Digital Experiences for Physical Spaces

Gold
VERIFIED

NEXT/NOW is an award winning creative technology agency that produces next-generation digital/physical experiences for world-class brands. We use Virtual and Augmented Reality, projection mapping, specialized app development, facial tracking, gesture and motion interactivity, innovative display concepts, and breakthrough technology to create unforgettable moments of connection between people and organizations.

 
$50,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2011
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 1200 W Lake St. Ste 100
    Chicago, IL 60607
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Intel, Under Armour, McDonald'sNBA, Mazda, Trek, BP, Glade, LG, Audi.

Mazda's Augmented Reality Pit Crew Experience

https://nextnowagency.com/project/mazda-augmented-reality-pit-experience/

It’s a great weekend for a race.

The crew chief gives you the nod: it’s time. No time to think. You and your pit crew team fall into position like you have a thousand times before. Then, in a beautiful and elegant motion, that beautiful fire red Mazda Prototype sings into the stall as all 570 horses of its new gasoline-fueled MZ-2.0T

engine come to a halt. You move in sync with your team… pure zen. The world slows as you slide the melting hot tire aside and replace with a new one.

It’s all so… perfect. You finish changing the tire at the exact moment the pedal sends the new driver sailing back into the lead.

That screech as it takes off? That’s what you live for. The rest of the crew rises to their feet, fists in the air as the driver celebrates with you and your pit crew.

And then… You look around you. You’re not on a track. There is no team celebrating. You look again at the massive 14 X 8 foot digital LED screen in front of you and there you are, looking back at yourself, digitally surrounded by the action of the pit stop. Amazing.

This is Augmented Reality

The video stops and your inbox dings with the link to your YouTube video to share and post as often as you like.

You just participated in Mazda’s Augmented Reality Pit Stop Experience, where fans get to participate in an augmented reality activation by standing in front of a camera that beams them into the action. 

"Avo-Matic" Facial Emotion Tracking Food Truck - SXSW

https://nextnowagency.com/project/facial-emotion-tracking-food-truck/

South by Southwest (SXSW), the apex music, film, and art festival in Austin Texas, can either be a marketer’s dream or its worse nightmare. Brand saturation at the 20-year-old event can often lead to negative associations amongst festivalgoers who feel their experience has been interloped by tone-deaf brands looking to take advantage of the prime

demographic real estate.

Thoughtfully walking the line between brand awareness and experience augmentation is key to having a successful presence without unanticipated blowback.

When Avocados from Mexico sponsored “South Bites”, the festival’s food truck court, they had the goal to provide attendees fresh, customized, and delicious fast food in a way that left them smiling, entertained, and with a memento to take home.

NEXT/NOW built a digital interface for Avocado’s “Avo-matic” food truck that allowed users to custom order via giant touch screen interfaces. Using proprietary facial emotion tracking software, the diner was then instructed to smile as a dial measured the size of their grin as well as the amount of time held. Once the designated smile requirements were met, the user was congratulated with a reward screen, a picture of them mid-smile as a social sharable, and 3D animation of a robot to provide recipe and avocado hacks until the “Avo-matic” delivered their custom food.

Good food, good tech, and big smiles were the perfect recipe for a successful activation.

Trek Rider Analysis AR Tool

https://nextnowagency.com/project/trek-rider-analysis-ar-tool/

Trek is a cycling company that thrives on innovation and precise technical performance. Seeking a way to further its branding by streamlining the bike purchasing experience and abbreviate an often lengthy and costly bike fit process, the professional sporting powerhouse reached out to NEXT/NOW to create a one-of-its-kind Augmented Reality (AR) tool that

would disrupt this process and reduce it to a comfortable, touch-and-go service that instantly connects buyers to their ideal bike match.

What resulted was an in-store AR “smart kiosk” capable of recording, motion tracking, and evaluating a rider’s movements in real time that then provides a slow motion analysis of body angles and positioning that gives the buyer precise feedback on bike adjustments and suggestions on the best equipment for them. What was often a lengthy service sometime spanning days, was now reduced to a two minute process

Trek’s original rollout at their flagship store in Madison, WI saw traffic of up to 30 users a day. This success has led to expansion to a total of 5 stores and as a staple installation in all upcoming Trek locations across the globe.

LG Final Four Fan Fest Digital Sports Activation

https://nextnowagency.com/project/lg-final-four-digital-sports-activation/

The Final Four is the apex event of NCAA Division 1 Basketball. As official sponsors, Electronics pioneer, LG, wanted to capitalize on their presence with a basketball themed digital sports activation.

