Fashion Veterans Build DIY Gamification Platform for Brands
In simpler times, brands could broadcast a single message to many through a TV spot, a smattering of print ads or a billboard. These days, the advertising landscape is much more fragmented. Brands aren’t developing just for TV, print and out-of-home; they’re also creating custom campaigns and content for a variety of online and mobile platforms, including their websites and blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Foursquare and more. Each of these platforms requires custom work — a practice, Julie Fredrickson and Philip Leif Bjerknes believe, is neither efficient nor sustainable. Fredrickson is the co-founder of fashion blog network Coutorture (sold to Sugar Inc. in 2007) and former head of digital marketing at Ann Taylor. Bjerknes, the other co-founder of Coutorture, worked in the e-commerce divisions of Gucci and Prada before becoming the digital director of NYC boutique agency Alldayeveryday. Within the agency, the two have incubated a startup called PlayAPI, which is designed to become a self-service platform for brands to manage feeds of content, product and social data; build apps (with an emphasis on games and gaming mechanics, like badges and leaderboards); and analyze data collected through those apps. At its core, PlayAPI is designed to help brands engage with the audiences they’ve built on social media. What Buddy Media does for brands and marketing on Facebook, PlayAPI is hoping to do for brands and storytelling across multiple platforms. PlayAPI is building a library of template games — think classic games like Bingo and Memory, as well as quizzes — marketers can make their own and deploy simultaneously across their websites, Facebook, iOS, Android and more.