Shock Top is one smooth talker

The next time you’re perusing the shelves at your local beer shop and you hear a voice coming from the cooler, there’s a chance it’s a sixer of Shock Top Belgian White trying to chat you up.

In a series of Youtube videos, the brand’s Mascot, Wedgehead, smooth talks bar-goers and liquor store shoppers.

Link: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/shock-top-beer-one-smooth-talker-fun-series-bar-and-liquor-store-stunts-158771

Why I’m Curious:

This is Shocktop’s attempt to humanize the brand, literally, and I’m a fan.  Their positioning of “we know that Shocktop is the best beer, so we don’t have to talk about it.  Let’s talk about something else” indirectly pokes fun of other beer brands and these stunts are rather entertaining and witty.

Using stunts as video content has been a trend on social in the past few months.  From Carrie to the Chobani Bear, “shockvertising” is taking the internet by storm with one viral video after another.

One thing that leaves viewers thinking after watching Shocktop’s videos is how the brand did it and whether these clips are real.  Unlike Carrie & Chobani, Shocktop did not include a behind-the-scenes portions in these videos to ensure audience that these are authentic stunts.  Let’s see whether they’ll have a follow up.

Ikea built a website inside Instagram

To help push Ikea’s intensely odd PS 2014 collection, the furniture seller’s Russian division hired ad agency Instinct to build a marketing campaign within Instagram. Navigating to the Instagram account ikea_ps_2014 on your smartphone — it won’t format correctly in your browser — will open up a “website” within the app, consisting of 12 images.

Why I’m Curious:

Native advertising win

 

IKEA PS 2014 Instagram Website from Instinct on Vimeo.

Bic wants to crowd source the universal font

Bic launched a new campaign where they are taking ballpoint to digital by crowd sourcing a universal typeface.

With a microsite, the brand is asking users to contribute digital samples of their handwriting and Bic will combine them and convert into a “universal typeface”.

The experiment, a joint effort by DDB Düsseldorf and MediaMonks, also lets users break down contributions by age, gender, industry and even individual contributors. The goal, according to DDB Dusseldorf managing direct Dennis May, is to show how penmanship is both unique and personal to people around the world.

The experience of the site is something to take note of.  It connects your phone with the computer using a code.

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The collective handwriting will also become a font that Bic will release to the public in August!

http://digiday.com/brands/bic-goes-digital-crowdsourced-universal-typeface-campaign/

Why I’m Curious:

This experience seamlessly brings Bic’s product and brand to a fun digital experience.  It utilizes crowdsourcing to create a unique font that users can later download.  The gratification of having a piece of their handwriting contribute to this universal font highly motivates users to be part of this experiment.

One critique about this campaign is they could have pushed it to be a little more sharable and social.  Currently after completing the experiment, users get to share the image below.  Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 11.30.35 AM

The brand could have made this piece of content a little more sharable by allowing users to personalize it.   Instead of simply typing in random letters during the experiment, users could have written a sentence or spell out words that they can then share after.

Overall, I really enjoyed the second screen experience as it reminded me of Google’s skeeball game that was released last year.  Let’s try to consider that when we concept for digital campaigns!  

Behold, the Lebron app has arrived (only in Samsung devices)

Samsung on Thursday released a new app, titled “LeBron,” exclusively for Samsung Galaxy owners.

The app is split into four sections, each offering a look into the life and happenings of the Miami Heat forward both on and off the court:

  • Athlete – These are social updates, videos and photos from LeBron as he gets ready for games, post-game videos and more.
  • NBA Playoffs – This offers up LeBron’s season and career stats and also offers real-time updates and live scores from Heat games during the playoffs.
  • Style – This section includes photo updates and videos that feature LeBron’s kicks, breakfast choices and off-the-court clothing.
  • Journey – This is focused on photos and updates related to LeBron’s charity work and his family life.

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http://mashable.com/2014/05/01/samsung-lebron-app/

Why I’m Curious:

According to Samsung, part of the value with the LeBron app — especially for his biggest fans — is that it will be the only place fans can expect to find lots of social updates from the sports giant.