To this end experiential marketing company NEXT/NOW and partner Advantage International, built out a 3-part digital activation that

included a fast paced head-to-head shootout where competitors took turns shooting laundry from random LED marked hotspots laundry into an LG Twin Wash washing machine.

The competitors scores were captured live and broadcast on a large video wall made up of 20 curved OLED LG monitors. Measuring at 25x12 feet, the robust digital wall used a custom designed template to deliver multiple data streams including live scores, real time social media posts, commercial video content, and updated live photo and video feeds from within the event.

Attendees also participated in a Slam Dunk competition that placed them in front of a giant 96-inch screen where gesture and motion tracking was translated into a series of slam-dunk tricks executed by a fun video avatar in real time. Scores based on number of tricks and unique combos pushed users to the top of leaderboard. An animated gif was then given to the attendees for social sharing.

Approximately 5,000 users participated in the activities with thousands of impressions on social media making the event a noted success.

McDonald's Brand Virtual Pit Crew Challenge

https://nextnowagency.com/project/mcdonalds-brand-virtual-reality-challenge/

In this award winning activation, McDonald’s tapped a team of all-stars including NEXT/NOW to create a brand virtual reality experience for the hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans during the 2016 Sprint Cup Series. While the races were exciting, the real game-changer was NEXT/NOW’s one-of-a-kind Brand Virtually Reality game on the (not yet

publicly available) HTC Vive. Fans put on the headset and were transported into the excitement of a virtual NASCAR pit stop where Jamie McMurray, driver of the McDonald’s #1 Chevy SS, instructs them to become part of the team by changing the driver’s side tires in a race against time. Using the HTC Vive hand paddles, users see the race car scream to a stop, then rush to change the front and rear tires. The user then hands Jamie a Big Mac and sends him back out on to the track. Finally, the user receives an email sharable with their pit stop time, which they surely use for bragging rights.

NEXT/NOW went all out with the production of this game to capture every detail including a video shoot of Jamie McMurray and recording sound effects from a real-life pit stop. We used a Hollywood-level motion capture program to create the animations of the virtual pit crew and wrapped it up in a Brand Virtual Reality package that wowed fans.

Under Armour Brand House Virtual Tour

https://nextnowagency.com/project/under-armour-virtual-reality-retail-tour/

Under Armour, known for superior brand innovation, wanted to provide a novel, inside look at retail as Bostonians await the completion and grand opening of the latest UA Brand House in Boston’s popular Prudential Center. Under Armour has partnered with award-winning experiential marketing agency, NEXT/NOW, to build out a fully immersive, 3-D

tour of the actual layout of the store before being constructed. The tour is hosted by Boston Red Sox great, Jackie Bradley Jr., who welcomes the user and speaks to the features of the upcoming Brand House.

Reviews

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AR/VR Immersive Experience Development for Under Armour

"They are true visionaries and the best partner ever."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXTNOW is a partner for interactive experience-based marketing solutions. The team has constructed VR and 3D face mapping installs to maximize engagement levels. They also help with PR and award recognition.

The Reviewer
 
8,000+ Employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland
Christiana DiMattesa
Director of In-store Marketing, Under Armour
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team’s exceptional organization and flexible approach have maximized engagement and marketing results. For example, the VR project captured valuable user data and contact information. Regular communication and creative ideation are notable strengths.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of marketing at Under Armour’s global headquarters.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXTNOW?

We hired them to develop a couple out-of-the-box interactive experiences.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Projects focus on AR/VR, Google Cardboard, and 3D face mapping technology. During construction for our Boston flagship store, NEXTNOW created a VR barricade to preview the new location’s look. In a separate project, we’ve recently finished a permanent install with 3D face mapping. We’re now proceeding into the PR execution. For this stage, we add video content and put creative together to submit for industry awards.

What is the team composition?

I interact with Randy (Director of Business Development, NEXTNOW) and Alan (Founder, NEXTNOW) during the initial stages and they assign a main project manager. Our team then partners with a PR resource during later stages. We work with one person at a time throughout the project’s duration.

How did you come to work with NEXTNOW?

