360i #SideHustle: How “Vivrelle” Took Dani Calogera from Premium Television to Premium Accessories

Welcome to the 360i #SideHustle blog series, where we showcase the awesome side projects, hobbies, start-up businesses, and other ventures created by the entrepreneurial and always-curious employees here at 360i.

By the time 360i Account Director Dani Calogera was 7 years old, she knew how to run a register, manage retail inventory, and create marketing collateral, all thanks to the support of her family of entrepreneurs who value “the creative spirit.” Fast forward two decades: when Dani isn’t overseeing creative campaigns for some of 360i’s top entertainment clients, like HBO and Bravo, she’s helping to launch and run Vivrelle, a first-of-its-kind membership club for luxury handbags, jewelry and diamonds. We sat down with Dani to learn a little bit more about her #SideHustle.

360i: Let’s start at the beginning. What made you want to start a membership club for luxury accessories?

Dani Calogera (DC): One of my very best friends got married last November, and like most brides, a big part of her vision for her special day involved clothing and accessories – her dress, what her bridesmaids would wear, the jewelry she’d choose to complete her outfit. It wasn’t until she started looking for diamond earrings to rent that she noticed there were a bunch of clothing and accessories rental websites, but they didn’t really have the quality or the variety she was interested in.

My friend and I (along with her soon-to-be-husband) put our heads together and came up with the idea to create a one-stop shop for accessing hundreds of high-end accessories a flat monthly membership fee. And Voila! Vivrelle was born.

Dani (middle) and her two cofounders.

360i: What a name! Where did it come from?

DC: “Vivrelle” comes from two French words – “vivre” meaning “to live” and “elle” meaning “she.” Since Paris is the epicenter of fashion, we wanted to infuse that legacy into our brand.

360i: What sets Vivrelle apart from some of the other clothing and accessories rental services out there?

DC: For one, we’re a one-stop destination for not just handbags but other accessories like jewelry and diamonds – you can access everything from Chanel handbags to Cartier watches. We also have a flexible membership program starting at $99 per month, so you can choose which level works for you. Finally, and we love this one, we offer an influencer program where we allow members to access the closets of their favorite influencers, so they can act on the inspiration they get from people they follow on social media.

360i: What makes your #SideHustle possible for you and the co-founders?

DC: Each of our skill sets – finance, PR, marketing & branding – are different, and they each contribute something important to Vivrelle. Having flexibility is also a huge factor for me. Early on, I set the expectation to my business partners that my full-time job would be my priority. They’ve been really great about allowing me to contribute my part on my terms. I don’t necessarily need to be in the office or online from 9-6, so I usually tackle my portion at night or on weekends. It’s proven to work well for us so far.

360i: How has working as an Account Director informed your business?

DC: Having experience with the large brands I work on at 360i like Bravo and HBO has definitely given me the building blocks I need for this, especially in terms of understanding our audience, building our brand, and getting the word out. But Vivrelle allows me to work on new aspects of the business (e-commerce, membership) and dip my toe into some new categories (luxury goods, fashion) that have likewise helped me in my role at 360i. It’s a nice cycle.

360i: How much time do you dedicate to Vivrelle?

DC: Every minute that I’m not at the office!

360i: Why is this important to you?

DC: From a career development standpoint, it’s been amazing to work on a start-up brand where, for once, our audience isn’t established and we have to consider who it is and how we reach them. Building a brand from the ground up, creating recognition and identity, and providing a valuable service while endearing the customer to us will continue to be important for me and my long-term growth.

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Exploring the Worlds of AR & AI at the 2018 Fast Company Innovation Festival

This week at 360i’s New York headquarters, we hosted a session as part of the Fast Company Innovation Festival in partnership with Unity, and our client Fossil. The annual Fast Company Innovation Festival brings together thousands of forward-thinking creators, makers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders from across the country and around the globe who are embracing change, blazing new trails, and moving our world forward.

The panel included 360i’s CMO Doug Rozen, Fossil’s Global Marketing Lead Charlotte Roach, and Unity’s Global Head of VR/AR Brand Solutions Tony Parisi. The group discussed the opportunity that Augmented Reality (AR) offers brand marketers, including creative, interactive ad units.

Charlotte showcased a new example that Unity and 360i created for the 2018 Fall Fossil campaign, which allows users to virtually try-on and purchase different watch styles across social platforms. Fossil believes that experiential marketing is truly bringing an impact back to impressions, and Charlotte noted, “this isn’t a quick stunt, this AR unit is a long term investment.” Following the conversation, Unity invited audience members to experience their latest AR technology first-hand on iPads and Smartphones.

Thank you to our panelists and guests for joining us. You can read more about the panel in Forbes.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter as we live-tweet the latest and greatest from 360i events.

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The Future Of Search Has No Keywords

In a new piece for AdExchanger’s “Data-Driven Thinking” column, 360i’s CEO, Jared Belsky writes, “The time for the next great evolution of search is upon us, and there is too much revenue and opportunity left on the floor.”

