Friday, October 29, 2010

Vouchercloud - a killer app for mobile

Vouchercloud is possibly the first bona fide killer app for smartphones; an app that everyone can see the value of.

It's an amazingly simple app - it finds your location, and then shows you which money-off vouchers are available for places near to you.  Select the voucher, then show it to the venue staff for the discount.  If you don't have GPS, you can look for vouchers alphabetically, or for by popularity.  If you don't have a smartphone you can use the SMS version.

It's free for users, as the venues pay to be on the app.  Perfect.

There are versions for the iPhone, Android, Windows 7, and Blackberry.  So far there have been nearly 1m app downloads in the UK.

Wanderfly - travel inspiration

I once heard someone at a conference say:

"Search is great, if you know what you're looking for"

Too often people don't - they want inspiration, or recommendation based on general principles.  Hence all of the 'best 10 gifts for kids' lists on shopping sites, Amazon's recommendations based on what you have bought in the past, and what other people with similar tastes tend to buy, all of the music blogs, and so on.

Wanderfly is a travel recommendation site, that gets you to set your budget, your leaving point, and then pick some of the things you're looking for.  It then returns options, including location, flights and hotels.

Have a play - it comes up with some interesting ideas.

Via the excellent Soap Creative newsletter

Earlier - Visual search for & Clerk Dogs - movie recommendations

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cheryl Cole competition using Facebook Places

This is a neat combination of an outdoor campaign and Facebook Places.

Find a post for the new Cheryl Cole album Messy Little Raindrops, and check in using Facebook.  One of the prople who checks in will win an expenses paid trip to see Cheryl at one of the X Factor shows.

From Facebook:

"There are a number of billboard posters around the country for my new album. If you see one with the Facebook logo, check in to the poster through your phone on Facebook Places. Once you've checked in come back here to enter the competition. You need to use a phone which supports Facebook Places."

More info here, and on Cheryl Cole's Facebook page

"I see no advertisement, only awesomeness"

That's a typical comment for this video by video camera company GoPro.

The small size doesn't do it justice - go to YouTube to see it full screen.

(The camera, plus a mounting unit, e.g. for a helmet, costs just less than $300...)

Via Metafilter

PS - you can even put it on a dog...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Crowdfunding Belle & Sebastian in Brazil

A colleague in Bazil sent me this great crowdfunding example.

Belle and Sebastian last played Brazil in 2001, and had no plan to play on the current tour.

5 fans from Brazil wanted them to come, so set up a site to try to make it happen.

BRL 56,000 (= USD 33,000)  needed to be raised to make the concert happen.

They got 280 people to pay BRL 200 each (=USD 120) to guarantee this; they became the founding shareholders.  140 were sold to individuals, and 140 to companies.

A concert hall with capacity of 2,000 was booked, and then the other tickets were sold at BRL 100 each (=USD 60)

This money covered the BRL 56,000 and means that the people who bought the initial 280 tickets got their money back – so got to see the show for free.

My colleagues at the agency AgenciaClick Isobar bought 40 of the initial 280 tickets - see the screengrab below.

FMCG brands and Social Media

I was recently interviewed by MBA student Randall Helms for his dissertation on how FMCG marketers use social media, as part of his studies at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

It's now finished, and very comprehensive.  In addition to talking to me, Randall spoke to over 15 other marketers, some of whom chose to remain anonymous.

You can download the dissertation over at Randall's site.  It includes a full transcript of his discussion with me, with all the Ums, Errs, and Wells included.

Randall's a great guy - check out his work!

TV drives search and social

This is a brilliant example:

British company Yeo Valley Organic have a new TV ad that they launched with a TV ad in the TV show X Factor on Saturday 9th October.

As Robin Goad of Hitwise points out in his blog post, this had a noticeable and quantifiable effect on the number of searches for Yeo Valley, and the level of traffic to the Yeo Valley site.

For example on a 12 week rolling average, searches for Yeo Valley were up 24%.  The nature of rolling averages is to flatten out spikes, so it means that on a day-by-day level searches must have absolutely sky-rocketed.

There was also a bit and measurable effect in social media.  As Nick Burcher points out on his blog, Yeo Valley quickly became a trending term on twitter - in fact the top term for London (in the midst of an eventful X Factor show) and the second biggest trending topic globally.

This all goes to show how TV and other mainstream media drives other activity like search and social.

We recently produced a report with the BBC & the Future Foundation, showing that mainstream media is very important in driving word of mouth communication - something I argued earlier in this blog post.

This is why I believe that the big media agencies will prosper in the future.  If you're planning and implementing search campaigns for a client, you need to know all about, and be involved in, other media activity like TV.

