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.

Recycling Food Waste with Instagram


People don’t recycle enough, especially when it comes to compost waste, which can actually fuel machinery. In this case, a banana peel can fuel a bus to travel 12 meters. In order to get people to remember to put their food waste into a green bag, this campaign challenges people to tag their instagram food shots with #grønnpose which stands for green bag. 

The Department enlisted the help of food art blogger Ida Frosk and her 155,000 Instagram followers to spread the news about the initiative. Frosk also provided the voice-over for a cinema ad and Instagrammers were incentivised to participate with festival passes, bus tickets and other prizes hidden along the no. 30’s route.


4,000 pictures were uploaded, helping the bus to travel more than 50,000 metres.


Why I’m Curious

Finally someone made instagrams of food more useful than just restaurants or weight loss. This is changing people’s behavior and raising awareness around the importance of recycling by demonstrating the benefits of that behavior directly through a website. 

Cheez-It and Smart Car Team Up at ESPN College Gameday

Fans of Cheez-It crackers are rabid lovers. So with rather than cover a car with a branded cling at College Gameday, the Cheez-It team covered an entire car with real crackers. The combined effort of a promoted Tweet, time-lapsed Vine video and drive around Northwestern University, Cheez-It gained over 500 new followers as well as numerous photos posted to Instagram by surprised fans.

Cheez-It Smart Car

Why I’m Curious

This idea was brilliantly executed, and matches the absurd dedication their fans have. Because this took place in the real world is even better because the absurdity begged for tons of earned media from photo opts.

buy stuff on instagram

Unknown to me, lots of stuff gets sold on Instagram…or is at least put up for sale using the hashtag #forsale. A new company called Hashbag has stepped in to capitalize on the trend, and presumably bring a bit of order to the marketplace.

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From what I’ve read, the selling process seems to go something like the following:

1) Post item you want to sell with hashtag #forsale

2) Hashbag emails you (not sure exactly how) for pricing info, and you oblige

3) Your item goes live on a personal Hashbag seller’s page (e.g. hashb.ag/yourhandle)

4) Somebody chooses to buy your item, and pays you using PayPal

The logistics of the process seem a bit hazy…Unless you call out your email in your profile info, I’m not 100% sure how Hashbag emails you in the first-place given that there’s no DM/PM functionality on Instagram. On the transactional end, same thing goes…not 100% sure how buyer/seller exchange PayPal info unless it’s directly in the comments section, which seems uncomfortably high profile to me.

Why I’m Curious?

Had I not known that lots of people were already doing this, I would’ve ripped on this idea more than I already am going to…Why not use eBay, an established, respected, and reliable marketplace, where you’ll likely get a better selling price, to sell whatever it is you’re selling on Instagram? Logistically, it also seems like a pain to buy/sell anything.

But, hey, the site is nice-looking, it makes it easier to sift through things that people are obviously already keen on selling, and, if the seller is registered to the site, mitigates some of the transactional difficulties. Maybe people will use this? I’m interested to see how it does.

The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

The Case For Deleting All Your Apps

“You are a hoarder, and it’s a problem”

Although this is not the type of hoarding that once can actually see, Charlie Warzel claims that most people are hoarding apps and that their smartphone home screens are a mess and it’s a problem.

His solve for this? Delete your apps. All of them. Every last one of them that you can delete.

His reasoning comes from a result of when his developer version of iOS 7 had expired, causing his phone to deactivate. He then wiped out his phone and deleted all his apps. As he recalls, he took a look at his clean home screen with no twitter; no email; no contacts or push notifications and had a feeling of tranquility.

As reality set in, he realized he needed certain apps (i.e. Gmail, Twitter, Google Maps, Instagram etc.) but he only added the ones he felt he needed or really wanted taking a more lean approach. For him fewer apps meant for distractions and times that he checked his phone and the more he actually enjoyed using his phone. He suggests everyone at least try it to see what happens even if they re-download all their apps

Why I’m Curious
YOLO, FOMO are definitely good descriptors of today’s culture. People want to see and partake in every interesting moment in real time. As a result of tech + these movements, I think we are starting to see a culture that is obsessive in their activities (i.e constantly checking Facebook and or whether they got a text etc) and tools such as smartphone only enable that behavior to its fullest degree. Just like when social media first became popular and out of fear people naturally became more private, I am curious to see if there will be a movement on dialing back on not letting all the notifications rule ones life–a digital detox so to speak.

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.