LeBron is very savvy on social media and Samsung wants to leverage on this by only allowing Samsung fans get direct updates from LeBron exclusively on this app (not on Twitter, Instagram etc).

Over the last few years, Samsung has increasingly focused on bringing exclusive apps and experiences to its devices and users. In March, the company launched Milk Music, its own take on Pandora and iTunes radio & they brought rights to giveaway Jay Z’s new album

The idea is that these kind of exclusives, when taken in aggregate, will help convince buyers to choose a Samsung phone over a model from someone else.

Apartment CB2: Using Pinterest to decorate an apartment in real time

Home décor chain CB2, the more urban and youthful division of Crate & Barrel, wanted to turn aspirational online home design daydreams into reality with APT CB2, a five-day event in which five popular designers decorate one real-world apartment using furniture from the CB2 catalogue with the real-time input from the Pinterest community. 

Starting on May 7, each designer will have one day to transform one room in a vacant NYC apartment into a fully realized space, the progress of which will be shared over Pinterest and through a campaign microsite.

Throughout the day, people can vote on a design choice an hour–for instance which chair or lamp or sofa to place in the space–all with the promise of winning $5,000 to spend at CB2 for their own dream apartment.

The “live-event” lives on Pinterest and a microsite and the brand will post live updates of the apartment throughout the day as its being designed.  

http://www.fastcocreate.com/3029809/cb2-invites-pinterest-users-to-design-an-apartment-in-real-time

Why I’m Curious:

I’ve always been a huge fan of activations that connect online to offline.  Pinterest is a social platform where home decorators go to find inspiration.  Allowing users see their online activity affect an activity offline in real-time furthers user engagement and brand awareness.  

However, I wonder why the brand decided to post photos sporadically on the microsite instead of doing a Google Hangout so users can actually see the process in real-time.

We love dads too! Budlight’s spoof on “World’s Toughest Job” Viral Video

By now, you must have seen American Greeting’s “World’s Toughest Job” Viral Video, celebrating mothers through a video’s plot twist.

Every giant viral ad needs a parody (or a few dozen).  In just under a week, BudLight released a spoof video called “World’s Most #UpForWhatever Job”.  In the same vein, the brand interviews potential candidates for a job titled, “Director of Whatever”.  

Why I’m Curious:

The jokes made in this video are a little odd and even a little awkward.  However, Budlight’s quick turnaround for this spoof is still admirable.

The tie-in of “#UpForWhatEver” is Budlight’s brand message also used in their SuperBowl ad.

Waves 4 Water: Youtube Annotation Campaign

Here’s an interesting play to promote not for profit organisation, Waves For Water, with a new YouTube Annotations Campaign called ‘Annotations For Water’…

It’s an animation made only with annotations to promote the message across YouTube. And with a simple bookmarklet tool, anyone can add this animation to their own videos and broadcast a message with a good cause, dramatically expanding reach of the campaign.

Why I’m Curious:

Many successful campaigns on social are ones that highly utilizes the specific functionalities of the platform.  Consumers use each platform different and it’s important for marketers to understand how to to insert brand message in an natural and organic way.

In “Annotations for Water”, the brand utilizes a function that is native and unique to the platform.  However, the way that they executed is rather disruptive and might even annoy users.  It seems like it’s an attempt of native advertising, but the way that the brand message was portrayed was not intuitive and even more annoying than watching 5 sec of an ad before a video.

UNICEF Tap Project

UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) has devised a rather ingenious way for people to help out in a way that is simple but probably also difficult for some.

With the Tap Project, every minute you spend not using your mobile device will be matched by a day of clean water from one of UNICEF’s sponsors.

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Users don’t have to download an app and the mobile site works on any phone’s browser.  Below is the user experience:

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Why I’m Curious: 

These days, we are all pretty much obsessed with our smartphones or tablets. Some can barely let go of their device, much less look up to appreciate the things around them. Being estranged from their dear device requires a “great deal of sacrifice” and that is something UNICEF wants to harness for this endeavor.

