There’s a large and diverse family of companies within the Quicken Loans world, and I don’t even mean that to sound like I’m peddling a corporate agenda. We’ve got a list of companies in the Quicken Loans umbrella that are as eclectic as they are numerous. There are companies like Quizzle, which provides a free credit report and score every six months, to Rapt.fm, which promotes freestyle rapping online through real time video and allows people to vote for their favorites. Somewhere in that mix (not the credit report/freestyling mix, but in the Quicken Loans family) lies Detroit Labs.
Detroit Labs, started in 2011, is an app developer that houses roughly 32 employees here in downtown Detroit. You can visit their website to get the full scoop on the honors and work force, but they’ve been developing some awesome apps for big companies like Dominos and Stryker, but just this past week they won big in Austin, TX, during the South by Southwest at the Appy Awards. The awards, which we should all be able to figure out from the title, are awarded to outstanding mobile apps in a variety of categories from business to multicultural media. This year Detroit Labs won twice, one for Branded Content App and another for Marketing/Branding/Advertising, for their Chevy Game Time app.
The app was made for the 2012 Super Bowl and offered an innovative new way to people to watch the big game, while simultaneously incorporating prizes that made it vital and fun for the viewer to watch Chevy’s commercials. That last sentence was a lot, but the Chevy Game Time app and its reasons for winning two Appy Awards are much better explained by the awesome video that goes along with it.
If the video does not play, click here.
The ambitious project, as shown through the video, succeeded maybe more than anyone expected. Detroit Labs isn’t a newcomer to success; their site says the Domino’s ordering app they made for the pizza company has over 3 million downloads and is expected to bring the company over $150 million in revenue per year. The company was founded in 2011, so still pretty young, and co-founder of Detroit Labs, Nathan Hughes, explained to me how the Chevy Game Time app was an understandably big deal at the time:
“Almost two years ago we first met with Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners to discuss the Chevy Game Time project. We didn’t know them, they didn’t know us, but there was good chemistry from the get-go. Once they selected Detroit Labs as their mobile technology partner for the project, it was an intense and nonstop three months of effort to hit the finish line. On Super Bowl Sunday, Goodby, GM, and Detroit Labs were watching the game on the top floor of the Madison and enjoying the flawless execution and overwhelming success of the program.”
I’m not even going to pretend to comprehend the work that must have gone into keeping that app up the entire time when you have twice the viewing audience of the Super Bowl using it, but Detroit Labs and affiliates pulled it off. The collective work was done after that, but as Hughes went on to explain to me, the benefits from executing the project so well were just about to start:
“I thought that was the pinnacle of success for this project. Fast forward 13 months, and I was pretty wrong on that count. While nothing matches the emotional high of seeing all of that effort pay off on game day, this single project has won over 10 industry awards and garnered an enormous amount of press and good will chatter. It was a game changer for our young little startup, and is a material factor in our current success. Being recognized on the SXSW stage is a testament to the creativity, energy, and effort of all the team members involved in this program across all the different companies that played a part. I’m damn proud of everyone that made this happen.”
Since then a whole other Super Bowl has been played, and Detroit Labs has moved on to other projects, but the applause for the work done on the Chevy Game Time app is still coming. Stay posted on new apps developed by Detroit Labs because I imagine you’ll hear more praise about their works in the near future.