Urban Outfitters Rewards Social Savvy Customers

Urban Outfitters, teenage hipster retailer heaven, is integrating marketing and social media with a new rewards system to revamp their Urban On app, thereby killing two birds with one stone. The social networking app allows users to upload photos of themselves in Urban merchandise and syncs with their social networks. Now, every time a user mentions the company on Twitter or Instagram, they are awarded points and these reward points provide exclusive perks such as advanced warning of sales, early access to merchandise as well as concert tickets.



The intention is for the app to provide the company data about its customers while also giving them something in return.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a great win-win for both Urban Outfitters and the customers that shop there. The incentive aspect is a great way for UO to obtain the data they need, while giving shoppers what they want. I’m going to get the app now!

Satisfries Have Landed

Attack of the 8-foot french fries! Recently giant french fries began appearing in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles without branding, just a #wtff (What the French Fry) hashtag. Then they showed up in the background of the Today Show. Approximately a week after showing up, it was revealed they were promoting Burger King’s new “Satisfries,” a lower-calorie french fry that it says has significantly less fat and fewer calories than its competitors’ offerings.

Why I’m Curious

The fact these fries showed up unannounced and without proper branding led to a significant amount of social chatter, including thousands of tagged photos on Instagram. While the idea of spending lots of money on a promotion without proper brand linkage may scare some brands, it let people have fun at the brand’s expense before letting them in on the joke. This type of approach is reminiscent of Jimmy Kimmel’s twerk stunt because it let the content speak for itself first before the grand reveal, which in my opinion strengthens the linkage by tapping into people’s initial curiosity.

Vogue Holds Fashion Shoot on Instagram

Scrapping the SLR in place of an iPhone, Vogue recently commissioned photographer Michael O’Neal to document the stories and outfits of three models on Instagram, linking together each story with a hashtag.

Source: DesignTAXI



Instagram Vogue Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3.18.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3.18.17 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3.18.28 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3.18.40 PM

Why I’m Curious

With the epic success of Facebook pages like Humans of New York and the explosion of Instagram as an artist platform for everyone, understated and honest visuals have come to drive as much (if not more) engagement and intrigue as flashy, high-end photo shoots. While some might say this represents a shift in what people find engaging, I would argue that we now have evidence to support what humans have found interesting all along – creative rooted in humanity. After all, isn’t it an advertising 101 principle that the best creative work places the acknowledgement of human-based insights front and center?

But the key takeaway isn’t necessarily that brands need to coat all ads with an Instagram layer or two, rather, that speaking to “consumers” with a humanized voice truly equates to greater public interest. And when we’re in the game of attracting eyeballs, isn’t that a win for everyone?

Digital Camera Uploads Photos Directly to Social Networks

According to this PSFK article, “Swedish company theQ has launched a 5-megapixel digital camera that enables users to take and upload photos directly to social networks.”


Unlimited photos can be stored online in theQ LAB, which requires you to setup your camera once and then you never have to plug it in again. You can select social networks, apply filters and save your photos online, with everything hidden from public access if you prefer.

Features? A vintage viewfinder, manual focus ring, shock-proof, water-proof and an LED-powered ring flash that delivers perfectly even light. Encircling the optical axis of the lens, the ring flash also functions as a battery indicator and a timer, with eight segments that count down the seconds.

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Why I’m Curious:

At $199 would you purchase and carry around this camera? Can’t we essentially do the same thing on our phones? But if you’re going to have a “camera” is this the way to go? These are all questions I asked myself. For those addicted to photo sharing this is the ultimate device. To me, it seems like more of a burden to carry the camera around and use another platform to manage your photos when our phones can suffice.

Facebook Testing ‘VIP’ App for Celebrities

In an effort to get more celebrities interacting on the platform, Facebook announced a new VIP app that would allow them (or their handlers) to monitor chatter about themselves on their mobile devices. How this differs from the current app for regular folk is still speculated, but it’s clear this is an effort to steal share from Twitter, where most celebrities interact with their fans.

Why I’m Curious

When there are already applications that help celebrities interact with fans, like WhoSay, which behaves much like HootSuite for Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, it’s interesting that Facebook decided to try to reinvent the wheel rather than partner. But it wouldn’t be the first time. In addition to trying to steal some of the thunder from Twitter, this app also could affect the tabloids. Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna Dewan recently released their first public photo of their child via Facebook rather than a tabloid. If this app works by bringing celebrities one step closer to their adoring fans in a non-intrusive way, I’m all for it.

Lollapalooza Brings Your Instagram Photos to the Stage

Anyone who attended Lollapalooza in Grant Park last weekend surely noticed one thing. Not only did you see the usual phenomenal music acts, the sweaty crowds, and the Perry’s Stage dance divas. Up on the big screens between acts, Lollapalooza organizers were highlighting people who tagged #Lolla on Instagram, giving them their own 15 seconds of fame.