One of my professional connections put me in touch with NEXTNOW. The team was a boutique agency, but I knew they could handle larger projects. Although Under Armour didn’t have an immediate need, we kept them in the back our minds and met the team at various conferences. But I got the idea for the Boston project when I encountered a construction site in New York, and wondered what the finished building would look like. Coincidentally, I noticed the barricade on my way to meet Randy and Alan for dinner during a retail industry event. The three of us then ideated the project that would become our VR barricade.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent just under $150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2016 and the partnership is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

NEXTNOW delivered the main key performance indicator (KPI) for the VR barricade, which successfully captured customer data as we moved into a new market. The barricade collected users’ email address via login and we used that information to invite them to experience our brand in real life. Overall, we achieved high engagement levels and a substantial amount of clean data for marketing.

How did NEXTNOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They are true visionaries and the best partner ever. Sheila (General Manager, NEXTNOW) is the most organized person I’ve ever met. The team is flexible, but doesn’t let any issue slip by. They call us regularly to communicate status, progress, and possible delays, but never in a pushy manner. Overall, NEXTNOW stays on top of the project and helps us make the best decisions.

What did you find most impressive about them?

As a thought partner, NEXTNOW helps us ideate projects and execute our vison. The team’s strong project management skills always ensure a smooth development process. What’s more, they partner with us at conferences to submit the AR/VR solutions for different awards. Our team aims to share projects with industry peers and help NEXTNOW gain visibility for their work. Likewise, we to continue to celebrate the partnership even after the development’s completion.

Are there any areas they could improve?

NEXTNOW should share results with their other clients to spark creativity for future projects. We would love to leverage the team and I’m extremely comfortable referring them. However, I don’t fully understand their offerings because I don’t see all of their other projects. Although we don’t want daily communication, the team should contact us on a regular basis. As an established company, our team can also help NEXTNOW get business from other companies.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Augmented Reality (AR) Dev for Full-Service Agency

“NEXT/NOW's efforts helped us effectively portray our client as a leader in tech within the automotive industry.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW is developing an augmented reality app for an automotive client that allows users to test certain features of vehicles on site.

The Reviewer
 
200-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Creative Technology Manager, Designory
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

NEXT/NOW delivered a very well received AR app that a top client has been very pleased with thus far. Highly collaborative and proactive in their approach, their team continues to be great to work with overall. They've also exceeded expectations and meet most deadlines.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the creative technology manager at a multinational full-service agency.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was the scope of their involvement?

NEXT/NOW assisted us in developing an AR app, using Unity 3D and Maya. The app demonstrates the safety and parking assistance features of our client's vehicles that can't be tested in real life. It uses SLAM tracking to position holographic elements in real-world spaces as seen through the camera feed on mobile devices.

What is the team composition?

We work with the director of technology, a developer, project manager, UX designer, three 3D artists, and a general manager. 

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

I've known Stuart (Director of Technology, NEXT/NOW) for some time and happened to meet Mark (Marketing, NEXT/NOW) at a local VR/AR meetup we both attend. After going over some ideas with them, it was obvious that their team would be a good fit for the project, because they were enthusiastic and willing to work collaboratively with us on the technology.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since February 2018 and are in the process of working on the second phase of the project.

SOLUTION

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

NEXT/NOW's efforts helped us effectively portray our client as a leader in tech within the automotive industry. The technology was very well received at a recent promotional event, giving us a lot of visibility with a major client.

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

We've been very pleased with their approach to managing projects and meeting deadlines. Tasks and communications are organized effectively through Basecamp and we hold weekly standup meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their willingness to collaborate with us a team on the technology sets them apart. We wanted to be very involved from start to finish, and they've been great about looping us in on every step of the way.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. Since completing the first phase, they've become a lot more familiar with our industry and we've become a lot more familiar with their technology, so the working relationship continues to improve.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They helped us adhere to our schedule better than we're able to on our own.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They've delivered above and beyond.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our experience with them has been very positive thus far.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Augmented Reality Experience Development for Sporting Goods Company

“Their professionalism and responsiveness is second to none.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jun. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW developed an augmented reality experience that allows users to take photos with famous athletes in retail stores.

The Reviewer
 
5,000+ Employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland
Account Marketing Manager, Sporting Goods Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

NEXT/NOW's AR tech has been very well received by surveyed users in stores thus far, helping the business register more members. Responsive, efficient, and proactive in their approach, working with their team continues to be seamless.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the account marketing manager at a sporting goods company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXT/NOW?

