year, and the campaign has been watched more than 85 million times across 30 countries. Moreover, gamers expressed their love for the campaign across social media with comments such as “the first ad I’ve watched in its entirety” and “this is the mother of advertisements”, among hundreds of others.
And the result? A 20% lift in brand awareness, significantly above YouTube and Facebook benchmarks. With the Glory Story campaign, SteelSeries has succeeded in claiming its brand history and harnessing it to boost brand awareness among its core audience. And it’s only the beginning, says SteelSeries CMO Kathryn Martinez:
“Ultimately, it’s been incredible to see that we have a story worth spreading. It took a leap of faith, but thanks to this campaign we know there’s an audience out there that really wants to hear from us. And we have so much more to say – there are many more levels to this game.”
Chief Client Officer, DEPT® Americas
The world’s first NFT portal for brands
Non-fungible token (NFT) sales soared 20-fold within a year, from $13.7 million in the first half of 2020 to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021. By the end of 2021, the marketplace for NFTs reached a $41 billion value. To help brands make the most of the opportunity, DEPT® created the first-ever open source, white-label solution for launching an NFT marketplace, built on top of the Algorand blockchain.
Taking advantage of a massive opportunity
NFTs open up avenues for consumer brands to innovate and let consumers engage with digital ownership and digital collectibles. But, brands have been missing a straightforward way to launch an NFT marketplace to leverage the benefits of unique digital assets. To address this, DEPT® created the first-ever open source, white-label solution for launching an NFT marketplace, built on top of the Algorand blockchain.
NFTs allow brand loyalists, collectors and investors to own and engage with a piece of virtual brand property. The market for these virtual goods is expanding exponentially. For brands, digital assets are a game-changer in terms of engaging, connecting and creating value with their audiences. Why? Because collecting is something that humans have done throughout history. But now, the ability to digitize and certify memorabilia gives brands new ways to provide authentic experiences to consumers. This is especially valuable as brands compete for customers on a fully digital playing field.
NFTs also represent better monetization for creators, a more intimate connection with consumers, and a much better fraud prevention mechanism, all while providing total ownership and control to the owners. At the end of the day, it’s a fundamentally better distribution method that brands can leverage to generate new and increased value.
Unfortunately, these blockchain technologies are still very new, and the complexities and required expertise make starting from scratch with NFTs extremely difficult and costly. Brands need an out-of-the-box solution that makes it easier for them to enter the market, have the control to make a bespoke offering and a tech stack that can scale and grow in this new space. Together with our long-time client, Algorand, we recognized the need to lower the barrier to entry to allow brands to take charge of their digital assets and how their users engage with them.
The entire ecosystem of blockchain and NFTs is going to bring people closer to the brands they love and open a whole host of new experiences.
Anne Marie Gianutsos, CMO, Drone Racing League
DEPT® created a ready-to-use platform called Algomart to assist brands in getting started with NFTs. Algomart is an open source platform built on top of the most cutting-edge blockchain technology from Algorand in order to quickly create unique and user-friendly experiences. Algorand is an attractive infrastructure on which to launch these marketplaces as it is eco-friendly, scalable, and offers inexpensive transaction fees.
Algomart provides core modules that can be used out of the box and enable brands to easily create new models and experiences, whether it’s engaging with customers through auctions for digital collectibles, creating NFTs to engage with gamers in the metaverse, offering something redeemable in the real-world or blending physical and digital experiences. Brands can get started easily, as the development and deployment experiences use cutting-edge infrastructure like Terraform and Docker. Additionally, Circle allows brands to remove the complexities for marketplace users creating and funding crypto wallets, so users can use a credit card like any other ecommerce transaction.
Bringing people closer to the brands they love
Since the launch of Algomart, DEPT® has been in discussions with a number of brands to launch an NFT marketplace, including global sports brands, lottery games, fantasy sports providers, food and beverage companies and more.
Motorsport Games used Algomart to launch its first-ever NFT marketplace for its live Virtual Le Mans 24-hour race event. This included opportunities to find exclusive moments and artwork on the marketplace.
