Several months ago Visual Jazz were engaged by Jay Jays to revamp their digital presence and build the Jay Jays community online. We were/are stoked, we haven’t been intensely involved with a purely youth-based fashion brand for a while, and we’d had some solid and successful retail projects doing well (namely Mecca & Holden – which we recently won ‘best retail’ for at the 2010 AIMIA Awards). We were licking our lips to get cracking.
After some initial meetings and briefings about the re-invention of the Jay Jays site we had several great ideas on the table, but it became apparent that we needed to have a plan in place where a platform could be created with the ability to evolve and grow with the JayJays user-base. There were several candidates for different approaches to this opportunity. Jayvatars were eventually the winner, and are now born.
Jayvatars are an embodiment of the JayJays brand and also a representation of each individual customer. The ability to customise your look and express yourself in weird and crazy ways mirrors the Jay Jays store experience. Jayvatars are Jay Jays version of the ‘Avatar’ craze, not the movie, the representation of self). The customer base we are talking to are familiar with these avatars which are used in everything from forum icons to game consoles, many of he devices that they interact with everyday already have similar systems, with current game console implementations being the closest to the Jay Jays system. A Jayvatar is a character that you can create to be as like (or unlike) you as you wish. The interface is similar to that of the Mii creator on the Wii console, but with even more customisation available, and a style more akin to Jay Jays.
Our Jayvatars all share a hand-drawn style that was developed by the talented wrists we have in-house, so they’re all a bit messy and funny-looking. This makes sure that everyone is on a level social playing field. The customisation is intense though, you can change you skin colour, move, rotate and change your facial features and dress in 100s of different outfits, which are all able to be coloured or patterned with a myriad of different options. You can change your height, weight and (in one of our stranger customisations) the length of our arms. This was key to one of our style considerations: the way that you move.
Not only have we created a way for users to make a great looking avatar (ahem, Jayvatar) but we’ve also created a full multi-user, virtual world for Jayvatars to interact, chat, take photos and play. Enter the “Jayvatar Playground”. Here you can show off your look and chat to other users in real-time. But it’s much more than that. Visual Jazz have created a multi-user environment which is now a new platform to build upon for the future of real-time interaction. With games, offers and time-based events planned for the future, the playground is a future platform for Jay Jays to speak to their hard-core customer base immediately, more immediately even, than their other social platforms, like facebook. Jay Jays admins can jump into the playground and pick winners to comps, get feedback instantly about products and styles, and even just soak up the culture of their user-base.
The Playground is still in it’s infancy, but is already drawing big crowds, with hundreds of Jayvatars congregating in the playground at any one time. Rooms are kept small and manageable by a transparent room division system so that performance and usability is always maintained.
Jayvatars move with their own style depending on their size and shape and are rewarded with achievements based on activities that they complete in the Playground. Jumping, spinning, chatting, sharing etc… are all rewarded with JPoints, which will be used in the future for all manor of special rewards for Jay Jays customers.
Since the new Jay Jays site launched 2 weeks ago the playground has had 13,579 achievements unlocked with an average dwell time of a staggering 51 minutes. Jayvatars are taking over. You’d better beware, or get on the Jayvatar train.
We’re really excited about this new platform, and the way that it has already been embraced by the user-base. The Jayvatar playground is a crazy place, but it’s an evolving crazy place and the sky’s the limit.
Jump on into the Playground by creating your own Jayvatar at http://www.jayjays.com.au