Friday, January 27, 2012

Things I Love - Friday 27th January

This video of a Lego Man sent into (near) space by two Canadian teenagers.  Full story here.

The amazing 'log cabin' effect for the Circus shop in Brixton Village, achieved by using cardboard tubes.

'Bon Joviver'

This clip that a Hungarian colleague sent me:  It's like a clip from an unseen Reeves & Mortimer show.  Jaw Dropping!

There's a whole meme around it, including this Prodigy version

Putting ads on pictures

Vibrant media just bought Image Space Media, which means that Image Space's technology, which allows publishers to put ads onto online pictures, in a contextual way, could spread.

Have a look and see what you think:

In-Image Advertising in 90 Seconds from Image Space Media on Vimeo.

I find Vibrant's text ads pretty annoying.  They make a box jump up if you mouse over a random word that they've managed to sell, like 'power' generally completely out of context.  However if this is done well, a bit like the relatively unobtrusive YouTube ads it could take off.

The return of Ferris Bueller

This is a teaser for a Super Bowl ad.  Please let the full ad be good!

There's so much excitement on the internet for this.  If it's bad it'll rebound badly on which ever brand it is.  I think I'd forgive most sins if Alan Ruck was in it too, though, or Mia Sara, or Ben Stein...  What's the betting Ben Stein does a voiceover..?

(Although I always thought that American Beauty worked pretty well as an unofficial sequel, with Kevin Spacey as Ferris)

Update - Here's full ad.  It's a shame that it's for something as dull as a new Honda, but there are some nice touches.  No Alan Ruck though.

The ad is to promote what Honda are calling a 'Leap List' - like a bucket list, but a list of things you want to do before you make the 'Leap' into full adulthood.  You can submit your own Leap List in their competition at

Oh - and there's a Seinfeld one for the Acura

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Next Generation Media - January 2012

This is my most recent Next Generation Media Quarterly presentation, showing examples and stats that have really impressed me over the past 3 months.

Take a look!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vicks use clever targeting based on 3 types of data

This is very smart, and shows how brands can use the new sorts of data that are available to them.

Vicks used historical data from Google Flu Trends (see earlier) to predict which areas were most likely to be affected by flu outbreaks.  They then advertised their Behind Ear Thermometer on mobile apps in these areas, but only to mothers, where they could identify them.

So they:

Constructed a model using historical search data
Advertised within apps, using geo-targeting
Chose apps that had collected user data, like Pandora, to target further demographically

Full info on Springwise

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MINI - Fan The Flame & Burn The Rope

A very clever bit of work from MINI at the Brussels Motor Show.  A MINI Countryman was put on a slope, kept in place by a strong rope.  A burner was put under the rope, and each time the page was Liked on Facebook a flame came out.  The person who sparked the flame that eventually burnt through the rope got to win the car.

Very good!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things I Love - Friday 20th January

This frustrated letter from Douglas Adams, desperately trying to get in touch with an elusive movie exec regarding Hitchhikers Guide.  That's how to do sarcasm.  (I don't know if the call ever came)

A video of a year, with one short clip for each day. I love this even though I don't know any of the people. If this were one of my friends I'd love it far, far more. (& it's already 20 days too late to do this myself for 2012)

2011 from hey_rabbit on Vimeo.

The delicious chickens from Fosse Meadows Farm, available at various London farmers' markets.  Yes, it's more expensive, but these chickens are properly free range; they have muscles where supermarket chickens don't!  Never buying a supermarket chicken again.

'Hello' in movie clips - we all love this, right?

Hello from ant1mat3rie on Vimeo.

The Guardian's Guardipedia stunt for the day of the SOPA Wikipedia outage.  A great way to have fun with the readers.  Readers had to send in questions, the Guardian guy had to try to answer them.  Qs got increasingly random and surreal!

VW's Star Wars Dogs

Great stuff.  I LOL-ed.  Wonder what's coming next?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop PIPA and SOPA

A very persuasive film made by American web entrepreneurs, including Foursquare

Our Internet from Engine Advocacy on Vimeo.

Get involved here.