This initiative encourages people to put down their phones for a good cause and appreciate their physical surroundings.

iBeacon at an Art Gallery

Aside from pushing offers and discounts, Apple’s new iBeacon technology provides a whole different way at creating native location based interaction with iOS devices, and this example from Rubens House Art Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium.

With hopes to create an intricate network of digital content inside the house, Prophets positioned iBeacon sensors in just about every nook and cranny. These stand-alone sensors are battery-powered and communicates via Bluetooth. Because of its small, wireless design, Beacons can be installed without any physical intervention in the historic structure of the building.

Push notifications sent to smartphones and other mobile devices connect people in close proximity, notifying them of the stories behind different paintings and architectures. Through this app, users will have access to x-ray scans of the artwork, interactive trivia questions about Rubens and a GPS system that outlines the entire building.

Why I’m Curious:

After Apple quietly launched iBeacon at their Developer Conference last year, interest has been high for retailers and developers to explore the usage of the technology.  One of the first retailers to test out iBeacon at their stores is, of course, Apple.  The NFL also tried explore the new technology at the SuperBowl last week by pushing notifications to iPhone users at the MetLife Stadium.

The Ruben House Art Gallery’s experiment with iBeacon is one of its first implementation outside of retail stores.  The app that the Gallery implemented is a smarter and localized version of augmented reality that utilizes blue tooth technology.  It brings a deeper layer to visitors’ experience.

 

Ajax Social Wipes

To promote Ajax’s new product, Spray N’ Wipe, the brand created a landing page that allow users to clean out their social media feed.  Users simply have to login with Facebook or Twitter and the tool will help them clean out accounts that they want to unfollow.

The site scans users’ social media pages to identify possible “stains” to wipe.

Why I’m Curious: 

Ajax perfectly transfered Spray N’ Wipe’s product benefit to social media.  It is a very simple execution that highly resonates with social media users and even benefit them.  When thinking about your next social campaign, think about the one product message that you want to tell and translate the same idea to an online behavior.

Japanese fast-food chain invents a mask for women to eat burgers

A fast food restaurant chain discovered that Japanese women don’t like to eat big burgers because they are ashamed of opening their mouths wide. So they invented this clever paper holder to hide their mouths while stuffing their face like piggy men. The invention was a huge success.

The company claims that consumption of big burgers among female clients jumped 213 percent when it was introduced.

Why I’m curious:

Here’s a great example of digging deep into consumers’ behavior and diving into an untapped market.  When planning for your next campaign, find cultural and hidden social behaviors in your consumers to find inspiration.

Want to bribe people to get dates? Stop right here.

Please watch this: 

A few quotes from the founder:  

“Women are like dogs. Give a dog a bone, and it will obey. Give a woman a present, and she’ll…”

“It’s like a pickup line, but more classy and interesting”

“This app helps create mutually beneficial relationships”

Carrot Dating brings romance back into the dating game by encouraging men to never go to a first date empty-handed.”

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Bribes include:

  • Coffee
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks
  • Dessert
  • Spa Day
  • Shopping Spree
  • Tattoo
  • Sky-Diving Trip
  • Vacation
  • Bouquet of Flowers
  • Box of Chocolates
  • Tank of Gas
  • Piece of Jewelry
  • Plastic Surgery Treatment
  • Movie
  • Night Club
  • Concert
  • Sporting Event
  • Theatre

Via: AdWeek

Why I’m Curious:

Sure, it is a sad reality that there are people who are  superficial and would do anything for a free lunch.  In this case, a free movie, a tank of gas and even plastic surgery.  The thing that is disturbing about this app is that it approves of this behavior in society and encourages people to do it.

What do you think?

McDonald’s can apparently be gourmet food too

McDonald’s threw a party in New York City to challenge renowned chefs to see what they could conjure up in the gourmet food department using ingredients that came predominantly from the fast-food chain’s menus.

