The Mindy Project matches up fans to lead characters’ fake tinder profiles.

The Mindy Project matches up fans to lead characters’ fake tinder profiles.

In a strategic effort to increase its audience/following, Fox has teamed up with Tinder to stir up some publicity for a Mindy Project Tinder themed episode airing later this year. For the promotion of this episode, the show has created fake dating profiles for the main character Mindy as well as another cast member Danny. Tinder users holding a promising outlook for a virtual hookup will find her profile stating:

“Tiny doctor in a big city looking for love, friendship, or a donut that’s so good it’s spiritual. I’ve got a Reese Witherspoon personality, a Nicki Minaj body, and Frnak Sinatra eyes (they turn blue in the summer, I swear). Looking for the Channing Tatum to my “girl from Step Up.” Swipe right if you like a high-powered firecracker of a woman who has it all but only recently figured out her DVR. To see more about me, tune-in to THE MINDY PROJECT this Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c on FOX.”

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Why I’m Curious:
I love to see promotional efforts that are a little more outside the box. People often despise banner ads because they are invasive to their actions and or distracting. Utilizing popular platforms in a way that is native to that very environment is a more clever and strategic way to reach the target demographic they are going after. The only issue I might see with this is that if someone has never heard of this show and swipes left, the Mindy Project may easily miss an opportunity to reach a new audience.

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Dick’s Sporting Goods: Get Winter Ready

From Creativity Online:

You know how hard it is to get up and ready in the morning, especially in the winter months when you’d rather stay snuggled under the covers in your jammy-jams? Well, Dick’s Sporting Goods, along with Anomaly and Stink Digital have turned “rise and shine” into a game, Get Winter Ready, to promote the retailer’s winter collection.

It stars four buddies on a winter ski trip, and the goal is to get them all dressed so they can hit the slopes before sunrise. The gameplay doubles as a winter lookbook, as players are supposed to locate the various Dick’s goods they’ll need to wear. The experience was built entirely in HTML and works across mobile, tablet and PC devices.

images

Why Am I Curious?

Gamification is big, we all know it. It helps users engage with the brand longer, keeps the brand top of mind. The reason I particularly liked this game is because it not only doubles as a smart and engaging product catalog but also makes a good old sweepstakes promotion more engaging and entertaining. It is more than asking for consumers to fill out a form but also getting them to “earn” their right to be a part of the sweeps which helps the brand to expose them to their products and remind them the great amazing memories associated with skiing.

 

Ignore Your Phone, Get Coupons

The movie theatre chain Cinemark introduced an new feature on its app for iPhone and Android that rewards moviegoers for not using their phone during the film. The “CineMode” feature enables you to earn digital coupons during the movie.

From PSFK,

If you activate it before the movie begins, your screen will automatically dim and you’ll be prompted to set your volume to vibrate. CNET reports that if you try to access your phone during the movie, the app will warn you that you won’t get your reward, but if you wait until the end you’ll get a coupon for a special offer at the cinema like discounted concessions.

Why I’m Curious

In a world that’s always connected, I thought it was interesting that we need to be rewarded for courtesy.  It’s interesting that Cinemark thought that this would be such a prime spot to activate the rewards, because it’s so hard for people to concentrate on one screen.

Ben & Jerry’s Asks, Do You “Wanna Spoon”?

-Kristie

To help promote their Greek Frozen Yogurt, Ben & Jerry’s launched a new Facebook app called “Wanna Spoon”. The app scours users’ friends’ profiles, looking for anything they might have in common including favorite foods, brands they like and even relatives with the same name, to receive a coupon to try Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt

From AllFacebook,

When a user selects a friend chosen by Wanna Spoon, the app will then post a message on the friend’s page, with this message: “Using a fancy algorithm, Ben & Jerry’s decided we’d make great spooning partners.” The message will include a coupon for the company’s Greek Frozen Yogurt, encouraging the two users to share the goodies.

Why I’m Curious

Ben & Jerry’s seems to always get it right. Their product is simple and fun, and they embrace it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ben & Jerry’s try to make a connection that wasn’t there.

Also, various brands try different ways to ways to connect Facebook users and increase sharing, sometimes trying to make connections that aren’t obvious to the consumer. Ben & Jerry’s shows that while you should think outside of the box (or carton!), using traits that inherent to your brand the user experience will provide a more integrated campaign.

HASHPIX

We knew this was coming…you can’t have all of these beautiful pictures and no one profiting from them. Someone had to capitalize….presenting: Hashpix the new place to buy/sell your favorite Instagram photos.

