Lucia Gambardella – MACACO

MACACO

 

ABOUT: I only love three things: food, cute animals and Art. Skipping my addiction with the first two, I am really passionate with Art, because it lets me show people the hidden beauty of the world I see with my own eyes. Also, I’m really curious, so I didn’t want to miss the chance to experiment with VR/AR resulting in me falling deeply in love with those technologies and creating a Company with them as the Core Business.

How did you guys get into XR?

– Me and the rest of the Team came from a Gaming background, but that kind of industry didn’t suit us. We wanted innovation, possibilities and new technologies to test to the limit, so we moved from gaming to VR and AR for Business. Why Business? Because we wanted to let all kinds of people explore these new technologies in order to get big advantages from them.

 

What is it like working with you guys? What can I as a customer expect? 

– Our company’s name is born from the concept that new technologies are fire and we are the people that can help companies dominate fire. As you can understand from this concept, we really take care of our customer, because we won’t let him get burnt. The first and most important step is to analyse the problem or the request with the customer, then elaborate a solution that suits well with his needs, so we are sure that the software will for sure bring advantages and won’t make him waste money. After that the customer is fully part of the production process and we work hard to solve every kind of doubt or problem.

 

How would you describe your company culture?

– We are a herd of monkeys that eat banans and live in trees. Jokes aside, our company is really our house, because there we can let our passion grow and become something useful for people. We alternate working session with labs to let us have fun and try new technologies, big big dinners, gaming and so on.

 

What is your company’s core expertise?

– My company’s core expertise is Unity 3D, the engine we use to elaborate our experiences. We are vertically certified on Unity 3D because it is a very versatile engine that you can use for gaming, movies, AR, VR, computer vision and so on. For a company like us that works from training to entertainment business, it’s a great deal. Also, in artistic terms, he lets you go from realistic style to a cartoon one.

 

I’ve been living in a cave the last few years, can you explain to me why I should invest in an XR marketing campaign?

– I’ll start with an example. You have to make a campaign to promote new fantastic set of blankets. We all know that the beauty of blankets is when we see them on our bed, in the room we refer as our nest. How can we make people feel the blankets even before buying them? The solutions is to let them use their phone and through augmented reality place them on their bed, open them and live the story beyond the color, the texture and the pattern. In this way the person finally becomes the protagonist and creates a real bond with the product and the brand. This results in people using emotions as a judgment parameter leading them to make hedonic choices instead of using logic and think too much resulting in not buying the blankets because probably they don’t really need them. You are creating the need, the need for that kind of emotion that only that set of blankets can give to them.

 

What is your best tip for a brand looking to launch its first XR experience?

– Think before act, it’s the best tip we can give. Let me explain why. Nowadays when people and in particular companies see a new product, they get crazy on it and want it absolutely, because they want to be the first to have used it. They don’t try to understand in depth what can and can not this product give to them and so they create something that will not satisfy them. Resulting in brands and people hating the product. So if brands want to launch a VR or AR experience, they have to analyse if this product can actually give them advantages over the market. Most importantly brands have to analyse the target  in depth, because if they don’t do so, they will give their target a product in AR or VR that they don’t understand or that they can’t use, resulting again in tarnish the AR/VR market.

 

If you were to speculate freely. What sort of VR or AR experiences do you think we will see in the future, in terms of marketing?

– The future is already here, is not far as it was for people watching in the early 80s “Back to the future”. We already have awesome experiences and clothes that can recreate the feeling of pain when you use VR, hot and cold and so on. “Ready Player One” (Maybe I must stop using movie references…) is not that far in therms of technology. (I have to specify technology and get the distance from the dystopian society idea that is at the base of the movie) the only thing missing is a wearable pair of glasses for AR. So, in general, we only have to wait for people to buy headsets like they buy a smartphone nowadays, so the market grows and AR and VR becomes the new normal.

 

XR is a no doubt powerful tool that and the industry is young. What are the risks and pitfalls with XR marketing? 

– As I said before, the big risk is to use these tools without doing a deep analysis of the target, usability, advantages and so on. A simple example of VR used in one of the worst ways is when developers induct in people a sensation of motion sickness, leading people to believe that VR always gives that kind of ugly sensations. So the advice is again to think before act in order to make people love AR and VR and not hate them because of an Experience that was poorly thought out or that wasn’t tailored on them.

 

Pick a brand and product that you like and tell me what sort of campaign you would create, given total freedom and an unlimited budget.

– As I said, I love food, so why not pick a brand that works in the food & beverage field? Eh eh. Let’s pick Twinings, oh I love their strange flavoured teas. (It’s not product placement I swear)
Their dominant trait is the elegance and luxury that you can feel only from looking at the Logotype or the packaging. Then, when you open the package, you have that awesome smell given by the flavours inside. I think that the story behind the combination and the origin of the ingredients are pretty interesting. So in my mind I see a possible flow in AR: you frame the box/package and when you open it, it tells you thought animated silhouettes, made with and artistic representation of the ingredients, the story behind that kind of combination meanwhile you are
still hearing the smell coming from the box. In this way you the perfect combination of product and AR.

 

How big can XR marketing get and what will it take for it to get there?

– Nowadays we have Hybrid cars, because you can have more power with both electrical and traditional fuels, I think that VR/AR marketing andTraditional Marketing will be the new Hybrid Engine that will drive the campaigns. Why keep the traditional way? Because people can’t live without something that isn’t actually real and that they can feel with touch, so the combination of something that it’s Virtual with something that is real, is the winning choice. Like you know, you are selling a House with Virtual Reality and in the same time you give your client a Coffee making him think that he’s drinking it in the morning, in his new lovely house. The missing step in order to achieve that is, as I said, wearable glasses for AR and more people that buy VR Headset like Oculus Quest.

 

How would you define a successful VR (or AR) marketing experience?

– A successful VR or AR marketing experience is the one that: has been developed to suit perfectly on the reference Target and find a new creative way to convey the message behind the product with VR/AR tools. So not only put an object in AR or VR, but create an experience that drives the person through the story and the concept of the brand or the product.

 

What is it about XR that gets you excited?

– Is the possibility to show people the world in a new way. In the Art’s History, we had great visionary artist such as Monet, Manet and Picasso that really understanded what Art really is: is taking the reality and re-shape it in order to let people see the world through the artist’s eyes. So mixing Reality and my vision of it in the case of AR and the possibility to let people see with my own eyes in the case of VR, is something that really make me love these technologies.

 

What VR or AR experience do you fantasize about experiencing in your lifetime?

– I cannot answer this question because is like solving a Rubik’s cube without knowing the algorithm behind it, you have like 43 billion of billion of possible solutions. And that’s it also with AR and VR, you have billions of billions of creative possibilities, and it’s really difficult to imagine what creatives will offer to us.

 

Any final words?

– AR and VR are an awesome new way of making every kind of things: from the most artistic to the most technical one. The creators now have the fire to bring to the world a new era, that will not become a gray dystopian reality but the colorful union between traditional and digital, between humanity and technology.

 

STUDIO: MACACO

VR, AR November 8, 2019 by Rick