Coca-Cola Israel Rewards Fans with Mini 3-D Printed Versions of Themselves

Coke has always been a brand that’s prided itself on creating a personal relationship with its consumers, and the Coca-Cola “Mini-Me” campaign suggests that they’re really just going for it these days. The campaign, from agency Gefen Team, promoted Coke’s new mini bottles and asked people to create mini versions of themselves via mobile app. They were then invited to Coke HQ to get a scan and then receive a 3-D printed mini-me, made of colored sandstone.

Participants had to take care of their their mini selves, Tamagotchi style (if you love going to the grocery store so much in real life that you want to play a game that lets you take a Sim-style version of yourself to the supermarket, you could finally have the chance thanks to Coca Cola).

Why I’m Curious: I think it’s interesting to watch how brands attempt to incorporate 3D printing into their advertising efforts. While I understand the tie between the mini bottle and mini me, I’m curious to see if these mini-me Tamagotchi will be enough of an incentive to get consumers to purchase more of the product. I’m also curious if the consumer behavior of this Mediterranean market will be excited or burdened by having having the responsibility of “raising” the mini-me.

Peer-to-Peer App Connects Hungry Strangers with Leftovers

Whether it’s physical goods, digital wares or simple services – there’s probably a peer-to-peer network out there for it – now there’s even one for leftovers as well. Leftover Swap is a smartphone app that makes it possible to barter or give away any leftovers you might have after a particularly big meal. While some people might recoil in disgust at the idea, it could be an excellent way to deal with the huge amounts food that Americans waste every year.

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The concept is simple, snap a photo of whatever it is you have leftover and post it to the app’s database. Strangers in the same geographic area then have an option of trading you for the food — or just taking it off your hands.

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Why I’m Curious: I’m curious how people will receive this concept of food-sharing. I know a fair share of germaphobes in this world, and I am interested to see if there are enough people out there who can get on board with the idea. I find it to be a very clever solution for minimizing the enormous amount of waste and feeding people in need. The concept seems to be much like the idea of couchsurfing where you have to be willing to show a little faith in other people.

There is a huge potential for environmental impact with an app like this, especially considering the fact that current rates of food production around the world won’t be enough to feed everyone by 2050.

The Toyota RAV4 Brings The Web to the Great Outdoors

How do you showcase a new adventure car to a target audience that spends their time outdoors? You take the website to them. This is what Toyota Africa did to bring the new Toyota RAV4 product site to life on an outdoor bike trail at the Bryanston Cycle Park in Johannesburg.

The 1.8-km cycling track was fitted with sensors, custom-built mechanisms and WiFi to bring digital content from the site to life. Wooden overhead panels, with a menu bar, showcased the different sections or ‘web pages’ of the site, such as Models, Design, Safety, Interior, and Book a Test Drive. Riders could navigate the site by tapping wooden buttons along the trail. Information from the site would pop up along the track as the cyclists traveled through different ‘web pages.’ The participants were also able to tweet during their ride by tapping on wooden Twitter buttons along the tack. Riders were even able to book a test drive at the end of the track and a tree stump printed out their test drive booking slip, which also served as their entry to a competition.

Why I’m Curious: We’ve been brainstorming various OOH ideas for a campaign recently and I find this example to be a nice case study for us. DraftFCB Johannesburg managed to find a solution to engage a target audience that is not naturally surfing websites. I’m curious if this kind of experiential ad campaign drove enough awareness for the brand to see an uptick in sales.

Walgreens Offers Discount in First Instagram Video

Instagram just reached it’s one month anniversary of Instagram video, and brands are continuing to try to make the most of these emerging platforms. This week Walgreens launched its first Instagram video that offers followers 40% off of their next Quick Prints purchase on their mobile app when they use the coupon code showcased in the video.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.10.24 AMScreen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.12.07 AMWhy I’m Curious:  I’m curious to see how brands continue to refine their short form video strategy through contests, video series, and more. It’s important for us to continue monitoring how brands like Walgreens and Nissan’s “Your Door To More” leverage these emerging platforms in a way that offer utility to their consumers.