We engaged NEXT/NOW to develop an augmented reality experience to be used as a retail display in our sporting goods stores.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

NEXT/NOW developed an AR app to be used in stores by potential customers that incorporates 3D face-mapping technology, allowing them to take a photo with a famous athlete. They're able to change some of the AR environments as needed on an ongoing basis and are in the process of creating a video for us.

What is the team composition?

We have one main point of contact, but work with a few others on their team as well.

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

They were recommended to me by a fellow employee who had worked with them before.

How much have you invested with them?

The initial R&D and cost of producing the display was a little over $70,000. We're also working with them to produce a video for about $5,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since June 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We've received positive feedback across the board since launching the technology in our stores, registering almost 200 individuals within the first month. 90% of users have rated the experience as being highly positive, so it's performing well overall.

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They're very responsive, efficient, and proactive in their communications. We use an online project management tool to track documents, tasks, and timelines.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their professionalism and responsiveness is second to none.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Honestly, no. They've been great partners.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're extremely responsive, organized, and timely.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Interactive Experience for Design Firm

"The project opened the door for us to blend digital into our physical design experiences."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2017 - Feb. 2018
Project summary: 

NEXTNOW designed and implemented an immersive experience by digitally projecting images of water across multiple surfaces of a faucet and fixture showroom.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal and external feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Expertise and meticulousness were hallmarks of their work. NEXTNOW’s understanding of digital technologies helped them create high-quality deliverables and respond quickly to any inquiries or technical concerns that arose.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the principal at an experiential design and branding firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXTNOW?

We needed help creating an immersive experience for a client.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

NEXTNOW provided design and development coordination, as well as technology specification, for a digital experience. We were hired to create a flagship showroom space for a product line of faucets and other fixtures in Chicago. Our team came up with the idea for an experience that digitally created the sense of water throughout the showroom. They implemented our idea by incorporating digital projection onto multiple surfaces in the space. They created digital graphics that projected onto different surfaces. The graphics reacted to people moving through this space for an interactive experience.

The experience used multiple projectors and its own AV system. They also gave the client the ability to display presentations (e.g., photos, videos, and other digital content) on the surfaces in the space as well. It's a wireless system so the client can update the content remotely.

What is the team composition?

We worked with 3–4 team members.

How did you come to work with NEXTNOW?

I met NEXTNOW at a couple of networking events. We had a few meetings to get to learn about each other. I chose them for the project based partly on them being based in Chicago, but also because of their deep skill set. I liked that they’d done some similar experiences.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $200,000–$250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from August 2017–February 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

NEXTNOW took our creative vision to the next level. They were able to actually implement it and bring it to life. As a result, we've gotten positive media attention. A couple of blogs and publications are interested in the project. We've also been invited as panelists at a couple of events to talk about the project and the experience of working together.

We'd been trying to do digital work for a number of years. The project opened the door for us to blend digital into our physical design experiences. For the client, it's given them a showroom that is totally different than any other in the market. It’s positioned them as a forward-thinking leader.

How did NEXTNOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re easy to work with and approachable. I was pleased with their communication. We had several in-person meetings to test the prototype. They set up a couple of different scenarios for us to see how the experience would work. They used a project management tool. It wasn't something I typically use, but it worked perfectly fine to manage the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They worked well in collaborating with us instead of just taking over the project. They were open to receiving feedback from our team and from the client. They stayed on schedule. They were really excellent with the implementation aspects. They worked onsite for an extensive amount of time, getting everything installed and running tests. They've also been great about checking in now that it is up and running. If there's any kind of issue, they fix it pretty rapidly.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There were a couple of times when the presentation was a bit buggy.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Video Production/Projection for Arts Nonprofit

“They understood the nature of the project and utilized their resources to get us the results we needed.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXTNOW supported an art installation for a nonprofit organization. To make video projections visible on trees, they made suggestions, found appropriate equipment, and oversaw video mapping.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Volunteer, LUMA8
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Reception of the installation is broadly positive, and NEXTNOW’s ideas ensured the project’s success. Working within a very tight budget, they were an enthusiastic partner that never lost sight of the end goal.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a volunteer team member with a project called LUMA8 with the McCormick Place Visitor Center in Chicago.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXTNOW?

We had a video project for the state bicentennial to honor the people of Illinois. The challenge was to project an art installation onto trees.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They worked very closely with us to spec out the right equipment, find the right trees for the project, and solidify the most appropriate video mapping to make the installation successful. We created a sound component to accompany the projections, and they found a way to sync it up. There was a lot of trial and error involved, and our initial ideas changed as we discovered what would and wouldn’t work.

