Monthly Archives: April 2016

Total Sensory: The Next Frontier of Digital Marketing

As a digital strategist who has spent a substantial amount of time in the experiential/event marketing world, one of the opportunities that intrigue me most is how to drive consumers from physical environments to digital platforms to create seamless experiences. A great example of this offline-to-online transition is Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s limited-edition #WHHSH beer activation at Coachella, encouraging concert goers to interact with the #WHHSH hashtag on social media. Our tools for this type of activation have typically included URLs and the dreaded QR code. As digital sensors better mimic our physical senses, we move closer to a seamless physical-to-digital experience.

Recently, I have seen national use of a technology that I’m stoked about for this purpose: sound recognition. More specifically, Shazam. The first was Coke Zero’s promotion with ESPN GameDay in which you could use Shazam to get a free Coke Zero after tagging the commercial. The second execution, a recent Target commercial, suggested one tag it with Shazam to “begin shopping.” However, this wasn’t the first Target ad to use the app, and several other brands have used the technology including Starbucks, Jaguar and Honda.

The benefits of sound recognition to drive online awareness include:

  • The sound in brand ads is inherently unique.
  • The user is not required to type in a URL.
  • Reinforces “sound branding,” like the sound of pouring a Coca-Cola or a revving Harley-Davidson engine.
  • Tag management in Shazam allows the user to visit the experience at their convenience.

While there are some criticisms of the market’s continued interest in Shazam and the user experience, for example, attempting to tag a TV commercial in 30 seconds, I believe that brands should continue to explore the use of sound recognition as a driver to online properties. As brands explore these opportunities, here are some uses that come to mind:

  • Distributing promotional codes/offer to an event audience (i.e., giving out a free song track at a concert)
  • Driving tablet second-screen TV viewers to product websites
  • Hiding audio “Easter eggs” within media content (e.g., movies, TV shows, branded video content)

Shazam has also recently added visual recognition to their functionality. If a user sees the app’s camera logo, he or she can unlock a deeper experience by pointing the camera at the image and tapping the Shazam app button. Now a brand’s ad itself or logo becomes the QR code.

As visual and sound recognition are being perfected and driving a more interactive world, what is the next step? The sense of touch is already being prototyped and is in experimentation mode. A TED Talk, “Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it,” shows how we’re starting to interact with the digital world in physical space. These advances, coupled with other advances, like augmented reality and iBeaons, are bringing us one step closer to a total sensory digital experience. As a digital geek, I am all-in for the next frontier of digital marketing, further leveraging our five senses—perhaps taste will be next!

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

With its amazing thrill rides, legendary nightclubs, world-famous resorts and high-end restaurants, Las Vegas is the perfect city to use a virtual reality technology platform to appeal to the next generation of travelers.

On behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, R&R Partners worked to make this Vegas VR idea into a reality of its own. Our team created a 360-degree video rig and went to work shooting content panoramas that showcase Las Vegas in a way some have never seen.

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The next challenge: How to distribute it? R&R created VegasVR, a user-friendly application for Apple and Android devices to give users a glimpse of the Las Vegas experience from anywhere while providing great level of in-market immersion to a wide range of demographics.

Download it for yourself here and take Vegas for a spin!

Some of the app features:

  • Support for 360° panoramic video and VR Cinema
  • Use touch or gyroscope to control the video
  • Compatible with Google Cardboard/tray-based headsets
  • Share the Vegas VR app to Facebook, Twitter and email
  • Interactive 3D menu

From VR content acquisition to distribution, R&R has positioned the LVCVA brand among the very first adopters of what will eventually rock the travel industry. R&R has also paved the way with 360-degree/VR media buys, innovative partnerships and activation placements. Read more about VegasVR in the LA Times.

The most exciting part of all: This is just the beginning. From a production standpoint to a content distribution and interactive perspective, R&R has huge plans for the VegasVR app and campaigns in 2016. Stay tuned, because when it comes to Las Vegas adventure, soon you’ll be in for the virtual ride of your life.



VIVA: The Online Destination for All Things Vegas

Information about Las Vegas isn’t hard to find.

Anything you want to know about Vegas, you can search for and uncover pretty easily. But what if you’re looking for EVERYTHING Vegas?

Welcome to VIVA, the new Las Vegas-branded content hub within On February 2, the Las Vegas team at R&R Partners launched the new, accentuated blog, which was developed to provide engaging and educational information to the online audience. With a uniquely visual and intuitive design, users can easily browse and explore topics that all contain a collection of digital content designed to further generate a sense of interest and excitement around the destination.


The necessity of creating a content hub was generated from the content marketing strategy that Las Vegas implemented to further reinforce positive association through branded experiences, ultimately supporting visitation goals. Through this strategy, the library of branded content began to grow, and required an evolution of the Las Vegas digital ecosystem, and VIVA was born!

Not only is valuable content created and housed on VIVA, but the R&R team also is looking at performance. Doing so will provide valuable insight into how the audience interacts with the content hub. For instance, identifying what types of content the audience finds more engaging, looking at what the audience is searching for, and finding out what type of device they’re using. As we monitor these metrics, we’ll be able to further optimize the site and provide a greater, more meaningful experience for our audience – with the ultimate goal of driving increased visitation.

Check it out at and see for yourself.

R&R Employee of The Year Has The Wright Stuff

Congratulations to our director of strategic communications in Salt Lake City, Steve Wright, for earning R&R Partners’ Employee of the Year honors for 2015.

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Wright’s expertise in social cause public awareness campaigns such as the Parents Empowered Underage Drinking prevention campaign and the Utah Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign have helped them receive national recognition.

With 10 years of service at R&R, Wright is very popular both with co-workers and clients. During his decade at R&R Partners, he has held positions including director of public affairs, group account director and his current role as director of strategic communications, where he personally manages more than $9.5 million in annual local billings.

Prior to working at R&R Partners, Wright received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in advertising and business management. He also earned a master’s degree in professional communications.