Show Me Your Artwork

Diesel launched a new campaign, “Show Me Your Artwork,” on Tumblr to find hidden artistic talent around the world. The campaign name pretty much sums it up, as Diesel selected 1,000 submissions from artists to put on display at a Paris department store.

From PSFK,

“Show Me Your Artwork” project is a gigantic public display of digital art. The 1,000 chosen submissions were plastered on the external walls and windows of Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and will be on display till October 24. Transforming the iconic department store into an art exhibition, the Diesel project exposes thus far unknown digital artists in a public setting where people will inevitably take notice. The unusual setting of the digital art gallery serves as a great breeding ground for dialogue.

diesel-5

Why I’m Curious

The fashion industry as a whole is very and never afraid to tap into different social networks or technology. From Burberry’s RFID stores to Stella McCartney’s snapchat fashion show and J.Crew debuting their catalogue on Pinterest, it seems every week there’s something that keeps us curious about the fashion industry – whether big or small.

Coca-Cola Integrates Live Tweets into TV Ad

Busy schedules, smartphones and on-demand entertainment has gotten in the way on family bonding time, especially at dinner. In Romania, 60% of people do not eat meals together, instead they eat dinner alone in front of the TV. Coca-Cola wanted to change this, and enlisted the help of MRM Worldwide to integrate live tweets into a TV spot.

From PSFK,

At the bottom of the ad, there was a text bar that hosted tweets from fans featuring the hashtag #LetsEatTogether.  MRM live-edited the tweets as they flowed in and chose up to seven tweets to show each time the ad was played. Most of the tweets were addressed to specific people, with friends inviting friends to have a meal together and enjoy each other’s company.

As a result, Coke’s Twitter base in Romania increased 15% and the ad garnered over 1 million social media impressions. Placing live Twitter mentions into a pre-recorded ad presents an incredibly innovative way to combine traditional advertising formats with today’s social media, and proves that you can really invite someone over for a meal through your TV.

Why I’m Curious

While we see tweets show up during the broadcast of live TV shows, This ad not only made people look forward to commercials, but also interact with an ad, and of course, it can’t hurt that it resulted in increased sales. I do wonder how successful this would be in the U.S. when so many people do DVR shows and skip commercials as well as those who opt for services like Netflix rather than have cable.

Red Bull Flow

red-bull-flow

Red Bull has launched “Red Bull Flow“, an app for the BMX and skateboarding community to film and share their tricks.

With Red Bull Flow, users can stitch together seamless films from their shorter videos, showcasing their tricks, without the need for any editing software or prior editing knowledge. After filming their video clips, users add tags to the video specifying the rider, trick and location. Next, the video is published to Flow and may also be shared on Facebook. In Flow, users can discover, watch and share other people’s tricks on their phone or as collaborative videos – ‘Flows’ – on redbullflow.com.

Watch the video for the app here.

Why I’m Curious

What’s interesting about this app, is that YouTube, Instagram video and Vine already exist for video sharing, yet Red Bull has created a unique differentiator in their branded video sharing app. By building an app catering to their BMX and skateboarding audience, Red Bull is essentially creating a new social network for their target to share their tricks, get inspired and essentially learn from each other. In this way, Red Bull is hosting a relevant, long-term branded social experience.

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.

PicMonkey-Collage1

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

BMW Creates Fake Holiday to Promote Car

BMW turned to China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo to create a holiday called Ctrl-Z day. With the help of influential bloggers, over 300,000 other people told the world what they would “undo” in their lives if there was a Ctrl-Z function in life using #CtrlZDay

From PSFK,

Ctrl-Z Day became viral when Key Opinion Leaders on Weibo started tweeting and promoting the fake holiday. Weibo users believed that the second Friday of July was a ‘worldwide day of regret.’ BMW set the record straight a few days later with a post. The company’s post stated that they wanted people to drive their Z4 without regrets.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 11.57.16 AM

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 11.49.33 AM

Why I’m Curious

I thought this was a creative way for BMW to using the language of the technology the contributors are using. There’s a natural fit with Ctrl-Z and regrets, which I don’t’t hink has been used before. However, I think it’s a very familiar idea to the Land Rover ESC key takeover, although different executions.

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).

Mashable_Hero_V2

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 4.34.31 PM

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.

Amazon Opens “Kindle Worlds” Fan Fiction Bookstore

Amazon now has a new bookstore for both readers and writers of fan fiction. The Kindle Worlds Store opened its virtual doors on Thursday with more than 50 commissioned, original stories based on familiar series such as “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Kindle Worlds stories typically cost between 99 cents and $3.99 and will be exclusive to Kindle devices and apps.

From cnet:

The goal of Kindle Worlds is to reward both writers and the original rights holders for new fiction based on existing stories and characters. Kindle World’s Self-Service Submission Platform offers any writer the opportunity to publish fan fiction. Authors can earn up to a 35 percent royalty for writing stories based on existing books, TV series, and other types of entertainment.

Kindle Worlds Trailer

So far, the stories in Kindle Worlds are restricted to works from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment and Valiant Entertainment, as well as those from authors Hugh Howey, Barry Eisler, Blake Crouch, and Neal Stephenson. But Amazon has said it plans to strike licensing deals with other companies to offer fan fiction based on more books, TV shows, movies, comics, music, and even games.

Why Am I Curious?

This is really exciting from the perspective that it gives people a chance to really showcase their work and write their own plots for their favorite stories. However, I also wonder how authors of the original works will feel with their stories having many different endings that they did not write or agree with. Also curious about whether this will take away from the original work – with many potentially contradictory plots and endings floating around -making them more diluted and far less engrossing and satisfactory to the readers/viewers.

China Turns Olympic Pool Into Live Emoticon Display

WC7-625x418

From PSFK:

Artist Jennifer Wen Ma and lighting designer Zheng Jianwei have transformed Beijing’s Water Cube into a display of the sentiments of the Chinese social-media service Sina Weibo’s millions of users through an interactive lighting display that runs from dusk to 10 p.m. daily.

Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube uses a custom software application that sifts through millions of emoticons and smileys posted to the site and translates them into a glowing light show.

Ma explains, ‘I have conceived this as a piece that can breathe, as an organic being that changes as nature and society around it changes. I want people to feel like they have some authorship because their emotions are being registered.’

Why I’m Curious:

I think it’s interesting how the designer took something as arbitrary as an emoticon and turned it into a beautiful art installation. I think the idea of visually tracking a country’s sentiment in real time is also very cool. Imagine tracking brand sentiment in this fashion.

 

 

Ice Cream Duo Takes Nation by Storm

From the 360i blog:

Just like Ben & Jerry’s, cities are made of different ingredients that work together to form a unique essence. That’s why our first program on behalf of the brand is encouraging ice cream lovers from some of the nation’s biggest cities to create and name their own ice cream flavors based on the respective personalities of their stomping grounds.

 

Launched today, Ben & Jerry’s ‘City Churned’ campaign invites people from New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. to invent new flavors around the unique attributes that make up their cities – including things like public transportation, parks, landmarks, tweets, photos, traffic and, of course, the people themselves.

BJBlogImage1

Why I’m Curious:

I think it’s cool to see brand blending a combination of user generated content, brand generated content, and the natural environment to impact campaigns.  It’s like crowdsourcing on steroids.

Design Your Sneakers Using Instagram

nike-photoid1

Instead of looking through Nike’s online color options to customize a new pair of kicks, Nike is inviting consumers to use their Instagram photos. The new PHOTOiD web app, combines filtered Instagram photos with Nike’s custom ordering process: First the user grants Nike permission to access to their Instagram account. Once a photo has been selected, the software applies the color palette to a pair of Air Max 1, 90 or 95 sneakers (based on the available color library for each footwear option). Designs can then be purchased and/or shared with your social network.

Why I’m Curious:

With all the data/content generated online every day, there’s a persisting question of, “Now what do we do with it?”. This is one of the reasons why I think this program is noteworthy – it recycles pre-existing UGC content to get people to interact with the brand. With a wealth of Instagram photos to utilize, on top of a fairly simple user flow, users are encouraged to spend time on the brand site and try out multiple designs with their photos. And for what it’s worth, there’s the potential to create a truly personal tangible product, inspired my emotionally resonant moments in consumers’ lives.

As far as I can see, it’s unclear if Instagram is making anything off this partnership with Nike, but this could be a viable revenue model for the platform. At least for Nike, it’s a clever mechanism to determine ROI from social media. I wonder if Instagram plans to build similar revenue-generating partnerships with brands in the future.

AHHHH! Coke Launches 61 Unique Websites for Teen-Focused Campaign

Coca-Cola launched a new teen-focused digital campaign that spans across multiple websites, and incorporates a series of games, GIFs and videos as part of a multi year effort. “The Ahh Effect” is Coca-Cola’s first digital-led effort, and, notably, the campaign doesn’t include any television commercials.

Ahh1

From Co.Create:

The new campaign spans 61 URLs. The umbrella site is www.ahh.com, (two h’s) invites you to “explore the world of ahh,” and adds that while there may be many ways to explain how Coca-Cola makes you feel, there’s “only one way to describe them.” The other URLs  have different number of “h’s” appended at the end of the “Ahh”, containing a “snackable piece of content” that could be a game, a series of GIFs, or maybe a funny video. To that end, the “Ahh” sound-effect is woven throughout the programs, with the brand owning multiple version of the URL “Aah.”

