Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

*That* GPS Hoax

Why do people do these things? Why do they think they can still get away with faking?

A couple of days ago my friend Charlie posted a story and video of a cool university project that someone had done, getting DHL and a GPS tracker to create a drawing on the world - the world's largest drawing.

So far so good - it was a nice idea, and the picture was better than you'd expect.

But... People started questioning the feasibility of the project - would DHL fly in loops to create the hair, can you track a GPS device when it's being carried in a plane, and so on.

Finally (over a week after the video was posted on YouTube) the artist admitted that it was all a hoax in a small comment at the bottom of his site - "This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time"

Which all begs the question of when DHL got involved, and whether they had considered the backlash when people realised that this was a fake. In a statement to The Daily Telegraph they claim that Erik Nordenankar, the artist, was only granted access to their warehouse for filming - but were they aware of the buzz that this was creating for DHL, and also that he featured a delivery schedule on his site, and a picture of himself with a handful of delivery dockets?

A chart from Trendpedia shows that it helped DHL get higher levels of buzz than they've had at any point in the previous 3 months - but this may now be less of a good thing.

UPDATE - the artist has now said that this was a personal graduation project - so it seems that it was never intended as any sort of promotion for DHL

Friday, May 23, 2008

World's Worst War

This campaign from Japan is amazing. I was alterted to it by the Faster Future blog, and everything I read about it intrigues me more.

Tomi Ahonen digs deeper - Tahato is a Japanese snack food maker. They launched two new snacks in Ocdtober last year, "Tyrant Habanero Burning Hell Hot", and the "Satan Jorquia Bazooka Deadly Hot".

Tohato's agency, Hakuhodu, created a campaign for the launch that effectively created an mobile massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), enabled through QR codes.

Each pack had a QR code on it, representing the two sides, Tyrant and Satan. Players chose their team, then scanned in the code and could start playing. They advanced through the ranks of players by recruiting other players to join (the agency actually calls this their pyramid scheme...), and could then choose from 31 battlefields to play against the other team.

The actual battles happened online at 4am, when the network was quietest. Players became obsessed, discussing strategies online, using social networks. The campaign generated 100,000 page views per day, with a news alert system telling players what was going on in the games, including who had died, got promoted or whatever, and which team wom different battles.

This is an absolutely revolutionary campaign in it's use of media and engagment among the players. Not surprisingly Hakuhodu won a Yellow pencil at the D&ADs.

You can see a (very OTT) D&AD submission film here.

The film ends, rather ominously with the news "World's Worst War 2 - Coming Soon!"

Live Mobile Ad Requests

This is a great illustration of how mobile advertising is finally taking off. (In digital media the joke is that mobile taking off is always 'about 18 months away').
This live interface shows mobile ads being served (requested) in real time around the world, on the AdMob Network. The pointer appears to show the location of the viewer of one of the thousands of ads being served every second, toghether with which handset it went to, while the dial on the right hand side shows the number of ads being served per second.

OK - 2,000 ads per second isn't high, compared to the internet - but it is higher than it used to be, and this is a great demonstration of the vibrancy in mobile media.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Design a boot for Dr Martens

I like this new Dr Martens competition, to encourage artists around the world.

Artists are given a boot template to put their design on, then other site visitors vote on the best ones. Artists are encouraged to get their friends to vote - a vote for 'love it' counts for 3 points, and 'hate it' counts for minus one. People can only vote on each boot once per day. Visitors can also embed designs on their own sites, comme ca:

There are two boot templates - 8 holers and 14 holers - and two winners will see their boot design go on sale worldwide. One winner is chosen by the public vote, and another is chosen by a panel from the fashion industry.

There are currently over 7,600 designs on the site (which is pretty incredible). UPDATE on 30th May - now over 10,000 entries!

Monday, May 19, 2008

GTA4 User Generated

I love these two user generated GTA4 clips. The first is a trailer, but with other (better) music:

& the second is a Conan O'Brien re-voicing, showing the game moving into the mainstream culture in America. Well - it did sell $500m worth in the first week. (This clip is likely to get pulled - if it does just search for Conan GTA)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Keith Richards' London for Louis Vuitton

One of the things I'm asked for most frequently is good examples of luxury brands using digital media. So I'm pleased to be able to present this new campaign, and slightly older site, for Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton are famous for their luggage, so how better to promote it than really high quality films (think: stuff you would actually bother to watch on TV) featuring iconic celebs talking about their favourite journeys.

The most recent is Keith Richards talking about various parts of London.

Trailer here

The main site features 8 videos of Keith talking about different parts of London, including Soho, Tin Pan Alley (I love this one, partly because it features the shop in Denmark Street where I have guitar lessons), Hyde Park and The Thames.

Others in the series include Mikhail Gorbachev, Catherine Deneuve, and a double act of Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.

Really engaging and well produced films!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ricky Gervais in GTA4

One of the things you can do in GTA4 is go to a comedy club, and see Ricky Gervais.

Apparently Ricky was filmed with sensors attached, and then turned into a GTA character. He looks pretty different (thinner?), but you can kind of tell it's him.

Great idea, but not great comedy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I've finally bought an Asus eee

I finally got round to buying an Asus eee today, and it's excellent. Easy to set up (that is, it does it all itself) and pretty easy to connect to wifi too. Keyboard is a bit tiny, but workable, and blogging is very easy. Highly recommended, and great value for 200 quid...

It can even cope with the iPlayer!
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