Mashable:

“To sell on the site, photographers need to apply. It’s starting out by selling selected photos from 12 of the most popular Instagram photographers, who together have more than 800,000 followers on the photo sharing platform.” Read the full article here.

Why I’m Curious

I am curious to see what this could grow into. Could brands with amazing photos start selling them at a profit on Hashpix? Could brands such as Starbucks that use great imagery start using this as a place to promote their creativity? Additionally, it continues the conversation around images and videos and how much more people are using them in social media. It challenges brands to not only have engaging copy, but to be aesthetically pleasing to the consumer as well.

Kinect-powered shopping cart helps you shop

Microsoft has demonstrated an early prototype of a Kinect-powered shopping cart, which is being developed for Whole Foods by Texas-based company Chaotic Moon. The project is called the “Smarter Cart” and it uses a tablet and scanners to read the items you place inside, check whether they’re on your shopping list, cross them off and ring them up.

The motorized cart can follow you around the store and has voice recognition and speech so you can give it instructions and it can let you know if the item you added wasn’t on your list or is the wrong type of item. The “Smarter Cart” has a Windows 8 tablet and uses a UPC scanner and RFID to read the items. All you really need to do is upload a shopping list and place the items in the cart. It will cross them off your list and you won’t have to wait in a long line at the checkout because your items are rung up as you go (via PSFK)

Why I’m Curious:

While the shopping cart, like Siri, leaves a little to be desired, I think this is an interesting trend of making our tools smarter to better serve us. I like the idea of making it easier to shop by checking off your shopping list and ringing you up and I think this could have larger implications for marketers in the retail space in terms of gathering additional information for targeting.

Toyota Belgium: Adventure Discount App

The Toyota Belgium Adventure Discount app encourages people to go on different adventures in Belgium and use the app to track it. With each new adventure you get more off of you Toyota purchase. -Tulani

Read the full article on Creativity and watch the video here.

Why I am Curious

Having lived in Belgium for 3 years, I know that there is a lot to do, even if it isn’t always portrayed as the most exciting place to visit! I think that by getting customers more involved in their discount opportunities and thus more interested in the company, it gives a more positive sentiment towards the brand and makes the purchasing of the car even more exciting.

It will be interesting to see how other companies are able to use apps to give discounts and create a greater investment in a brand. With this app you are able to tell a story about what went into purchasing your car and you have and the adventures you went on to add personal attachement and a fun memory to the story.

‘Green Lantern’ Movie Promoted On Bike Wheel LEDs

-Larissa

bike

Warner Brothers used bikes with LEDs lights in their wheels to promote the launch of the movie Green Lantern in Brazil. The lights were in a variety of patterns, including the name of the movie (‘Lanterna Verde’ in Portuguese), its opening date in Brazilian cinemas, and the iconic Green Lantern logo. Groups of cyclists on the LED wheels rode through the streets of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro while thousands watched. According to PSFK, people were able to go out and watch the “Green Lantern Invasion” by following the routes posted on the movie’s website.

Why I’m curious:
LEDs are a low fi technology that have a high impact when applied in unique ways. Light illusions, like the ones seen here or ones used in long exposure photography are inexpensive to create but have an impressive effect. I like the simplicity of these bike wheel LEDs and the application of geek-tech to the (typically overblown) movie promotion category.

Patagonia and eBay’s unique partnership

Patagonia and eBay recently partnered up on the Common Thread Initiative . The purpose of this partnership is to help Patagonia and its customers reduce their carbon footprint by asking customers not to buy new Patagonia gear unless they really need it.

– Judy

Why I’m curious:

Patagonia’s interest in being environmentally conscious is not new, but its  partnership with eBay is. This is a unique way into Patagonia’s target audience’s interest in the environment and sustainability. And, Patagonia is putting a stake in the ground to demonstrate that it truly means what it claims to stand for.

Here’s the full article from Outside:

Don’t Buy Patagonia Stuff New Unless You Really Need It

Tonight, Patagonia and eBay announced a new partnership, the Common Threads Initiative. Together, they asked owners of fleece and Gore-Tex everywhere to pledge to reduce consumption, reuse old gear, recyclerepair what’s broken, and reimagine a world where people don’t stress the earth with purchases.

Yes, you read correctly. Patagonia is asking us not to buy their stuff, or any stuff, unless we really need it. And then they’re asking us to buy used stuff when we can. And they’re asking us to sell those still warm puffys and barely frayed packs gathering dust in the back of our closets on eBay, to a troller who will buy an old jacket instead of buying a new one.