Invite Codes Available for Roamler

I first wrote about Roamler last year.  Roamler is a mobile network that lets you request or perform small tasts, for free or for payment.  For example you might someone to provide a picture of how your product is being displayed in a certain branch of Tesco, or even to promote your product in an unusual way.  Roamler can facilitate these (and many more) sorts of things.  Roamler was launched in the Netherlands last year, but now it's available in London, for invited users only.  So far it's only for the iPhone 3G, 4, or 4S

Watch the video to see more.

Roamler explanimation from Roamler on Vimeo.

I have some invites - please send me a DM on Twitter (if we're already connected) or @ me - I'm @DanCall

(I don't have any invites any more!!!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Find your worth to advertisers with VisualDNA

Data provider VisualDNA have an interesting quiz on their site called What Am I Worth?

It takes you through about 20 questions on your online shopping choices and what you're likely to be buying online, and then gives you an estimate of your value to companies wanting to market to you.  You can then sign up to receive ads where you get a cut of the affiliate payment.

It's interesting.  I'm not worth that much because I haven't got a car, and am not looking to switch utility providers or make any big purchases in the near future.

(I heard about it through Richard Wilson's slightly Monkey Tennis programme last night looking at the increasing automation that consumers face, from automated phone services to self checkout in supermarkets, to online cookies tracking your movements)

'Like' Kahlua when you watch The Big Lebowski on Facebook

I found this little snippet in an FT story on how Lion's Gate is using Facebook for film rentals.  If you rent The Big Lebowski to watch on Facebook, you can 'Like' Kahlua while you watch the film:

"Other films have also taken product placement to a new level, offering viewers the opportunity to “like” consumer products that appear in the film. When the main character in The Big Lebowski makes a white Russian, viewers can “like” Kahlua, which then allows Kahlua to deliver free marketing messages to that person’s news feed."

(Article here)

I haven't done it, so I'll take the article's word for it.  It's pretty clever, and I think for many people it could even add to the enjoyment of watching the film.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Things I Love - Friday 13th January

This video by A Place To Bury Strangers made by using different Instagram images spliced together.  Yes, I know The Vaccines did it first, but this one tells a story

A Place to Bury Strangers "So Far Away" from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

The Opera Tavern's 'password protected' secret burger.  A great use of passwords in the real world!

The film The Artist.  If I see another film as good as this year I'll be very happy.  An instant classic.

BBC4's series The Story of Musicals.  Brilliantly done, a kind of alternative cultural history of the UK.  I don't even like musicals very much, but this series is fascinating.  Also, I never knew that Brian Blessed was in the original stage production of Cats.  Bizarre.


Earlier this week Microsoft announced that they'd be holding a competition at CES in Las Vegas - could your phone perform certain tasks quicker than a Windows phone?  If your phone is faster you won $100; if theirs was faster you had to admit, on camera, that you got #SmokedByWindowsPhone.

It's a pretty bold move, and one that shows that they're confident of their technology.

Watch one of the videos here -

They won 88% of the challenges - but it adds veracity for them to admit that they sometimes got beaten.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Graham Coxon curates a line up of local bands for his tour

Graham Coxon recently revealed details of a new album, A+E, and tour.  For the tour, he wants to find local bands to support him at each date.

His website lets you select a date, then nominate a band.  Others can then watch the videos and vote on the bands.  The final choice is Coxon's (hilarity would no doubt ensue otherwise) but the votes give him a steer as to the popularity of the different acts.

For example The Spitfires currently have the most votes to support him at The Forum in London:

This is such a good, simple idea.  It gives local bands a leg up, gives Coxon interesting support bands, and helps to publicise the tour in each of the towns.  Excellent.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

YouTube Takeover for Haywire

This is a very good YouTube takeover for the new film Haywire.  I suspect the film has a lot of the same energy!

Go to the YouTube page to see it

Monday, January 09, 2012

Goodbuzz - Get paid to share

My colleague Graeme Wood sent me this example of a company facilitating paid sharing, prompted by discussions about what Chevy are doing for the Super Bowl.

Goodbuzz sees itself as a 'tipping' system for the internet - organisations upload an ad and contribute a 'tip fund', then all of the people who share that ad with their friends get a share of the tips at the end of the campaign, based on their contribution.

