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.

There’s also video content from 32 different countries, showing a video clip from that country. 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.




it’s hip to be hair

Old Spice continues to get weird with the launch of the microsite “That’s the Power of Hair.” To promote its new line of men’s hair care products, the brand created an interactive site where you’re greeted by an Old Spice pitchman. After a short exposition on the virtues of Old Spice’s hair care products, the pitchman’s hair crawls off his head and into position at the foot of an old school looking keyboard. From there, you’re invited to type in the Huey Lewis song of your choosing, and the hair artfully rattles off its best rendition.

Check it out here.

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Why I’m Curious?

Old Spice has firmly staked its claim on this particular type of bizarre humor…A humor that succeeds on the power of seemingly random combinations of niche/cultish pop-culture touchstones (see also: Wolf Dog).

Executionally, the full-screen video is pretty slick, and I thought it was a clever turn to ask users to type in a Huey Lewis tune versus having them simply select from a library…You gotta dig deep! Also presents the illusion that that hair piece knows his whole repertoire (versus the still impressive 29 songs it actually can play).

Now Boarding: Disney and KLM Surprise and Delight Children

To celebrate their partnership, Disney and the Dutch airline, KLM joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind experience geared toward children.  The event focused around the Disney animated movie, Planes.

Initially, the program involved having kids submit their artwork to be animatied children’s artwork, but quickly it turned into more. Children were invited to go on board (while the plane stayed in place), watch the movie on screen, and with some super-cool special effects, experience exactly what was happening to the movie’s main characters.

Right this way for a video:

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Why I’m Curious:

This is the perfect partnership and pairing of a brand.  These children and their families will remember this (as will their friends and family) and forever have a positive association with both brands.  Experiential marketing is not always cost-effective and does not have scale/reach so is sometimes ignored.  This, however, has legs well beyond just the children that got to go on board.

Intoxication Nation

From Thirillist:

The Blowfish that’s not associated with Hootie is an over-the-counter hangover remedy (that at least one of our editors is legitimately addicted to). So naturally they want people to get, like, mad hungover.

They apparently also want to pit the 50 US states against each other in a hangover death match, and so compiled tons of cool stats on drinking in America, which they distilled into a slick set of interactive drinking maps that let you know exactly how your home state parties.

The first tab on the Intoxication Nation page shows you  a bunch of tweets in real time from people who are #drinking – the second tab is dedicated to the hashtag #hangover.

Click me to see more!


Why I’m Curious

This is an interesting branded experience that people want to engage with. It’s interactive, it shows stats in infographic form, taps into the competitive nature of the audience and integrates seamlessly with real-time social sharing. Are more brands going to be looking to use cases such as this to see how they can better engage their audience with lightly branded, interactive pieces that really make people want to engage? As a marketer, I sure hope so!

MTV Allows Fans to Unlock Miley

This past week MTV aired Miley: The Movement, a documentary on Miley Cyrus.  Following the premiere, the network encouraged fans to tweet using the hashtag #Unlock Miley.  When fans tweeted enough with the hashtag, two exclusive videos would be unlocked.


From Mashable:

If her rabid fans — dubbed “Smilers” — post enough Twitter messages with the hashtag #UnlockMiley, they will unlock two videos that can be viewed only on MTV’s iOS app. MTV launched the #UnlockMiley challenge immediately after the documentary aired. The bonus footage (one involves her conversation with Britney Spears) will eventually also appear in the 90-minute deluxe edition of Miley: The Movement, which will air on Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET.

Why I’m Curious:

MTV drove increased interest in their documentary by creating a post- “event” experience. Providing fans with additional content (and a site that tracks their collective progress) continues the conversation in the social space post the premiere date.  MTV also positions themselves as fan advocates, giving Miley’s fans what they want – more Miley. I’m curious to see how this resonates with her fans and if it translates into increased awareness/TV ratings.

Arcade Fire’s Google Chrome-Powered Music Video

For their new “Just a Reflektor” video, Arcade Fire uses Google Chrome technology to let you interact with the music video on your smartphone.

First you must connect to the Just a Reflektor site on your desktop then follow the instructions on how to connect your phone. The project links your computer to your smartphone through a webcam, turning your phone into a visual effects controller with halos, reflections and wireframes in the video adapting to every movement.

