Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Star Trek's Blippable TV Ad


Last night Channel 5 showed an ad for the new Star Trek film that let you use the Blippar app at the end to get additional content.

I really love new, ground breaking things, but this seems a bit over-complicated.  Since there's so much search and social interaction with TV, why not simply give people a keyword or hashtag to search for?

Not that many phones have the Blippar app; all smart phones can do search, and most have social media apps on them.

The benefit is that, as with Shazam and QR codes, you can determine exactly what link you send the phone through to.  But what you gain in this you are likely to lose in engagement levels.

More here

Friday, April 26, 2013

Conference Links - Login 2013 in Vilnius


I go to a few conferences, often to talk at them, and I've realised that it would be a good idea to summarise some of the things I see and hear.

The Login conference takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania every year.

The single best thing was Steve Wozniak's keynote.  Steve, co-founder of Apple, was an amazingly inspiring speaker, talking about how he grew up with technology in Silicon Valley - 'we were electonics kids' - and then leaving Apple to be a school teacher (with no publicity) because 'education is really cool'.

He talked about how what he was inventing when he was at school wasn't covered in any books, and were beyond the knowledge of teachers, and described these as 'inside projects', projects that existed inside you.  Incredibly inspiring - read his book iWoz.

I also found James Whelton incredibly inspiring.  James created CodeDojo, which teaches kids coding.  He started it in 2011 in Cork, and has since grown it to a movement of coding clubs around the world.  (James is only 20, but he's already done a TEDx talk - see it below).


One of the success stories of Coder Dojo is Harry Moran, a 13 year old, whose PizzaBot iPad game made it to the top of the iTunes chart in Ireland.

I also went to a few start-up sessions, where education was also a strong theme.  For example I saw companies like Skillshare, Voxy, Udemy, Bliu Bliu & CloudCampus

Finally I went to a session called 'Is there an app for everything' by Tomas Dirvonskas of Lemon Labs who showed a whole range of interesting apps & devices for measurement, including...

Shine - A bit like something out of a sci fi film.  It's a small object that you synch with your phone by putting it on the screen, and then use to track your physical activity

Vaavud - a device you plug into your phone that tells you wind speed

Cardiio - an app (again like something from science fiction) that measures your heart rate by looking at the patterns of reflection on your face

Lapka - a device that tracks your local environment

& he also told this great stat about Airbnb

As for me, I presented an updated version of this trends deck



& got a write up in this newspaper

A really good conference!  Thanks very much to the organisers, and my colleagues in the Baltics for making it all happen.

Next Generation Media Quarterly - April 2013

My new presentation is now on Slideshare, looking at key stats & stories from the past 3 months.  Find out why Airbnb loves hearts!





Thursday, April 25, 2013

LG Stage Fight

Yes, this would put you off...



Very good way of illustrating the quality of the picture.  Watch to the end!

Coca Cola's 'Ahh' Sites

I love this new initiative from Coca Cola.

They have a new theme of 'Ahh' - how you feel after drinking a Coke.  They've bought the url www.ahh.com, but also www.ahhh.com, www.ahhhh.com and so on.  Each is something designed to make you go 'Ahh'.


Each site features something weird and wonderful, for example:

Silly quizzes (Cat or Not Cat?)


Silly gifs (Cats in Coke Boxes - which is also a Tumblr)


Games (Coke Rocket)


& even an endless 'Ahh'


& that's just from 10 minutes of exploration.

Apparently there are 61 different sites, although many of them are currently pages asking for visitors to submit their own ideas.

Really engaging, and really well done.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Take a photo of the new Weetabix TV Ad on your phone for a free sample

This is incredibly clever.  Weetabix are offering a free sample of a 4 pack of their new breakfast biscuits to anyone who takes a photo of their TV ad with their phone and takes the picture into a branch of Boots.

The ad will be screened on TV tonight, and you can only go into Boots to claim tomorrow (presumably limiting the scope for fraud).

You can also see the ad below - and I guess you could take a pic of the video from here and it would still be legal.



What a great way of distributing coupons through TV.

More details here

Update - people have questioned whether you could take a picture fast enough.  Here's one that I took from YouTube on full screen, and it looks pretty similar to the pic used in the article I linked to above.


Further update - You'll notice that it says 'Available at Selected Boots'.  This does not include my local one (at the top of Tottenham Court Road) where the staff looked baffled by the whole idea.  However as a member of the public, I have no idea which the 'selected' branches are.  Great idea, but this could have been done better, I think.

