Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio in partnership with R/GA. This is a new program focused on identifying and developing innovative growth- and early-stage companies with disruptive technologies that will shape the future of digital entertainment and media consumption.
The program, consisting of eight innovative startups, is coming to a conclusion, so we caught up with the participants to learn more about their experience in the program. For this participant spotlight, we sat down with Imposium's Founder Jason Nickel, to learn about the company's background story and their experience in the program.
What is the problem your company is trying to solve and how did you identify this problem?
We believe marketing shouldn't be one size fits all, and personalization helps solve that problem. Video has been a challenge to personalize because of the nature of the traditional production process involved. With our Imposium platform, we're able to take a creative concept, integrate data, and create a video in real time that's unique to each individual viewer.
Tell us how you first came up with the concept and/or business plan for the company.
A few years ago, we wanted to come up with a fun and engaging idea for Halloween, so we created a personalized video called "Take This Lollipop" where users went to a website with a blue lollipop and the message "I Dare You” appeared. When users clicked on it, they saw a creepy man in front of his computer in his dirty apartment who looked like he knew all about them. He was looking at your social profile, the posts you made, and even knew where you lived. We couldn't believe the amount of attention it received. It was the fastest growing Facebook app ever with over 600M downloads, and even won an Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches. We were blown away by the magnitude of responses to the video.
From there, we decided to build out an entire platform that allowed creative teams to think differently about how video can connect directly with viewers in a one to one way. We had solved the tech for this, and also written a blueprint for personalized storytelling with video. Since then, we've applied the same thinking for companies like Google, Toyota, Activision and others.
What drew you to this the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio program?
We've worked with Verizon brand teams in the past and knew they had a keen eye for pushing the envelope with innovative creative. We saw this as an opportunity to apply our passions directly with a brand that understood connecting with audiences.
What’s the most valuable lessons/advice you’ve received thus far?
We've had great advice throughout the program. There's been an abundance of insight gathered for us from the creative and production teams around the current understandings of the definition of personalized storytelling. This has helped shape our messaging, and streamlined the creative process so we're able to evolve our thinking towards how this tech is used creatively as social media and other data driven trends progress.
What have been the highlights of the program thus far?
Having detailed insights has been huge. Talking with internal teams has been fun creatively - we get to jam on new, innovative ideas in a way that's been limited before.
What aspects of the program do you find most useful for yourself and your business?
There's been a lot of leadership and guidance that's helped us as well as contacts and opportunities. In a short amount of time, we've gotten in front of a lot of different Verizon groups.
How have your interactions with the other program participants been? What have you learned from them?
The other companies we're in the program with are great. We've been able to see them progress with us in the program and learn from their past experiences they've shared, as well as see the innovation they've all developed. These are all cutting edge companies doing things no one else is doing, so it's been very exciting to watch them do so well.