The ooVooTique Lets Extroverts Exchange Friends for Products
We had a chat with ooVoo CMO Chris Wire to find out a little more about this 'social currency' campaign
As brands get increasingly adventurous and “experiential” in their attempts at generating that ever-so-elusive buzz, their gaffes and outright failures can attain unprecedented levels of embarrassment. Thankfully, for every #RaceTogether or #UpForWhatever, we have examples of innovative success, like the ooVooTique. The boutique, filled with a wide array of tchotchkes wouldn’t take cash or credit but accepted payment in the form of friends in your ooVoo roster.
From April 23 to May 5 of this year, ooVoo, an innovator in the realm of high-resolution video chat and instant messaging, set up the pop-up shop in Austin with an interesting twist.
The more friends you encouraged to sign up for the app, the closer you could come to accessing some of the more impressive items, like the Hundred Grand bar that required 100,000 friends. We had the opportunity to catch up with Chris to find out a little more about the ooVooTique and the company’s immediate goals.
Eight years after the company’s inception, their main focus—as this campaign indicates—is to support their high-quality service with a marketing effort to match. He says they’ve recently begun to focus more on their target market, one that skews toward the collegial age, by hiring brand ambassadors and running experiential campaigns that can quickly generate excitement and leverage their broad networks. College students are cash-poor, but friend-rich.
Another instance of this push, one that’s a little more technologically oriented, is their launch of the Flinch app. Flinch, put simply, is a fun and simple app that pits you against strangers or friends in a staring contest.
On the surface it doesn’t sound like much, but the backbone to it is a combination of ooVoo’s high-res video chat service and Affectiva’s emotional tracking technology; so the app decides whether you’ve cracked or not. This Intelligent Video capability, as Chris calls it, is extremely interesting because it allows the platform to layer algorithms onto a video stream without compromising the quality. Combine this with ooVoo’s ability to network up to 12 people at a time, and you’ve got a piece of software that can do a lot more than set up staring contests.
When I asked him if we New Yorkers would soon get our own friend-fungible pop-up shop in the near future, I was left wanting. With those darn whippersnappers in college off for the summer, the campaign is only likely to start back up in the fall.