Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nokia Shorts - The Winners

I've written before about the Nokia Shorts competition on Vimeo, to promote the Nokia N8.  My agency, Carat, helped to set the competition up; it's brilliant to see that the entries have been so good.

Here is the winner - it's by JW Griffiths, and it's absolutely stunning:

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Read about how the film was made here.

See all the 8 finalists here.

All 8 winning films will be shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

World of Fourcraft

World of Fourcraft is a Foursquare hack that turned New York into a game of Risk.  (Via Mashable)

Players could select a team, and then then game worked out who controlled each neighbourhood by seeing how many players of each allegiance were in each neighbourhood.

It's very clever, and lots of fun.  It's only played by about 100 people, but forgetting that for a moment, it shows that people unconnected with Foursquare found a way to use the platform to make it more fun.

I think that 'fun' is central to the appeal of lots of things.  These days I seem to go to Facebook out of obligation (reminders, messages from places or groups I haven't visited in ages) whereas Twitter and Instapaper are fun.  Think about it - Facebook is for routine normal stuff, Twitter is for seeing if Wayne Rooney has posted any more pics of his hair transplant.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peugeot do 'Touch The Truck' online

Fun stuff from Sweden, for Peugeot.

Players had to stay focussed on the car, performing random tasks that came up, to ensure they were still paying attention.

A much more low-tech version of the Burger King 'Whopper Lust' stunt - had their agency seen the Peugeot work..?

Via Simply Zesty

Friday, June 24, 2011

Homeplus virtual store in Korea

Another very smart use of mobile in Asia - this time for Homeplus (Tesco).  They created a virtual store that people could shop at, by scanning the QR codes below the pictures of products.

Via Adverblog

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roamler - mobile help for small tasks

Roamler is a mobile app (currently in beta) that allows people to sign up to perform small tasks based on their location.  It's kind of a cross between Zaarly, a mobile marketplace for services, and Fiverr, where people perform small tasks for $5.

It's also very reminiscent of the Japanese service Otetsudai Networks, which mapped people with free time to people who needed casual staff, based on their location.  (I remember that one became a real presentation cliche for a while, not least in my own presentations).

Roamler is currently only available in the Netherlands, but the potential is enormous.

Here's one possible use of Roamler, once it gets to a decent number of users.  Someone who runs a website might want a picture of a local bar that they can use without any legal issues.  They put the call out for someone locally to take a picture of it, and send them the picture. Once they get the picture, and they approve it, they make the payment.  Another use might be to make sure a store in another city has one of your products in stock, and prominently displayed.

I love all this stuff.  Once lots & lots of people have location enabled phones, we're going to see some fantastic ways of working.

Hat tip - Springwise

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

McDonalds NFC coupons in Japan

Near field communication or NFC is gaining quite a lot of interest at the moment.  NFC is a way of communicating digitally by physical touch - for example tapping into a public transport network or an office entry card system.

Colleagues at the Posterscope ran this campaign for X-Men:  First Class a few weeks ago - you could tap onto the poster to download the trailer and more information.

In Japan they've been using NFC for a few years now, and since their NFC chips are often tied to payment details, they can use it for couponing and payment.

A colleague sent me this example by McDonalds from last year:

"The “Kazasu Coupon,” is a loyalty program offered by McDonald’s restaurants in Japan as part of a joint venture with DoCoMo.

Subscribers download coupons over the air just as they have done for years from McDonald’s Japan’s high-traffic Web site, which customers access both by phone and PC. But instead of showing the coupon on the phone screen to the clerk and paying with cash, customers can place their orders, redeem their coupons and pay the tab–all with just one or two taps of their wallet phones. The customers can punch in their food and drink orders on their handsets while waiting in line or even before leaving home.

All of the nearly 4,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan are equipped with contactless readers. According to a Japanese media report, 4.5 million subscribers had signed up for the Kazasu Coupon offer as of August 2009, less than 18 months after the launch of the program."

You can see the Japanese McDonalds page here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Intel's 'The Escape' YouTube game

Intel The Escape is probably the most sophisticated game I've ever seen you YouTube.

Created on YouTube by Intel for Asian Pacific countries, you play a secret agent.  You have to solve puzzles and play games to get through the video.  It all fits together seamlessly.

