Toys, TV and film have a long history of merchandising tie-ins, and now that pas de deux is going packaged-goods-digital. The toys in the above video are a set of collectible, swappable figures, readable by connected devices.
Suwappu, which means swap, is an example of an innovative digital product in the emergent second screen viewer experience market, part of a larger conversation surrounding the question, “How will we watch television in the future?”
London agency BERG and Japanese agency Dentsu partnered on Suwappu, meaning swap, creating a range of toys that come to life using augmented reality to embody a new model content platform.
“Not only are they insanely adorable," writes Geek.com's Jennifer Bergen, "but they’re also interactive and unlike most toys you’ve ever seen...You see just the toy sitting on a table, but when you view the toy through the app on your phone, you see its facial features changing, as well as its surroundings.”
Four characters are now available: Deer, Badger, Tuna, and Fox, with four more to come. The top or head holds the personality; while the bottom or half create the environment. Every element is swappable, and every pairing changes the entire situation.
A phone/tablet lens and AR technology follow the digital character’s lives in an episodic series that blurs the actual and virtual worlds. Scanning a Suwappu character via mobile phone grabs content from a Twitter or YouTube.
In a separate but also interesting development, Syzygy Lab's GOAB is another digital product worth paying attention to, one that meshes social commerce within the TV environment:
GOAB. A TV Experience Concept from Syzygy on Vimeo.
Calling itself ‘A TV Experience Concept,” it functions independent of input and output devices; says it's 100% cloud-based; works in tandem with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone; and gives users access to free content such as program guides, interactive commerce, and visualized sports statistics. Dynamic social features are delivered and displayed parallel to live content.
According to Yahoo research cited by Tribal DDB research, 86% of mobile users are online while watching TV. In that cross-zone, is the axial moment for creative ideation in a hybrid medium ripe for brands.
As the Dentsu blog comments, “Beyond these toys, we think Suwappu is a new kind of content platform, with various exciting social, creative and commercial possibilities…We're speaking to manufacturing, distribution, and content/media partners to bring Suwappu to market.”
What do you think — game-changers, or just changing games?