What if telekinesis was real? How would you react?

Carrie is an upcoming supernatural horror film. It is the third film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1974 novel of the same name (1st Edition). The studio behind the new horror remake “Carrie” played mind games with customers at a West Village coffee shop with a hidden-camera stunt showing a woman suffering a supernatural flip out.

They are also inviting viewers to create a video on Vine or Instagram using #FlexLikeCarrie, showing their ability to flex like Carrie (click here for the official site).
Read more here.
Why I am Curious

It is nearly impossible to predict if a video will go viral (in particular, if there are no media dollars behind or a distribution strategy), although we keep seeing that there are common characteristics in branded viral videos: they must elicit emotions from viewers such as hilarity and/or surprise.


Your Pin’s Price Dropped!

Pinterest now sends you an email when your coveted pin’s price dropped.

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Read more here.

Why I am Interested

You know that giddiness you get when something you’ve wanted forever is suddenly a little (or maybe a lot) cheaper? Pinterest is bringing that saving feeling to their platform! And, the best of it: You don’t have to do anything to get notified. Just keep pinning the things you’re into, and leave the price watching to them.

Tool to watch: Twilio

Cloud-based communications platform Twilio has enabled 1.5 billion application programming interface calls at a 4 million call-per-day pace, according to CEO Jeff Lawson. The company competes with Skype and telcos by allowing developers to add voice and text to applications with only a few lines of code. Twilio Client is serving 340 million endpoints globally, Lawson says.

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Why I am Curious

Now any device can talk. Twilio Client lets any browser, phone or tablet talk using only a data connection. With it you can embed voice directly into your web, iPhone or Android apps. Let a website visitor talk to your sales team with a click of a button. Let two friends across the globe catch up using only an iPhone app and a WiFi connection.



Blink: When Your Eyes Are The Trigger

Virgin Mobile‘s latest Web spot harnesses viewers’ eyes, and their webcams, by delivering strange new video clips every time they blink, creating a new video experience with each viewing but always touting a $35 monthly phone plan. The “Blinkwashing” campaign is the final piece in Virgin’s “Retrain Your Brain” campaign and will live exclusively on YouTube. The video selects clips from 25 films and has more than 2 million possible combinations.

Read more here.

Why I am curious: 

The idea of “Blinkwashing” attempts to illustrate the brand’s message that consumers can “take control” of their phone experience (e.g. money-saving, no-contract offerings).The initiative offers a completely new experience every time you watch it…however, it is one that you cannot control!

Here is the Retrain Your Brain campaign…

Coca-Cola promotes getting active via mobile check-ins, scavenger hunt

Coca-Cola has teamed up with Global Poverty Project on the “Movement for a Movement” campaign that involves a scavenger hunt throughout New York leveraging mobile check-ins to educate consumers about social issues and trigger donations. The goal behind the campaign is to promote active, healthy lifestyles to fight poverty in New York. Ten different nonprofits, including organizations such as the Police Athletic League, are included in the effort. Each nonprofit correlates to a location that consumers can use their mobile device to check-in.

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Users who check in at all ten locations will unlock a digital badge and be entered to win tickets to the Global Citizen Festival as well as additional prizes from Coca-Cola.

Each mobile check-in also triggers a $5 donation from Coca-Cola towards the nonprofit that is linked with the location. Coca-Cola will donate up to $800 at each check-in spot.

Why I am Curious

“Mobile check-in technology is a great fit for the ‘Movement for a Movement’ campaign as it drives people to get out and get active while learning about these great organizations that are working to make New York City healthier and more sustainable,” said Caren Pasquale-Seckler, vice president of social commitment at Coca-Cola, Atlanta.

J.Crew previews entire fall catalog on its Pinterest page

J.Crew, which built its business via glossy mailings, just took a crack at catalog 2.0. They are looking to build buzz for its fall line by posting the entire line on its Pinterest page before it appears on the company website or in its printed catalog.

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Read more here.

Why I am Curious

A 24×7, large scale focus group (+60K followers on Pinterest + anyone else who stumbled on the platform): The move is also aimed at giving J.Crew insight into which items are likely to be popular based on repins and comments.  It gives the company its own sneak peek at which items will sell well.

116 Vine videos you may want to watch (or not)

YouTube user Eric S (an anonymus user with +2K subscribers)  has gone and created a compilation video of the best Vines of 2013 so far (11:38′). For some reason (apparently, a copyright claim), his video gets deleted each time he uploads a new version.

Read more at Gizmodo.

(Interesting: +52K Facebook Likes, +500 comments, less than 400K video views)

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What color underwear are you wearing?

Hanes is asking [female] Twitter users to post tweets revealing the color of their underwear, along with links to cheery color-specific pages from a campaign website. The website also showcases underwear color trends by region and individual color pages for yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue and green.


