Big brands. Bigger impact.
Over the past few years, social media influencers have become a ubiquitous, undeniable force in marketing. And to capitalize, world-class ad agency 72andSunny was looking to build a streamlined, high-profile platform to connect its global client roster with influencers – completely reimagining how social partnerships could be made.
Product Engineering, Social Media, Cloud Enablement, Experience Design, User Experience, Web Development
Angular 2, Heroku, S3, Koa.js, React, PostgreSQL
Creating new space in social media
Smirnoff. Adidas. Samsung. Advertising giant 72andSunny has created high-impact campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. Until recently, that meant producing commercials, print ads, multi-media campaigns – really big, high-concept content, but only a few times a year. And in the always-on, carefully posed age of social media, that’s no longer enough. Today, brands also want to give consumers new, bite-sized bits of content on a daily basis.
In a tech-building twist, 72andSunny came to Slalom Build with a solution rather than a problem. The idea was to create an entirely new web platform that would connect brands with influencers and serve as an intake point for creators, influencers, and new clients. Basically, it wanted a social-media matchmaker. And we were the first consultancy they’ve ever engaged to build such a groundbreaking product.
It would work like this: Let’s say 72andSunny created a new, summer-themed social campaign for a big tequila brand. The agency would post the campaign info and promo requirements to the platform. (i.e. perhaps five posts of influencer having beachy fun with said tequila) Then a vetted list of influencers would be invited to apply for the campaign. From that list, the perfect influencer – or influencers – would be selected. Magic! Influencers who eventually signed on would not only post their promotions on social media – they’d post on the new site as well. It would be a win-win. Double exposure for 72andSunny and for its clients.
And so, on an airtight deadline, we built a fast, intelligent, design-forward platform and website. One that had never before been seen in advertising.
Iterative building. At the speed of advertising.
The project’s pace proved to be its biggest challenge. The idea was brand-new territory – and the deadline was yesterday. For 72andSunny, the website would be a huge industry-wide marketing opportunity. To boost exposure, it partnered with The Wall Street Journal and set a hard date to publish an article about the new experience. We had just five months to go from all-new concept to robust live experience. And we were all in.
The website needed to be pixel-perfect eye candy on the outside (these are tastemakers and market shakers, after all), with many complex processes underneath all that shiny exterior. Its purpose was not only to bring influencers in the door, but to streamline 72andSunny’s vetting process – facilitating contracts, budget considerations, content submissions, legal requirements, and much more. The technology was ours to define, the greenest of fields, and that meant testing nearly 100 tools to find the right ones for the build. Fast.
“This is an example of what the Slalom Build team can accomplish in a short window of time. We practically invented a social media platform – give or take certain features – in a couple of months. And it worked really well.”
ARI NORTHAGE-ORR, SENIOR SOFTWARE ENGINEER, SLALOM BUILD
Making complex new technology look simple
From market research to strategy to concepting to build and launch, Slalom Build and 72andSunny worked side-by-side. We knew the site would need the high-end visual polish expected from a global branding giant. But first, our job was to make the nitty-gritty stuff hum. A lean team of three engineers explored the tech options, and after an intensive discovery process, decided that a React/Redux/Node/PostgreSQL stack would give 72andSunny the highly-engaging, responsive website it wanted.
Next, we connected the dots. Persona analysis, business process, user journey mapping, user experience, solid backend architecture, analytics for tracking user flows – it all had to work within a crisp, responsive design. Then there was the look and feel element. Sleek, custom animations were critical to the high-end look and feel of the site, but didn’t always play nicely with the platform. The Slalom Build team had to dig deep for solutions that would ensure the best possible user experience.
“Over 70% of brands are increasing their social media spend each year. With Sundae Collective, we can connect our clients with higher-quality social assets at scale – giving them a more predictable, higher-margin line of business and a higher return on their investments.”
New brand. New offering. New potential.
The end result is called Sundae Collective – essentially a new social media platform in and of itself, but on a massive scale. From the get-go, the site was rock-solid and oh-so fast. It also garnered plenty of attention (after all, this is social). In fact, a recent campaign for a global mobile carrier resulted in 27.7 million impressions, 5.9 million in paid brand engagements, and an engagement rate of 5.9 percent – the kind of results clients pay big money for.
Sundae is a data-driven, full-service influencer marketing agency, a sparkling new brand, and, more importantly, has created a smart new revenue stream under the 72andSunny umbrella (or parasol, as the case may be). It also gave Slalom Build the chance to push our technical, visual design, animation, and UI chops to the edge to ensure that 72andSunny – and its clients – look like the world-class brands they are.