Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Umeå Energi uses Oculus Rift to show the benefits fast broadband

Love this.  Taking the idea of using a scientific experiment (kind of) as an instructional ad (see also ASH's use of Tinder to show how smoking is a turn-off), Swedish utilities company Umeå Energi created an Oculus Rift headset with a 3 second delay between what was happening in front of the user and what they saw - with entertaining results...

Three charities who hijacked the #tubestrike hashtag for good

(Title of the blog post updated to reflect the three charities - when it was originally written, only Macmillan had produced a tweet)


The picture now comes up as a top image when you search for #tubestrike


Update - Save The Children have also done this (presumably inspired by Macmillan)

Update - Leonard Cheshire did this on the second day of the strike

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fandango uses Twitter Cards to sell mobile tickets

A good example from Fandango of the sort of thing that you can do with a Twitter Card - that is, an expandable tweet.

The Tweet isn't from Fandango, it's from the @SpiderManMovie account, but it uses Fandango's card template which includes integration with their booking engine

The text of the tweet says:

"The Amazing #SpiderMan 2 swings into theaters in 6 days! Get your tickets now on @Fandango >> http://www.fandango.com/theamazingspiderman2_156279/movieoverview …"

But when you click to expand the tweet you get a big picture, information about the film, opening date, and link to buy tickets.

Or see the original tweet here

Update - here's the tweet as it appears within Twitter - the embed doesn't work as well.

Repeat after me - Twitter is more than 140 characters!

See another example of a Twitter Card here - for data collection

Write Pharrell Williams's 'Social Book' with Bic & Tipp-Ex

Tipp-Ex is back with another clever social media campaign.  Introduced by The Hunter & The Bear from  their two earlier campaigns in 2010 and 2012, this time to task is to write Pharrell's book - or rather correctly guess all of the missing words in the book.  See it here

If you guess a word then your name will go into the credits when the book is published.

The first sentence is 'I'm so [blank] I get to make music my career'

You'd think the missing word would be 'happy' wouldn't you?  Well it's not (& it's not that easy)

I do question the benefit that these things bring to Tipp-Ex, but it seems that they're willing to re-commission new ideas.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Zach King's Vines for Buick

Good work by Buick in getting Vine star (see lots here) Zach King to make some for them -




More info here

Thursday, April 24, 2014

'Nice People' & the problem with the sharing economy

I've been meaning to write this post for some time, and this article yesterday was the prompt to finally make me do it. (Image above from here)

Many of the companies in the sharing economy by nature are appealing to what I'd call 'nice people:

Airbnb, which is the biggest company of this type, now valued at $10bn, wants nice people to let other nice people stay in their homes.

There are plenty of other variants -

CampInMyGarden, StoreMates (self-storage in someone's house), GetAround (rent someone's car), Cookisto (takeaway food cooked in someone's house)...  In fact if you Google 'Airbnb for' it comes up with lots of suggestions, including boats and office space.

The problem is, I think, what happened to Groupon.  I think Groupon would have been a great company if it had stayed smaller, dealing only with 'nice people'.  What happened was that people spotted a way to make money, and started opening businesses mainly to offer Groupons - low quality spas, and so on.  This meant that the customer experience started to deteriorate, and it gave Groupon a bad name.

I've stayed in two Airbnbs, in Paris and Seville, and had a great experience both times.  It was brilliant to stay in a local's property, and live like a local, instead of using a hotel, for a lower cost than almost any hotel.  However now you get stories of people buying properties specifically to use as Airbnb rentals which for me is a bad sign.  Yes, these will probably be clearly marked as such by the owners, but it's a different experience, and a different sort of host.

Similarly, at the moment I think the guests are mainly 'nice people' (with some exceptions, obviously).  Even though Airbnb take a fee from you to cover any damage before you check in, I think both of the hosts I had would think twice about doing it if they had to clear up after bad tenants.  It's not just the money, it's the feeling that these people were in your home.

Watch this clip from Dragon's Den when StoreMates were on in 2012:

I think this could de-rail many of the 'sharing economy' companies.

Update - One more - Jib.li connects travellers with luggage space with people who want things taken to places - can you see any possible drawbacks..?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ASH uses Tinder to show that smoking is a turn-off

Brilliant idea, brilliantly done.

Give them an award now!

Full details here

#LastSelfie - The WWF on Snapchat

A very nice idea from the World Wildlife Fund in Denmark - the animals are as transitory as the pictures, unless we save them.  Although it is clearly preaching to the converted, since you have to follow them first on Snapchat to get the pics...


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dropbox's Carousel

A way of storing and easily accessing all your photos from a mobile device.

Where do I sign up?

Oh - here

Full details

Bet they paid a fortune for carousel.com; given this bit in Mad Men everyone must have wanted it.

Update - Carousel (& Mailbox) are being closed down early in 2016

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dove's Beauty Patch

Currently all over YouTube, and very similar in style to the amazingly popular 'Real Beauty Sketches'

It's very similar in feel, with similar music and tone.  Presumably parodies are already being made.

Watch this one climb to 50m views...

Share for Dogs - A fundraising campaign on YouTube

This is a neat idea:  PEDIGREE Adoption Drive, a charity programme from PEDIGREE Petfoods in New Zealand has made a cute film of some puppies.  The video has an ad that runs before it on YouTube, so the more the video goes viral, the more money will be raised.

Has anyone done this before?

Also - earlier work by the same charity:  Find your Doggleganger

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Hope - A Film by Craghoppers

'Hope' is a 15 minute film created by Craghoppers to profile the work done by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International in Rwanda.  I was lucky enough to be at the launch event at Google last night - colleagues at Vizeum were involved - and it's a really great bit of branded content.

Please watch and share!


Monday, April 07, 2014

Amazon Dash

Returning from a week at a conference (with a couple of days of holiday thrown in), one of the things in my inbox was information about Amazon's new product Amazon Dash.

It's a combined barcode scanner and voice search tool (I had to check that it wasn't an April Fool), to allow people who use Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service, to add things to their baskets easily.  Once things are added, people have to go online (or into the app, I'm guessing) to review and place the order.

It looks a lot like a TV remote control, and it's interesting that it's come in the same week as their TV set top box.  I also think it's interesting that it's purely point and talk (no text input), so it's a great example of the future of household consumer technology, and then there's the free local delivery aspect too.

Sign up (if you're a Fresh member) here
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