Have a look at the screengrabs, and then play here.

Appsplash - Apps made simple

Appsplash is a new product from the mobile company Rippll.  It allows people to make their own apps simply, and at low cost.

So many things are coming together to make mobile simple for marketers to use!

Search by Image

New this week - Google Image Search - you can now search by uploading an image.  Go here, and click on the 'camera' icon.

To test it I uploaded this picture of a piece of street art in East London.  I named the picture Pic1, so that Google couldn't get any info from the name.

This was the result.

Clearly there are some issues with the 'visually similar images' it's turning up at the bottom, but the results at the top...  Very, very impressive!

(Although I hate to think what uses people will have found for this within a couple of days)

Whopper Lust - Whopper giveaway on DirecTV

Very clever work for Burger King.  CP+B have set up a special Whopper channel on the American satellite network DirecTV.

Simply keep staring at the rotating Whopper.  The longer you stare, the more Whoppers you can win.  Prompts on screen test you to check you're still paying attention.

Apparently they've given away 50,000 already.  More screengrabs here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Giraffe use QR codes to promote their new Soho restaurant

Spotted last week:  Restaurant chain Giraffe are using this QR code to promote their new Soho restaurant Giraffe Bar & Grill.

The code is on their site, and also on a board outside the restaurant.  In Soho there must be a pretty high level of awareness of QR codes.

While the code stays the same, they can change the offer each day - for example today it is this:

Another sign that QR codes are starting to take off!

Zaarly - a mobile marketplace for services

Zaarly is a new mobile-based marketplace for services.  Post what you want someone to do, how much you're willing to pay, when you want it, and then other people can pitch.  It's location based, and a sign of how the world could be once smartphone ownership is at a critical mass amongst groups.  (It already is in some cases - comScore report that over 60% of 25-34s in the UK now have a smartphone.

Launched nationally in the US less than a month ago, they are now claiming that $1m worth of transactions have been posted.

It seems that initially they thought it would be idea for people trying to find things like tickets to sold out events, but now they're focussing more on services - see the video below.

They've even set up a Tumblr to showcase the good experiences users have had.

Clearly there are going to be some problems - finding someone to paint your house (trusting them with keys etc) has a lot more associated risks that buying something from eBay - but it looks like it could be a winner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daily Mail create dedicated channel for Paddy Power using Grapeshot

One feature of digital media, compared to linear, analogue media is the ability to create new channels within existing content.  You no longer need to advertise on a specific page or placement - the technology can find content for your campaign independent of editorial boundaries.

A friend at Grapeshot, the contextual targeting company, recently showed me this great example for Paddy Power.

Paddy Power signed up Imogen Thomas, the former Big Brother contestant linked to Ryan Giggs, for a recent campaign.

They wanted the ads to appear in The Daily Mail only in content that was relevant to the story - so pages that mentioned Imogen herself, Giggs, MP John Hemmings, Paddy Power, and Giggs' wife Stacey.

(Imogen's association with Ryan Giggs was revealed by Hemmings, but the legal injunction still stands, so she cannot talk about him directly)

Grapeshot gave the Mail the ability to automatically create an advertising channel consisting entirely of this content - and allowing Paddy Power to be the only advertiser.

Very clever, and a good example of how new targeting capabilities.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Creating Scarcity

One way to make something seem attractive is to make it more scarce.  If people think they might not be able to get it, they'll want it even more.

Luxury brands have done this for years, as have artists, and it's a major part of the business model for companies like Groupon and Teefury that offer things for one day only.

Now VW is doing it for the launch of the new Beetle - the first model to go on sale is this very attractive looking Black Turbo launch edition.  Only 600 are available.

Expect a press release very soon to say that all have been sold.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

PepsiCo 10 - a Case Study

PepsiCo 10 is a business incubator project from Pepsi.  Originally launched last year in the US, it aims to find innovative start-ups to fund and mentor.  It positions Pepsi as an innovative company, and also (I assume) gives then first dibs on the technologies that they are supporting.

It's now coming to Europe - here is the announcement:

But how does it work?  Here's a case study.

BreakoutBand is a social media music game.  Create a track using the tools on the site, then release it, and watch it climb in the charts.

Splash Video from BreakoutBand on Vimeo.

