Products as marketing or “Thingvertising" is creating more visceral connections between brands and their audience. With useful things. Fun things. The Product Innovation (Pi) team at gyro, SF was set up to inject a culture of product development in every employee. I’m honored to have led this cultural shift with a talented crew. Here’s a peek into this year long initiative.  

Buttcoin Smart Ashtray

To discourage smokers from littering cigarette butts onto the streets, the smart ashtray rewards them with a free mint. A prototype was tested at Grumpy's bar in downtown SF. After positive tests, the Smart Ashtray is currently in production and will be launched during the upcoming beach cleanup day. 

HP Reinvented Trophy

For a brand that touts reinvention, a trophy for "best marketer" needed to be reinvented from the ground up.  The trophy is made of magnetic parts that allow recipients to reinvent it in as many ways they can imagine. 

40% of the successful work at Cannes was "Products as Marketing"

DELL Dept of YES can

The IT guys could say Yes to all requests, thanks to Dell Security. The can was created to support the Dept of Yes campaign. ACD: Toby Peterson

VISA Crush Your Problems API Wall

Customer's could tell their problem. The wall would suggest an app made with the right VISA API and produce a demo. Phase 1 was implemented at Money 20/20. As Visa introduces more API's, the wall will offer more solutions.

Less than 2% of agencies are equipped for a culture of building things.

INTEL Face Traffic

Intel Retail Sensor

Foot traffic is important.  Even more helpful is knowing who is visiting, and how they're feeling. To demo Intel's power in retail, we prototyped a unit that could read faces with the Intel Edison chip and Watson API.  

SXSW Panel Series

2016: Opening up the API Economy

2016: Opening up the API Economy

2017: Why Engineers Suck At Building Great Products

2017: Why Engineers Suck At Building Great Products

Part of the PI initiative was sharing our process at venues like SXSW, coaching clients, and getting feedback from thought leaders. 

Pi Workshop Series

Building a keg monitor

Building a keg monitor

Everyone had to participate, including management

Everyone had to participate, including management

Over the course of the year, everyone at the agency was invited to 6 design thinking workshops to build products from scratch. From brainstorming, testing, rapid prototyping to branding and packaging. 

The Team

Vinit Patil, Dir Product Innovation/ Shubhi Agrawal, Strategy/ Nei Caetano, CD Art, Isabel Lumsden / Ronny Northrop, ECD

Products innovation in marketing can augment the traditional approach and media choices. If you are interested in our playbook, let's  get in touch