NEW YORK Digital agency Organic is rolling out a new mobile application to help users compile lists of great places to visit.
The application stems from an unusual collaboration of the Omnicom Group shop and New York mobile networking start-up Socialight. Rather than a result of a client brief, the free Urban MixTape app is meant to help Organic explore the possibilities of location-based mobile services.
"It's just an opportunity for us to do stuff and not wait for our client to do it," said Chad Stoller, executive director of emerging platforms at Organic. "It allows us to get in the game earlier."
Three-year-old Socialight hopes to bring the functionality of a local review site like Yelp and the social networking of MySpace to the cell phone. Users can post what Socialight calls "sticky notes" that recommend places. Users can call up the notes on the go, as the service displays information based on a user's location.
The Urban MixTape application is the mobile equivalent of a "best of" list someone might create for a friend visiting a city, detailing the ideal places to go. Unlike those lists, the MixTape uses Socialight to tie the recommendations to location. It also lets users "remix" the list. It is launching today at the CTIA wireless show with a Las Vegas MixTape.
Organic and Socialight collaborated on the concept, design, coding and building of the application.
Such location-based services have enormous potential for advertisers, said Socialight founder Michael Sharon, and collaborating with an agency that has experience in building programs for brands helps a new company still developing its business model.
"We're starting to think more about what it means to have advertising in locations," he said. "And we're starting to think what this means for a future where marketing is not based on clicks and hits but marketing to people in specific places."
Organic and Socialight will share the intellectual property for the Urban MixTape application. Stoller said Organic would look for other ways to collaborate with new technology companies as a way to conduct research and possibly develop new revenue opportunities down the road.
"Socialight and Organic don't compete in any way," he said. "For us, it gives us an opportunity to learn about mobile through application development and learn about usability."