Honda Answers Customers’ Tweets with Vine Videos

To promote its Summer Clearance Event, Honda took to social media on July 15th, using Twitter and Vine to encourage interaction with customers. Asking them to tweet why they are sick of their old cars, using the hashtag #wantnewcar, the company then responded to individual gripes with amusing Vine videos. The six second videos were personalized to each complaint and encouraged the user to get a new Honda at the sale event.

brandchannel reports:

The hashtag saw 6,895 Twitter mentions from 5,617 users with 14.8 million estimated Twitter impressions. The word “Honda” received an estimated 247 million impressions between July 14 and Tuesday morning.

Why I’m Curious: There are a lot of big companies that wrestle with how to use social media as a promotional platform. While Twitter and Facebook have been leverage well by a lot of brands, I love studying the different, more experimental ways brands use Instagram and Vine. Honda’s approach harnessed the brevity of Vine and used it in a fun way, interacting with younger customers both quickly and creatively.

Chipotle Will Give 20 People Free Burritos Until 2033

Chipotle Mexican Grill turns 20 this Saturday. The popular food chain will celebrate its anniversary by kicking off a 20-day-long treasure hunt, “Adventurrito,” that offers a ‘burritoful’ grand prize of 20 years of free burritos (approximate retail value: $9,100).

Every day at 10:20 p.m. ET for the first 19 days, Chipotle will release a trivia question on Adventurrito.com, and players will be entered to win free burritos for one year (that’s one burrito a week for 52 weeks). Twenty winners will be chosen at random each day. On the twentieth day, Chipotle will release a final puzzle, and the first 20 players with the highest scores will be awarded free burritos until 2033.

According to Chipotle’s press release, the puzzles will vary in level from easy to challenging, and will “incorporate Chipotle history as well as its commitment to better food from more sustainable sources.”

Why I’m Curious: I always love to monitor various contest use cases for brands. Certain clever executions can have a profound impact on the business, and I am curious to see how this one resonates with the Chipotle consumers. I think the incentivized trivia piece is a nice way to increase consumer education about the brand’s social responsibility, which is a communication goal they’ve been trying to push for a while. This promotional effort seems to hit the strategic mark a bit more than last year’s Halloween contest for $2 burritos for customers who dressed in costume. 

Tourists Explore Cape Town Through Other People’s Facebook Profiles

Ogilvy & Mather South Africa had a simple brief from Cape Town Tourism: bring in more visitors for the coming season, and do it cheaply. So Ogilvy SA turned to social media, a budget platform in terms of advertising and the perfect place to share the joys of Cape Town without investing heavily into a global media campaign.

The result was the ‘Send your Facebook Profile to Cape Town’ campaign, where users could sign up to send their hard-working profiles on holiday. Players could choose from interests and activities, and then were virtually sent to Cape Town, with the site sending cyber-itineriaries, providing status updates, video posts and even uploaded photos to people’s profiles. Every participant was entered into a raffle to win an actual trip to Cape Town, flight, accommodations and activities included.

The campaign recently won a Gold Lion at Cannes for ‘Best use or integration of digital or Social Media’ and was seen as a resounding success.

Why I’m Curious: I’m always curious around best-in-class use cases of digital and social  integration. I think this is a clever solution to engage consumers throughout the world and showing off Cape Town at a relatively low cost. While I do find it to be a nice execution of content distribution, I am curious if Cape Town tourism saw any increase in their actual tourism revenue.

Chewing Gum Video Game is Controlled by Player’s Mouths

A new motion controlled game from the chewing gum company invites you to enter the world of Gumulon, where you get to play as a strange green helmet-wearing character called Ace. The one catch is that he’s controlled by how you chew your gum.

In the quest to defeat a prehistoric cave beast, you have to stare at your iPhone and chew gum in a variety of different ways to control the hero of the story. If your jaw isn’t up to the job, you’ll be faced with the ironic demise of being eaten by the prehistoric beast – after he applies a little seasoning of course.

Why I’m Curious: There’s no denying this is one of the stranger motion controlled games I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly original. I’m curious about the ways brands like Stride will continue to leverage motion-powered technology in these unusual settings and what direct impact that may or may not have on the business. I really like how Stride gamified the motion that is so intrinsically connected to the product at hand.

