Friday, February 25, 2011

Build it!

One of the things that brands are encouraged to do these days is to build useful tools - brand utility and that sort of thing.  Don't just send messages to people, give them something that they can use to make their lives easier or more interesting.  Nike Plus, Nike's collaboration with Apple is always held up ad a great example.

A perfect non-brand example is is a site that lets you input the text of a press release, and it then finds where this has appeared in the British press (& BBC websites), and the extent to which the journalist just cut and paste from the press release.

(The phrase churnalism was coined by Nick Davies in his book Flat Earth News, to describe things that appeared in newspapers but were just regurgitated press releases)

Two great examples from the site:

A pretty spurious research study by a polling company, over 90% repeated word for word in the Daily Mail.  (See them side by side here)

A press release from the NHS, churned to a greater or lesser extent by 14 different news organisations.

Churnalism was created by the British charity the Media Standards Trust, and really brings their work and aims to life.

Far better to promote themselves and explain their values by building something like this, than produce an advertising campaign.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crowdfunding the new Rainbow Warrior

I like this plan to finance the purchase of a new ship for Greenpeace.

Pick an item, and buy it for them, rather than just selecting the random donation level that most charities ask for.  Once an item is bought, it appears in the catalogue as Sold Out.  It's a bit like a wedding list in that there are lots of small pieces (cutlery, pens), and also some bigger pieces.  So far most of the small pieces have gone, but very few of the big pieces, which might be a problem with this approach.

(Horrible, horrible site though - why can't I turn off the music, for example?)

In a similar vein, The Girl Store for The Mahindra Foundation asks you to fund schooling for girls in Africa, with pictures of the children who are being funded, and the items they need.  Once the money has been raised the girl is labelled 'Off To School'

Both of these approaches show that it's often more of an incentive to give if you can see the change you create in a practical way.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Google People Finder

Hats off to Google for this fantastic resource to help find people after today's Christchurch Earthquake.

Live after only hours, it lets you either search for people or report people's whereabouts.  More information here.

It's brilliant that Google have done this, and it shows the perfect sort of corporate social responsibility:  use your company's strengths for the good of society.

Other good CSR examples I've seen recently include:

Leo Burnett's work for the Eco Heaven Bazaar

GE's Ecomagination Photo Project

Palm's Connections - giving smartphones to non-profit organisations in the US

Ford's People's Fleet - loaning cars to non-profits in the US

& Ikea selling used furniture online in Sweden

Monday, February 21, 2011


Uniqlooks is a new site from Uniqlo, where users upload pictures of their look, taken in a very simple Sartorialist style (who in turn probably got it from ID), for others to like, and share.  Each week the site will award a look of the week, as voted for by users. (Sartorialist pics are often among the most shared online, as measured by their appearance in Bitlynews)

It doesn't need to be all Uniqlo; just one bit and you qualify.

(As for me, today I'm wearing a mix of Sunspel and Diesel, with a coat from Joseph)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Go520 - Mobile ride-sharing

I saw this on Springwise - a commuter in Seattle has set up a real time ride-sharing app, for the 520 highway about to enter a pilot phase.

Drivers with a spare seat register this, and then are linked up in real time with people wanting lifts, who are on the road ahead.

Passengers automatically pay $1 per life, plus $0.20 per mile (so a 5 mile trip costs $2).

We haven't seen all that many apps like this.  A few years ago I read about Otetsudai Networks, a real time temp agency in Japan that found people for casual jobs, based on their current location, but not that much since.  Let's hope that this imaginative idea is the start of a flood of them.

Full info on G0520 here

Porsche's Facebook 'Thank You'

This must be pretty thrilling for every one of Porsche's 1 million Facebook fans:  They've printed all of their names onto this special Porsche at the Porsche museum.

You can explore online, and search for your name.

Most excellent!

Bus Stop Derby for Yahoo

Bus Stop Derby was a very creative stunt / campaign for Yahoo that took place in San Francisco in December 2010 and January 2011.

An interactive bus stop with a 72-inch touch screen was put in each of 20 San Francisco neighbourhoods.  People would play as they waited for their bus; the neighbourhood with the highest score at the end of the campaign won a concert to OK Go in their neighbourhood.

