Why DDB Hong Kong created an app that creates rings
by Soon Chen Kang
October 13, 2016
Agency-designed app lets users buy a ring shaped by their own heart rhythm
In an effort to demonstrate innovation and entrpreneurial chops, DDB Group Hong Kong has launched an iOS app that allows users to design a ring using data from their own heartbeat.
The agency designed, produced and launched the app, 'Crafted by my Heart', with Tribal Worldwide Singapore as a development partner and Jewellery designer Nomera Ajmal collaborating on base design templates. Users can actually purchase the rings they design, with prices starting at US$155.
Andreas Krasser, head of strategy and innovation at DDB Group Hong Kong, told Campaign Asia-Pacific via email that the project grew out of the agency's ambition to inject more entrepreneurship into the way big agencies operate. "Agencies talk about the need to act more like a startup and explore new opportunities for growth, yet too often we fail to convert these words into action," Krasser said. "Now, we’re not saying that we have changed the agency model. To be honest, we’re still far from it. What we’re saying though is that we have tried to at least put our money where our mouth is."
The idea originated during an internal innovation workshop. "The focus of the workshop didn't have anything to do with jewellery in the beginning, it was just about finding technology-led solutions to small human problems," said Krasser. He called the app an industry first that combines the areas of strategy and innovation to champion upstream strategy solutions.
Krasser said the agency wanted to harness the versatility of data and tell a compelling story. The app works by recording the heartbeat of the user by registering subtle changes in the colouration of the skin by way of an index finger placed over the phone's camera and flash. Users then use choose one of the two unisex design templates and watch the ring being shaped according to the recorded rhythm. The ring will be manufactured from a 3D wax printed model and coated in one of the three available finishes.
Manolis Perrakis, creative technologist at DDB Group Hong Kong, said the process taught the agency that innovation requires a longer commitment. "Controlling every single aspect of the process from conceptualisation all the way to packaging and delivery, has taught us not only how to embrace uncertainty, but also that innovation requires true commitment and stretching of resources over more than a year, compared to a maximum of three months per project," said Perrakis.
Creative Technologist: Manolis Perrakis Head of Strategy & Innovation: Andreas Krasser Project Manager: Billy Cheung Account Director: Koman Ko Senior Planner: Adrian Tso Creative Director: Marcin Brzezinski Senior Art Director: Colin Siu