Branded content: 


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User generated content: (140 characters would have been sufficient!)

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Why I am Curious:

Purple is trending in NYC today!

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The Undercover Color campaign is about looking for a fun, easy way for women to get involved. It is a great conversation starter, captures the attention without being disruptive, and offers an excuse for users to engage.

Missed opportunity: they did not include the campaign hashtag on the TV spot:

#howto: GE asks Vine users to show off homemade science projects

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.23.15 AMGeneral Electric is holding a “science fair” promotion through social media, asking fans to submit Vine videos of common experiments, such as mixing soap and food coloring to create a cool result. GE plans to select the best examples and share them through its blog and social channels. GE is promoting the campaign with advertisements on social sites including Facebook, Twitter, BuzzFeed and Tumblr.


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Read more here.

Why I am Curious

Even with the very recent debut of Instagram video, seven-month-old Vine seems to be continuing to gain steam among brands like GE.

In recent days, brands such as Tide, Volkswagen, McDonald’s and The Weather Channel have utilized the short videos to capitalize on Discovery’s popular Shark Week series.

Mercedes-Benz is recruiting top Instagrammers to generate interest in CLA model

Mercedes-Benz is inviting five of Instagram’s most lauded users to ignite interest in the CLA model among young consumers by touring the United States in the vehicle.

Each of the five photographers have a towering list of Instagram followers and photography backgrounds. Interested fans can follow the journeys at the handle @mbusa, through contestant’s personal feeds or Mercedes-Benz’ other social media pages.

Fans following the journeys can enter their Instagram feed on the Take the Wheel Web site for a chance to take the sixth journey (Websites are back!). This winner will be chosen by the five honored photographers according to how well the page reflects the CLA’s spirit. Rather than competing for a car, the sixth contestant will automatically receive a vehicle.

Read more here.

Why I am Curious

Mobile has brought access to “luxury” automakers in unprecedented ways. Here are brands like Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Porsche and even Rolls-Royce trying to get people from different backgrounds to come together.

For example, Porsche virtually put consumers in the front seat of its Cayman vehicle via a mobile application that is designed to promote safe driving and build brand awareness, while also letting consumers compete in a variety of challenges.

The app fosters camaraderie among current and prospective Porsche drivers by structuring and mapping driving challenges that affluent consumers may face while on the road. The app adroitly captures the movements of the car so that drivers can catalog their skills and communicate with their friends, family or other drivers (read more here). Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 6.34.16 PM

Other brands crystallize their participation at large events through social media.

For example, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars made use of multichannel efforts to propel its Goodwood Festival of Speed enterprises that was likely to excite auto enthusiasts and keep fans interested.

The British automaker chose to portray itself from angles ranging from ruthless speed to thoughtful charity to demonstrate to fans that it tries to engage them on different fronts (read more here).

App Alert: Glide boasts 3.5 million users

Private video messaging application Glide has reached the 3.5 million download mark, dispensing 139 days worth of video in its first few months. The company also noted it saw a 120% increase in daily active users last month. “Glide’s growth can also be attributed to the startup’s ability to iterate quickly to meet the demands of users,” Jordan Crook writes.

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Why I am Curious

We discovered and posted about Vine, Instagram, Whatsapp, Line, and GroupMe before they even reached their million download mark. Just curious to see who is going to win the battle of instant video messaging.

Lexus creates stop-motion film with fans’ Instagram images

Lexus is targeting younger motorists with an Instagram-driven campaign that incorporates images from more than 200 users, #LexusInstaFilm. The combined effort produces a stop-motion film of the 2014 IS model from various angles and tones.


  • Under the orchestration of a directorial team during Instagram’s #WorldwideInstameet, car enthusiasts and Intagram users from a variety of background blended their personalities in a film that colorfully animates the IS.
  • Jacob Rosenberg and the Bandito Brothers directed the film that features the song “Hefe” by The Hit House.
  • A 2014 Lexus IS F Sport weaved throughout the lot to permit a wide range of views and so the vehicle appeared in a natural setting.
  • Marks were drawn on the grounds to instruct people on where to stand and at what angle to take shots of the vehicle.
  • Participants could edit the shots however they wanted. The directorial team then printed out each still, clipped them to a huge board and sequenced them to create a coherent film.

Read more here.

Why I am Curious 

An interesting way to tap into a proven-performing formula:

passion-driven experiences + mobile + empowerment = UCG & community building

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Fostering community among fans is a good way for luxury brands to create loyalty, since the ensuing friendships will be tinged by the brand’s image.

Spotify lands on Coca-Cola cans in the U.K.

