Call Someone You Love

Matt Adams created a touching campaign to take a break from our busy lives and call someone you love.  There are over 10,000 working pay phones in NYC alone, and this short video reminds us that a quick phone call can make your day. He placed a sign over the phone, taped quarters on the top, a placed a hidden microphone on the receiver and a recorded video as people made calls with the antiquated technology.  The response was amazing and many people stopped to make a call.

Why I’m Curious

This simple act created a shared experience for random New Yorkers.  While technology is certainly improving our lives, sometimes it’s nice to take a break. We stare at screens all day and this video is a nice reminder that it’s the people in your life that matter the most.  Also, the phone used in the video is powered by Verizon.

 

 

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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.

Make Pizza, Make Money

In Domino’s Australia latest campaign, Pizza Mogul, customers can design pizza and upload their creations onto the companies online menu.  Each “mogul”, or pizza creator, must then determine the best way to market their product.  The more pizza they sell, the more money they make– typically between 25 cents and $4.25.  Any percentage of these earnings can be donated to charity.  Moguls sign up on pizzamogul.com.au and are encouraged to share their creations on their own social networks.  It’s a very straightforward process that involves three steps: create your pizza, post it on the menu, and market it.

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Why I am Curious:

Domino’s latest campaign shows the power of creating content as a brand and the appeal of crowdsourcing.  Leveraging that, they have positioned themselves to boost their digital and social presence.  Domino’s Australian chief executive, Don Meij, hopes that 30,000 people will sign up in the next six months.  We’re excited to see if this campaign will get the attention they expect…especially since they’re spending $5 million.  Regardless, they’ve created a winning formula by combing two things people love– pizza and making money.

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Pizza Mogul

Pizza Hut created an app, where users can create their own pizza creation and label it/take ownership of the creation. The user also receives a small monetary kick-back when others buy “their” pizza.

Why I’m curious: This taps into the strong entrepreneurship of the millennial generation. While it does require some work from users to engage with the app, it’s easy to see how users will share their creation (though it’s really just a Domino’s pizza). The execution has a clear objective to drive sales, and drive loyalty among their bigger fans.

 

https://www.pizzamogul.com.au/#!/home

Ikea figures out a way to build an Instagram ‘website’

 

Beyond hashtag campaigns, Brands have struggled to make Instagram an actionable platform.   Taking the opportunity to take a crack at this challenge, Ikea Russia’s agency has found a clever way to make the platform work for them in an interesting way.  Ikea’s instagram account  ikea_ps_2014 is able to function exactly like a website—with 12 image tabs displaying different product categories (total of 34), all of which have their own Instagram accounts.

The effort is to promote their new “Ikea PS 2014” collection, which tapped into 14 young designers from around the world to target its younger urban audience.

Why I am Curious:

I absolutely love this idea and how out of the box it is.  I’m curious to see what happens as a result of having so many Instagram accounts to make this happen.  I wonder if they will be deactivated once the campaign is over—therefore losing the following that was built up.

Pley is a Netflix-esque service for LEGO fans

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A new rental service called Pley allows customers to rent and return LEGO sets. The service is perfect for those who love the challenge of building a set, but don’t care to keep it around the house.

Users set up a queue of the sets they’d like to rent, and the price varies from $15-39 based on the size of the set. Play sets are sanitized and shipped with the official instructions and a shipping return sticker. Those who decide to keep the set can be billed for it at a discounted price.

Why I’m Curious

As an avid fan of The LEGO Movie, Pley’s appeal to nostalgic Millennials is not lost on me. I’m sure the service is marketed to mothers and their children, but it’s a valuable service for any 20-something who’s strapped for storage space.

via LifeHacker

Homeless Fonts

Video

http://www.homelessfonts.org/sections/about/

Arrels Foundation created a great campaign raising awareness around the homeless in Barcelona; the campaign gave those involved a strong sense of accomplishment in seeing their own handwriting being valued by others.

Why I’m Curious: Different way to come up with a solution/campaign; Unlike most campaigns, instead of looking at how others could contribute to the problem, it looked at the pre-existing skills and how to leverage/highlight

Newcastle Celebrates July 3rd

Newcastle is back at it disrupting national American events, this time their focus is on July 4th.  If you remember their “non-Superbowl” ad, it seems that they are taking the same approach.

Why I’m Curious

Instead of celebrating July 4th and America’s independence from England, Newcastle would like to celebrate July 3rd.  Being that Newcastle is made in the U.K. this July 3rd holiday will be celebrated simply for the purpose of if the Brit’s won the Revolutionary war.  Stephen Merchant, an obvious Englishman, is all for the July 3rd celebration and goes in to discuss why America would be so much better if England won the war.

