Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interactive review posters for Avatar in the UK

These have been created by the Hyperspace division of our sister agency Posterscope:

"For the release of Avatar on Blu-ray and DVD we have created 5 audio enabled posters around the UK. By plugging in your headphones at any of the sites for the next few weeks you will be able to hear public reviews of the film and clips from the soundtrack. To record your review & get a little bit of fame simply call 07867 890841 (standard rates apply) and your recording will be sent out to each of our enabled poster sites."

There's a map here giving the five sites - my nearest one is in Tottenham Court Road.

Via Hyperspace's Electric Avenue blog

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jimmy Choo's Foursquare treasure hunt

This is a really fun way of using Foursquare.

Jimmy Choo have set up a Foursquare account, Twitter account and Facebook page for 'CatchaChoo'

They regularly move around London, checking in to Foursquare, and placing a pair of trainers nearby and posting pictures on twitter.

If anyone can find the trainers and the representative while they're still there, and confront them with the phrase "I've been following you", they get to win a pair of trainers.

I really like this because it's very straightforward, very low tech, and doesn't really need much planning or coordination. & it's fun!

Update - As Rog points out in the comments, this is similar to something done by Host for Levi's in Australia last year - only Levi's coordinated through twitter, and the Levi's reps had to hand over the jeans that they were wearing!

Another thought - does the Jimmy Choo rep get paid to visit certain places? Or at least free food and drinks? With nearly 900 followers on twitter it could drive a lot of people to the venues!

Update - 13th May - CatchAChoo was caught yesterday. Full story here. Jimmy Choo have announced that they will be repeating the game in other countries.

A stealthy fake ad for Toy Story 3

This is very clever. Pixar have created a fake ad for the Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, one of the new characters to appear in ToyStory 3.

The ad's very convincingly made, with a fake grainy VHS stripe along the bottom, and uploaded to an account called MrCrazycommercials, created about 3 weeks ago and also containing uploads of real ads.

(In fact the real product Purr-tenders is genius; plush cats, with disguises to make them look like other animals, like rabbits, dogs or mice. See the ad here)

They don't even give it away in the search tags for the Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear - lots of relevant mentions, but no mentions of Pixar or Disney:

retro old school 60's 70's 80's lotsohuggin lots huggin lotso hugging bear of commercial 1983 teddy toy 80s nostalgia plush

Mashable has more on the story, plus this fake Japanese ad for the Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear. Very clever, and reminiscent of the online treasure hunt that got people excited over Cloverfield.

Full disclosure - the company I work for works for Disney, but I have nothing to do with this campaign. (However I know people who's seen Toy Story 3, and they say it's great!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Instapaper is going to change my life

Instapaper is a service that converts online book marks into documents for portable readers.

Bookmark a story or article, in the way that you would with Delicious, and it will save it to your account. (The bookmark is stunningly easy to use - just register, and then drag it to your browser bar)

When you connect your reader (iPhone, Kindle, iPad etc), it transfers the content to the app, and is ready to you to read on the go.

There are even a couple of sites - Longform and GiveMeSomethingToRead to give you recommended articles.

Or you could use the new service Newspaper Club (when it launches) to make a small run of newspapers of your favourite articles to read on the go or give to friends. Imagine your own personal version of The Week.

But seriously, Instapaper is going to change my life.

Facebook's 'Like' button on the Levi's site

Another good example, showing how an eCommerce site can become a social site.

See the LoveFilm example here

Monday, April 26, 2010

Re-sizable banner ads for Ikea

A very good use of the technology - drag the banner to create different sized rooms - furniture appears to make the room complete.

This ad format was also used for BMW

Friday, April 23, 2010

Iron Man mashups

I've no idea if these are official. But they're very well done:

Iron Man + AC/DC + iconic movie clips = awesome.

5 in total so far here

The greatest ad campaign ever

This agency certainly ticked all the boxes for the Swedish launch fo the new Zebra car.

Watch it to the end - very satirical!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Facebook's 'Like' button

Yesterday Facebook announced a new initiative at their F8 conference, which will allow other sites to put a Facebook 'Like' button onto their pages. You can 'Like' something, and you can see which ones of your Facebook friends also 'Like' it.

Here's an example on the Love Film site (see the bottom right hand corner):

This is clearly going to be massive. I also think that it's good that they don't have a 'Hate' button - this way you can only register positive approval.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tweet For a Track

Tweet For a Track isa new DIY service for musicians and bands.

Artist upload a song, and tweet the download link.

When fans click on the download link they need to make a tweet to get the download code.

More people see the tweet and do the same.

It seems like a pretty good way to pass music around. You can see if in action by searching for the hashtag #TFAT

Guaranteed viral success

This looks like a sure thing:

Remake one 1990s novelty record, add two 70s TV stars, and an actress from Buffy, and you have...