Additionally, this project is open source so users can play with the web code (primarily JavaScript and WebGL) to build their own customized experience.

Why I’m Curious

Instead of going with a traditional approach to sharing a music video, I appreciate that the band has created an interactive user experience with their content. It’s a neat application of Chrome technology that we haven’t seen music artists use quite like this. Although it might realistically be annoying to hold up your phone to your webcam while the whole video plays, the project has a personalized element in that it adapts to your movements. That and the fact that it’s open source are enough to attract existing and prospective fans’ attention.

Printing Technology Makes Paper Interactive

Novalia, a science team, is turning paper into an interactive platform.


From PSFK:

Print may seem fairly dull and lifeless medium to many who are more inclined to use technology – but one company is trying to reinvigorate print by turning it into a useable interface.

Novalia is a team of seven scientists, programmers and designers from the UK – all of whom are interested in turning paper into an interactive platform.

Their first venture into this territory is an interactive drum-kit poster. Able to produce up to seven different sounds, the team say you could play along to your favorite songs, or add your own beats to existing ones. Using printed touch technology you could have easy access to a seven-piece drum-kit – without even needing any sticks!

It works using touch sensors printed with electrically conductive ink, to which a simple circuit board is attached. The poster then recognizes when a graphic has been touched, in much the same way as the touchscreen on a smart device recognizes your fingers.

Two versions of the poster are being developed, one that will connect to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, playing the drum sounds wirelessly, and a stand-alone version that transforms the poster’s surface into a speaker.

Made of mainly paper, card and ink, the company says that recycling would also be easy – especially as the electronics module is separable from the poster.

In a world where paper and monitors are often seen as mutually exclusive, Novalia wants to show people that there can be a connection between the two.

The team are currently running a Kickstarter that would allow a more cost-efficient production run – compared with the hand-assembled versions they have been showcasing so far.


Why I’m Curious:

I think this could have huge implications for print advertisers and for OOH and add a new layer of interactivity to these tactics.

3D Ad Lets You Be A DJ

To promote their new mobile DJ mixing app called Slussen, Urbanears created an ad printed on a 3D printer. When scratched with your fingernails at different speeds and pressure application, the ridges on the ad poster reverberate with familiar sounds that a DJ could create by scratching vinyl records on his or her turntable.

Why I’m Curious:
We’ve been seeing 3D printing pop up a lot, but we don’t often see it showing up in advertisements, per se. I think this is a really creative campaign that lets people actually interact with the brand’s ad in a context that is relevant to the product. The posters could be put up at events where interested musical consumers can scratch the posters along with music playing in the background.

Second Screen Radio

Sveriges Radio (Swedish Radio) has launched a second screen campaign. The new interactive radio player allows people using desktops, tablets and mobile to interact with their favorite radio shows by adding images and videos to a radio timeline. Listeners tag content to specific time codes so it appears in their Facebook news feeds. Clicking on any link then takes the user back to that same time-stamped audio content complete with social content.

Why I’m Curious:

Lately I’ve been curious about online radio consumption, specifically how it it aids in the music discovery process, and how long/often people listen online. As it turns out, according to a recent study conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron, self-reported time spent per week is about 3 times higher for weekly online radio listeners (11 hours and 56 minutes) than for weekly online video viewers (4 hours).

We’re used to referring to second screen in the context of TV, so translating the concept to radio seems like a novel idea. It’s a simple concept that creates the opportunity for a richer listening experience, making radio a more social medium. The second screen functionality is an innovative solution by Swedish Radio (Forsman & Bodenfors) to get their programs shared, reaching a wider audience.

So, video has not yet killed the (national publicly funded) radio star after all. Radio is still quite relevant and holds potential as a viable platform for listeners to connect with each other (and brands) in a more interactive way.

Perrier’s Secret Place

Perrier has created an elaborate new online gaming experience called Perrier Secret Place. The game takes viewers through a laundromat and into a speakeasy, where they can choose to explore the hidden world of intricate and mysterious rooms as one of 60 characters.

“Tonight you can be anyone you want,” says the concierge. By clicking on any character in the game, you suddenly see the world through that person’s eyes. These are actors, not animations, and you feel as though you’re really exploring an elaborate movie set or play. One with bottles of Perrier everywhere.

