Monday, November 25, 2013

The Book Thief 'Trailer' on SoundCloud

A nice piece of work by Fox.  It's audio only, but easily shareable.

There's also a link to a ticket page.

iBeacon Examples

We're going to start seeing iBeacons - Apple's way of communicating with phones in physical locations - in lots of places.  I'll update this post with examples as I see them.

Shopkick's trail at Macy's

More about Shopkick at Macy's

Update - this has now been extended, as of September 2014

Free access to premium magazines when in a specific location, like a bar

"Exact Editions, a London based digital publishing startup, has begun implementing Apple's iBeacon microlocation receivers to deliver location-based access to iOS Newsstand publications, reports TechCrunch. The iBeacon receivers are used as a part of the company's “ByPlace“ service, which can trigger location specific publications and other content once an iPhone or iPad is nearby. 
In the first implementation of the program, patrons of Bar Kick in Shoreditch, UK can access soccer magazine "When Saturday Comes" and style magazine "Dazed & Confused" free of charge while at the bar, with the apps reverting to regular subscription status once out of range of Bar Kick's iBeacons."

More about this implementation here

Apple is using them to guide people around their 254 US Apple stores

"GPS will tell you how to get to the nearest Apple store. With iBeacon, Apple hopes to guide you around once you're inside, whether it's to pick up an order, upgrade to a new iPhone or shop for a pair of headphones.
On Friday, Apple Inc. will begin using the technology at its 254 U.S. stores to send you messages about products, events and other information — tailored to where you are inside, provided you have downloaded the Apple Store app and have given Apple permission to track you.
Using the iBeacon feature, the app will notify you if the computer you ordered is ready to be picked up, for example. Show a clerk your screen with the order number, and the clerk will get it for you. Walking by an iPhone table? You may get a message asking if you want to upgrade, check your upgrade availability and see if you can get money for trading in your old phone."

More about this implementation here

A demo of mobile payment, enabled by iBeacon in Turkey

“iBeacon technology which is developped with Apple licence has three components. First, iBeacon emulators placed at the stores. Second, Apple’s iOS7 operating system compatible mobile wallet application. And last, the entegration between iBeacon and the iPhone4S and later models. iPhone4S and later models mean 200 million handhelds in the world. iBeacon sends various personalized notifications to these handhelds ranging from greetings to promotional information. For example, when the system realizes a user entering the store, it greets them with notifications like “Welcome!”; other personalized notifications aiming to simplify user’s life follow. One of the most significant features of iBeacon technology is enabling mobile payments. We tested the first mobile payment with iBeacon in Turkey and Europe at Lavazza Cafe located in Vodafone Turkey and it was successful. We are proud to inform you on this achievement.”

More about this implementation here

A Scavenger Hunt at CES 2014

CES 2014 in Las Vegas in January will feature an iBeacon Scavenger Hunt.  It works with the official CES app, and delegates will be guided to various parts of the venue.  Those who visit all of the spots, as tracked by the iBeacons, can win prizes:

"Attendees at the 2014 CES who download the CES Mobile App on iOS or Android devices will be encouraged to explore all areas of the show through the scavenger hunt and will collect badges for each iBeacon they encounter. Specific scavenger hunt instructions are included in the CES App. The first three verified players who collect all of the available badges will be rewarded with a special prize from CES, available for pick-up in the Press Room at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), South Hall Connector, Room S229, during normal operating hours. A limited number of prizes will be available for others who complete the hunt throughout the week."

Not quite sure how this will work with Android devices!  More about this implementation here

inMarket's integration with its app, in Safeway and Giant Eagle Grocery Stores in the US

"The company, which offers a number of shopping and retail apps, is equipping several Safeway and Giant Eagle grocery store entrances with the tiny beacons in an effort to increase interaction between retailers and shoppers with smartphones. The initial launch is limited to various locations in San Francisco, Seattle, and Cleveland, and inMarket plans to expand to other markets and retailers as its campaign continues.
With inMarket’s approach, the iBeacon experience is the same across various retailers as the beacons interface with inMarket’s coupon and reward apps rather than apps specific to the store like in the Apple Store’s case."

More about this implementation here

Mobile payments are being trialled

"Marble Slab Creamery and Moe’s Southwest Grill will be among retailers who soon will offer mobile payments enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy beacons.
As part of iMobile3′s update of its PassMarket platform, participating retailers will be able to add gift card purchases and mobile payment passes to their existing loyalty and rewards programs. Mobile payments are slowly gaining ground and retailers are looking to replicate successful mobile payment programs, such as the popular Starbucks’ one."