See the video, and then find out more here.

With only $23,000 on offer this month in total tips it seems like pretty small beer, but it's a model that has real promise, I think.

TNW article with more info here

Friday, January 06, 2012

Things I Love - Friday 6th January

The site The Most Expensive Picture.  Photographers pay $1 extra each day for the site to feature one of their pictures.  Currently they're paying over $100.  A great idea for a site.

This collection of Least Helpful Reviews on Amazon.  Great idea for a blog, too.

Also, separately, I loved this review for the film Days of Glory, where the writer marks the film down for being subtitled:

I was shocked when I played film it was not in ENGLISH it was in French ; Arabic with Subtitles English that's I've given why four stars Amazon as it ENGLISH I'd buy book if I wanted a read. Good film thugh

Funny in a different way is PG Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves, which I'm reading for the first time since I was a teenager.

This passage is perfect; Bertie has just been visited by someone called Cyril Bassington-Bassington:

"I've never heard of him. Have you ever heard of him, Jeeves?"
"I am familiar with the name Bassington-Bassington, sir. There are three branches of the Bassington-Bassington family - the Shropshire Bassington-Bassingtons, the Hampshire Bassington-Bassingtons, and the Kent Bassington-Bassingtons."
"England seems pretty well stocked up with Bassington-Bassingtons."
"Tolerably so, sir."
"No chance of a sudden shortage, I mean, what?"

The Stickygram service.  Get your Instagram pics turned into fridge magnets.

A Wifi vending machine in Japan

One of the trends that didn't make it to my '12 Trends of 2012' was vending machines.  It ended up being just a small part of 'mobile payments', but I do think that there is a lot of scope for unusual vending machines, often activated by mobile, this year.

One of the best ideas in this area I've seen recently is this one by Asahi Beverages in Japan.  In addition to snacks, this vending machine has wifi, and users can pay for a code for 30 minutes connectivity.  The wifi is built into the vending machine, and works on a radius of 50m.  This would be so perfect for cafes, pubs, sports halls or whatever.

It could even work for train or tube carriages.  30 minutes is all you need in most cases, but if not you could buy a second portion.

More here

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Axe asks users to help design a real-time graphic novel

It'll be interesting to see how this develops.  Axe (Lynx in the UK) are allowing users to make choices - e.g. characters & location) and come up with story ideas.

It all starts on their YouTube page on 10th January.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Chevy rewards best seeders for Super Bowl ad competition

This is an interesting example that's been generating quite a lot of debate among my contacts on Twitter this morning.

To help generate views for the user-generated videos that Chevy wants to choose a Super Bowl ad from, they have decided to hold a competition to see who can share the films the most.

It's all done through this MSN site.  Entrants need to sign up, then share on their different networks.  At the end the one who's judged to have shared the most will win $10,000 - although Chevy have given themselves up to two weeks after the end of the competition to award the prize, presumably to verify the levels of shares.  All films need to be shared in their 'MSN' version, so no embeds or YouTube links, which is frustrating.

A lot of people have problems with what Chevy are doing, but I think as an idea it's pretty smart.  All they are really doing is taking the paid seeding out of the hands of people like GoViral and let the sharers get involved directly.  It's a like a 'media' version of incentivising people to create user-generated content - ideally they'd do it for free, but this gives a reward.

(Some film companies have been doing this for a few years.  When Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz were released American Spaced fans to compete in posting links, banners, forum posts and so on, to win merchandise from the film.  However this is on a larger scale, and involves a cash prize)

Of course it would be chaos if every brand tried to do this...

Google's 2012 Election Site

Google has produced a site to focus on the 2012 American Elections.  Things like elections and major sporting events are great for getting media and technology companies to innovate.

The election site aggregates lots of data and content together, and draws heavily on Google news to produce pages specific to candidates and issues.

What I like more though are the trends and visualisations - you can see both voting behaviour - the first Republican primary below...

... and current levels of interest in the candidates in terms of searches, Google News mentions, and YouTube video views.

There's also an 'on the ground' section where you can see news overlaid on a map.

It's a brilliant resource...  Now I'mm waiting to see what Twitter can come up with.
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