Stella Cidre Launches Weather-Activated Ad Campaign

Stella Artois is hoping to make the inconsistencies of British summer weather an irrelevance with weather-activated ads. The outdoor effort takes over digital out-of-home ad spots when the temperature rises two degrees or more above the average in that specific location. Anything below, and the ad will not appear. It serves up a scene of handpicked apples with the brewer looking to highlight the cider’s taste at times when people are most likely to impulse buy.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 8.48.46 AMIt is the first time AB Inbev has served weather-activated, location-based ads in real-time and the company plans to expand the approach to other brands such as Budweiser and Beck’s depending on how successful it is. The activity, developed in partnership with Posterscope and Liveposter, is part of a wider summer campaign launched last month. The system, which is connected to digital out-of-home ad spots across the country, automatically turns ad spots on and off based on the results of a real-time weather data plug-in. Ads will not appear in locations registering lower temperatures, or where it is raining.

Why I’m Curious: This innovative media mechanic is yet another way agencies are pushing the boundaries through digital technologies to be relevant to our consumers, at just the right time. I find this to be a very clever approach to offer meaning and value to consumers through a medium that is often distant and less relatable.

Wifi Street Signs Change Direction And Info In Real Time

Points is a street sign that looks just like any other – what makes it so unique is the fact it can update the information on its display in real-time, creating a reactive street sign for a variety of events. The tool leverages content from Foursquare, Twitter, transportation APIs, RSS feeds and other online sources – provided it has an Ethernet or WiFi connection.

Made of three arms point in different directions, you would be hard pressed to tell it apart from a normal street sign – until the arms start to rotate towards a new direction, changing the text on display at the same time.

Why I’m Curious: I find myself more often than not directionally challenged, and I believe this technology but be quite helpful for me. I’m curious about additional use cases for it such us to point fans toward where the the next performer is playing on what stage at music festivals or what sports are playing where at sporting events like the Olympics. This useful tool takes street signs to the next level and I am interested to see how quickly certain communities will adopt it.

Coca-Cola Lets Consumers Literally Share the Happiness

For years, Coke has encouraged people to share happiness—and has given them lots of surprising ways to share a Coke. This time, they’ve taken the classic Coca-Cola 330ml can and designed it for two persons. Twist, turn and share the Coca-Cola can itself. Ogilvy France and Ogilvy Asia-Pacific joined forces to make this can that splits in half, turning it into the most tangible extension the brand’s global “Share Happiness” concept.

Why I’m Curious:

While I do think that this is a nice, literal approach to bringing their campaign messaging to life, I feel like this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist. Sharing a Coke with anyone who isn’t a germaphobe is already pretty easy. I’m curious to see how people will receive the the split-can design.

The latest Domino’s marketing stunt: DVDs that smell like pizza

Takeout pizza and a DVD are a natural fit for many. So Domino’s Pizza in Brazil decided to combine the two in a campaign via Artplan Sao Paolo. They joined up with 10 rental stores in Brazil to distribute DVDs that smell like pizza after they’ve been played.

About ten discs each of ten different new release titles such as Argo, 007, Dread And Dark Knight were stamped with thermal ink and flavored varnish, both sensitive to the heat. While people were watching the movie, the heat of the DVD player affected the disc. When the movie ended and they ejected the disc, they smelled pizza. They also saw pizza: the discs were printed to look like mini pies, and carried the message: “Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino’s Pizza.”

Why I’m Curious: In this age of streaming video, the idea seems a bit outdated. I can’t remember the last time I rented or watched a DVD. However, in Brazil streaming services like Netflix and iTunes may be relatively new and the cities may still have video rental stores in their neighborhoods. I find the thermal scented ink technology to be bizarrely fascinating, and I’m curious about how other brands may leverage such a feature. I also wonder what kind of impact a stunt like this and a campaign like we shared last week will be impacting their sales for this quarter.

Nissan’s Awesome iPad Ad Take Tablet Owners By Surprise

Nissan created a unique self-healing paint that aims to make cars absolutely unscratchable. To convey how cool the technology is, the car company joined up with TBWA/G1 Paris, OMD Europe, and Dan Paris, to create a surprising iPad ad that teaches unsuspecting consumers how cool and unexpected the feature is through digital disruption.

Users will come across a seemingly innocuous ad for the Nissan 370Z when flipping through iPad magazines. When consumers swipe across their screen, the displayed car gets scratched in that very spot along with a sound effect that’s reminiscent of nails on a chalk board. The relief comes when the paint heals itself. The damage is undone and all is well with the world.

Why I’m Curious: I think this is a fantastic example of how powerful digital disruption can be. This kind of dispruptive surprise-and-delight immediately deepens consumer experience with the brand. Not only do I find this kind of paint healing technology quite magical, I’m curious how automotive brands and other brands like Verizon or Apple could possibly leverage this kind of creative technology by developing unscratchable phone cases, computers, ipads, etc.

