In public transport, you often see commuters hanging from the straps with one hand and checking smartphones with the other. There's clearly opportunity in that moment for marketers, especially in Asia, with its reliance on both subways and smartphones. But what exactly?
In China, the Cheil PengTai digital agency sensed an opening for local dairy giant Yili, whose Meiyitian yogurt drink brand was seeking to promote healthier lifestyles.
In Beijing buses, the straps became health monitoring systems for people to grip, measuring their heart rate, body mass index and balance during their daily commute. The gadgets instantly linked up to their smartphones through NFC interaction.
The brand put 6,000 monitors on 200 buses in May; 350,000 people used them and the topic was shared online 3 million times.
And those straps for commuters "become a form of media which wasn't there before," said Daphne Chen, Cheil PengTai's digital marketing business director.
Cheil Pengtai, which has 1,000 employees in China and is part of Cheil Worldwide, is launching a process to create more "Internet of Things" campaigns for clients; the Yili story is its star case study. At the heart of that effort is Ms. Chen, who says her job is to "dazzle clients" with work from the agency's innovation lab. (Ms. Chen is an Ad Age 2015 Women to Watch China honoree for drumming up business through creative technology.)