Even further update - I left a comment on Weetabox' Facebook wall to tell them about my experience, and ask if there was a list of participating stores.  They then posted this link... & the store at 120 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 5AP is on this list.  Whoops.  Someone missed the memo.

Final update - I got a packet at lunchtime.  Great!


British Heart Foundation - Hate

Great storytelling for the British Heart Foundation.



Plus five supplementary videos telling individual stories about why they hate heart disease











Brilliant stuff.  Donate to the BHF here

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ship My Pants

It's a rare ad that can get 10m views in a week...


Khan Academy and Bank of America provide financial education

Bank of America has commissioned Khan Academy to produce some videos for them to explain simple financial concepts like balancing a budget and saving money.

The videos themselves aren't embeddable sadly, but you can see them here at BettterMoneyHabits.com, and you can see Salman Khan here talking about the deal.



The videos themselves aren't in the normal lo-fi Khan style, but are closer to the Common Craft style, like this one from Common Craft on borrowing money, which also isn't embeddable

(I guess that Khan has got a better brand name for partnering with)

It's good because it gives Bank of America good content from someone who's got a proven ability in clear communication, and it also follows one of my trend from last year for online education.




Monday, April 15, 2013

MTV uses Instagram voting at the 2013 Movie Awards


MTV allowed people to vote through Instagram for the Best Hero category last night.



Hashtags were published - #votehulk #voteironman #votebatman #votesnowwhite #votebilbo #votecatwoman - and fans voted by uploading pics using only one hashtag at a time.


Very smart, and lots of fun because it allowed people to be creative.  It looks like it worked, too, with 1,637,179 votes cast for the winner #votebilbo and 1,532,571 for the runner up #votesnowwhite (example below)



You can still see lots of the pics here

More on the story here

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nike on WeChat

WeChat (aka Weixin) now has 40 million users outside China, and is thought to be one of the inspirations and motivations behind Facebook's Chat Heads.

So how would brands use it?  This is what Nike did last year.


NIKE FOS WECHAT CASE STUDY from Johan Vakidis on Vimeo.

More examples here

Update - after a few days of playing with WeChat I can see that it's a lot of fun, and that for some people, particularly teens, it could quickly become essential.  You can  use it as IM, you can do video calls, leave voice messages (effectively voice IMs), and also send emoticons.  I really like this campaign by Starbucks from last year:

"To reach customers through music, Starbucks asked fans: "How are you feeling today?" They responded with an emoticon, and Starbucks answered with a song to match the mood. The chain added 270,000 WeChat friends over the four-week campaign. "We don't just push offers at you," said Marie Han Silloway, Starbucks' marketing chief for China. "We start a personal conversation.""

(I'm on WeChat as dancall - add me)

Jay-Z's Open Letter on Soundcloud

It says a lot about how Soundcloud is viewed in some quarters that Jay-Z decided to respond to critics of his Cuban trip by posting a song onto the site rather than tweeting, using YouTube or Tumblr.



His claim that the trip was approved by the government have since been denied.

(At some point I'll get around to doing more posts about Soundcloud - brands are starting to use it in interesting ways)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Brightly's Beginnings & Endings Project

I used to post a lot more about music.  My feeling is that bands are now doing less interesting things to market their music (or, maybe, the 'interesting' things that they did a few years ago didn't really work all their well, and they're now doing more conventional things)

Brightly (on Soundcloud here) are from Melbourne and are doing something that's both interesting and fun.

To promote their first album Beginnings & Endings (out this month) they've created a way of spreading the word and giving the album away for free to those who are most successful at promoting them.


Called The Beginnings & Endings Project, they have created a game based on unique access codes.

Once you register on the site you get your own code, which allows you to download the track Preflight Nerves for free.


When you share this code with your friends and followers it tracks now many visit the site to use it, and once you have 10 people who have signed in and created their own account, you get a notification that you can download the album for free.

You can see the progress of your own link against a map, using open source mapping data from Leaflet.


This is my unique link - 2kh

It's a bit reminiscent of how The XX seeded their second album, but it's a very good enhancement of it.  Very well done!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Coke Zero's March Madness on Slideshare

This is a fun stunt by Coke Zero to capitalise on the loss of productivity in American offices due to the March Madness NCAA Basketball Championships.



"No, I'm actually looking at presentations..."

Update - they're targeting men in other ways in this video
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