Kleenex Flu-Prediction Tool

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Kleenex has launched a tool that will predict the course of the next cold and flu season.

To access the tool, users visit MyAchoo.com and enter their postal code to get a prediction of how likely their neighbourhood is to get the flu in the next three weeks. The prediction tool is proprietary and compiled using data from the US Centers for Disease Control.

Kleenex will also be using data from the algorithm to plot a route for a promotion and publicity tour across the US. The tour, called Kleenex Checkpoints, will start in Chicago, the worst hit city for winter colds and flus last year.

Why I’m Curious

This is a useful application of big data. Users benefit from the predictive nature of the tool, allowing them to track the cold and flu season, ideally taking more preventive measures (i.e., purchasing Kleenex products). Additionally, Kleenex is benefiting from the data collected in the process, allowing them to better track ROI on those hyper-targeted promotional efforts. It will be interesting to see how accurate the tool is in its predictions, and if this data generates an increase in revenue for the brand.

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Coca Cola Tries to Fix a Cultural Divide

Coca-Cola somehow always finds a way to insert itself into controversial cultural issues, like providing coke to impoverished countries. This time, it tries to unite people in India and Pakistan who have been culturally and politically divided with a unique interactive digital OOH experience.

Coca-Cola installed digital OOH, which projected 3D images onto touch-sensitive glass, where users in India could interact live with people in Pakistan. The unit was essentially a window into another world. The goal of the project was to unite people in both countries and fight the perception that “they’re the bad guy” and to remind them that when they meet, “[they] realize they’re just like me” and unite them over a simple beverage.

Leo Burnett Executive Creative Director Jon Wyville said, “We used special active-shutter 3-D technology that projected a streaming feed onto glass while filming through that glass at the same time. This allowed people to make direct eye contact and touch hands,” commented Leo Burnett Executive Creative Director .

People who passed the unit were tasked to approach, touch hands with a stranger from the other country, complete a task like drawing a peace sign or a heart — together. After the collaborative task was completed, each person obtained a free real coke.

<via PopSop>

Why I’m Curious

I appreciate certain aspects of this campaign, but I also wonder how people reacted during its 3 day stint.

Things I liked:

  • It tells a great brand story with a huge emotional component, even for people not closely tied with the conflict in Pakistan
  • The video positions Coca-Cola as hero, and really shows the value prop of bringing happiness to everyday moments (or not so everyday moments in this case)

Questions I have:

  • How do the majority of Indians and Pakistnis feel about a huge brand inserting itself into the conversation? Apparently there was both praise and backlash. And apparently only 10K cans of coke were distributed.
  • Did this drive any earned media within India/Pakistan? Or was this more of a PR move for its US consumers?
  • Why were the experiences not able to be shared on social media?

IBM’s OOH ads make cities smarter

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Many of us are aware of IBM’s Smarter Planet corporate initiative, which highlights how forward-thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress.  For example, solutions to traffic congestion, smart grids, water management, greener buildings, and more.

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Smarter Planet ads are often seen in business and tech-leading publications, both online and in print. IBM’s latest OOH ads really bring this proposition to life:

“Cities can be difficult places to live. Despite all they have to offer, they often make lives difficult for its citizens, with stairs where there should be ramps, no shelter when it rains, and nowhere to sit your weary self down. Ogilvy & Mather Paris and IBM’s “Smarter Cities” campaign try to ease things for you, by turning their ads into useful, smart solutions. By adding a simple curve to a poster, they turned them into places to stand under when it rains, and someplace to sit when you’re tired. With some modifications, they also turned them into a ramp for bicyclists to easily traverse”. – via @Creativity-Online

The ads drive to the Smarter Cities Challenge [people4smartercities.com] where the company is crowdsourcing ideas for building Smarter cities.

“IBM launched the Smarter Cities Challenge to collaborate with local governments and co-fund technology-based solutions to city-specific urban challenges. Through the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM aims to help 100 cities across the world address urban issues with $50 million worth of IBM technology and expertise”.

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Why I’m Curious

Demonstrating real value in a tangible way in an excellent way for IBM to extend its Smarter Cities proposition to more people. This initiative truly demonstrates IBM’s commitment to address key problems in cities to make the world a better place using their technology and solutions.  While this initiative clearly demands a large budget and scope, I’m curious about how smaller companies – tech or otherwise – can create simliar CSR programs.

Facial Recognition Billboard Only Lets Women See The Full Ad

— Jocelyn

From PSFK:

A new kind of outdoor advertisement is being trialled on Oxford Street in London’s West End. The interactive advertisement uses a high-definition camera to scan pedestrians and identify their gender before showing a specific ad. The built-in system has a 90 per cent accuracy rate in analyzing a person’s facial features and determining if they’re a male or female.

The £30,000 display is set up by Plan UK, a not-for-profit organization that helps children in third-world countries. Female passersby will be shown the full 40-second video of its ‘Because I’m a Girl’ campaign that promotes sponsoring a girl to receive proper education in a developing country. Males won’t be able to see the full ad and will be directed to Plan UK’s website instead. The purpose of this was to show men “a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away.”

Why I’m Curious:
Generally, the idea behind advertising is to reach mass. By making the billboard only accessible to half the population, Plan is going against that notion — but potentially to gain more value. The concept of using facial recognition to only show ads to one gender shows the possibility of isolating (or spotlighting) one type of consumer: perhaps ads shown only to redheads, or different ads shown depending on your gender. For a client like Verizon whose Rhyme phone is marketed specifically to women, or Dr. Pepper Ten, which is unabashedly marketed only to men, this type of advertising reinforces the idea while being an interesting twist on OOH.

Out-of-home ads shoppable via QR codes – No longer a Curiosity. Already a Trend.

Sears and Kmart are using QR codes on out-of-home advertising to enable holiday shoppers on-the-go to purchase toys directly from their smartphones. 

Sears is calling the ads “mobile shopping walls,” and is placing them in high-traffic areas such as airports around the country. The ads showcase many of the hottest and most popular toys form Sears’ newly expanding online toy shop and Kmart’s Fab 15 toy list.

Why I’m Curious

The new storefront. Portable window shopping. Mobile shopping walls.

Can we talk about a new dimension of earn media? as in — you’ve just earned a new store location — one that is “open” 24/7, and does not pay electricity or other maintenance costs. It pays media placement. True. But that comes out of the media budget. These are ads that work as both, awareness drivers and mechanisms for immediate conversions, while reducing the reasons for brick and mortars to proliferate. Ads that take advantage of the fact that we carry our phones with us at all times (however, the store is not necessarily close to us at any given moment).

We learned about it a while back in July with the Tesco example in Korea. And we are increasingly seeing these kinds of examples trying to test the US waters. Are QR codes finally finding a reason to exist beyond the cool factor? This new capability, combined with the “if you like this, you may also like this other thing” algorithm, is redefining the main notion of cross-selling itself.