Mobile Faker was Moderati’s first solid venture into the non-ringtone world of mobile apps. The application was created to be a silly, yet usable, way to fake your way through an awkward situation. Users could keep up-to-date on trends, pop culture, music and more, and could download photos of fake significant others. The most popular feature was the FauxCall™–users can schedule their phone to be called by a recording which would prompt them to answer questions and have a fake conversation. The design work for this project included everything from mobile app design and UI, to advertising and promotional materials, to pitches for selling the product, website and MySpace design and video demos.
In conjunction with creating the app came trying to get wireless carriers to allow the app in their content offerings. We wanted to come up with a non-traditional way of pitching the product, and I came up with a really fun Flash piece to showcase the many uses of Mobile Faker. I remember hearing how the meetings at Sprint went really well, and that the demo really sold the product. To create the demo, I came up with ideas for a few different scenarios of the app in use, and due to our “no budget” budget, I persuaded my coworkers to be the actors. The problem–how do you make non-actors into good actors? The solution–take still photos and add some captions to do the talking for them.
Advertising was something that we couldn’t afford to do, but we wanted to test it out. Instead of hiring an advertising firm, we decided to keep all the creative work in-house, and came up with the idea of a poster campaign. It would be targeted at young bar-goers in Chicago. The idea was to have posters with call-to-action text on them in the bathrooms at bars, with hopes that viewers would be waiting in line and try texting to see what the posters were all about. The concept tied in really well with bar patrons needing an escape (or help) from a sticky situation.
The product’s website was designed by a web design firm. I was given incomplete designs, and filled in the holes as needed, redesigning layouts according to the app’s content offerings. We created a MySpace page for the app, and ran promotional contests with a couple music artists featured in the app (Akon, and Colbie Callat).
We also needed a demo video explaining the app. Our parent company had an office in Santa Monica at the time, and one of the women there was an actress–she got a couple friends to make a video with her. Unfortunately, the video she gave us didn’t explain the app well, so I gave it the same treatment as our Flash pitch–still images with captions. And it worked.