According to Mashable, Lollapalooza isn’t the only music festival to push Instagram on their audiences. At the Outside Lands music and arts festival in San Francisco this weekend, Instagram videos will be shared on jumbotrons around the festival, which is the first time that will be done. At the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans last month, there was a segment each night dedicated to showing Instagram photos.

Why I’m Curious:

While these festivals showing Instagram photos and videos on the jumbotrons is a cool and logical tactic, it will be fascinating to see how far music fests take this in the future. Bonnaroo has already allowed attendees to pair their wristbands with their Facebook Pages, so the ball is already rolling in the right direction to connect what’s physically going on at the festival with the digital world.

Ad-worthy Instagram Photos = Brand Rewards & Prizes

Your Instagram photos can now win you prizes, courtesy of SnapMyAd. This new free app, synched with Instagram, offers gifts in exchange for using people’s images in companies’ ad campaigns. Users simply sign in with their Instagram accounts and apply existing images to the app. Brands can push specific product sales, promotions and events for consumers to take photos of, and decide which pictures they want. Once both parties agree on a perk, brands can use those photos in campaigns. Prizes can range from Amazon gift cards to magazine subscriptions.


Why I’m Curious: 

Talk about leveraging UGC. Will this change how users grant permissions for brands to leverage their photos/comments? Will fans now expect reimbursement in return always? I’m curious to see how this application evolves and if larger brands will begin to take part.

Sources: Mashable Article + PSFK Article

Fans Jump for D Rose Sneaks at Adidas Pop-Up Store

The London-based D Rose Jump Store gave fans a chance to jump with the Chicago Bulls point guard to get a pair of Derrick Rose signature Adidas sneakers. The idea was simple – fresh pairs of Rose’s sneakers put up at a height of 10 feet, with fans having to jump up and grab them to take home a pair. Using the hashtag #jumpwithdrose, fans were able to submit their own footage of their time with D Rose and track the conversation on Twitter, Vine and Instagram.


Why I’m Curious

I thought this was a great use of a pop-up shop to generate buzz around the Adidas and Darrick Rose sneaker collaboration. Not only did fans get to win a new pair of sneakers, they were able to interact with D Rose himself and share the experience on social media.


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).

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.

Be Happy! There’s an App for That.

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Happier is an app that launched in February aimed to make a community centered around happiness.  Nataly Kogan is the founder of the small start up and was inspired by her quest to feel fulfilled.  She found that a social network can make you happy and the concept spread pretty quickly.  In the short time that it has been available to the public, there are over 100,000 users who have shared over 1 million happy posts.

The app is similar to Twitter and Instagram in terms of feed and brevity.  If you like a post you simple hold down the smiley face and spread your positive feelings.  Kogan chose this platform because it seems to be, “more personal and less braggy.”  Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter gives the user the ability to have an online persona that could be completely different from that offline.

Why I’m Curious

I am curious to see how many people have tried the app and if they find themselves having an enjoyable user experience.  Studies show that if your expressions intensify your emotions, so if you are smiling for say 10 minutes while reading Happier posts then you could possibly be happier.  This is only the first step in Kogan’s discovery for happiness she plans on developing a media company and lifestyle brand focused around it.  I think happiness spreads fast and people would like to see a network that is completely selfless and geared toward pursuing a better life.  It will be interesting to see if the app grows rapidly in terms of users and posts in the next few years, like similar networks have.  Maybe in a year looking at Happier when you wake up will replace your morning routine.  Ten minutes of smiling could be a world of a difference.

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.

Instagram Video Scavenger Hunt

Fox Home Entertainment launched the first Instagram Video scavenger hunt during this year’s Comic-Con. The company’s Twitter will offer clues to eight Fox show-themed locations and objects. Users must capture themselves at all the locations in one video and share with the hashtag #wherethefox.

From Mashable,

“With the rise in popularity of social video, we saw this as the right time to try something new,” said Mary Daily, chief marketing officer at Fox Home Entertainment. Daily points out that Comic-Con offers some of the world’s most socially engaged fans.

The prize: tickets to the FX/Maxim bash, one of the most sought-after parties at Comic-Con (after the Mashable Supermemes party, of course).


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Why I’m Curious

Instagram scavenger hunts were huge, but now it’s not the most exciting way to utilize UGC. It’s interesting to see that using the exact same idea, on the exact same platform, with a new feature is now a newsworthy and innovative idea. Granted, it is Comic-Con and attendees can we access to a great party, so I’m curious to see the results and how many videos are uploaded.