Also, the Drone Racing League, the world’s premier, professional drone racing property, became the first sports league to run an NFT marketplace through Algorand. The marketplace features unique 3D avatars of DRL’s Algorand 13th Pilot, MannyH!MSLF, to use for gaming and in the metaverse.
David Markley, Director of Business Solutions at Algorand, said: “NFTs exploded as many of the world’s top brands realized the role the digital assets can play in a diverse set of applications. I’m excited to see DEPT® recognize the opportunity and launch its state-of-the-art platform that removes complexity for brands to more fully incorporate NFTs into their businesses.”
I’m excited to see DEPT® recognize the opportunity and launch its state-of-the-art platform that removes complexity for brands to more fully incorporate NFTs into their businesses.
David Markley, Director of Business Solutions, Algorand
Head of Marketing US
Arizona State University
Bridging the opportunity gap between in-person students & non-traditional learners
Together, Arizona State University and DEPT® are leveling the playing field for students across the globe.
In our ongoing relationship, we’ve developed a variety of platforms for a diverse set of learners and educators, with a focus on accessibility and equity.
Can technology help democratize education?
In today’s world, the democratization of education is a tremendous opportunity.
Students that attend traditional universities with laptops, 5G networks, and online communities usually have better odds of achieving their career goals.
On the other side of the spectrum, learners in unstable or low-bandwidth countries don’t have access to the same educational experiences.
How can we bridge that gap with technology?
This is one of the problems ASU is solving with its many products and platforms.
DEPT® has been working with ASU in the EdTech space for over six years. We develop educational platforms not only in the US but also for learners around the globe with unique cultural backgrounds and various technical readiness levels.
Before building out a new EdTech solution, we follow a user-centric design approach. What may be a good solution for tech-savvy millennials in Chicago or New York is likely not the right implementation for Gen Z learners in Kenya. By designing and engineering custom solutions for each unique target population, we ensure that our educational KPIs can be met.
We tailor our application design to the unique technical constraints of each region.
The most bleeding-edge in responsiveness, animation, and UX will simply not work on a high-latency, low-bandwidth network that connects to a five-year-old Android device.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and we work closely with our EdTech partners to ensure that we employ the right tools for the job.
Connect young African leaders with professional opportunities
To create more opportunities for African learners, ASU and DEPT® created Baobab, a social and professional application.
This product promotes networking, mentorship, and learning courses in leadership, entrepreneurship, and hard and soft skills.
Help students explore careers and plan career paths
me3® is an interactive quiz and planning tool. Using a SaaS model, me3® helps students explore careers and plan career paths. By using this technology, schools across the globe can introduce students to careers that align with their interests.
Support Emirati and Arab youth in their career exploration
ASU’s Young Thinkers Program is an online university and career readiness program. As learners use the Young Thinker Program, they can network, find mentorship, and explore higher education programs.
Today, there are over 50,000 users on the platform.
Tutor students who need additional help
Intelligent Tutor helps students who struggle with math by taking them through lessons at their own speed. Each concept has guided practice, video tutorials, and example problems to ensure students are comprehending each lesson.
Over one million learners served
Our partnership has enabled ASU to test their pilot programs and then quickly scale them to tens of thousands of users. By focusing on human-centered design and efficient development, we have successfully launched product after product alongside their team.
By focusing on delivering value to non-traditional learners and meeting them where they at, we’ve helped ASU Achieve its mission of bringing more educational opportunities to learners–whether on-campus in Tempe, AZ, or across the globe.
A platform for the game-changers
Sony PlayStation revolutionised the gaming world with groundbreaking entertainment, revolutionary graphics and gameplay. It delivers unbelievable experiences and incredible adventures allowing players to delve into new worlds with access to whole universes in the palm of their hands. With a growing network of 80-million active users, Sony PlayStation is celebrated for its innovative products and services. Sony turned to DEPT® with the vision of allowing its global audience from all corners of the world to purchase their official merchandise.