I really like how Newcastle keeps shaking up these American traditional events/holidays.  Droga5 and Newcastle are capitalizing on the buzz that is taking place already around the holiday and adding their own spin.  Instead of being like every other brand posting American flags and BBQs they take the opposing side and do the opposite.  This is an approach that most brands dream of doing but never know how to execute properly.  It will be interesting to see if this is the new trend for Newcastle and if any other brands will take this method on.

 

 

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.

Oreo Spot Tells the Story of Mel’s Mini Mini Mart

The Martin Agency created a long form video for the Mini Oreo “Wonderfilled” campaign. Reminiscent of Wes Anderson and Dr. Seuss, it’s a whimsical tale of a mini roadside shop that sells only Mini Oreos.

 

Why I’m Curious

Long form video is picking up in the digital space as a new medium for brands to tell their story. From Beats by Dre to IBM, many brands are dreaming up creative ways to entertain their audience. An interesting fact about this video is that the team at Martin sold the idea by building a set and shooting the first version in their garage over a weekend. I’m interested to see if this video boosts Mini Oreos sales, and if it will lead to similar work in the future.

The Soundhawk will enable users to hear only what they want to hear

Soundhawk uses existing wireless, smartphone and sensor technologies in their smart listening system to help wearers cancel out background noise and focus on what they want to listen to. The listening system consists of a wearable device called the Scoop, a wireless mic, a mobile app, and a charging case.

The Scoop is placed in the ear like a Bluetooth headset. The in-ear device has two microphone sensors that allow the device to adjust to the environment. It connects to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth 2.1 and can also be used like a normal wireless headset, allowing the wearer to make hands-free calls or access Siri or Google Now.

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Why I’m curious 

This amazing new technology, that gives focused hearing and gives users the ability to press an OFF button for specific noises, might be the start of many more devices that could help deaf people.

At restaurant, cinema, in a date, meeting, … With Soundhawk it is now possible for anyone to enjoy one of this moment without being distracted by peripheral noise.

 

twitter boosts world cup integration

Twitter is making a real effort to stake out real-time conversations around the World Cup. While I don’t think anyone would debate Twitter’s status as the go-to social network for real-time discussions around live events, over the last few days Twitter has taken steps to enhance the platform’s ability to service these conversations with the following updates:

  • A step-by-step supporter’s guide to Twitter that walks users through how to follow their team – This appeared on both desktop and mobile versions (screenshots below from desktop)

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  • Upcoming match call-outs that link through to dedicated pages housing match-related conversation, a scoreboard, and links out to player handles (although it appears as of today that the pages aren’t as “customized” as they were earlier in the week)

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  • Team “hashflags”

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 4.31.01 PM Why I’m Curious? This move is all about usability – It’s awesome to see Twitter go to such lengths to ensure it’s as easy as possible for users to navigate/enjoy the one thing they know everyone will be talking about. For a platform who’s core strength is real-time conversation, the move seems a no-brainer, which makes you wonder why they haven’t pursued similar modifications, say for the Olympics. It’d be interesting to get a sense for how they’ll be gauging the success of the new features. I’ve got to imagine they made the move to facilitate more conversation, and to increase usage on a user-by-user basis…it’ll be tough though to say that the features impacted either KPI without any kind of baseline for comparison…Perhaps they didn’t roll the features out to everyone? Anyway, assuming the features are a success, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not they decide to do stuff like this for future big events, and whether or not they’d ever consider handing the reins for something like this over to an advertiser.

H&M’s “Fashion Mixer” catalogue turns apparel pieces into music

H&M is now launching a music project in Asia that see’s the brand’s fashion catalogue working as a musical piece.   The project—called fashion mixer—enables consumers to turn apparel pieces into musical sounds and then mix them.  The project is based on H&M’s “Divided” collection, which features clothing for both men and women.  Essentially, each item of the collection has it’s own sound effect ranging from beats to melodies and voices.  Users can add various fashion items by dragging and dropping them onto a special sampler on a mobile device that fuses the sounds to create a one-of-a-kind tune.

handm_fashion_music_01

Why I am Curious:

It’s interesting to see brands play with the power of music. Some brands are doing it right and some brands haven’t quite figured it out.  I think this project from H&M will be something of interest to their core audience.

Visa + World Cup

As there are more and more mediums for brands to convey their message, brands have to balance between telling one story across those platforms and also catering to the different audiences per channel.