What is the team composition?

We had one point of contact who managed the whole team on their side. There was another contact for billing and contracts, but most of our interaction was with the project manager.

How did you come to work with NEXTNOW?

Someone in my organization met with them on another project in Chicago. Based on their recommendation, we reached out to them for this project. We needed someone who could think outside the box, and they were available to meet right away when we called them. Their relatively instantaneous availability sealed the deal.

What is the status of this engagement?

The installation was up and running by July 2018, and we worked on it together for several months prior to that. It will stay up until February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Since it’s an art installation, all of our metrics come from public opinion. The project is very well received, and we’re very pleased with the results.

How did NEXTNOW perform from a project management standpoint?

Most of our communication was through email, phone, and text. They were always available for meetings with all the different entities involved, and would jump in and lead whenever the situation called for it. When the rest of us were confused as to what to do next, they often made suggestions that moved the project forward.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Since this was a public project, the budget was very tight. They were able to work with our constraints, and coordinated with their partners to arrange some great deals we might not have gotten without their help. They understood the nature of the project and utilized their resources to get us the results we needed.

Even at times that we were frustrated by the project, they never lost enthusiasm. They were always willing to step in with a new idea, and they provided invaluable help. It was great to have a cheerleader throughout the entire process.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Communication at the beginning was a little vague. I asked them to outline their plan more clearly so the entire group could be on the same page. Once we had that conversation, the rest of the project went really well.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The timelines ebbed and flowed, and they kept up as well as they could.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Digital Activations for Consumer Engagement Marketing Firm

“NEXTNOW did a great job of keeping us on track to finish on time.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Apr. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXTNOW created an NFL-centered promotional campaign with both digital and on-site experiences like a selfie kiosk, a gif-creating tool, three microsites, and an LED screen that displays social media posts.

The Reviewer
 
100 - 200 Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
Sr. Director, Consumer Engagement Marketing Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Fans reacted positively to the campaign, and they enjoy the interactive experiences. In addition to meeting tight deadlines, NEXTNOW offered valuable suggestions and delivered high-quality work. With their proactive work ethic and involved approach, they showed a real commitment to the project.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior director of a marketing agency that specializes in consumer engagement. We put together marketing-based experiential events, guest management strategies, and hospitality plans for our clients.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXTNOW?

One of our clients has partnerships with three NFL teams. We wanted to implement a digital promotional campaign for each team with a centralized consumer engagement strategy. Ultimately, we hope to elevate and strengthen the partnerships for our client.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

NEXTNOW helped us create a promotional campaign to help our client promote their partnerships with three NFL teams. The full project includes both digital and on-site interactive experiences.

First, their team assisted us in creating digital face paint kiosks for fans. NEXTNOW developed software with four built-in filters for users to apply to their selfies. Fans receive the edited photo through a registered email address; then they’re free to post it on their own social media feeds.

Second, NEXTNOW created another system that allows fans to create gifs to celebrate touchdowns scored by their team. It’s a simple data-capturing system that requires minimal registration information from users (first name, last name, email address).

Third, they set up an LED wall at each team property that aggregates posts with specific hashtags into a rotating social media feed. It shows a variety of fan content, including photos and visuals from the broader campaign and comments from individual feeds.

Finally, they created microsites for each partner team that encourage users to interact with the on-site displays and experiences. Fan interaction added funds, which our client would donate to a local charity on the individual's behalf.

NEXTNOW has completed and implemented the full campaign, but they’re staying with us to support and moderate our efforts.

What is the team composition?

We worked with several people from NEXTNOW. Two team members handle our day-today-day needs. There’s an additional resource to help us conceptualize the project agreements. We speak with a different specialist for the microsites. Those core people communicate with a larger background team.

How did you come to work with NEXTNOW?

In our initial interaction, they were very eager to get started on the project. From our first impression, it seemed that we’d be able to effectively collaborate with their team. They offered up unique ideas tailored to the type of project we’d described. Based on that, we decided to partner with them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the project in April 2018. We’ve completed the bulk of the work, but NEXTNOW will continue to support us through the duration of the 2018–2019 NFL season.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We analyze our success based on consumer reactions. I don’t have any hard numbers, but football fans are attracted to the campaign. It’s incredibly interactive, and each experience is very easy to use. NEXTNOW did exactly what we asked them to do. During this project, our client got a feel for engagement-based marketing. It’s set a good foundation for future interactive campaigns with them.