Through integrating the range of digital expertise within DEPT®, the PlayStation Gear merchandising platform was born and released throughout Europe. CentreSoft, the UK’s leading multi-format specialist distributor of video games, contracted DEPT® for the project on behalf of Sony. DEPT® strategists analysed the logistics of the retail venture, whilst our creative and technical craftsmen designed and built a bespoke e-commerce platform that boasts a truly interactive online shopping experience. The marketing team optimises the website, ensuring optimal performance and search visibility for the brand new domain. Launch campaigns were executed to introduce the storefront, engage with target audiences and increase traffic.
Merging gameplay with online shopping
Collaborating with Sony PlayStation to design, build, and launch a new multilingual e-commerce storefront throughout Europe was a massive achievement for DEPT®. The entire build from wireframes and planning, through to coding and tactical implementation took less than 6 months to complete, as the project was expedited in order to be live for the world’s largest gaming conference, E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo, and to partake in Sony PlayStation’s annual ‘Days of Play’ campaign. The initial release of PlayStation Gear was highly successful and laid a solid foundation for continued growth.
High search visibility
Prior to launch, as a brand new domain, playstation-gear.com had no visibility on search engines. Using a range of tools to monitor site performance, conduct behavioural analyses and optimise accordingly, the website is now approaching 3 million sessions. Over 650, 000 sessions are from organic search and almost 500, 000 are from paid search, as a result of executing organic and paid campaigns; the channels work in tandem, ensuring PlayStation Gear is positioned in a prime position within the search engines.
Organic search reach
PlayStation Gear has grown in organic visibility for a range of brand, product and generic search queries since its launch. Each version of the multilingual platform appeared in over 2k core search queries which were instrumental in driving traffic and conversions. With over 650 root domains link to the website providing 76k+ backlinks, organic visibility is continuing to grow. In a single month alone, organic search has driven 82k sessions to the site.
Since launching in May 2017, PlayStation Gear has won multiple awards and is continuously praised in the gaming-community and over social media. Working in an agile way, under such a tight deadline, has strengthened DEPT®’s relationship with Sony and has led to a long-term partnership.
Experience the website
Executive Creative Director
A next-gen collaboration
SteelSeries has fueled the gaming industry by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for eSports and passionate gamers everywhere. However, SteelSeries had reached a point where further, substantial market share growth could no longer be achieved by simply investing more media budget into the lower funnel marketing activities. Together we’ve evolved SteelSeries’ media strategy to embrace the full customer journey, acknowledging the consumer path is a journey and the first step isn’t a purchase.
Implementing a full-funnel messaging and buying strategy to raise their brand awareness
Having built a sound lower-funnel marketing foundation, it was time for SteelSeries to start focussing on the brand’s long-term growth. Together, SteelSeries and DEPT® joined forces in rethinking the media investment and strategy, ultimately implementing a full-funnel messaging and buying strategy to hone in on raising brand awareness and, ultimately, meeting SteelSeries’s ambitious growth targets. A project that started with a structured KPI approach that gave us the possibility to measure the branding activities for each step of the customer journey.
By measuring success on each step of the customer journey, the marketing budget was optimised between lower-funnel marketing activities and upper-funnel branding focused activities. A keystone in the project was the company’s “tried & true” channels: Facebook and Instagram. We also took it a step further and introduced the brand to a new social platform: Snapchat. We tailored the messaging to better speak to new users who were unfamiliar with the brand. We prioritised video ads and tested new, engaging ad formats like Instagram Story polls and Snapchat Story ads. With humour and catchy slogans, we built a new tone of voice and brand story.
During the project, we continuously made improvements and gathered learnings along the way which ensured that the strategy only grew stronger as we progressed. This, together with smart bidding, real-time pricing strategies and ongoing analysis based on the KPIs we set from the outset, ensured that we outbid the competition and that SteelSeries maximised the impact of every dollar spent. By combining all assets in a knowledge bank SteelSeries is now equipped with best practices around creatives, formats, platforms, audiences and strategies. This will ensure the full-funnel messaging approach and strategy will only grow stronger throughout the year and into the next to come.
This is just the first step in implementing a full-fledged marketing strategy which will now be implemented widely across the full marketing strategy, including YouTube as well as other channels, now that SteelSeries have tested and proven a solid foundation for its long-term growth plans.
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