The fast food chain asked renowned chefs Dale Talde, James Talde (from Telemundu’s cooking show Un Nuevo Dia), Aaron McCargo Jr. (winner of The Next Food Network Star) and Jessica Foust (MCD’s in-house chef) to work their magic and transform seemingly ordinary ingredients into something spectacular.

Check out the dishes:

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Bacon Old Fashioned- using the actual bacon you would find on your Bacon Habanero Ranch Quarter Pounder.

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Kung Pao Chicken McNuggets appetizer topped with sweet & sour sauce, rice wine vinegar, and peanuts, all artfully arranged amidst oranges and iceberg lettuce

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Tortilla Espanola with garlic & saffron aioli

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Stacked crispy chicken with hash browns, chipotle BBQ sauce, espresso, cheddar Jack cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon

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Slow-cooked beef with blueberry pomegranate sauce and Mac Fry gnocchi

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Biznut – a donut made from McDonald’s biscuit mix and topped with pumpkin spice latte syrup.

Why I’m Curious:

Although there was no digital or social component to this program at all, McDonald’s could have taken this idea and made it a much bigger social campaign.  I like the thought of deconstructing the fast food brand’s ingredients and making them into something extraordinary.  Perhaps they could have made it an open competition where users could submit entries on social media.

When thinking about your next campaign, think about the details and different components of your brand’s product instead of just looking plainly at the finished product.

Look how snack brands are promoting Honda’s Vacuum

After Honda’s recent reactive Vine campaign, the brand strikes again – this time, with unexpected partnerships.  To promote the 2014 Honda Odysey that comes with a built-in vacuum, the car brand partnered with snack brands on social media.  Brands like Oreo, Hellmann’s and Wonka had twitter conversations with Honda, focusing on the new car’s feature.

Few examples of the brand partnerships:

Oreo started the conversation with Honda:

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Helmann’s corespondent with Honda:

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Wonka’s conversation with Honda:Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 2.37.24 PM

Other than brands, Honda also partnered with food apps:

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Other than partnerships, Honda also simply tweeted at brands in the food industry:

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Via: Fast Company

Why I’m Curious:

Unexpected partnerships is a trend that more and more brands are tapping into.  Some brands are often sensitive when it comes to featuring or mentioning other brands in their content.  This is a brave attempt by Honda and truly shows that the brand truly understands social.  In addition to that, consumers also enjoys watching brands being social to each other.

Brands are

Heineken Plays Second Game of Departure Roulette With People Who Tweeted About the First One

Heineken revisit the concept of unscheduled trips in this sequel to their popular Departure Roulette stunt.  For the follow-up, the brand made surprise visits to people who had tweeted during the earlier campaign that they would want to try Departure Roulette—and let them do so.

In the sequel video, camera crews confront unsuspecting tweeters at their front doors, at work and on the sidewalk, with the big green Departure Roulette board in tow.

Via: Adweek

Why I’m Curious:

Heineken just brought Departure Roulette to a whole new level.  The first part of the campaign was a great stunt and it didn’t really have much of a social integration to it.    This follow up leveraged on reactions on social media and surprised and delighted tweeters.  This took the campaign to another level, where a brand made an extra effort to show that they are aware of users’ conversations online.

Another similar example of a follow up campaign is  Wheat Thins Twitter campaign from a few years ago.

When we execute campaigns moving forward, let’s be thorough and get inspired by social conversations around it!

#EmojiBandNames

As part of Heineken’s sponsorship for the FireFly Festival, the alcohol brand launched a contest on Twitter called #EmojiBandNames.  The campaign asked users to guess band names that are playing in the festivals through emojis.  The first user to get them right will receive 2 VIP tickets to the festival.

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(Foster the People)

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(Lumineers)

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(Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)

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(Full poster)

Why I’m curious:

Twitter/ Facebook contests are very popular but the format often gets repetitive and mundane.  Other than big flashy campaigns, we need to think outside the box for small activations.  This campaign is low-budget, simple and perfect for their target audience.  Instead of simply giving out the tickets, Heineken made the giveaway very interactive and relevant on social.