Snickers bids on misspelt Google searches to offer candy as a solution

Snickers and AMV BBDO created a way to make bad typers recognize why it is that they were unable to spell correctly. The brand bid on misspelt Google search terms to offer up a candy bar as a solution. Each time someone misspelled a word — which was probably often, since people generally rely on the search engine to correct the terms for them — they got tailored ads asking them to “Grab yourself a Snikkers,” because “Yu cant spel properlie wen hungrie.”

Why I’m Curious: I love Snicker’s clever approach to market the value of an unhealthy product like a candy bar and connect it to a problem as universal as a misspelled Google search. I think this is smart way for Snickers to not only reach bad typers, but also those who type “diS way” for no reason. I’m curious to see how the campaign continues to resonate since they’ve already reached 500,000 people in three days of launch of this part of its “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign.

Lettrs: App lets users send physical letters from phones

There’s something about sending an actual physical letter which an e-mail will never replace. Tech startup Lettrs to encourage people to send snail mails again by integrating the process with a digital twist. This week, Lettrs launched its iPhone app that essentially allows users to send e-mails and photos as paper post letters.

On the screen, users are able to select from different backgrounds, themes, and fonts. There’s even the ability to directly attach an image to the letter. Once users are happy with the letter, they have the option to either send it electronically, or as a snail mail to the recipient. The whole operation is currently conducted from Collinsville, Connecticut in the U.S.

Drew Bartkiewicz, founders of Lettrs, commented that:

Technology is what we make of it, and no app has yet been designed to dust off the previous — though timeless — aspirations of letter writing. I hope people will choose to take time to create a ‘lettr’ when more purposeful words are desired, but with the efficiencies of mobile and social firmly intact.

Lettrs is currently only available on the iPhone, with an Android and iPad app already in the works.

Why I’m Curious: It’s interesting to monitor this continued collision of the digital and physical worlds. I’m curious if people would be more inclined to send a letter if they could do so with the app or if this app is just an unnecessary manipulation of the letter writing art form. To me, beauty of snail mail is that the other physical person has physically crafted the words and took the extra time to stamp it and send it to your hands.

Fully Automated Public Toilets Reduce Waste

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently funded Delight, a fully automated public toilet unit. This new kind of toilet was developed by the technology research company Eram Scientific Solutions to help address public sanitation issues in developing countries, including India where it’s currently being installed in different areas. Delight is a self-funding system with income coming from ads and the usage coin collection. 

According to PSFK, the toilet system is fully automated yet designed to conserve water and energy. It is activated by coin and has an automated sliding door. The lights and exhaust fan are triggered by motion sensors when the toilet is in use. It has an automated flushing system that uses different amounts of water depending on how long the user is inside. The system has a water storage as deep as 500 liters and can be connected to existing drainage system. The toilets are monitored remotely by agencies using GPRS controls. Each unit also has an audio system that users can use to communicate complaints.

Eram has already installed 400 units of Delight in Kozhikode, Kerala State, and Delhi, and the company plans to install 6,000 more. Eram is also working on a SheToilet, which caters to the needs of women, and a model for schools.

Why I’m Curious:  I find it quite amusing that sometime in the near future our advertisements may serve as the fuel to give us clean, public restroom facilities. I’m curious about how much an installation like this costs and what the adoption rate will look like in developing countries. We’ve been seeing public restrooms getting quite a bit of press recently, and it’s exciting to monitor the development of such creative solutions that may one day make public toilets less repulsive.

Makr Shakr: Be Your Best Bartender

MIT Sensible Lab, Pentagram and SuperUber is collaborating to create Makr Shakr, a robotic bar capable of preparing approximately one googol (equal to 10 power 100) crowd-sourced drink combinations. Through a mobile app, users will be able to design their own drinks, learn from other people’s recipes, and leave a few tips for the next user. The three robotic arms will then concoct their chosen mixture.

Users can gain inspiration by viewing other users’ recipes and comments before sending in their drink of choice. The cocktail is then crafted by three robotic arms, whose movements reproduce every action of a barman – from the shaking of a Martini to the muddling of a Mojito, and even the thin slicing of a lemon garnish. It is previewing during Milan Design Week from April 9th-14th, before being unveiled in its final configuration at Google I/O in San Francisco on May 15th.