I Like Big Butterfingers, featuring Erik Estrada, Lou Ferrigno, and Charisma Carpenter, in aid of Nestle's Butterfinger bar.

There's also a whole 'Butterfingers Defense League' thing going on...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Has twitter stopped urban myths?

Has twitter stopped urban myths?

The current travel chaos in Europe, caused by the potential danger of volcanic ash to aircraft jet engines, is creating a huge demand for news, and, you'd have thought, urban myths.

Urban myths are created in times of great worry and concern, often as cautionary tales, filling vacuums in the availability or hard facts. For example, after the 7/7 bombings in London there was a persistant myth (totally untrue) that a suicide bomber had been shot in Canary Wharf.

This week I have heard no myths about the travel chaos, I suspect because of the new structure of the 'live' web, and because people are doing their own reporting through Facebook and twitter.

These days there's no real place for the 'one of my neighbours told me...' stories, because so many people have a voice themselves. In the case of the Canary Wharf story, there would now be several twitter users in Canary Wharf debunking the story, and questioning the person who originally put it around.

Today any stories that might have been invented, or misreported would be contradicted and disproved very quickly.

Say someone started a perfectly plausible story on the lines of 'Ferries in France are demanding €300 in cash to let people on'. It wouldn't have legs these days unless it were true. (Which it isn't - I made it up).

7/7 was nearly 5 years ago. I used to think that twitter & Facebook would have stoked up the fear and hysteria; in fact it seems that they would have dissipated it.

Three quotes about mobile apps

1 - From Saturday's Financial Times:

“The app is the new 99-cent single – for kids, it’s the new currency,” says Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, maker of a US music app that has been downloaded on to 13m iPhones.

The iPod Touch is fast becoming a major device for kids, and since many of the games are free to download or cost minimal amounts is a major threat to the Nintendo DS. There's a new iPhone coming out in the summer - what's the betting there'll be a new sort of iPad Touch too?

2 - From the Techcrunch comments via the brilliant Adverlab

"Apps are just (better) websites, because they don’t have to give a shit about SEO.

Remember when we used to have web pages that were for users, not spiders? f*cking keywords everywhere drives me bananas."

Apps are a neat answer to the question of who was going to type in lots of urls into a mobile phone. An app is like a bookmark.

3 - From Jim Stogdill on O'Reilly Radar

"You aren't buying a computer when you buy an iPad, you are buying a 16GB Walmart store shelf that fits on your lap - complete with all the supplier beat downs, slotting fees, and exclusive deals that go with it - and Apple got you to pay for the building."

Apps give Apple an incredibly high level of power in the mobile ecosystem. I'm just saying...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Transforming Communications video

Another bit of self-promotion:

W've just finished this video, giving our views on the factors that are transforming communications globally.

It was initially conceived as an answer to that infuriating 'Right Here, Right Now' video that was doing the rounds last year - full of innacurate data and no sources - but it turned into an explanation of how we think the media world is changing, based on changes in technology, in people (society) and in content. If people like it, we'll make some more!

We've also posted up the script and sources here.

The video was made by the brilliant Bob Limbic - see his portfolio here.

Music by Souled.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Next Generation Media Quarterly - April 2010

Here is this quarter's presentation on Next Generation Media, part of a series that I started to produce in 2009.

The lastest presentation looks at some key stats, like the fact that a typical social gamer is a 43 year old woman, twitter is over 30 times as popular now as in 2008, and that teens in the US text ten time an hour.

Regular readers may also notice bits taken from this blog, for example yesterday's post on Promoted Tweets, plus Fiverr and Please Rob Me.

The presentation is available for download - just use the link in Slideshare at the top of the presentation to get the pdf.

The previous two presentations can be found here

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nike Grid

Nike Grid is a very clever and ambitious attempt to host an urban game in London.

Nike have selected public phone boxes across 40 post codes in London (e.g. WC1, SW4, E17 etc). Registered players have to get between them in their post code in the fastest time, dialling a number and a PIN code in each to prove that they were there. The fastest player in each post code wins, as far as I can tell.

No word on what the prizes will be yet, but as with Foursquare (and pub quizzes) the bigger the prize, the greater the likelyhood of cheating.

(The Ts and Cs specifically forbid you to share your PIN, but if you had multiple people with the same PIN you could log in at the phone boxes in no time...)

Well done Nike. They are also currently running this 'True Cities' location-based activity in several cities.

Twitter ad examples for Starbucks and Bravo

Yesterday twitter introduced a new feature, Promoted Tweets - effectively search advertising.

How it works is this - when people search for certain terms they see an ad, or 'Promoted Tweet'. The ad is in the form of a tweet - so it must be 'tweetworthy' - i.e. of interest to other people.