We find that if you have a TV campaign you get more clicks on your paid search links, so you can reduce your bid prices while the TV campaign is live.  If you have a separate search agency, this is much harder to do.

Similarly with social.  When you have a major paid advertising campaign people will comment on social sites, want to watch the videos on video sites, and so on, so it makes sense for the process to be as connected as possible.

Levi's Photo Workshop

Now open in New York, in Wooster Street.

It's the sequel to the Print Shop that they ran in San Francisco in the summer, and as with the print shop it's there to serve as a facility for the locals.

"Old cameras to rent, incredible studio space, provocative exhibitions, and a good mix of old and new Workshop faces will equal the perfect continuation of our Workshop dream. Your Workshop dream. It’s good to be back."

Most excellent!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nike Grid 2.0

Starts tomorrow, again in London, but this time with more postcodes (48 vs. 40, but still no SW4 - boo), more time (15 days), teams as well as individuals, and badges for completing runs.

So far just over 2,100 players have registered.

More info here.

My post about the initial event in April here.

Update - week 1 data visualised.  Very good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Swedish mobile location-based game of 'tag' - win a Mini Clubman

This is an excellent location-based game from Sweden. It's a high-tech version of 'tag'.

Download the Mini Getaway app to your phone, then use your phone to find the Mini using GPS.  If you get to within 50m of the current holder you can grab the Mini off him or her - but then you are the target and others will be after you.  If someone manages to be in possession of the virtual Mini for a whole week (which must be incredibly hard) they win a Mini Clubman.

I'm sure that there are lots of terms and conditions for this (not turning off your phone or jumping on a plane for starters), but what a thrilling idea.

Full info (in Swedish) at

I must also point out that it’s a campaign from my collegues in Carat Sweden and Suddenly Stockholm who made the iPhone app, together with MINIs creative agency JvM

Update - It's all over now - here's a video case study:

3D video for Doritos on YouTube

Another creative first on YouTube - this music video for Doritos is in 3D.

Not in the Avatar way; instead you can drag in the screen and change angles as you watch the film.

As with lots of the really advanced YouTube creativity this doesn't work embedded, so go here to see it in full effect.

Really impressive!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

QR codes and automated 'Likes'

I've long been sceptical of QR codes taking off in the West, but I think I may be changing my mind...

Two weeks ago I showed how Google have integrated a QR code generator into their URL shortener, and Bitly have quickly followed suit (click on the 'info page' link to see the QR code now generated for any link).

Now there's this example from Nike in Belgium - they have a QR code on a store window that automatically generates a 'Like' for their page on Facebook.

Very clever!

The only problem is that QR code readers have very low penetration (as far as I know) so not many can use them. What we need now is someone to integrate a QR code reader into the phone operating system (Android?  Soon?)  and I'll be eating my sceptical words with fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Hat tip - my Danish colleagues - @VizeumCph

Google - Watch This Space

New from Google in the UK is this site marketing to agencies and advertisers showing how creative, targeted, and measurable display advertising can be.

This is the video on measurement:

Nice videos, nice music, and good explanations of how display advertising can work well for brands.

Have a look around here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Buy 4 tickets to Paranormal Activity 2, download the original film for free

This is very clever, and to the best of my knowledge a first: Buy 4 tickets to see the new Paranormal Activity film (in the US) via Fandango, and get a code to download the first movie free from iTunes.

Easy to fulfil, and relatively low cost for the studio.

Currently being promoted on twitter - I'd love to see the stats for this one!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Create your own QR codes with

I've long argued that QR codes are destined to fail - not many phones have readers, other technology like Google Goggles is on the rise, etc, but now I'm ready to eat my words, because Google have created a free QR code generator.

There's a feature in Google's url shortener that let's you generate QR codes yourself.

Just paste in a URL, for example

This then generated the short code - if you then click on the 'details' link on the right hand side it gives you a QR code as well.


Next Generation Media Quarterly - October 2010

My new Next Generation Media Quarterly presentation is now online. Lots of cool stats and examples, many of which will be familiar to readers of this, and my stats blog

See other presentations in the same series here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Virgin America competition on Awkward Family Photos

Awkward family photos is one of those brilliant blogs that showcases people's own terrible photos from their childhood.  (& if you're a fan you also need to see Crap At My Parents' House)

Virgin America like it so much that they've partnered with them to create a competition to find the best 'awkward' family vacation picture.  Winners will be decided by a vote, once the judges have selected the 20 best.  Prizes include discounts on VA flights and 4 round trip tickets on any VA routes.

What's great about this is that the competition is completely in keeping with the site, and is likely to inspire the existing fans of AFP.  A few years ago brands would be ripping sites like this off; now they're paying to partner with them.

Via Under The Influence

AXA mobile app animates a newspaper advert

This is very creative!

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