There’s a myth in the mobile industry that people don’t download applications. And yet, it’s patently not true as there are just too many examples of applications being downloaded in huge numbers.
So it’s time we revised this tired truism. Buckley’s Law #31 says:
Citizens will download applications, providing it’s very clear what the application does and what the benefits of using it are.
The later amendment to the law is that: Provided that the download and installation process is straightforward and doesn’t get screwed up somewhere along the line.
Golden Gekko’s Magnus Jern provided a couple of great examples of this at the MMA’s Forum in Budapest this week.
The Lynx deodorant mobile app is pretty well known and part of BBH’s award winning campaign, so I won’t go on about it here. But if you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a look at this video. The mobile app part is about a minute in.
New to me though, was a campaign in Italy for Air Vigorsol, which was inspired by this TV commercial
No matter what you might think of this, it seems an awful lot of people really, really liked it. So when the brand launched a mobile application that replicated the farting Chipmunk – a virtual whoopie cushion – an amazing 500,000 people downloaded it. And that’s just official, direct downloads that can be measured, so the reality would be that a few million people were going round making faux trouser trumps.
The other very interesting phenomenon that Magnus mentioned was that many people seem to be more than happy to side-load their phones with apps, via their PCs. This isn’t just a result of the Apple Apps Store, although this will clearly popularise the method more.
So, if you’re interested in launching an app, do remember Buckley’s Law #31 and quote it to any doubting VC who tells you otherwise. But don’t forget Law #27 either
Only consider developing an application if you really can’t do what you need to on the mobile web. Coz you’ll be choosing a much harder path.
And obviously, if you do need an app developed, make sure you go with an experienced developer like the guys at Golden Gekko.