The tweet appears at the top of the search results, and changes colour slightly as you mouse over it. You can re-tweet or reply, as with a normal tweet.

If the promoted tweet is not interacted with it will disappear, although Twitter don't say anything about what interaction rate you need. In my examples below Starbucks has been re-tweeted 80 times and Bravo 6 times.

I also don't know the costs involved, but I hope to soon. I can imagine this being an essential part of the plan for major entertainment launches, new film trailers and so on.

Here's the example for Starbucks

(& also if you search for 'coffee')

& for Bravo

A few thoughts:

1 - It's good that it's a single ad, in terms of cutting down clutter, but if they're selling terms like 'coffee' then there will be lots of competiton for terms like movie, trailer, tickets, flight, hotel, single, album, London, New York... Kerching for Twitter.

2 - Neither Bravo nor Starbucks have tweeted all that much remarkable today - Starbucks tweet is just a pic of a coffee tasting room, and Bravo's is news on a web chat. Big deal.

3 - This will be huge once people have spent some time experimenting with different content etc.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sherlock Holmes iPad game

This is a great way to keep film fans interested between releases.

The new Sherlock Holmes film franchise (last year's film and next year's sequel) has attracted a lot of interest, and Warner Brothers have launched a new iPad game (also for iPhone and iPod Touch) to come out at the same time as the DVD.

The game (apparently) takes full advantage of the iPad's features like motion control, and includes 2 individual mysteries. I can see this being a success, Professor Layton style, and I can see them selling new adventures at regular intervals.

Monday, April 12, 2010

iAd Examples

Update - page down to see the most recent examples

Presented by Steve Jobs last week.

Essentially he thinks that mobile ads don't work, that search isn't that big in mobile, and that ads should be in the apps. The video shows an example of how this could work for Nike. Neither Nike nor their agency were involved in creating the ads.

We'll see. Yes, I agree that apps are a huge part of the appeal of the web on mobile, but it'll be a pain if you can only advertise to a small percent of mobile phone users.

More info about iAds here, and an earlier video from the same presentation here

Update - & here's the Nissan Leaf iAd:

Update - Liberty Mutual iAd

Update - Sonos iAd

Update - Dove Men+Care iAd

Update - multiple executions in this video, including the Geiko iAd and the Campbell's iAd

Update - Renault Twizy iAd (UK versions - other languages available)

Update - Tron iPad iAd

Stella Artois iAd

Update - Klondike iAd (no video version)

Update - Campbell's Kitchen iAd (no video version)

Update - McDonald's Legend of McRib iAd (no video version)

Update - State Farm iAd (no video version)

Update - Geiko iAd (no video version)

Update - BMW iAd (no sensible video version)

Update - The Switch (movie) iAd (no video version)

Duet for Ukelele and Hula hoop

Quite lovely. & very likely to be copied for an ad...

From the Spanish band Pecker

Via Metafilter

Labour's Google Annotations election video

Not sure about the overall tone, but the use of annotations is well done.

Click at various parts of the video to go to other videos dedicated to areas of policy.

The annotations even work on embedded videos - e.g. within this blog post - which is a first, I think.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's a Unicorn...

I wrote about this new project from Philips (one of my agency's clients) a couple of weeks ago: Philips has commissioned 5 film makers to each make a short film, under the banner of Parallel Lines, using the same lines of dialogue. The films are now ready, and can be seen here on the Philips site, or alternatively on YouTube.

The Philips site doesn't allow deep linking to the films, so here are YouTube links to the individual films. I'm also not going to embed them, as they really need full screen to be enjoyed properly. (On YouTube all of the films are shown on Philips ambilight TVs, which is a nice touch)

The Gift is a sci-fi film, set in Russia, Dark Room is all about watching and voyeurism, El Secreto de Mateo is about a simple deception, The Hunt is about a hunting trip that goes wrong, and Jun and the Hidden Skies is an animation about two kids and a home made spaceship.

The script is simple - just 6 lines:

What is that?
It’s a unicorn.

Never seen one up close before


Get away, get away

I’m Sorry

It's fun to see how these get fitted into each film. Finally there's a competition to make a 6th film.

Have a look!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pixar Studio Stories

A collection of animations telling stories about the making of early Pixar films.

Available on the Toy Story 2 Blu-ray, or on YouTube.


Via Slashfilm

Update - it seems that they were uploaded illegally, so have been taken down.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Kidult - Teen site by Pharrell

Kidult is a news site for American teens, fronted by Pharrell Williams.

It's pretty good. It offers a range of different topics from sport to celebrity to actual 'news'. I also really like the 'Cool Job' feature, talking to people with cool jobs about how they got started.

It's a great idea, and one that could well take off, and in that Pharrell's endorsement (& contacts for getting interviews with other notables) is very important.

Read more about it here.
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