Ogilvy & Mather together with Gloo Digital Design offices have launched a lab where emerging technologies are tested and new experiences are co-created directly with the clients’ customers. This is the first of its kind on the continent and aims “to inspire creative use of technology and to design truly effective experiences,” says Ben Evans, the Managing Director of the Digital Portfolio at O&M. 

The emergence of flexible technology has created more emphasis on branded utility and services which is altering the face of traditional businesses and marketing approaches. While the lab might not have all the answers to the rapidly changing advertising and marketing landscape, it hopes to expand the boundaries of traditional communications and develop innovative work placing the customer at the heart of the experience. 

Currently, the lab has six stations named: Exploration, Electronics, Incubation, Virtual Reality, Touch and Gesture, and the User Experience Station. Each is focused on a particular part of the invention process, from inspiration to end-product testing, allowing for extensive research and development. 

Some experiments include using conductive paint to turn pieces of fruit into a musical keyboard or exploding a can on screen using only your brainwaves. Gimmicky as it sounds, Brian adds that, “to enable technology to be used creatively, we must inspire through interaction – encouraging exploration and play. It’s only through interaction that we can unlock the creative potential of technology for our clients and their customers. The Lab allows us to ‘play’, and this playful exploration and experimentation provides the perfect climate for genuine innovation”.

The Lab is presently located at the Gloo Digital Design offices in Waterkant, Cape Town, and will move to the O&M Cape Town offices in Woodstock later in the year, along with the rest of the Gloo team as the final step of the Gloo and OgilvyOne merger to create Gloo@Ogilvy Cape Town.

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