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T-Pain App Totally Tumbles

October 19, 2009
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In addition to learning how to pass in NHL 10 and trying to figure out how to read the map in Call of Duty to avoid getting cornered, we have another avocation in The Lair. We’re taking a good hard look at mobile and playing the emperor’s fool in meetings. You know, that annoying person who says, “But sir, while you are wise, where is your mobile integration?” I like to follow up that show stopper with a relevant consumer insight on mobile usage, followed by a Shakespearean laugh.

Alex suggested we take a look at I Am T-Pain, a hot app available on iTunes in the app store. We both downloaded it. It’s very engaging. It enables users to record their voice with T-Pain’s signature Auto-Tone voice effect, lay the audio karaoke style over some of his hits or freestyle with the effect for their own amusement.

What’s impressive isn’t the Auto-Tone effect. That ain’t new, no offense to T-Pain.

What’s impressive is how the app tumbles. And picks up data and touchpoints along the way. It starts with the offline buzz. T-Pain, get it, get it, get it, it’s cool by all the talk show hosts. Or, in my case, a planner who is hipper than you. OK. Then you go up in iTunes and cough up $2.99. And then it’s on. You are in a world of T-Pain. His signature effect and hit tracks are NOT just there for your amusement. He’s in this game for real. He wants your data, your friends and more money for more hot digital tracks.

INSIGHTS: You probably like T-Pain. You’re probably stoked. You’re in install mode and feeling generous. You haven’t even played with it yet for goodness sake.

The app asks you to allow it to push notifications, offers and sounds to your phone. Want more Pain? Click allow. The app takes advantage of the honeymoon and new-toy glee to secure ongoing access to a key touchpoint — your mobile phone — with an opt-in. You’re all “T-Pain, text me!” It happens.

INSIGHT: You’re gonna want to share that hot track they just laid down.

Now it’s time to get set to tumble. The app informs you upon registration that you can download widgets to post your opus on Facebook and MySpace. Before you’ve recorded anything they have predisposed you to share and enabled you to share. That is the wicked smart strategic part, levearaging your desire to show off your skills and connect with friends.

INSIGHT: The best social strategy can’t overcome a lame product. The app needs to be killer. It needs to be fun, easy to use and empower creativity.

Guess what. The app is killer. It’s so much fun. And pretty easy to use. You’re a rapper! You’ve got effects to help you sound less awful. You’re living the fantasy, if only for a minute on your couch.

THE TUMBLE:  Your little embarrassing recording has just become one of over six million social objects wrapped in the T-Pain brand. It rolled from your iPhone to your Facebook/MySpace page. Then if you dared to share, your friends heard it.  At that point, the social site’s features take over, with “like” buttons and “share” buttons and it goes downstream from there.

ONGOING ENGAGEMENT: The fun doesn’t stop there. After this first tumbling pass there’s a turnaround. The app is a sales channel for downloads with multiple additional tracks available for purchase within the app. And I expect T-Pain to hit me on my mobile with updates and encouragement to launch another masterpiece upon my social network. I’m in the world of T-Pain until I delete the app on my iPhone. And if I delete the app at that contact point, they can still message me on Facebook until I get around to uninstalling the widget. And guess what? I have listened to a T-Pain song or two. So it works as an awareness vehicle for people who want the utility and hot-new-thing but who don’t know the artist.

This is mobile from the app side done right. And an example of setting up a social object — consumer generated branded songs in this case — to tumble through a network with laser focus and strategic intent.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. alexmkerlick permalink*
    October 20, 2009 3:13 pm

    Shawty! (That was me in my T-Pain voice). Great post Crystal. I’ve got a hunch we’re about to see a lot more mobile in the lair. It’s gone from being mostly tactical, to being part of an integrated strategy – especially when it comes to social media.

    With everyone in the lair getting a new sexy smartphone (well, not everyone), our interest is certainly peaked. So when do we get to work on our first mobile app?

  2. alexmkerlick permalink*
    October 20, 2009 3:39 pm

    Speaking of T-Pain, check out this Balloon Boy “I’m on a boat” parody.

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