While search has long been about keywords (think: Lycos, AltaVista and Ask.com), Jared argues that this model is less than ideal. He identifies three “tsunami-like forces” are that will turn search on its head:

    1. Human Capability – We have reached a point where people alone are no longer fast or efficient enough to help brands master the search auction.
    2. Voice Technology – The sheer volume of devices containing microphones and internet capability make voice search an ever-present option.
    3. Everything Becoming Universal – For the past decade, search, display and video assets have been managed individually by channel specialists, but we are quickly heading into a world where these components are automated by artificial intelligence and distributed to their intended audiences based on key performance indicators.

Read on in AdExchanger to learn more about how search is changing and how Marketers can keep up with — and stay ahead of — these trends.

Follow Jared Belsky (@jabelsky), 360i (@360i) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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With the launch of Portal, Facebook taps into the power of Voice

Facebook is kicking-off Q4 with what could be the most-wanted product of the 2018 holiday season. Today, Facebook announced Portal and Portal+, two Alexa-enabled, video chatting devices that are designed to help people feel closer to friends and family. Over the past few years, Facebook has made advancements and investments to fulfill its mission of ‘giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.’ This mission paired with the smart speakers booming market (16.8M smart speakers, +187% YoY, were shipped last quarter) make Facebook’s interest in video chatting hardware a natural fit.

Portal and Portal+ are currently available for pre-order at portal.facebook.com and there are rumors of a major marketing campaign in the works. Facebook will face some stiff competition including the 6.73M Google Home speakers and ‘tens of millions’ Alexa devices sold during the 2017 holiday season. However, Portal and Portal+ will include an unprecedented AI-enabled Smart Camera, it will be an authentic extension of users’ social networks on Facebook and Messenger, and will offer more interactive experiences via premium content (Music + Facebook Watch content) and augmented reality effects.

What This Means For Marketers:

With 19.7% of US adults owning smart speakers, they are moving from “new technology” to an accepted and expected part of our digital marketing ecosystem. Portal, in particular, is challenging social marketers to adjust their strategies in new ways:

  • An Alexa-first consumer journey: Since Portal will be Alexa-enabled, it is important that brands have a strong Voice strategy to conquest any potential opportunities to educate consumers. For example, last holiday season consumers looking for cooking-related advice via Alexa increased by 9X YoY. If you’re a food brand, you’ll want to make sure your brand has the opportunity to populate as a key ingredient in what users are searching for. (Note, all video and Voice calls will be encrypted using Portal, meaning there are no current or foreseeable retargeting opportunities based on what people are talking about on Portal.
  • Defining the role of Voice and video: Over the past few years, Facebook has preached the importance of video in bringing the world closer together and their introduction of Portal is no different. While Voice technology is a key feature of Portal, it is currently only being used to convenience users. Video however is being used to create more meaningful and impactful experiences between consumers. Using Portal’s video capabilities, brands may have the opportunity to be a part of entertaining consumers and fostering greater interaction between family and friends. While this clear definition between Voice and video will live authentically within Portal, it is also something to consider as other platforms build out their audio/Voice capabilities.
  • Optimizing for a connected ecosystem: Both Google and Amazon have evolved their smart speakers into smart ecosystems and it is likely that Facebook will do the same. With consumer interaction at the desktop, mobile and now Portal-level, it is likely that consumers will come to expect more seamless experiences on the platform. For example, if a user is watching a video on Facebook, they may come to expect to share that video via a chat experience on Portal. For marketers, we are challenged with creating experiences that can be enjoyed by a single individual as well as many.
  • Forecasting Portal’s Future:

    Portal’s success remains to be seen, but its collaboration with Alexa and first-to-market augmented reality and artificial intelligence capabilities are promising. Below are a few ways we predict Portal will evolve.

  • More integration with Messenger and Facebook: As of now, Portal is Facebook Inc.’s way of making your Messenger and Facebook connections more real and ‘felt’ by users. However, if users adopt Portal more widely, it is possible that there may be further integration between Facebook’s personalization and Alexa technology. We foresee that Facebook will want to create personalized recommendations based on how they’ve wanted to use AI assistants in the past. What remains to be seen is how this mission for personalization can be married with Amazon Alexa.
  • Branded Portal Experiences: Portal is launching features that are authentically set up for brand integration (i.e. premium video content, Facebook’s Spark AR platform, Story Time, etc.). Depending on usage, it is possible that these capabilities will expand to include ads (potentially as a part of the video content distributed via Portal) as well as interactive gaming capabilities similar to what rolled out on Messenger in August. As of now, future Portal users will be able to engage in branded augmented reality filters made using Facebook’s Spark AR platform as well as branded Facebook Watch channels.
  • Heightened sensitivity around privacy: With Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and last month’s security breach, the use of Portal will likely be under a lot of scrutiny (from the industry and users) when it comes to privacy. As Portal rolls out to users, it is likely that their promise to privacy will be paramount as they have already shared their precautions in having a single-tap disable feature, a built-in camera cover, and a four- to 12 digit passcode.
  • As marketers, there is no doubt that the smart hardware landscape is becoming difficult to navigate. That is why we’ve put together the below cheat sheet comparing Facebook, Amazon and Google for reference. You can also reference 360i’s Voice Playbook to learn more about optimizing your brand’s Voice strategy.

    Contributors:
    Marie Goldstein – Senior Social Marketing Strategist
    Amy Donnelly – Social Marketing Supervisor
    Geoffrey Cook – Associate Creative Technologist
    Alexis Moses – Innovation Technologist

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