To show they really mean it, Patagonia and eBay have partnered on a Patagonia-specific resale site powered by eBay that you can access from Patagonia’s website. But there is one catch–you have to pledge to the five “Rs” to use it.

Patagonia wants 50,000 pledgers this year. Sign today, and whether or not you start bidding, you’ll be one of the first. But don’t just sign so you can get first dibs on nearly new gear which for the next few days is probably mostly from the Patagonia sample racks. Think about what you’re agreeing to, and like Patagonia, walk your talk.

Pay with a Tweet: Real Social Currency

-Jon

A year ago, a new way to trade content online debuted as a simple idea to sell a book. This week, it took home a Cyber Lion at Cannes.

Pay with a Tweet is the first social payment system where people use the value of their social network as legal tender.

Cooked up by the creative wonder-duo known as Innovative Thunder, Pay With A Tweet was created to help build buzz for the book “Oh My God What Happened And What Should I Do?“. And then heavily supported by the good folks at R/GA to bring home hardware from The Webby Awards, The One Show and Cannes.

Why I’m Curious

Sheer ubiquity. Anyone who has something to sell can scrape and add a Pay With A Tweet button to their site. Likewise, anyone who wants something can have it with a simple shout out.

In a world where everyone’s talking NFC payments and virtual wallets, words may very well prove to have the highest value and widest acceptance.

www.paywithatweet.com

“A Painting’s Worth a Thousand Photos”

-Michael F

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is hosting a photo contest called ‘Get Closer.’  The promotion invites Met visitors to submit a photo of one detail in a single work of art from the Met’s permanent collection that captures imagination, along with a photo of the full work of art and a brief text (approximately 50 words) describing why that detail is compelling.  The Museum will then select five winners, whose entries will appear on the Met’s website. Each winner will receive a one-year Individual Museum Membership.

‘The Crucifixion with Saints and a Donor” (Joos Van Cleve, oil on wood, 1520) is featured in this post as an example submission.  The participant called out how the cracking of the paint is a remarkable detail that only adds to the work’s beauty.  The ‘close up’ photo really brings this observation to life!

Why I’m Curious:

This program interested me first and foremost because it is really effective at getting brand advocates to tell the brand story in an organic way.  As I read through the entries on this page, it feels as though the visitors are becoming the curators.  This reversal of roles is a really interesting and bold play for an institutional organization like a museum.

I’m also really impressed by the resourceful execution on Tumblr.  Photo contests are discussed all the time but it often seems like development and execution is viewed to be a large hurdle that requires significant planning.  This approach to photo contests on Tumblr is effective and it also seems as though it could be developed on the turn of a dime.  For those unfamiliar, Tumblr is a blog platform where anyone can post to your blog space.  While Tumblr will not host the fullfillment aspect, the Met’s selection process is based on judges, which allows the program more flexibility.

Overall, this program is really effective at driving marketing value; it facilitates awareness of pieces in the collection, engagement for viewers to play the role of curator, and it also drives consideration by making membership the prize of the program.

Facebook ‘Deals’ Focuses on Friend Activities

– Michael

A test version of the new Facebook Deals product will launch shortly and it’s focused entirely on ‘social experiences.’  This means that the Facebook’s Deals program will only promote activities that you can do with your friends – and that product purchases are by-in-large excluded.  Many of the expected users of this program are the ‘deals’ companies themselves:

“Facebook and Google ads are a huge expense for deals sites.  A deals site might typically spend $5 to $12 on Facebook ads to register a new user on its email list… Thus, Facebook will have significant pull with deals providers who use it for distribution. Nine partners are already signed up: Gilt City, HomeRun, OpenTable, PopSugar City, Tippr, KGB Deals, Plum District, ReachLocal and Zozi.”

Read the article on AllThingsD: http://bit.ly/hA0cx7

Why I’m Curious:

This story caught my attention because for all of the hype that was generated during the launch of ‘Deals’ and ‘Places’ last summer, usage and product support has been minimal since such a lofty introduction.  This latest iteration to ‘Deals’ is the first major announcement and it seems that this time around Facebook at least has a much more specific focus for what they are aiming to address in the ‘Deals’ market, which is group promotions on a friend platform.  This sounds like a smart short term goal for which Facebook can hit a homerun – and potentially pave the way for wider usage of Facebook Deals.

Why experiences?  It actually makes a lot of sense.  Facebook already is a place where friends connect and make plans (via ‘Events’).  It seems that a logical extension for the platform would be to make it the place where promotions connect friends, too.  What’s brilliant about this move is that Facebook has a pre-defined client roster (deals companies), which will make this second effort at ‘Deals’ far more likely to succeed.