ESQUIRE | VOICE REC EXPERIENCE

Talk to Esquire

A voice recognition experience in partnership with Esquire Magazine.

I served as Head Writer for Volio, a start-up company that paired pre-recorded video with voice recognition technology to create interactive experiences for your smartphone or tablet. Our first public application was a joint effort with Esquire Magazine. After collaborating the marketing team at Esquire, I wrote interactive Volio experiences (and marketing copy) with three different Esquire columnists (a mixologist, a men's grooming expert and a fashion expert) that we launched with in April 2012 to a warm reception. 

Here's David Granger, Editor-in-Chief of Esquire Magazine, talking about it...

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SONY | HEADLINES

BOSS:

Hey Robbie, thanks for coming in. Sony's new LF-S50G speaker has the same high-quality sound you expect from a Sony, as well as a built-in Google Assistant that takes voice commands. Can you make that sound really cool?

ME:

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BOSS:

Damn, that was both powerful and succinct. But get this... our new A1E OLED TV has the world's first acoustic surface, meaning that the speaker IS the screen. That means 8 million pixels form both an incredible picture, and pump sound right to your face. Whatcha you got for that, word nerd?

ME:

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BOSS:

Son of a! I just can't seem to stump you, Robbie. But there's no way you could come up with another line that good about the same TV. You're probably spent from that first killer headline.

ME:

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BOSS:

Damn, you're good. Okay, one more. This is a full page spread in a golf magazine, and we want to talk about the amazing resolution of our 4K TVs...

ME:

BOSS:

Robbie, you are truly a copywriting treasure.

RENOVATE AMERICA | INTERNAL

Renovate America is a pioneer in the relatively new field of PACE financing. When a new requirement for financing approval reared its ugly head, the whole company had to work overtime to get prepared and to stay ahead of the competition. This new requirement was called ATP (Ability to Pay), and it was the talk of the office for months.

I was assigned to come up with an internal campaign for inside of the building that congratulated all employees on their hard work, and to also let them know that their hard work put the company in a position of success compared to the competition. 

So there was only one way to go...

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I heard people saying this to each other in the hallways for weeks...

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MCDONALD'S | RADIO

When my Creative Director asked me to come up with a radio spot for "youngsters" about the Angus Third Pounder burger, there was only one option:  rap song. He liked it, and asked me to pitch it in front of 20 McDonald's executives at a meeting. So I had to rap it. In a board room. Without music. 

They loved it, but decided to leave the rapping to "professional voice talent" for the actual spot. I'm still bitter.

It wasn't all rapping at mcdonald's, though.

I also wrote a bunch of billboards and digital ads. Here's a couple samples:

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SONY ALPHA | AD CAMPAIGN

Sony 's Alpha cameras are a lot like Alpha males, dominant the DSLR market. I'm a lot like the opposite of an Alpha male, as I hate confrontation. The Sony a6000 had a ridiculously fast shutter speed at 11 frames per second. I wanted this campaign to ooze confidence, much like the Alpha males I try to avoid.

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The Alpha camera series also came with a huge selection of lenses, and I was given this awesome photo to work with. I wanted to make the customer feel powerful.

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VOLIO | DEMO GOD WINNER

Volio was an interactive video platform for brands to drive engagement and conversion. It used pre-recorded video and speech recognition technology to create interactive experiences guided by the user's voice.

Just like a movie, the experience wasn’t in "real time" – but also like a movie, my goal was to create experiences that make you forget all about the technology and effects at play, and to blur that line between reality and technology – just for a minute or two. Suspension of disbelief at its finest.

Volio was one of 25 companies (out of thousands of applicants) to be accepted to the DEMO Mobile 2013 conference in San Francisco, CA. I was in charge of creating and writing the presentation, which included an explanation and live demo of our product. As creative lead, I thought that having our CEO actually "talk" to himself through a Volio, prepping his future self for our big presentation, would get the audience engaged, and to understand our product instantly. I was also able to use my stand-up comedy background to inject some humor into what was a very long day!

2013 DEMO God Winners: Volio

 That's me onstage explaining the Voliocast feature of our product in front of 300 or so people at DEMO Mobile 2013.

That's me onstage explaining the Voliocast feature of our product in front of 300 or so people at DEMO Mobile 2013.

 CEO Ron Croen delivering our presentation, which included a live demo of him talking to himself through our Volio application (magnified iPad on the left). I authored our award-winning presentation.

CEO Ron Croen delivering our presentation, which included a live demo of him talking to himself through our Volio application (magnified iPad on the left). I authored our award-winning presentation.

 Part of the Volio team accepting the DEMO GOD award, given to the five most-promising startup companies out of thousands that applied.

Part of the Volio team accepting the DEMO GOD award, given to the five most-promising startup companies out of thousands that applied.

 Myself, CEO Ron Croen and Chief Product Officer Todd Mendeloff showing our product launch with Esquire Magazine at our booth.

Myself, CEO Ron Croen and Chief Product Officer Todd Mendeloff showing our product launch with Esquire Magazine at our booth.

 Demonstrating /explaining our product to a fellow entrepreneur at our booth following the presentation.

Demonstrating /explaining our product to a fellow entrepreneur at our booth following the presentation.

RENOVATE AMERICA | AD CAMPAIGN

Renovate America offers an innovative form of financing that helps more people afford to make energy-efficient home renovations like solar panels, turf lawns, etc. It can be tricky from a marketing perspective, as we're often selling customers on a specific home improvement project and why we're the best option to pay for that project.

I came up with a campaign idea called "Renovate Victoriously" because I wanted potential customers to focus on the small moments of victory they will feel when they complete a renovation, and how it will make their daily lives better. 

  "Did you see the Williamson's new turf lawn? I heard their water bill is like $12."
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