After a two-week (give or take) blogging hiatus, I am back…and as usual, I have A LOT to write. I believe the last time I posted, I mentioned our tour around Berkeley, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, and our landing page (by the way, check out our new “People” section to learn about us!). I kept the reason for our tour slightly vague and I’m very excited to be able to tell you why in the world we spent a day exploring. To get right to it, we have been BUSY since then. Kevin has been hard at work doing all things technical and I have been managing our social media profiles, adding new ones, trying to bribe people with gift cards….and looking at art with Kevin.
I know you are probably wondering why we have spent time looking at art and how in the world it ties in with Metayoo…and I don’t blame you. To confuse you even more, not only does said “art” play a part in what we are doing, it also has a lot to do with why we spent so much time scouting locations all over the place. Confused? Good. Now, I will attempt to explain.
As most of you (if you have looked at our site) probably know, our idea has something to do with QR codes and print advertising (though we are remaining tight-lipped for now. So dramatic…). When we came up with Metayoo, we knew that QR codes were relatively new and not too many people were familiar with them. Because of this, we decided to conduct a little “social experiment” of our own in the name of market research. Inspired by Editoras Online, we thought it would be really cool to create large stickers with QR codes that are tied to our mobile web application that link to social media feeds (Twitter, in our case) and place them all over San Francisco (and surrounding areas).
Here is the Editoras Online video that gave us our inspiration:
To allow everyone the opportunity to get involved, a Twitter account is not required to participate. All someone has to do is get a reader (we recommend BeeTagg), snap the code, and you are off to the races. In our minds, we would include a field to allow the person snapping the QR code to comment and this would give us a good picture of how many people actually interacted with our QR codes. To make it more fun for people (and to increase the likelihood of people participating), we decided that we would find some thought-provoking, slightly humorous art, give it a catchy header, and assign a unique QR code to it. Because we wanted something that would actually encourage people to engage, we decided to use headers that began with “Tell me…” (Ex: Tell me your secret.) and we named it our “Tell Me” campaign. (This portion was inspired by the PostSecret Project.) In total, we have six different images with six different headers and we are going to place them in various parts of San Francisco/Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Our hopes are to create some traffic, generate some numbers, and get the public acquainted with Metayoo. (To be clear, this is merely market research and not our final product.)
Just to give you a visual, here is the proof of our Tell Me Your Secret flyer:
In any event, this is why we spent time researching locations and art work. Not only do we want to place our QR codes in places that have a lot of traffic but we also picked our art work and header based on the “vibe” we got from each area.
We got some great art from Shutterstock (they have some of the coolest stuff I’ve seen!) and the only hard part was trying to narrow all the images down. Choosing the art took us a bit but after a few hours, we had it all selected, ordered, and downloaded. Next on our “to-do” list was to build a QR code for each image that linked to a specific Twitter feed. Since Kevin is the technical genius of the duo, he handled this and within no time at all (seriously, he is like a wizard), that was scratched off of our list, too. The only thing left to do (other than sending our final designs to our printer) was to do some design work (put the headers, QR codes, our logo, etc. on the image from Shutterstock). We worked really well together on this task. Between my eye (thank you, fine arts background!) and Kevin’s design and technical skills, we had this completed in no time…and they looked freakin’ rad. Now to upload our images to the printer….
After researching printing companies, we stumbled upon UPrinting. Ideally we were looking for a company that was flexible, budget friendly, offered quick turn-around, and allowed us to print smaller quantities of each design (around 50 prints per image). Much to our delight, UPrinting fit the bill perfectly.
Their site is easy to navigate (and for someone as impatient as I am, this is HUGE) and they provide free proofing so you see it exactly as it will be printed. Additionally, their turn around is super speedy and they have they the best online chat service I saw. I ended up IMing with one of their customer service guys for nearly an hour and he answered every question AND even gave me some great suggestions that we ended up using. It took a bit to upload our files (but they were huge so that was expected) and within an hour, we were all set; our order had been placed and all we had to do was wait for the final product. Our total turn around time was less than five days. (Considering we ordered 250 different specialized large prints, that is nothing, especially since we were being quoted several weeks by other companies.) And, to top it all off our prints were delivered yesterday and they look AMAZING!
Since we received our final prints yesterday, Kevin tested all the QR codes (just to be sure!) and everything is working according to plan. Now, all we have to do is post our flyers for all of San Francisco to see!
For those that are curious and do not live in the San Francisco area, we will be posting the images with their Twitter handles to our site soon so be on the lookout. I’m also going to do a post in the next few days to update you on all of social media work and advertising efforts. Normally, I’d try to put that in this post, too, but if you wanted to read a novel, you’d turn to War and Peace and not our blog. So, until then, stay tuned and spread the word!