Coca-Cola will put the Spotify logo and the URL to its interactive PlaceLists application at the bottom of 8-ounce cans of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero in the U.K., the first fruits of a deal mentioned in December. The app consists of a Coke-red map of the globe with clickable tags to songs that folks are listening to worldwide. Consumers can also utilize an augmented reality system from mobile marketing technology firm Blippar, enabling them to access tunes via smartphones and tablets.

Learn more here.

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Puma teams with Foap to tap fans for branded photos

Puma is partnering with Swedish mobile photo agency Foap to ask fans to submit photos that answer the question “What does football mean to you?” More than three million photos have been submitted for Foap Missions since the platform launched in April, 2013.

Learn more here.

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Why I am Curious

If you search for Red Bull or Puma on Google Images you will find millions of photos, but they are just lying there dead. The same thing on Instagram, and nobody can use them. Here’s a different way to make use of all those photos stored on our smartphones and digital cameras. Enter them in a Puma campaign with a chance to win $2,000 or potentially earn cash if the brand decides to use the photograph in future marketing

Storytelling 2.0: Visualizations show the power of Twitter data

Metadata in Twitter posts lets readers in on your geographic location, the language you speak, the phone you use, and more. Twitter-data reseller Gnip has produced a series of visualizations that use metadata from hundreds of millions of tweets to produce heat maps showing Twitter use. The company’s visualizations are fine-grained enough to show the location of Yankee Stadium in New York City, or the divisions that mark individual neighborhoods. Explore maps here.

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Why I am Curious

The fully scalable and searchable visualizations, created by Eric Fischer and Mapbox for Gnip, uses metadata from 280 million tweets collected from a data sample going back to 2011. The data that is generated by millions on social, can now be visualized in ways to respond to the needs of marketing and public policy alike.


Google Analytics: the Customer Journey to Online Purchase tool

Google has launched a new benchmarking tool, Customer Journey to Online Purchase, that uses aggregated data from thousands of Google clients to show how consumers in different industries pass through the sales funnel.

This tool lets you explore typical online buying behavior and see how different marketing interactions affect business success:

  • Purchase paths based on interactions with a single ecommerce advertiser
  • How different marketing channels help get your site visitors to convert better or faster
  • How long it takes for customers to make a purchase online (in terms of visits and days)
  • Benchmarks of various industries to help you compare your results to that within your industry.Click here to learn more.


Why I am Curious

A user may see an ad, click on a link from a friend, or do a search before buying something from a website — and all of these interactions can play a role in the final sale. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey, and the distinctive roles different channels play, so we can measure all of the elements that contribute to the success of our client’ businesses.

Weather Channel Soaks People at Bus Shelters

The Weather Channel recently tricked out one shelter with hidden sprinklers to promote the client’s latest Android app. The app apparently provides such precise forecasts that you might never again be caught in surprise downpours.

Read more here.

Why I am Curious

Disruptive Advertising / PR Stunts: How is “disruptive”defined? (e.g. Annoying? Irritating?)

Mobile self-checkout: Wal-Mart extends “scan-and-go” option to more stores

Wal-Mart has added its mobile self-checkout option at 40 Denver-area stores, after launching the first tests of the “scan-and-go” system at stores in four other markets. Shoppers use their smartphones to scan each product’s bar code as they fill their carts, then the application generates a QR code that’s scanned at self-payment kiosks.

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Read more here.

Mechanics: Scan & Go enables a shopper to scan the bar codes on products as she picks the products off shelves and puts them into her shopping cart. The app creates a list of all products scanned. When the shopper has completed shopping, she presses the Done Shopping button and the app generates a custom QR code. The self-checkout terminals scan the QR code on the smartphone, tally the list, and ask the shopper to select a payment option to complete the transaction at the terminal.

Wal-Mart has created a research group in Silicon Valley called @WalmartLabs tasked with developing ways to leverage social media and mobile devices to make shopping at Wal-Mart more appealing. Among the ideas company executives have discussed is posting signs in stores to let shoppers use their smartphones to contact store personnel for help and creating an in-store social network that would let consumers in a store communicate with each other via their mobile handsets.


Girl Scouts go all out to help mobile users find cookies

A GPS-enabled Cookie Finder application and mobile payments are on offer from the Girls Scouts of the USA this year.

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Why I am Curious

“There is an app for that”.

In this case, the app comes to solve a very specific challenge: “According to consumer surveys, the No. 1 reason cited for not purchasing Girl Scout Cookies is that potential consumers don’t encounter a Girl Scout during the local sales period,” (said Amanda Hamaker, manager of product sales at Girl Scouts, New York City). — The question is: Which approach makes more sense: a) a dedicated app (development, promotion, maintenance. etc.), or b) a partnership with a popular and heavily adopted location-based service (e.g. Google maps) during the local sales period?