The goal is to find the “golden woman” and her hidden bottle of Perrier. The bottle prompts the user to enter into a drawing to win an exclusive invitation to one of the world’s biggest parties: a party in St. Tropez, New Year’s eve in Sydney, Miami Art Basel, Carnival in Rio and the closing of the Ibiza season.

Why I’m Curious

I appreciate how Perrier has added a fresh spin to gamefied content. The “choose your own adventure” style of this interactive experience is unique in that it allows the user to select their perspective of the environment. Sometimes the likeness of a brand can get lost in the creative. Perrier combats this with strategic product placement enmeshed with highly involved activity throughout the experience (e.g., the goal is to find a bottle of Perrier), a key to driving home brand awareness and resonance. Further, the incentive is very much on brand, relevant to the experience and an attractive motivator for their target. The game is available through desktop, iPhone and Android, bringing wide accessibility to a wide audience.

Barneys Takes A Walk On The Wild-Side

Animation, designer duds and the power of instant purchasing come together in Barneys’ latest endeavor—a shoppable spring film called Wild Things.

Barneys Wild Things


Created by filmmaker and photographer Barnaby Roper under the direction of Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman, the film stars Kinga Rajzak and follows her through a black-and-white cartoon land while she wears looks by Isabel Marant, Acne, Carven, Rag & Bone, and beyond. Viewers can point, click, and buy as they watch the short, thanks to Liveclicker technology.

Why I’m Curious: 

The new video, besides being classic, quirky Barneys, puts a twist on the standard shopping experience by curating collections so users can easily click, shop and share without having to navigate through the site.  In addition to the main videos, mini-videos, designer interviews and other content will be part of the mix.  The only downside – the shoppable capability is only available on, where the video is shown, so it does have limitations.

Barneys is a great example of a traditional retailer who has made digital a core initiative and isn’t afraid to test and learn.  After redesigning their site in 2012, they moved their iconic Warehouse online permanently, have been promoting The Window, an editorial site with a heavy e-commerce tie-in and launched Twitter/Instagram scavenger hunt in partnership with Disney during the 2012 holiday season.

What other brands are doing a good job of integrating their business model with entertaining and engaging content in the digital space? Who is truly embracing the idea of test & learn to  discover the best ways to engage their audience?

Doritos SXSW Concert Directed by Twitter

Doritos is holding a concert at SXSW this year on a 62-foot tall vending machine stage. But the coolest part is that the Doritos #BoldStage will be dependent on social media activity. The more activity, the better the better the outcome of the show.


From PSFK,

Three up-and-coming musical artists (Devin Miles, Seth Sentry, and Snow Tha Product) will compete to determine who will open for the headliners: LL COOL J, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and Doug E. Fresh.

The winner will be determined through fan engagement on Twitter. Fans will then be able to control special effects like smoke and lasers, and help select LL COOL J’s encore song. The entire experience will be streamed live on Doritos’ Facebook page.

Throughout the weekend, fans will able to share photos of their bold moments for the chance to see those images projected onto the huge screen between musical sets.

Why I’m Curious

It seems that the power is continuously being handed to the consumer through UGC and crowdsourcing, especially with consumer packaged goods. From Lay’s Do us a Flavor  to Oreo’s Pick a Side brands are leaning heavily on ways for consumers to take action in order for the brand to take action. I think it’s important to note this trend and try to apply it beyond the obvious.

Although the campaign is largely targeted toward those at SXSW, they created opportunity for fans throughout the country to tweet, and watch the outcome on Facebook. However, I’m interested to see how many fans will go on Facebook to see an “up and coming” act.

Touchscreen T-Shirts Only A Few Years Away.

Most people have to keep their smart phones within arms reach. But what if instead of having your technology an arm’s length away, it was on your arm? Imagine: clothing with touchscreen capabilities built right into the fabric. A truly ‘wearable’ technology.

Under Armour is working on it as we speak, but they’re not quite there – yet.

From PSFK:

Earlier this week, Under Armour officially unveiled Armour39: their next generation of wearable technology. Armour39 is an athletic performance monitoring system that measures ‘what matters most: WILLpower.’ WILLpower is Under Armour’s proprietary measurement for how hard an athlete pushes him or herself during a workout on a scale of 1-10, taking into account heart rate, calories burned, and past performances, among other things.

