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InsideFMM | July 23, 2014

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GoldRun Augmented Reality Mobile Platform For Retailers

Yesterday, H&M launched its iPhone mobile application on an augmented reality platform for retailers, created by GoldRun.

Always excited and intrigued by new platforms that lower the barrier for brands, agencies and retailers to jump into the mobile and geolocation space, we looked at GoldRun more in-depth.

What Is Gold Run?

GoldRun is an augmented reality mobile platform comprised of an app that enables users to locate, interact with and take photos of GPS-linked virtual objects positioned in the real world. GoldRun is powered by an easy to use content management system  (CMS) that is equipped with a powerful promotional tool and a social network tailored for the mobile environment; the app is designed to drive traffic to physical and online destinations, increase product sales and enhance brand engagement.

Exclusive Video: GoldRun’s Coolness Factors


  • Customers using GoldRun powered apps can take pictures alongside virtual objects and immediately post these photos to Facebook.
  • It’s easy to create and launch a brand’s app within days, enabling marketers to quickly produce and modify highly segmented, regionally indexed campaigns.
  • All interactions with AR objects are trackable, allowing the platform to provide detailed analytics on consumer behavior and purchasing patterns.

GoldRun can play either a central or a supporting role in a variety of consumer-direct marketing campaigns and promotional programs, including:

  • Product launches
  • Virtual retail location enhancements and pop-up shops
  • Support for online programming and content
  • Social media, gaming and contests
  • Virtual tours and scavenger hunts
  • Mobile extensions of ad / branding campaigns

“After a decade of developing digital media campaigns for top tier brands and recognizing the explosion in smartphone sales and increasing interest in location-based marketing, I realized there was a need for a new type of media buy, one tailored for the mobile space,” said Vivian Rosenthal, CEO of GoldRun and co-founder of digital media studio Tronic. “The Goldrun platform is agile, responsive, and context sensitive. More cost-effective and easier to implement than private-label apps, GoldRun responds to a specific user’s personal tastes.”

GoldRun Gets Hyper-Local

Basically, Gold Run is one part Star Trek (yes, AugMe kinda freaks us out), one part Retail Therapy, one part Groupon, one part Foursquare. This makes it  seemingly 100% complete by combining the visual impact of augmented reality and the precision of GPS to deliver virtual goods, user rewards and interactive advertising in the form of social media games, virtual guides, couponing and loyalty programs. We just have to say, we like our mobile platforms shaken, not stirred.

The platform is taking mobile a step further by offering hyper-localized programs.  Yes you can say, “Geofence me in, Scotty!”

GoldRun helps brands, ad agencies and organizations create highly targeted, hyper-localized activities, or “runs,” that people can select and participate in using their smartphones. “Our platform translates what brands love about the internet – trackable ROI, real-time data collection and transplants this system into the real world,” said Rosenthal. “You can reach target audiences anywhere they use their cell phones, and more importantly when they are most interested in interacting with a brand or purchasing a product.”

“GoldRun integrates and transforms brand-driven and user-generated content into dynamic experiences that bridge virtual and physical space,” said Shai Rao, vice president of Creative and former executive editor of Surface Magazine. “Everyone will love how GoldRun provides a more diverse and engaging user experience. Marketers specifically will appreciate the ability to subtly deliver brand messaging through compelling game-like experiences that also provide immediate and relevant user rewards.”

Interview With Gold Run CEO Vivian Rosenthal and VP of Creative Shai Rao

HM Augmented DressFMM: GoldRun is one part Star Trek, one part Retail Therapy, one part Groupon, one part Foursquare and 100% social. How did you concept and craft so a well rounded platform for brands and retailers to use as they enter the mobile space?

SR: It’s funny that you mention Star Trek, because the sci-fi reference is as important as Groupon, Foursquare, or other app and website comparisons. Though, it’s more Bladerunner and Minority Report — less dystopic and a lot more fun, of course.

Meaning, when we looked at the mobile space we saw all these amazing advances like GPS and augmented reality, things we used to dream about when we were kids, but no one seemed to be acting on their potential. For instance, AR is all the rage, but for the most part, it’s been relegated to goofy gimmicks, or one-offs that have an extremely limited shelf life. No one has really tied it all together into a complete package, a protean platform as opposed to tech tricks and insular apps. We saw an opportunity to capture everything that makes apps cool – immersive visually-driven experiences, a strong user-focus, relevant & immediate incentives, an entertaining gaming environment – and roll that all into one platform that did a better job of bridging virtual and physical space.

VR: The more I thought about it, tracking the explosion in smartphone sales and increasing interest in location based communications, I realized there was an opportunity to create a new media buy, one tailored for the mobile space that was more responsive, customizable and, well, cool.

SR: Another key aspect is that we went against the grain in terms of app development. Most people have apps that do one thing. So they run with that and don’t give a thought to brand or sponsor integration until well after they launch. We approached GoldRun from a different perspective, a creative and cultural, not purely technological one. We have seen and been a part of amazing branded experiences, and we know that brands, whether fashion labels, bands or sports franchises, have devoted, at times rabid, followers.

VR: This was our starting point, and it’s what led not to an isolated white-labeled app that we parceled out piece-meal to brands, but a highly dynamic platform that could be home to hundreds of different brands and organizations, all feeding new content into the system on a continual basis. We understand that creativity and imagination are what make good tech really memorable and effective. So with GoldRun, we created a showcase for that ingenuity – which is why it can be used to create, host and manage such a diversity of user experiences and rewards. It’s this flexibility that allows it to combine so many different aspects of popular apps and web services. We are actually really excited for brands and ad agencies to really tap into GoldRun’s potential. We can’t wait to see how the platform evolves as it’s used for things we haven’t even imagined yet.

FMM: What are the average start up costs for brands or retailers looking to use GoldRun? Are there monthly subscription costs?

VR: During our initial launch phase, we will be implementing branded activities, or runs, on a per project basis relative to the scope and scale of the project, whether a short term promotion or ongoing program. We will eventually move to a licensing model that integrates subscription fees and performative cost structures.

FMM: Can this be integrated into their current loyalty and POP systems?

SR: Absolutely. GoldRun was designed to bolster and extend the reach of loyalty programs and accentuate the in-store experience. Retail will be an important component of our overall strategy, and we have developed several runs specifically for this area (but if you want any more details, you’ll need to ask the pre-cogs).

Fees are campaign performance based, to find out more, visit GoldRun at www.goldrungo.com.

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