Why I’m Curious: I love this concept for quite a few reasons. First, the app could be a signal of this “Third Industrial Revolution” paradigm as it empowers a consumer with the ability to be a bartender.  Second, alcohol brands could leverage this compelling tool and establish connections with their audience. As the best drinks become the most popular and can be shared through social media, I think this is a beautiful case of merging the physical touch world with the digital space. And lastly, I’m fascinated by the fact that the gestures of Makr Shakr were inspired by Roberto Bolle, principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, as they were filmed and used as input for the programming.

Buick Designs Car Interior Based on Pinterest Submissions

Buick ran a “Pinboard to Dashboard” promotion that encouraged Pinterest users to create interior design inspirations for the 2013 Encore luxury car. The automotive company invited ten of the most influential fashion, design and food bloggers to participate in the promo and create their inspiration board. The promotion is part of the company’s efforts to reach out to a younger target market and show that the brand can use social media and have fun with it.

The winning Pinterest board was by Michael Wurm, Jr., a bed-and-breakfast owner from Pennsylvania. Wurm has around 4 million followers on Pinterest and his collection had beach scenes and sea foam-colored tones, which became the inspiration for new design deatures, textures and colors for the luxury car.

Why I’m Curious: We are continuing to see this trend of collaborative marketing as brands move away from marketing at consumers and towards marketing with them. I find it  interesting to watch an automotive brand leverage the Pinterest platform to trigger deeper conversations and experiences between the product and consumers. Buick’s creative use of crowd-sourced design through Pinterest serves as a nice example of social activation. I’m curious to see how Buick will continue to share content through their pinboards and if this campaign really drove sales for them or simply just deepened brand perception.

Google Opens Trial for Same-Day Delivery Service in San Francisco

Confirming rumors that it was to launch its own delivery service to rival Amazon, Google has begun testing its new “Shopping Express” service in the San Francisco Bay Area. Partnering with Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle, and Toys”R”Us, as well as local coffee shops and independent stores, Google will offer early testers six months of free, unlimited same-day delivery.
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Google’s Shopping Express indexes the products available at participating retailers and makes them available to order via Google’s own website. Testers can then book a delivery slot and have their products delivered to them by one of Google’s delivery partners on the same day. There was news about Google Shopping Express earlier in the month, when it was reported that Google would seek to charge a $69 yearly subscription, $10 cheaper than Amazon Prime. Leading the project is Tom Fallows, Google’s e-commerce product manager, who is working to combine Google Wallet and Shopping with offerings from bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Why I’m Curious:  Amazon prime is one of the best inventions I’ve encountered in my daily life, so I’m excited to see how Google will step up to the plate with its innovation. Throughout the year we will begin to see a trend of how the big names, Facebook, Google and Amazon will fight for domination of the e-commerce space, and it is interesting to consider how financial service brands can leverage this changing purchase behavior with possible “Add to Earn” opportunities.

The Unlikely Star of SXSW: Grumpy Cat

Forget Elon Musk or Al Gore. The biggest star of the South by Southwest Interactive festival is less than a year old, sleeps all day and looks like she just swallowed a hairball. Meet Grumpy Cat, the social queen earning more than 3,000 Twitter mentions per day for three straight days of the conference.

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SEE CNN VIDEO HERE

The real-life cat, an Internet sensation since photos of her sourpuss face began circulating last fall, has been holding court during SXSW at the Mashable House, a temporary lounge run by the tech-news site. People have stood for hours, in lines snaking around the block, to get their picture taken with her.

Grumpy Cat, an 11-month-old mixed breed whose real name is Tardar Sauce, has ignored them all. Mostly she sleeps in a cat bed while fans pass by to pose next to her. Instead of smiling, many of them make pouty faces of their own. Other celebrities, like SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, might have peaked with higher social scores on the days of their keynotes, but Grumpy Cat’s consistency and downright grumpiness propelled her to glory.

Why I’m Curious:
The phenomenon of this feline points to a rising digital trend that we mentioned last week around the significance of silly stuff. Does silly stuff like dancing ponies and grumpy cats really matter? The entertainment for entertainment’s sake that we are seeing here uncovers some of the primary motivations people have to use the digital space — to laugh, to share with their friends, and to make enhance their personal brand. I’m curious to see how memes and sillier trends like Gangnam Style continue to develop and determine if there are opportunities for brands to leverage this kind of content.