An exercise in creativity in support of Moogfest has had an unexpected side benefit for the team at Bronto.
By turning its customers’ Black Friday email impressions, open rates, click through and conversions data into an interactive experience with sounds and graphics, the Durham-based email marketing software company is impressing new parent company Oracle, as well as its customers around the world.
An installation called The Sound of Commerce debuts this weekend during Moogfest but will soon go on tour with the Bronto team to customers in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Australia and London. It’s already made an appearance at the annual Bronto Summit, held in timing with a larger Oracle conference in Las Vegas in April.
“Our customers are creative and marketers, so they’re intrigued and excited about this concept,” says local general manager Carolyn Sparano, on hand Thursday during the installation setup.
Here are some members of the American Underground team testing it out during the festival:
Sparano also hopes to build local awareness for a company that’s had a lot of change in the last two years. After more than a decade as a bootstrapped company, Bronto was acquired by NetSuite in 2015; its founders left in early 2016, leaving the local reins to Sparano; and then Oracle acquired NetSuite later in the year.
Now referred to as Oracle + Bronto, the company hopes to show off its talent in Durham, to show off the campus it calls home and support an important local community effort.
Filling open jobs would be a nice bonus too. “We’re always hiring,” Sparano says.
Sparano shepherded the Moogfest project after she was approached by festival organizers to get involved. Moogfest, after all, would be taking over parts of American Tobacco Campus, which happens to also serve as a front lawn of Bronto’s massive Durham office.
“I was really intrigued by the concept of combining engineering, art and technology,” she says. “I thought it could be something fun and creative for our team.”
Sparano got a group together and challenged them to figure out how to bring art and music into Bronto’s work. Soon enough, they had a plan to take the most important data points collected and processed from the biggest shopping day of 2016 and use it to make and influence sounds and graphics (including the Bronto dinosaur) in a sort of psychedelic light show on a big screen. Moogfest attendees can then interact with the exhibit in unique ways.
“They can turn down sends and turn up clicks to impact the visual and musical sounds of commerce,” Sparano says.
A lot of creative work is done daily at Bronto, Sparano says, but this project pushed the team outside of the bounds of that daily work.
“We got to support the local community, contribute to a cool event and be creative,” she says.
For more behind-the-scenes with the two engineers behind the project, check out the video Bronto shared with Summit attendees last month: