Minnesota indie agency Periscope is making a commitment to infuse emerging tech—including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence—in every aspect of its creative work. Naturally, it needed a brand new team of innovators, which it dubbed Connected Experiences, to build that tech in-house.
“This team is going to be connected in everything we do,” Periscope CEO Liz Ross said. “For example, if we’re working with a client on an experiential event, this team will think about how tech can make the event richer and more exciting.”
The agency explained in a statement that with “technology blurring the lines between online and offline experiences,” the shop recruited a team of developers, SEO specialists and strategists to incorporate emerging tech in every brand experience, “not just those related to a screen.” Additionally, Connected Experiences will be tasked with leveraging real-time data more effectively.
Just like tech experts predicted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ross said Periscope’s new team will particularly focus on working VR into all its creative (within reason). Ross said she sees VR as “the next big thing” in marketing—a sentiment shared by CES experts.
Morgan Zuehlke, who’s leading the team, is the director of Connected Experiences—a title she created herself. When Periscope retained Zuehlke, she had been running Type X, a service design consultancy she founded in October 2016, which focuses on both traditional and digital solutions. According to her LinkedIn profile, she still operates the consultancy.
Before that, Zuehlke held stints at Polaris Industries and Best Buy, where she was user experience manager and senior category manager of marketing and ecommerce, respectively.
So far, Zuehlke has built out Connected Experiences with key hires: Jon Voth, formerly a technical lead at Modern Climate, will be the team’s development director; Christopher Jensen, previously an experience strategist at The Nerdery, will come on as senior Connected Experiences architect; AJ Scherbring, former Mirum Agency creative director, will use his experience as the new team’s creative director; and Dustin Joyce, previously associate creative director at Solve, will serve as another creative director.
“I like to surround myself with problem solvers,” Zuehlke noted. “I wanted to have a team that really knows how to fuel creativity, prescribe solutions and who also can still push boundaries.”
Thinking long term, Ross said she’s not sure how Connected Experiences will eventually evolve. It could be that, in five or 10 years, Periscope’s entire 550-person staff could be doing what Connected Experiences is tasked to do, making the designation of such a team obsolete.
For the short term, though, this is the solution Periscope conjured up.
Periscope’s clients include Autotrader, Bridgestone, ExxonMobil, Great Clips, Intuit, Petco, Target, Trolli, UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens.