Lisbon Repositions Tram Wires as Functional Art

For some, wires draped across urban environments are purely unattractive clutter. For others, they’re art. Veering in the more optimistic direction, the city of Lisbon recently turned its web of tram wires into a tastefully interactive experience. Here’s how it worked.

Why I’m Curious

The success of this campaign is heavily grounded in a less-than-obvious insight: the cross-sections of tram wires appear to spell out letters. And when one pieces those letters together, a typeface is created that inspires adventures around the city.

Such an insight would seem to have been bred out of time spent exploring unique traits of Lisbon. Not just listing off obvious attractions, but really looking at aspects of the city that span the entire environment in order to create a tourism-inducing experience outside of cliche destinations.

For us, the takeaway reminds me of a saying creatives often coin: “first idea.” First ideas are those that materialize in an initial brainstorm. At first they seem amazing – brilliant even – but 24 hours later they’re not quite as shiny as initially perceived.

In the case of this work, the agency clearly avoided the dreaded “first idea” creative approach. Now it’s our turn to always do the same.



Kate Spade and eBay Partner for an Interactive Shopping Experience

Kate Spade Saturday’s and eBay have joined forces and turned to tech, creating an interactive shopping experience for consumers. They have launched four 24-hour Window Shops in Manhattan. Each interactive storefront allows shoppers to select and order  merchandise from Kate Spade Saturday, Kate Spade’s new weekender line, on a touchscreen, schedule a free one-hour delivery to anywhere in the city, and pay with PayPal Here upon delivery. This partnership brings the best of online shopping into the physical world, and rolls mobile technology, same-day delivery, and seamless digital payments into one end-to-end customer experience.



Why I’m Curious

I think this is a very interesting way to replace a brick-and-mortar shopping trip with an interactive experience. I’m curious to know if this will be successful – if you are already making the trip to go shopping and try new clothes on, what are the benefits to this interactive store front?

Heineken Ignite: Interactive LED Beer Bottles

Heineken unveiled interactive beer bottles that light up based on gestures (cheers, drinking) and environment (music volume, not in hand) at a recent VIP party. The intent of the Heineken Ignite project is to create a memorable brand experience that unlocks the power and possibilities of mobile innovation and technology. The prototype is part of Heineken’s Lounge of the Future concept, and there’s no word if this project will see a larger release.

Why I’m Curious

Affecting packaging that not only amplifies existing behaviors but also benefits social sharing is the holy grail for advertisers. That being said, all those sensors and wireless networking doesn’t make it very practical for home use, but it could really catch on in big clubs if Heineken decides to roll the bottles out more widely.

Fashion Gets Funny


Local fashion designer Rachel Comey is turning her website into a giant livestream for New York City’s independent women in comedy. Starting at 4pm and continuing every Thursday for the next three weeks, some of the city’s best comedic talents, including Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, This American Life’s Starlee Kine will be performing for an online audience.

Why I’m Curious: A lot of the women who wear Comey’s clothing are women in the arts – so naturally it makes sense to celebrate and align with these women (especially because they have a following). While comedy and fashion don’t often overlap, it’s certainly an activity that one could multitask at (i.e: you can easily listen to stand up/laugh while shopping for clothes).

Remote Presence

Cross-country and international travel is expensive. Three or four trips to London, Paris or Taiwan a year and you’re spending at least $16,000. What if you could spend that much and be in Europe and at home as often as you want? That’s what Suitable Technologies’ Beam Remote Presence System promises.

beam remote

Here’s how it works. Beam connects to your network via a Wi-Fi or cellular broadband connection. Roughly 5.5-foot-tall, it has a large LCD screen atop two slim bars and a rolling base. There’s also a charging station. Beam usually starts there so it’s fully charged when you’re ready to “travel.”

If you’re controlling Beam, your view is via your computer or laptop. You drive Beam with a joystick or, more commonly, the arrow keys on your keyboard, while Beam cruises along at up to 3 miles per hour. Your webcam beams your face to the Beam device, so your disembodied head looks like you’re wherever your Beam is. It’s like your own personal transporter, without the dangerous (and currently impossible) Star Trek hardware.

Why I’m Curious: It’s interesting to see technology giving control to the user. Where someone would normally be restricted by communicating via a remote location, this technology allows the user to navigate where they want. This could potentially connect people even more closely than social has been.

Source: Mashable

Sony: Intelligence Gathered Game

To promote their sponsorship of the upcoming James Bond movie, Sony just launched a stylish cat-and-mouse spy/action spot that promotes sleek-looking Sony products and ends with Bond hunk, Daniel Craig, turning the tables (gasp).

Sony continues the Bond experience online by putting you in the hot seat as a secret agent.  Framed as the “British Intelligence Officers Exam,” the game pairs players with MI6 field agents who are in pretty scary scenarios. You type out instructions for the agents in the requisite block-text, neon-green font designs, and get evaluated on your ability to solve problems. Sony products abound, with agents using the phones and laptops to help them out during the game.