How did NEXTNOW perform from a project management standpoint?

Overall, they’re great. We were delayed a bit in the beginning because we had to wait for our client’s approval, so the deadlines for the rest of the engagement were pretty tight. NEXTNOW did a great job of keeping us on track to finish on time.

We shared project information through Google Docs and Sheets so that everyone could see and comment on them. We also scheduled weekly calls to track our progress. NEXTNOW was very honest about their work, communicating with us at each step of the project. They were very reliable.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their biggest strength is their staff. We treated them as part of our internal team, openly collaborating to find the best approach to the project. Every person is proactive, which blended nicely with our own work ethic.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing really comes to mind. We had some trouble getting into a rhythm at the start of the project, but once we established a standard for tracking and prioritizing it was a smooth relationship.

Any advice for potential customers?

In the beginning, clients should make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of expectations and processes. Then, provide NEXTNOW with specific ideas and listen to their input.

4.5
Overall Score I’m looking forward to working with them again.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were very good at managing deadlines.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We received a lot of value for our investment
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They followed through on everything we asked of them.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

VR Game Dev for Alcohol Beverages Company

“[T]hey were very involved, hands-on, helpful, and patient.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jul. 2017 - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW developed a virtual reality game for a drinks company, intending to engage a younger customer demographic and pull them to the brand. It is driven via headsets and goggles, and will launch next year. 

The Reviewer
 
200-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Marketing, Mike's Hard Lemonade
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The completed game is undergoing testing prior to its summer 2018 launch and has received good feedback, fitting with the company’s wider marketing goals and brand. They were excellent developers who adhered to deadlines, communicated well, and ensured the whole process was smooth and stress-free.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of field marketing for Mike’s Hard Lemonade. We are an alcohol company that produces flavored malt beverages in a variety of brands and flavors. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXT/NOW?

Our original brand, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, has been out for almost 20 years. We wanted to re-engage with male millennial consumers and develop something innovative and tech-driven, aligned with our current marketing campaign. We wanted to develop something that we could bring to events we’re sponsoring throughout the country. We wanted something that would really pull in consumers and encourage them to engage with and sample our brand. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We developed a VR [virtual reality] game that people can play at events across the country. It’s driven via headsets and goggles. 

What is the team composition? 

We had an entire team dedicated to just our project. Over the course of the development process, which lasted a couple of months, there was a team of 6–10 people. 

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

We heard about them through word of mouth. They’re doing a great job for a number of companies in Chicago. I had an old co-worker who had worked with them before and gave them a great reference. We went over to their studio and they presented their work to us. After meeting everyone, we found them to be really friendly and thought they had their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in technology. It was a great fit.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in July of this year until September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We haven’t launched the program nationally yet — it’s for summer 2018. We’re socializing the program and the game right now throughout our beer distributor network and our sales teams, along with our marketing team across the country. We’re still getting feedback from everyone, but so far, it’s been great and we feel it aligns very well and meets our goal of supporting our marketing campaign. 

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They were excellent with their communication processes, reliability, follow-up, and punctuality. There was never a time where I was concerned about meeting our deadlines or deviating from the timelines we established. Everything ran very smoothly and was incredibly stress-free. They used Dropbox and we had a shared folder with them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a number of key strengths; everything from their initial sales process to working with the developers to figure out exactly what we needed. A lot of times companies know they want to get into technology and have ideas, but don’t exactly know exactly what we need to pull in and engage our consumers. 

However, from the very beginning, they had excellent creative and account management perspectives. They really were proficient and guided us towards the development of the right things. All the way through, they were very involved, hands-on, helpful, and patient. A lot of brand people aren’t technology people but it was great to have them. They feel comfortable. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

Everything went very smoothly for us. It was better than I expected. I don’t have any areas for them to improve.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I would go in and know the consumer that you want to engage with. Understand what your objectives are when creating some type of technology. Lay that out and then be ready to listen and learn. Don’t begin the process thinking that you’re the technology expert. Go into it knowing that you’re working with them because they’re the experts. 

5.0
Overall Score We will work with them again.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We stuck to our timelines and they did a great job of managing that.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Everything seemed fair. It wasn’t the deal of the century, but we were happy with where we were.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Very likely. I already have to at least two others.

