Creating an unforgettable origin story — How Vocal crowdsourced an origin story contest for Mayfield Robotics’ home robot, Kuri.

The Background

Created by Mayfield Robotics, Kuri is a first-of-its-kind home robot. Designed to delight, Kuri acts as an interactive and mobile videographer who captures each day's best moments around the home. Since Kuri’s award-winning launch at CES 2016, the adorable home robot has been demoed and celebrated at TED, SXSW, The Aspen Ideas Festival, and The Economist Innovation Summit. From understanding her environment in real time to seamlessly navigating the world around her, Kuri's endearing personality is backed with incredible tech.

Campaign Goal

Mayfield Robotics aimed to crowdsource an origin story for Kuri through new and established sci-fi and creative writers, while creating buzz and excitement around the product.

“This collaboration was a huge success in increasing Kuri's external brand awareness, as well as rallying our internal team around a fun marketing initiative. We now have a heartwarming story about how our adorable home robot came to be and we couldn't have done it without this partnership with Vocal."

—Jennifer Bakos, Marketing Manager at Mayfield Robotics

The Vocal Approach

Vocal and Mayfield Robotics partnered to create a contest in-line with Kuri’s family-friendly themes, connecting with Kuri’s current audience and the untapped audiences on Vocal. Vocal’s popular science fiction community, Futurism, proved a perfect fit for the robot origin story contest.

The announcement post Kuri’s Story Science Fiction Contest provided an overview of the contest theme, rules, timeframe, and brand guidelines, while the Kuri Robot Story collection featured all qualifying submissions from creators who were accepted into the contest. Over a four week period, qualifying creators were encouraged to submit their original Kuri the Robot stories to Vocal’s moderation team, who monitored and maintained the contest.

The contest – which promotes long-form, authentic engagement between brands and consumers – leverages Vocal’s growing community of passionate creators for brand awareness, SEO, social, and brand affinity.

Kuri Robot Story

Where did Kuri, the adorable home robot, come from? Submit your Kuri Origin Stories Today! Sponsored by Mayfield Robotics.

Explore the contest
Kuri’s Contest attracted the right content creators.

The contest reached qualified creators interested in fiction, robots, and family – niche categories that were custom targeted for the campaign.

Vocal delivered the right contest for Kuri’s audience.

Kuri’s existing pre-order clients and fans were provided with connected engagement that strengthened their brand trust, awareness, and involvement with the home robot.

The stories achieved high SEO-ranking.

With more than 80 long-form submissions over 500 words in length on the topic of Kuri’s origin story, in addition to the contest assets of the announcement post and collection, Mayfield Robotics gained more quality, published content for Kuri with keywords, linkbacks, and reviews.

Kuri’s brand awareness increased.

The contest was informative, entertaining, and engaging for new and existing audiences, exposing Kuri to untapped, qualified consumers with an authentic interest in their brand.

Kuri further distributed branded stories across its own channels.

Kuri incorporated the content into its social postings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The featured winner was published on their blog and featured in the monthly email newsletter. Multiple posts featured Vocal’s contest to a total reach of 30k.

The winning story became canon for Kuri.

Vocal Creator Ashley Wentz won the contest with her original story Kari and Kuri, and the submission became the official origin story for the home robot.

"We loved partnering with Vocal's community of talented creators to bring Kuri's origin story to life! The quality of the submissions really impressed our team; particularly regarding authors' thoughtfulness in adhering to our family-friendly brand guidelines. From the beginning, we expected these stories to resonate positively within Kuri's community of customers and fans, but as the contest progressed, we were delightfully surprised by how many of our employees got involved in sharing the stories and discussing their favorites.”

—Jennifer Bakos, Marketing Manager at Mayfield Robotics

Key Takeaways

By partnering with Vocal for Kuri’s origin story, Mayfield Robotics drove awareness for its newest robot, received over 80 long-form content submissions, and received a custom-created, crowdsourced origin story from Vocal’s creator community. The contest successfully resonated with qualified Vocal creators, and increased Kuri’s reach.

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