Pepsi Max used BreakoutBand to create a contest at SXSW 2011, as both an online and live experience.

As it says in the case study "BreakoutBand participants engaged with the branded music experience for 
an average of 29 minutes and 60 percent shared their beats on Facebook"

This song was the winner.  Nice 'pouring' sounds at the end!

(Here's another competition that BreakoutBand have run with Old Navy)

Good luck to any companies from Europe.  I think it's great that PepsiCo are doing this, and I look forward to more innovative uses.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Groupon Now

Groupon Now is a mobile app that let's people see offers near to them.  It gives you two options - I'm Bored and I'm Hungry, and then finds either diversions like classes or spa treatments, or food deals near to you.  So far it's only available in some cities in the US.

It also works as a platform for businesses.  As the video shows, if you run a cafe and it's having a quiet day you can turn on a deal, attract more customers, and then turn if off again.  It's like a more flexible version of Vouchercloud.

I'm pretty bearish on Groupon overall - they're so reliant on flakey or dishonest local businesses, and bad experiences seem to be mounting up - but this is an excellent idea.

Also - a long article about Groupon in today's Guardian.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Turning a customer complaint into social capital

This - from the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain in Austin Texas.

1.4m views in 7 days.

Full story on their blog here.

Related - Kermode & Mayo's Code of Conduct

"No mobile phone usage.  At all"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Selling Super 8 on Twitter

The new Steven Spielberg & JJ Abrams film Super 8 opens this week in the US.

Interestingly Twitter has been the focus of the marketing this week.

Yesterday they bought the trending topic #Super8Secret to promote some special free advanced screenings.

The url linked through to this site:

Input the password MINT and you got to this page:

There were only a few screenings, and the places were snapped up very quickly.

Then the official account started tweeting this message:

The url directed people to this site to buy tickets to screenings in over 300 cinemas across the US.

It's a pretty good way of creating a buzz.  Oh - and it shows the role Twitter is playing now.  4 years ago this would have been done through MySpace...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Snoop Dogg's Fragrance Rebel

Snoop Dogg knows how to make money... Or is spreading himself too thin.

Whichever way you look at it, this is pretty smart.

The more 'Likes' a Fragrance Rebel product gets on his Facebook page, the lower the price gets, up to 300 'Likes'.  Users can then buy directly from the Facebook page.


See also - Uniqlo products fall in price the more tweets they receive

Find your Doggelganger

Doggelganger is a site created by Pedigree Petfoods to promote canine adoption in New Zealand.

Simply upload your photo, and it matches you with the perfect dog from their registry.

If I lived in New Zealand I'd be straight down there to collect Grace - she looks adorable.  (If I lived in New Zealand I'd presumably have the space for a dog!)

(The site seems to indicate that it's been around since 2009.  No idea how this has suddenly become popular again.  I heard about it from Metafilter)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Kaiser Chiefs let fans make & sell their own Kaiser Chiefs' Album

Very, very clever, not to say innovative.

The Kaiser Chiefs have recorded 20 tracks for their new album, The Future is Medieval.  Fans can create their own album by selecting 10 tracks, designing a cover, and then downloading for £7.50.  Then they can sell it to other fans, making £1 profit on every copy sold.  Apparently the idea came from lead singer Ricky Wilson, and his friend, copywriter Oli Beale.

The screen grabs show the different steps in the process:

See some of the albums already on sale here

I don't know how many fans will actually do this, but it's really, really smart.

Via Rubbishcorp

More info in the FT here

Update - here's the case study - a lot about exposure & likes, nothing about how many albums were made or sold...

Update - the Kaiser Chiefs now think it backfired a bit:

"But seemingly only hardline fans (of which the band has less these days) were really interested, and the promotion overshadowed the proper release of the album a few weeks later. So much so, the band wish their label had waited until now to release the record containing their preferred ten tracks, when they could possibly have enjoyed some more coverage.
The band admitted to the Daily Star that the digital promotion had overshadowed the subsequent release of the album proper, so that many people didn’t know the actual record was available. Frontman Ricky Wilson continued: “Our record label wanted to release the CD in time for festival season so that everyone knew the new songs. I can see that logic, but I’d have waited to release the CD until now, once everyone got their heads around the digital release”."
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