Dukin Donuts Premieres World’s First Vine TV ad

Dunkin’ Donuts made history last night during Monday Night Football’s pregame show on ESPN, running the first ever television ad made completely from Vine videos.

Four Vine videos will run during ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown throughout the 16-game season on the network’s “billboard” ad unit, a full-screen, five-second spot that airs between segments on the network. Monday’s Vine featured an animated latte that flips a coin to show the start of a football game.

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The brand also Vined each game’s final quarter with #DukinReplay hashtag, choosing a memorable play from the first half & recreating it with Dunkin’ Donut’s products.
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In addition to real-time marketing efforts, the brand also recapped a memorable play from the game by posting a tweet in the morning. 
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Via: Brand Channel

Why I’m curious:

Forget Oreo, this campaign by Dunkin Donuts is a stellar example of not only real-time marketing but also connecting social with traditional media.  The brand created Vines with the products that recapped the most memorable plays during the game.  The way that they oriented their products in the content is slick and will highly resonate with football fans.

Using Vines as TV ads is also unseen before and although the Vine-ad was not even half the length of a traditional spot, this execution could potentially be even more memorable than a traditional 30-second spot.

Let’s be curious and think about how we can integrate relevant content on social & tradition in our next campaign.

Crack the US Open on Instagram

Heinken is taking Instagram contests to a new, creative level with a scavenger hunt that will eventually lead winners to free tickets to the U.S. Open Men’s Final.

The contest, created with Wieden+Kennedy, challenges fans to search a mosaic of Instagram photos for clues that will ultimately lead them to nine pairs of tennis tickets.

To play, users would have to follow the clues on @Crash_The_US_Open by flipping their phone horizontally.  The images uploaded on the account would give users clues on how to win tickets.  photo 1

photo 2

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Via: Business Insider 

Why I’m Curious:

This is definitely one of the most creative contests on Instagram.  Heineken thought out of box and created a huge mosaic horizontally on Instagram.  The brand utilized the platform skillfully and executed a simple scavenger hunt idea.  Unlike the recent scavenger hunt hosted by Fox at Comicon, users can play Heinekin’s contest any time at their leisure.

McDonald’s NFC-powered Happy Table!

In the spirit of making a kid’s experience more fun in a McDonald’s, McDonald’s launched an NFC-powered virtual playground called Happy Table.   It uses NFC-tags that lets children use a mobile device to play games using the table as a virtual, interactive map.

Via: The Next Web

Why I’m Curious:

NFC technology is an up and coming technology that brands are trying to utilize in their programs.  For McDonald’s campaign, they brought a child’s imagination to life by using technology.  The NFC-powered game limits players to stay in the store’s proximity, hence encourages players to stay in the restaurant.  I’m curious to see how brick and motor stores will utilize this technology to enhance customers’ experience.

Tweet to revive a website

BlinkLink is an experiment from software developer Clay Allsop that allows anyone to post a picture via Twitter that disappears once a certain number of people have viewed it, but there’s a twist.

Once the links have disappeared from view, they aren’t lost forever, but will only become visible again if someone tweets the link again. A single tweet of the link is good for another 1,000 views, a balance that Allsop says was hard to strike.

Here’s how it works:

1. Choose an image/video  & a message that you would like users to see when they click on the link

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2. Blinklink will generate a landing page for your link Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 2.38.33 PM

3. Tweet the link

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4.  After 10 clicks, the link will disappear and users will be prompted to tweet the link again  so they can see the content of the page

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Why I am Curious:

This technology might be something interesting for a brand to consider when creating a campaign.  Often, the motivation for users to tweet a branded tweet is when it involves sort of reward.  The reward dynamic in this experiment encourages users to keep tweeting the link.  It would be interesting to see how a brand can utilize this technology as incentive to tweet about their content.