In promoting the new Armour39 system, Under Armour has released a commercial entitle “I Will” that seems to suggest a greater shift towards wearable technology. The video first focuses on the Armour39 system and chest strap, but transitions to a future concept suit that has touchscreen capabilities built directly into the fabric. The messaging in the video below makes it appear that Under Armour is currently working on such a suit, and not just promoting it as a concept.

Why Am I Curious

Microsoft is already working with researchers to create a new version of Kinect technology that can transform any surface into an interactive touchscreen.  The idea of being able to connect and engage through any object – a notebook, a wall, a hand – without being tethered to specific device fascinates me because it allows connectivity in the most immediate sense.

We have so many devices that collect and store our personal data – biometrics, athletic performance, etc. and it’s really interesting to think about how an article of clothing can  replace those devices and give us the opportunity to review, analyze and adjust to the data in real-time.  As a runner, I think about the practical applications as the technology becomes more refined – apparel manufactures could use that data to adjust the “functionality” of the clothing itself.  A shirt that can easily track external air temperatures, body temperature, heart and perspiration rate, etc. can take that data and alert the runner that they need to open/close a vent, remove sleeves, or even have the shirt self-adjust by increasing/decreasing wicking capabilities or turning on a heating element – all before the one actually experiences the adverse effects of a weather change or over-exertion.  And of course, we can collect and use the data to influence r&d, product design, even marketing communications.

Although there aren’t many specifics around the technology being used in Under Armour’s touchscreen apparel, they company has confirmed that this is a real project.

Touchscreen Print Ad Provides Instant Car Insurance Quotes

Usually if you see a print ad for car insurance, you’re not always inclined to follow through and check out the company’s website. RSA’s interactive print ad solves this problem by connecting magazine readers directly to the system for immediate quotes.

From PSFK:

Created by OgilvyOne in the Middle East for those living in Dubai, it supports the car insurance company’s “Easy as Ever” promise by enabling customers to ask for a quote straight from the ad, making the experience effortless.

The interactive print ad features a custom-built device inserted into it, which communicates with RSA’s servers. Readers could then use the phone-shaped device to key in their details directly from the ad and request a car insurance quote on-the-spot. In minutes, a quote was generated and sent to their mobile device. So using the shareable media, anyone could easily get a quote in no time at all.

Why Am I Curious?

Nowadays, everything is about making interactions and engagements frictionless and seamless for consumers. This is another example where an insurance company is trying to bring digital into the print advertising in an effort to ensure “taking action” is more likely to happen. With technologies like that becoming more ubiquitous and cheaper, I wonder what else will we be able to do while reading a magazine without the need for any additional devices?


There’s nothing like the atmosphere at a live sporting event. The crowds, the players being within shouting distance, and the nachos are truly an ‘experience.’ (Making nachos at home doesn’t even come close).

Earlier this week, the home of the Brooklyn Nets released the Barclays Center app in an attempt to merge the best of the stadium experience with the technological benefits of watching the game from home.


The Barclays Center app, which is iOS and Android compatible, is a new event app that allows spectators to interact with live in-game footage and other arena features. The app, which connects through the arena’s public Wi-Fi and is powered by Cisco’s StadiumVision Mobile technology, provides fans the ability to access live, in-game video, the official television feed, a 30-second rewind feature for replays, and up to four different cameras – mixing TV angles and GoPros mounted around the arena.

Incredibly, the app also lets users order food from their seat, send messages for display on the scoreboard, check-in, and interact with other users. The StadiumVision Mobile technology provides a nearly seamless stream of action to your phone at only a two second delay. It does this by using a ‘multicast’ connection, which keeps the stream from being overloaded and slowing down by splitting the feed and then delivering it individual to each fan. This is great if you want to watch a replay, and is certainly no worse than if you were listening to the broadcast on a handheld radio – as some fans still do.

Now, even if you are waiting in line for beer, food, to use the restroom, or are otherwise distracted, fans can get a front-row view of the action. For fans in the nosebleeds, they can get a little taste of what the high-rollers experience in the floor seats. And for fans that enjoy stats, replays, and different camera angles, they can enjoy the best of both worlds right from their hard, plastic stadium seating.