Augmented Reality Dev for Motor Sports Entertainment Company

"The work that NEXT/NOW has done for us shows just how potent and valuable they are..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2011- Ongoing
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW creates public AR/VR experiences for third-party clients. They also build out data capture and smaller user-engagement projects.

The Reviewer
 
200-500 Employees
 
Orange County, California
Jonathan Applegate
Account Manager, CSM
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The way in which they collaborate and strive to fulfil project goals informs their top-drawer, large-scale deliverables. The two-way, constructive relationships they build engender respect from both customers and third-party clients.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

CSM is a sports and entertainment communications agency. I’ve been the account director on a motorsports account for the last five years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXT/NOW?

We needed help with augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) experience development.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For this particular motorsports account, NEXT/NOW built an AR pit stop experience. Users could go to a consumer display, complete with a 9’ x 15’ LED screen, at races and immerse themselves as an acting member of a pit stop crew helping to change tires. The experience was captured on video and shareable on social media. We were the only sponsor, the only original equipment manufacturer with technology like this. It was a very popular, innovative program.

Subsequently, they’ve worked on other projects ranging from top-level AR platforms to smaller projects, data capture components, and consumer engagement in general.

What is the team composition?

I’ve worked with an account manager, the director of business development, and the founder. They facilitated all the project requests and anything that was needed from a client perspective back to the 2–3 developers working on the project.

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

We met and worked on a previous display several years back. They were a new company and we really trusted them, given their knowledge and expertise in the AR/VR space. They were energetic and hungry for the business. We gave them a shot and they proved themselves through and through that they could get the job done.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in 2011 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The work that NEXT/NOW has done for us have shown just how potent and valuable they are among all the different competitors and agencies we’ve used. A lot of people at CSM and with our big-brand clients respect them enough that their name comes to the top when new business or new concepts and new ideas are being discussed to work through and to try to call on a vendor to build. Their work speaks for itself.

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re not a huge company, but they operate as they are. They’ve never miss a deadline or cause delays in project launches, and they make sure any requests—even last minute—are tackled before launch. They listen well and understand client objectives, try to get a feel for what the the project mission, and then bring their creative aspects and solutions into it. Along the way, there are always snags and new requests, new challenges, and new builds. They roll with the punches.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re really good from a technology and quality of work perspective. Their quality of work and what they say they’re going to build and say they’re going to accomplish always surpasses expectations. They don’t just take an order and fulfill it.

They’re also really good with relationships. They want to be part of the process from the very beginning. They’re very good at understanding what the client wants and listens and hear what the need is. They meet that objective before they just give you a prebaked idea. It’s refreshing to work with people that you can have a relationship and you can trust like that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. As long as they continue doing what they’re doing, they’re in good shape.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Include them from the very beginning. Sometimes, when you’re working with an agency that has been managing clients, it’s very easy to play back and forth and get the request from the client and then just reach out to NEXT/NOW and see what they can provide. They’re very collaborative and they listen. They understand where their boundaries are in trying to put something in front of the client that might not necessarily make sense. From the very beginning to execution, keeping them in the loop is the best approach.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their costs are competitive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev and Motion Graphics for Consumer Goods Company

"They stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and think outside the box to provide fresh ideas."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2014
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW created a photo booth incorporating green screen technology for a company’s 100th anniversary. The solution also included a website and large-scale LED screen to host and display an art competition.

The Reviewer
 
1000 - 2000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Digital Manager, Consumer Goods Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their creative use of the latest technologies generated excellent PR buzz. They produce unique solutions, often under budget. A dedicated project manager set clear deadlines and ensured the project stayed on schedule.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the Digital Manager of a major consumer goods company in Chicago. I handle all digital marketing and associated projects. We have 3,000 employees.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXT/NOW?

We were approaching the 100th anniversary of our company and wanted to create an attention-grabbing tradeshow booth to draw people toward our representatives.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We developed an interactive photo booth that used green screen technology to transform the subject into our mascot. We also held an art contest in which users redesigned our iconic logo. NEXT/NOW built a website to host the competition, as well as a large-scale, flexible LED screen to display the finalists.

What is the team composition?

I communicated directly with their creative lead and project managers on a day-to-day basis. I also met a couple of the backend developers assigned to our project.