With the World Cup, VISA is a partner and looks like they are messaging their sponsorship of the World Cup through multiple venues, catering to demographics. For example, a site that feels younger allows you to take a photo of yourself and insert it into a GIF with some of the famous athlete. http://worldcup.visa.com/teletransporter/

There’s also video content from 32 different countries, showing a video clip from that country. http://worldcup.visa.com/. The videos from each country show a further and deeper way to personalize the content to different groups.

I’m curious because as digital avenues expands, I am interested to see how brands will become more sophisticated in telling a story across different platforms and cater to different audiences and groups, though the overall story /campaign/concert remains the same.

 

 

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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Computer Screen
083C069A-31B8-4268-9D3A-F079238F59D1
Mobile 
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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!  

Link

Sassy Robot Calls Out Your Obnoxious Friends on Instagram

Robot Holds Instagram Interventions For The Most Cliched, Overused Posts

Ringly sends phone notifications in a discreet and fashionable way

Ringly is a ring which inconspicuously notifies the wearer of incoming phone notifications. If info is coming in, the ring will vibrate and flash a tiny light, so the wearer can be aware of communication without sacrificing social etiquette or style.

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Co-founder Christina Mercando, a start-up alum with a background in fine art, created the ring because she was sick of missing texts and calls from friends and family, but also felt like a jerk for keeping her phone constantly in view. It connects to an iPhone or Android and alerts the wearer to incoming texts, calls, calendar alerts, or emails. It also allows for push notifications from Tinder, eBay, Facebook, and Twitter.

Why I’m Curious

This product is built off a great insight about consumer needs. I would like to see this service, as well as others like it, built with intense personalization capabilities. Users should be able to dictate precisely who, when, where, and what they are notified about. For instance, a person might perhaps only want to receive notifications from certain friends on the weekends, or when they are not at work.

[via NY Magazine]

Insoles that can charge batteries by walking… it now exists!

Cellphones and electronics are more and more multipurpose and as everyone uses them 24/7, they run out of battery very quickly.

This is why a 15-year-old Philippines-based future engineer set out to find an alternate way of generating energy.

It is a small generator fixed in your sneakers insoles that produces energy while you are walking.

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Why I’m curious

I am so exhausted about having no battery on my smartphone at 3pm just because I have used GPS for 10mns, listened to 5 songs and sent 3 pictures through snapchat… this is why I bought a rechargeable case but guess what? It cost me $100…unbelievable!

If I would have heard about charging my battery by walking, I would not have hesitated. Moreover, you can build it on your own, it is quite simple and cheap. And cheaper technology is so much easier to adopt.

Let’s go and think further… If a young 15 year-old lady found out how to produce energy by walking, let’s imagine shoes that you could buy cheaper than classic ones with hardware in it in order to help the state produce more energy. Let’s imagine this phenomenon becomes a fashion trend and that thousands of people contribute to this cause.

Link

Dunkin Donuts Follows Starbucks With Loyalty Program

Starbucks currently claims that in the US and Canada, 1/3 of their sales come from customers participating in the loyalty program. Dunkin Donuts recently announced that they’ll be rolling out a loyalty program “Perks” for their fans, though it’s slightly different and based not only on the number of drink purchases but the amount of money spent.

In terms of marketing, I think it’s a smart move and I’m curious to see how Dunkin Donuts will market and promote their new loyalty program and if it will increase their sales. Dunkin Donut fans are already dedicated consumers, so will this help improve loyalty? Or bring on new loyal customers?

 

Snapchat Messages!

snapchat-breakfasthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9h30NcVy4E#t=23

 

It’s happened!  The long awaited update from Snapchat that allows messages and video chat via the app is here!

Why I’m Curious

Snapchat’s new look is cleaner, less muddy and easier to navigate.  Oh yeah, there is also messages and video messages that puts Snapchat in the the realm of conversation apps.  Users can send a Snapchat and reply instantaneously to the person who sent the chat directly.  You can finally respond to those great snaps quick and without much thought.  The new update also includes video chatting features; hold the chat button and video message with your pal.  For all those fans who like to get artsy you can now add filters to your messages to spice things up a bit.

After finding out about the new look and features I immediately updated my phone and started playing around.  For ten minutes I sent chats to my coworker and was engaging with the video messaging.   Now that Snapchat is in the sphere of messaging they have plenty of room to really explore the boundaries and create something that is completely different from apps like WhatsApp.  I can see fans moving off of messaging apps and utilizing Snapchat more because of the functionality of video that is incorporated with its original design.