Unlike iOS, Android is available across numerous devices, manufactured by numerous companies. While this is one of the things that makes Android great (as an open alternative that fosters competition), it is also one of the reasons why Android is so hard to market as a software product. Of course, that is only compounded by the fact that Google
doesn’t do rarely does any real world advertising [Ok, I stand correct on the claim Google doesn't do real world advertising, see below]. While Apple can promote their software and hardware simultaneously, exposure of the Android OS has to occur when manufacturers promote their own devices, which obviously means numerous campaigns where the up-sell of Android is only part of the sell.
As a result we’ve seen Apple stores and iPhone branded mini-stores in phone carrier’s retail stores for ages, but doing a similar thing for Android is more difficult. But Telstra is giving it a go with their Androidland concept mini-store at their flagship retail outlet in Bourke Street, Melbourne which showcases Android smartphones and tablets from Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG.
Telstra’s press release reads:
Telstra has today launched Androidland a world-first store within a store that showcases the latest Android™ smartphones and tablets.
Unveiled at Telstra’s flagship retail outlet in Bourke Street Melbourne, the 154 square meter space brings together interactive technology, games and on-site experts to explain the features of Google’s popular Android operating system which now powers some of the world’s leading smartphones and tablets.
Warwick Bray, Executive Director, Telstra Mobile said it was the first time a mobile carrier had teamed with Google™ to create a dedicated Android retail presence.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of customers coming in-store and asking us about Android phones and tablets. With Androidland we wanted to create a retail environment like no other that helps us to answer customer questions in a fun, interactive way.
“The result is a world-first collaboration that goes beyond conventional product displays by allowing visitors to get hands on with a range of popular mobile services and apps found on Android devices,” Mr Bray said.
John Lagerling, Director, Global of Android Partnerships said Telstra’s Androidland is a fun way to help Australians learn about Android phones and tablets.
“Australians have gone crazy for smartphones over the last year, and we estimate that each month, hundreds of thousands of Australians buy a smartphone. Chances are that a smartphone is on the Christmas list of someone you love, and Telstra’s Androidland has plenty of ideas and tips,” Mr Lagerling said.
Visitors to Androidland will be able to:
- Board the Android spaceship – An interactive spaceship zone allows visitors to pilot the Google Earth app on the giant screen and fly across the world; play Angry Birds on a big interactive screen; and create an Android avatar that can be printed or shared.
- Have fun in the play zone – Visitors can sit under a pixel tree and play with live devices; try their luck on an Android skill tester and clown machine and flick through a virtual library of Google Books.
- Get expert advice – Android experts, specially trained by Google, will be on hand to help customers set up their Google accounts, recommend popular Android Market™ apps, answer questions and to help customise device homescreens.
- Get hands on with the latest Android devices – Visitors will be able to try out a wide range of working Android smartphone and tablets.
- Window shop like never before – Customers will be able to interact with a massive 24 x 9 metre window display that features an augmented reality game challenging visitors to catch Android robots drifting in a virtual snowfall.
Mr Bray said consumers were increasingly looking for an interactive shopping experience where they could try out live devices and get advice from experts before making a purchase.
“From the moment customers walk through the doors of Androidland they’ll be transported into an immersive retail environment that’s as much about having fun as it is about researching your next phone.”
Androidland was built in collaboration with leading Android handset makers Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG and is a temporary installation. Telstra will use customer feedback to test whether similar installations are introduced to other stores across Australia.
Androidland opening hours
Androidand is located in the heart of Melbourne at 246 Bourke street (corner of Swanston & Bourke streets).
Weekday opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8am – 6pm and Friday 8am – 9pm
Weekend opening hours: Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 6pm
Also check out the blog post on the Google Australia blog.
Ok, so turns out Google does more advertising in the real world than I initially thought. They have run billboard campaigns for Google Apps and advertising campaigns on buses for Google Transit on Google Maps in London and on S trains for Google Transit in New York. I’m sure there are more examples. Thanks to those who felt the need to correct me :p
Telstra and Google launch “world-first” Android store in Melbourne Stan Beer on iTWire, 2 December 2011.
Telstra launches world-first Android store in Melbourne Telstra on telstra.com.au, 2 December 2011.