The Intelligence Gathered campaign continues on Sony’s website with extended video clips and spy-styled product information, focused on cross-selling their portfolio. Interestingly, the interactive experience isn’t included on the site (not sure how they are driving there).

Why I’m Curious

I wouldn’t call this a truly integrated campaign since the TV spots aren’t driving to the digital experience and the online story doesn’t seem to be an exact continuation of the ad. That said, the Bond theme remains strong across each touchpoint – as does blatant product integration – so it’s not a stretch. I like this take on older school bot language programs and I think this game does a nice job of engaging people with a simple yet intense spy story, which tests their cognitive skills and lets them be a secret agent… for a sec.

Old Spice Lets You Make Sweet Music… with Terry Crew’s Body

From AdAge:

Wieden & Kennedy Portland, MJZ’s Tom Kuntz, The Mill and Vimeo team up on an interactive video that first gives you a preview of what pitchman Terry Crews can accomplish with his pecs, triceps and sartorius adductors, then invites you to try it out yourself.

This is the first time Old Spice has worked with Vimeo on a campaign. The brand’s prior video efforts, including the highly decorated Old Spice “Responses” campaign starring Isaiah Mustafa, have always been housed on YouTube. The Vimeo video is fully embeddable — interactivity and all — and according to a Wieden & Kennedy spokesperson, was the only platform that could make this experience possible.

You can use your keyboard to control Crews’ muscles and record your muscle-powered masterpieces, then share them. What you see here is the pre-recorded version, and you can try out the interactive portion here. Check out the keyboard cheat sheet so you can move Crews exactly how you want to.

Why Am I Curious?

I think this is highly imaginative and the concept would be entertaining and interesting even without the interactive part in the end but that takes this to a whole new level. I am really impressed at the implementation of that and what went to creating this interactive experience. This could have many applications for brands in terms of consumers interacting with their content in ways that go beyond likes and comments.

Interactive Vending Machine Gives Free Coffee

Similar to the Fantastic Delites vending machine we wrote about last month, the U.K coffee company Kenco Millicano has introduced a talking vending machine stationed in Soho Square. The vending machine shouts out to people passing by asking them to pay attention and interact. When people do as the vending machine says, they get a cup of free coffee. Some challenges including giving the vending machine a hug, to do a dance or stand on one leg.

Why I’m Curious

As more and more brands create interactive experiences to capture consumer attention, I’m curious as to how each experience can stand out and be different for the consumer. In the case of Kenco Millicano’s vending machine, Kenneth, it gains attention by literally shouting out to people passing by, while Fantastic Delites showed messages on a screen and relied on consumers to approach the machine themselves.

Only Because We Can

In cooperation with the Danish creative agency Uncle/grey, Only jeans produced a movie that gives viewers the opportunity to contribute to the storyline and the ability to immediately buy what they see. The website based experience was a Cannes Gold Lion winner this year. Head of Marketing Niklas Sønderskov described this new, interactive way of watching and buying as an open dialogue with strong customer engagement.

Why I’m Curious

The seamless product integration in an incredibly immersive environment is a really effective way of creating the aspiration experience that reminds me of the “I want” that women experience when flipping through the photo shoot section of fashion magazines. The benefit of this web-based approach is that it connects directly to the online-retail experience, hopefully resulting in more direct sales than you can get from traditional magazine formats.

Google Brings to Life the Power of the Web in Museum Exhibit

Google teamed up with The Science Museum in London to visually show the power of the web. The museum and the web giant created a yearlong exhibit that consists of five experiments that can be experienced physically or online at The Web Lab’s microsite. Each experiment is intended to communicate one of the Web’s capacities or features. For example, the “Universal Orchestra” allows people from distant locations to make music by playing a set of instruments located at the museum; this visibly highlights how the Internet enables people to collaborate. The other four experiments focused on showing how the Web can connect humans to physical objects, create the sensation of being somewhere else, make information readily accessible and trace data.

Why I’m Curious

More than communicating the Web’s capacity Google and The Science Museum in London brought it to life. The experience paints a clear picture by creating a physical representation that communicates the web’s power. Telecommunications companies like Verizon can show the power of their network by creating similar sensory experiences that portray the product’s benefits.

MNDR Makes Music Videos a Personalized Experience

By accessing users’ Facebook data, MNDR creates a personalized, interactive video for their new single “C.L.U.B.” Similar interactive experiences using Facebook data have appeared before, but in this case the entire presentation is steady and gives a much more realistic experience to users.

While playing the video, users can see their profile picture as their iPhone wall paper, texts from their Facebook friends and even the feed you scroll through during the video is what appears on your Facebook feed. The storyline follows the user through New York, and ends with the user becoming a guest DJ for one of MNDR’s shows.

Why I’m Curious

I definitely feel like personalized, interactive videos are fun and a way for people to want to watch a music video or get more in touch with a brand. But I think I’m most curious about how a brand can utilize this interest to be shared after the experience. For this video in particular, there isn’t a way for users to share their video on Facebook, which seems to lose some of the impact this experience could make. If it were a brand experience, there should definitely be an opportunity for users to share their own video with friends as well as recommend friends to try it out themselves.