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

It all seemed very serendipitous. We had launched a large marketing campaign centered around our upcoming anniversary. Their business development team reached out to us via LinkedIn, and we set up a meeting since we were interested in adding creative elements for the upcoming tradeshow. We decided they would make a great fit.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $100,000–$125,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together during the first three quarters of 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The photo booth and art competition were both received very well. Our customers seemed to respond positively, and our internal team was pleased with the PR buzz generated by these projects.

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

They have excellent client service. Our dedicated project lead was always available and effectively managed our team. They were organized, set clear deadlines, and delivered on time. Few, if any, issues arose, and they sometimes completed goals under budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re able to use technology creatively, finding unique ways to incorporate digital tools into interactive, real-life presentations. They stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and think outside the box to provide fresh ideas. When working with NEXT/NOW, don’t expect standard solutions.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We were pleased with their results, so I have no criticisms.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Aside from a few minor slips, project deadlines were met on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They worked within our budget to provide ideas that worked for us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d absolutely recommend them.

Multiple Devs for Cars.com

"NEXT/NOW is ahead of the curve when it comes to the solutions they offer for clients."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - 2014
Project summary: 

NEXT/NOW developed gesture-technology and VR games to elevate marketing efforts at tradeshows and outreach events, allocating both remote and on-site resources for efficiency. 

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Director of Creative Services, Cars.com
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through NEXT/NOW’s technical skills and engagement-driving vision, both games showcased innovation and attracted a greater audience. The team’s seamless management and quick turnaround time ensured a productive collaboration. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the director of creative services and events for Cars.com.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with NEXT/NOW?

We wanted to introduce new experiential technologies to our events and marketing programs. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

NEXT/NOW was brought in to work on a gesture-technology project. People would use their bodies to operate a game during an event. We used it for creating engagement with people and making them excited to be there to see and do something different. The technologies used were related to gesture-based response. Users’ heads, hands, and feet would control the game through any gesture.

On another project for a big tradeshow, NEXT/NOW created an Oculus Rift game during the height of that trend. They brought technology into our booth, which helped us showcase our innovation and create a fun experience for attendees. We incorporated our business messages within that experience.

I’m not sure what the backend assignment was, so I couldn’t say how many developers worked on our projects.

How did you come to work with NEXT/NOW?

I attended a networking event along with Randy Gress, NEXT/NOW’s director of business development. We started talking, and I was invited to their showroom for a technology demo. We were in the process of uncovering new experiential techniques for showcasing innovation and driving engagement at our events, so there was a need. We asked NEXT/NOW to submit a proposal, and we took it from there.

How much have you invested with NEXT/NOW?

Our gesture-based game had a cost of between $15,000 and $20,000. The Oculus Rift one was between $50,000 and $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Both of our projects were developed between 2013 and 2014. All of the work is complete. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

From a qualitative standpoint, NEXT/NOW achieved the goals we were trying to communicate—namely, driving engagement and showcasing innovation. Both of our games were well-received, peaked a lot of interest, and increased the time spent at our booths. We were happy with the process of working with NEXT/NOW, from the concept stage all the way to delivery.

One of the things provided by NEXT/NOW was on-site support staff. Since they were the experts in the technology we were utilizing, NEXT/NOW’s team was able to speak more to some of the technical and/or operational questions. It was a nice value-add to have.

How did NEXT/NOW perform from a project management standpoint?

I don’t know what NEXT/NOW’s backend systems were, but the project management process was seamless, and everything was done with good communication, proper timelines, and no doubt regarding the delivery of the project. We had plenty of time to test and make sure that the software was working properly within the environment, so I would say that NEXT/NOW did a great job in terms of project management.

What did you find most impressive about NEXT/NOW?

Their view on technology and its utilization for creating unique, one-of-a-kind experiences is something I haven’t seen with similar vendors. NEXT/NOW is ahead of the curve when it comes to the solutions they offer for clients, helping them stand out from the sea of the same. We had access to some smart, capable people in our team for executing that flawlessly.

Are there any areas NEXT/NOW could improve?

I was very pleased with everything, from start to finish. NEXT/NOW’s members are fun people to work with, and it was a positive experience.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We gave NEXT/NOW some very aggressive timelines, and they were able to meet all demands with no concern or delay.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t have a lot of basis for comparison, but I believe we paid a fair price for what we got.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    NEXT/NOW was able to offer solutions for our needs, and they exceeded our expectations. I was extremely pleased.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them.
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
ID
68213371
Date of Formation
Nov 8, 2011
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last Updated
Jul 19, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Dec 22, 2018
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
10
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
5.0
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
November 5, 2018