SCA launches The Locals’ Guide in Sydney in partnership with American Express

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has launched The Locals’ Guide in Sydney, which is a voice-activated guide, in partnership with American Express.

The announcement:

SCA today announced that following a successful trial in Queensland, The Locals’ Guide has launched as an interactive smart speaker skill in Sydney. The voice-activated guide, developed in partnership with American Express, will showcase locally owned dining and retail businesses across Sydney that form the American Express network, as part of its annual ‘Shop Small’ campaign. This will be SCA’s eleventh market providing hyper-local information via voice assistants and smart speakers.

American Express’ Shop Small movement, launched in Australia in 2013, is dedicated to connecting Australian shoppers to the small businesses that help our local communities thrive – which is now more important than ever.

The Locals’ Guide is an Australian-first, interactive, voice activated guide accessible through smart speakers with up-to-date events-based content, professionally voiced by SCA talent. The smart speaker skill is available on all Google and Alexa enabled devices, as well as via Sonos and Android Auto.

Launching in partnership with American Express, The Locals’ Guide has been customised to Sydney as it emerges from lockdown. It is the first of The Locals’ Guides to include dining and retail, allowing users to discover a showcase of locally owned restaurants and shops in areas across Sydney.

By simply asking a smart speaker or smart assistant to, “open The Locals’ Guide to Sydney”, users will be offered a curation of local events and family activities, with bespoke content featuring more than 100 American Express-accepting businesses in Sydney and its surrounds.

Users of The Locals’ Guide voice skill also have the option to instantly receive an email with a direct link to the showcased event or small business they are interested in. Alternatively, they can continue interacting with the skill to learn about other events and businesses.

Launched initially in Brisbane in March this year, The Locals’ Guide has since rolled out across Queensland in partnership with Tourism Events Queensland’s “Good to Go” campaign.

Jeanna Manifold, Head of SCA’s The Studio Brisbane and an Australian Ambassador for the global Women in Voice network said: “Since our initial launch, we’ve created thousands of smart speaker conversations with Queenslanders to showcase events and activities throughout the Sunshine State. The duration of each conversation and the rate of returning users were both much higher than we had anticipated. We’re beyond excited to bring the smart speaker skill to life in Sydney in partnership with Amex to support small businesses at this crucial time.”

Naysla Edwards, Vice President of Brand, Charge Cards and Member Experience for American Express said: “The resilience and determination small business owners have shown throughout the COVID crisis has been extraordinary. They now need all the support they can get as they embark on the road to recovery. Following its success in Queensland, we’re thrilled to help bring The Locals’ Guide to Sydney and showcase some of the best dining and retail establishments this great city has to offer.”

The Locals’ Guide to Sydney launches this week. To hear the skill in action, grab your smart speaker and say, “Alexa, launch The Locals’ Guide to Sydney” or “Hey Google, ask The Locals’ Guide to Sydney”.

The Locals’ Guide is also available as a series of shortcasts across 20 locations on the LiSTNR app.

Source: SCA media release


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