(North Beach won, then Tenderloin, then Mission)

Full info here.  Very smart stuff!  It's not gaming for it's own sake, it's providing a genuine benefit to commuters in terms of enjoyment and entertainment.  I'd love to hear from anyone who played; do you miss it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heat MWC - conference location tracking

Google have launched a new mobile app to allow attendees that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to track where all the other delegates are.

It looks really impressive, and it shows the potential of lots of people all using location based apps.  If you're going to try this with lots of smartphone users then the MWC is a good place to do it.

More here.

Via the essential read that is Interesting Snippets

Selling The King of Limbs

Today Radiohead announced their new album, with a very minimalist post on their official site:  "Thank You For Waiting"

The post clicks through to the dedicated The King of Limbs site (a bit like Drake did last year), where, once you've selected your location, you can pre-order it for download on Saturday.

The options are pretty sparse - digital only at £6 or £9, depending on file size, and also as "the world's first* Newspaper Album" (*probably - I love the 'probably'), which is a physical package and will be delivered in May.  'Physical' buyers get the digital version to be going on with.

I love the speed of this - I love how they've effectively said 'We're ready - here you are'.  I'm sure this will happen far more; it's a good way to counter leaks and piracy too.

I wish they could have done like Lady Gaga did on Friday when she said 'Here's my new single - listen here, and download here', but I guess that there are more logistical problems with larger downloads, and they're selling it directly rather than through iTunes.  Presumably once they have the list of buyers they can stagger the emails for the download code so as to not overwhelm their servers.  & since they're selling it directly they get a larger share of the revenues.

Incidentally Gaga's tactic gave her the fastest selling single ever on iTunes.

Also - see my post about In Rainbows in 2007

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Quotables is a new site that lets you tag quotes, rather like Delicious or Pinterest.

As a way of promoting it they're letting people create their own Valentine's cards for free (UK delivery only) on the site.

I've had a play with the site, installed the Chrome bookmarklet, and it seems good.  These are my quotes, from my initial playing around.  It'll be interesting to see what sort of quotes people save; Pinterest has a very girly focus so far.

Also - follow them on Twitter

Friday, February 04, 2011

The new Old Spice ad

As seeded by uber-fan Chris Gatewood a few minutes ago.

See the earlier post for the backstory.

It's amazing how much they fit into 30 seconds!

When should I visit Tate Modern..?

This is a great idea.

The site uses data from Foursquare to see when people tend to visit attractions in London, presents it as a chart, and then allows you to see when it's likely to be less busy.  If you want to visit Tate Modern when it's not busy, go on Wednesday.

I think we need a lot more of this sort of thing.  One of the things I find frustrating about Foursquare is the lack of imaginative use of the data.

For example I'd love to see the top places in London by postcode (or more to the point, places where I'm going on holiday).  & I'd love to get recommendations for other places to go (also even better if abroad) from the places I've been to already.

Any developers out there want to collaborate on some projects?

Hat tip - Charlie Gower

Seeding the new Old Spice commercial

Old Spice are making us do a bit of work to find their new ad.

The new ad is previewed in this phone call from the Old Spice man to Chris Gatewood, the Shake and Bake Guy.

Old Spice have selected Chris as their official Superfan.  They've given him the new ad (which presumably will also be shown at the Super Bowl), and flying him to the Super Bowl as a prize.

Chris previously made this parody of the original Old Spice ad.

You need to follow Chris on Twitter; he's going to exclusively post the link to the new ad tomorrow.

So far Chris has 650 followers - let's see how many he has by this time tomorrow.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

YouTube Annotations eCommerce affiliate example

This is something I found the other day - a nice low tech affiliate campaign using YouTube annotations.

(Annotations do work when you embed the video, but you can also see it in full here - but you'll get the idea just from this post)

First pick which girl you want to dress.

Then dress her up. This is Molly

Then, if you choose the top combination:

You can click through (in the description) to buy each item.

For example, the link to the undies has had nearly 900 clicks (Yes, you can argue that the target audience aren't likely to be buying women's clothes, but hey)

You can then re-dress her, or move onto other garments like trousers, tops and dresses.

Very nicely done.
Related Posts with Thumbnails