BBH SG's augmented running app soundtracks your story based on your surroundings

Creative agency BBH Singapore has unveiled a new audio entertainment fitness app specifically designed for runners. Titled “Running Stories”, the app casts users as the protagonist in a story and uses real-time data to build an augmented audio narrative that integrates with their surroundings and keeps them entertained on runs.

The app contains different storylines, which are triggered as runners pass GPS markers and landmarks. Designed for beginners or seasoned runners alike, each story is said to be made of binge-worthy episodic storylines that keep runners hooked and motivated to head out on the road for more. Narrative titles currently available on the app include "The Extraction", an espionage-based adventure; a psychological thriller called "The Runner Without a Past"; and "Runner’s Body", the world's first audio sitcom set inside the user's own body.

Running Stories is currently in beta and is inviting brands and consumers to test it out. In its initial stage, it has been designed to work on selected routes in Singapore. The next phase is a roll-out in further cities around the world and making the app available as an open source platform so that writers and creators can devise their own stories. There are also plans to incorporate more real-time data such as weather conditions and the runner’s heart rate to enrich the experience and add tailored fitness challenges, making the creative possibilities endless.

Joakim Borgstrom, creative lead of Running Stories and global CCO at BBH added that the agency is currently looking for partners to take the app to the next level. “Augmented audio reality is what makes Running Stories so exciting. It gets you to explore new routes by using real-time data that turns your run into a story. It is as if Hollywood, Silicon Valley and your personal coach had a baby,” he said.

According to Borgstorm, the intention of the app is to make running a “bingeing experience, as the agency acknowledges that finding the motivation to run can be a challenge. “We can’t wait to see what co-collaborators will come up with once we open the platform up,” he added.

BBH Singapore’s creativity works have been making headlines in recent months. Two weeks ago, the agency collaborated with vodka brand Absolut to launch its global campaign. The campaign is fronted by a film, which showed four protagonists who are masters of their own virtual worlds, looking for something more meaningful outside. Towards the end of the film, they decide to break out from their virtual lives. 

Meanwhile, the agency also collaborated with Sentosa Development Corporation to unveil its latest brand film "My Island Adventure", which presented Sentosa as an idyllic escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The campaign used a film as well, which featured an "island boy" exploring Sentosa island and its attractions in his imagination. The film is said to borrow the style of classic musicals and children's films, and is completed with an "unforgettable" song.

Apart from client work, the agency also created a digital office pet for its staff earlier in October. Christened "Dotty", the virtual sheep is modelled after BBH’s famed Black Sheep logo and is the brainchild of the creative technology team at the agency. Dotty behaves like a real pet and needs to be fed when hungry, entertained when bored and cleaned up when it makes a mess. Additionally, Dotty is also able to extend birthday greetings, greet clients, give lunch recommendations and even take a selfie with office friends. 

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