Read more about this implementation here

A WSJ report on iBeacons in Baseball stadiums

Update - 19th February - They're coming in pretty thick & fast now - here are links to the most recent:

New York restaurants testing payments through beacons and the Dash app

Tulip Land (!) theme park in the Netherlands uses iBeacons to provide visitors with extra information

Rubens House in Antwerp uses iBeacons to enhance visitors' experence

iBeacons used to send out information about the Super Bowl advertisers in New York & New Jersey

Headcount app uses beacons to let event organisers see attendance figures

iBeacons used with Swirl in the Alex & Ani stores to target information at shoppers

Weve trials beacons in the UK with the pouch app and Eat sandwich stores

Beacons used to sell seat upgrades at an NBA stadium

Placed has an app that let's people use beacons at home - e.g. to do different things in different rooms

Conde Nast's Epicurious is going to use them to send alerts, in participating retailers

French online seller Vente Privee is rolling them out to 1,500 retail locations

Shopping malls in Australia are using them

Mirai Resu restaurant in Japan is using them in tables

Tesco in the UK is experimenting with them for customer service

The UN is using them in a New York museum to simulate land mines

Brazilian teachers are using them to take attendance records

Beacons were used at the Coachella music festival

Beacons were used at SXSW

BeaconCrawl - A bar crawl-cum-scavenger hunt in New York

Beacons are being integrated into Wales' National Slate Museum in Snowdonia

Beacons facilitated a Faberge Easter Egg Hunt

Beacons are being used at the Tribica Film Festival in New York

Carrefour has a new store in France which uses about 200 beacons for indoor geoloaction to 2m accuracy

Tzukuri sunglasses have beacons built in to help owners find them if misplaced

Virgin Atlantic is using beacons at Heathrow airport

Walgreens Piloting iBeacon at 10 Duane Reed Locations

Waitrose trials iBeacons, 'grazing' areas and juice bars at experimental Swindon store

iBeacons used at Duane Reade pharmacies in New York

'More than 100 stores in Regent Street, London have beacons

Meadowhall near Sheffield is using iBeacons to send out vouchers during a special shopper event
See an example here

iBeacons used at Leinster's RDS stadium in Dublin

Beacons used in conjunction with the Brixton Pound in 'London’s huge Brixton neighborhood'

Beacons are being used in Odeon cinemas in the UK to welcome people to the cinema, and provide special offers

Easyjet is introducing integration with iBeacons in its iOS app

Marriott International is testing beacons as part of its reward programme

Levi's is using them in outdoor ads

Analytics from 100 beacons at Bonnaroo music & arts festival in Tennessee

Start-up SnipSnap is using Beacons to send coupons to shoppers' phones in the US

Bluetooth could be used to help guide the blind around London underground stations

A scavenger hunt in a baseball stadium

Tesco & IPC in the UK - offers for discount magazines

John Lewis (UK) has invested in a Beacon  start-up

Regent Street in London has an iOS app that uses Beacons

Beacons have been installed in Miami Airport

Sky Bet is testing Beacons at Football League grounds

Bookatable used Beacons at the London Restaurant Festival

Case study - American Eagle shoppers who use ShopKick were sent a push notification when they entered the store, saying they'd get 25 points for trying an item on - people who did were twice as likely to buy something than people who didn't

Beacons are being tested to target location-based ads at people riding on buses

Nivea & Coca Cola are using Beacons in Brazil

Facebook is testing Beacons in New York to give users Place Tips

Aftonbladet & Unilever use Beacons for retargeting in Stockholm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ryan Gosling Day at Asos

Today is Ryan Gosling's Birthday, and Asos have created this page in his honour.  It's basically raining Ryan Gosling.

I think this is fun, and pointlessly fun, but Ryan is clearly a big deal on the site when you see how many different looks have been created around him and his style.

They are the top result (for me anyway) for the term 'Ryan Gosling get the look'

& Asos' house band (!) also played a song in tribute to him

Durex' ad for Singles Day in China

I'm told that this is genuine - and that the text reads 'Just because you're single... doesn't mean you aren't sexy'

More background on the ad and Singles Day (11/11) here

Singles Day was bigger than ever in China this year, with $5.7bn spent on Alibaba's online stores

Friday, November 08, 2013


A lovely ad for an American Veterans charity Degage Ministries:

Update - nearly 14m views for the video in just over a week.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The first ad on Instagram

Michael Kors was the first brand to advertise on Instagram, with the picture below posted to its own account, as well as to some accounts that weren't followers.

The brand's pictures normally get between 20,000 and 60,000 likes, and this one has had over 200,000 but I'm not sure whether this is due to the increased reach, or the fact that it's the first ad.  (Probably a mix of the two).  There were also far more comments, with some being negative.

This is how it looked as an ad, with a 'Sponsored' note on the top right hand side

Update - it added 33,000 new followers

Friday, November 01, 2013

Tweet a Coffee to a friend

Tweet a Coffee is a new featured offered as a partnership between Twitter and Starbucks in the US.

If you have a Starbucks card you can link it to your Twitter account and very simply send a friend a voucher for $5 credit, by Tweeting @ them.  Full details in the video below, and on this page as advertised by this Tweet:

I think this is Twitter's first foray into payment, and I expect there to be many more, given founder Jack Dorsey's obvious skills and connections in this area.  He owns Square, who has launched Square Cash, which lets you transfer money simply by emailing.  It's pretty much the same thing, but letting you do it by Twitter will make it seem more immediate.

Another thing:  Starbucks accounts for 90% of US mobile payments, according to this report.


I love the 'Peanuts' Instagram account - it's a great way to get the brand in front of a whole new generation.

They post a couple of times a day, with a mix of pictures and video, and have made a big deal of Halloween, as you'd expect.

Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, was recently named as the 3rd highest earning dead celebrity after Micahel Jackson & Elvis.
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