Why I’m Curious: This type of experience could go well beyond the basketball stadium – concerts, plays, baseball games, etc., and I think it’s a great opportunity for brands to get got involved in enhancing that “in the moment” experience.



Coke Debuts Super Bowl Teaser & Social Game

Earlier this week, Coke unveiled a teaser video called “Mirage” that shows three groups (badlanders, cowboys and showgirls) racing through the desert for a bottle of Coke. As the group approaches the large bottle, they realize it’s only a sign – leaving consumers with the power to decide who wins.

From AdAge,

“Mirage” kicks off a game of sorts that will run through Super Bowl. Prior to the ad’s TV debut, consumers will be able to share the spot and vote for the group they want to win the Coke. Sharing content unlocks more content, including 50,000 coupons for a free 20 oz. Coke. Consumers can pick their favorite team, then slow down the competitors with “sabotages” — videos that show the cowboys delayed at a stoplight or the showgirls stopping to pose for a portrait, for example.

Why I’m Curious

I’ve been interested in seeing how Coke was going to top their real-time polar bear ad last year, and I’m excited to see if “Mirage” takes off. The trend of a second screen doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and the layers promote social sharing.

If nothing else, it’ll be fun to see if viewers take to Facebook and Twitter to talk about Coke throughout the game, in addition to the score and Beyonce in the halftime show.

Delta Airlines launches new feature on iPad app

Delta’s latest iPad app features a “glass bottom jet” setting that lets you see exactly where you’re flying and how fast.

From Mashable,

The feature offers a view of the plane flying over the map, replete with the shadow that the aircraft is projecting. The map also calls out landmarks and messages from your social networks. If a Facebook friend, for instance, has checked in to somewhere you’re flying over, you’ll see it. The Fly Delta for the iPad app has other features as well, including destination guides, flight checkin and a “What’s Next” feature to help make post-flight plans. An updated version of Delta’s iPhone app also includes Passbook-based ticketing.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a very cool and interactive way for Delta to utilize their iPad app. Because it’s build right in, there’s no barrier of downloading something new, and with over 800 planes with Wi-Fi (and more to come) there’s plenty of opportunities for flyers to give it a try. Also, I was really interested in the social network integration, which allows flyers to feel plugged in during long-distance flights.

More Nike+

NikeFuel Missions is a new addition to the ever expanding universe of Nike+ products/experiences. With a Nike+ account and any one of several Nike+ devices, you can compete in a virtual race through a “world where cold has conquered everything.” Earn NikeFuel points through tracking your real-world running progress, and use them to advance through the game’s levels.


Why I’m Curious

It’s a testament to Nike’s will to innovate that an already successful and innovative platform only continues to grow deeper and richer. Nike could have very easily rested on Nike+’s early success…It’s inspiring to see them continue to think of new ways to grow and expand the platform.

IBM Invites You to Think Again

a25-520x337As a follow up to last year’s “THINK” Exhibit, IBM developed the THINK App: an exploration of human and technological progress focused on solving the world’s big and small problems.  To promote the free app, IBM created brain-teasing banners that encourage intelligent audiences (visitors to the Times, The Guardian and the Post online)  to problem solve using a variety of skills. This series of easy interactive puzzles lead you to download the THINK App for free after you’ve solved them.

Why I’m Curious: The app itself does a really nice job of merging history, technology and science, and hence appeals to kids and grown ups alike. What I appreciated about the banners is that they went beyond the usual mindless interactions that most units require. While other brands couldn’t get away with demanding too much of users from a banner, I do think IBM has earned the right to pique your curiosity.

Ikea’s Interactive Holiday Catalog

IKEA just announced their first interactive seasonal catalog. The 31-page catalog, Celebrate Brilliantly, is being introduced in time for Thanksgiving and can be read and watched on a section of their US site. The catalog focuses on inspiring people through fun and simple transformations you can make to your home during the holidays. You can also watch videos from the catalog pages, recommend to Facebook and Pin items on Pinterest, all with one click.

Why I’m Curious: IKEA has had an online version of their catalog for years – but it was basically a PDF. This is clearly a much more interesting way to shop and immerses people in your products (while also providing you data). And it’s just another example of the future (aka present) of shopping.