All the experiences are not live yet, there are 17 up so far. The brand plans to create bi-weekly site reporting systems to understand which URLs are popular and which aren’t. Those that perform poorly will be eliminated and replaced. The campaign is best experienced on mobile, Coca-Cola said — on iOS and Android platforms, with no support for Blackberry presently.

Why Am I Curious?

I think it is a cool campaign particularly for the target they are trying to reach. And although I found the 61 URLs to be tedious when reading about it, upon diving in to the experience I found that, even though I am not the target, the multiple URLs create a gamified discovery element to the experience and tempt you to find out what else is there.

American Airlines’ Paper Napkin Pitch

american-airlines-contestAmerican Airlines is soliciting suggestions from customers on how to improve the travel experience on their airline. Rather than asking users to publicize this on a microsite a la Starbucks, you can write down your pitch on a napkin (and drop it at the boxes at their new lounge in Austin) or submit it online for the chance to win domestic air travel until March 12.

Why I’m Curious: Soliciting innovation ideas from customers is not new. But I’m interested in the inherent limitations of this format (i.e: a 6″x6″ napkin doesn’t provide that much room for ranting) plus it doesn’t expose customers to the invariable negativity that will come forth from these ideas (by keeping the ideas inside a closed box).

BEN & JERRY’S FEATURE FAN INSTAGRAMS IN THEIR LOCAL ADS

Ben & Jerry’s is asking its fans to capture the essence of “euphoria” on Instagram. By using the #captureeuphoria tag, the fun ice-cream brand will share the happy snaps on its “Capture Euphoria” gallery, and the best ones will be used in its upcoming ad campaigns.

Around 20 images will be used in local ads in partnership with creative agency Silver+Partners, and Haworth Marketing+Media. For one of the ads, the brand used a photo by Megan, an Instagramer and Ben & Jerry’s fan, and had it featured at the back of a magazine. The magazine was then handed out to the community where Megan lived. Check out the video below to see how you can participate in the campaign, and see how Megan reacted when she found out that she was the winner.

Why Am I Curious?

Many brands are attempting to develop campaigns to generate user-generated content and to get people to engage with the brand. However, what is really cool about the Ben & Jerry’s campaign is that it not only captures user content but also uses it to reinforce the brand promise – namely the feeling of euphoria for people that eat Ben & Jerry’s, in the most authentic and believable way possible. This is a great example of a picture being worth a thousand words and in this case, it does not even have to be a high quality photo.

User-Generated Posters

This week Tumblr came to visit the office and shared some interesting ways brands are utilizing the space (they also keep a great list of brands to watch). One great example was Make Ruby Real, a tumblog for the film “Ruby Sparks.” Instead of creating a poster for the film themselves, they created the blog to host all the assets necessary to create one. Then placed media on design-centric sites and blogs inviting them to give it a try. The result was a pretty nice batch of posters (17 pages).

Why I’m Curious

UCG can be tricky on social media. Fans aren’t always equipped with the skills or assets to create content for a brand to leverage. I think this great example of not only providing all the goods to make a nice poster, getting the message out to the right people, and providing a meaningful incentive – basically setting participants up for success. As a result, the movie got a bunch of great content. Plus Tumblr is a great place for this all to happening. There’s an opportunity for the content to live on with notes from other fans (and friends of the designers) in a way that most other platforms just can’t offer.

Introducing the Instagram Menu

A New York restaurant has implemented an Instagram menu, directing diners to check out pictures of food to help them decide what to order.

From Mashable,

When three-week old Latin-American restaurant Comodo — located in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood — noticed guests were repeatedly snapping pictures of their entrees and uploading them to Instagram, it decided to capitalize on the trend. The restaurant has embraced the hashtag #ComodoMenu and added it to the bottom of its real-life menu, encouraging guests to add, share and check out photos of food offered at the establishment.

Why I’m Curious

It’s no secret people love taking photos of their food, and I think this is a great way for a restaurant to utilize existing user-generated content. I always find myself looking around at other table’s plates for some inspiration, and this provides a curated (and perhaps less rude) solution.

I’m interested to see if other restaurants, or even bars and lounges, adopt this, or if diners prefer the element of surprise when a plate or cocktail is placed in front of them.

The Internet: Now with Even More Ways to Connect!™

Why yes, two more new ways of social networking arrived this week, but both are courtesy of the same crew: Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams (along with another early Twitterian, Jason Goldman). Branch and Medium both launched this week, with some mystery and fanfare, via the Obvious Collection.

Branch aims to extend a social conversation (say, like branches – ahem – on a tree) while Medium attempts to (in the words of their founders), “[rethink] publishing.”  I could go on trying to describe them both without an account, but I’ll save you the pain. Watch a little something on Branch:

And while there’s no video for Medium, offhand it looks and seems to function as though Tumblr and Pinterest had a lil’ tech baby. You can read a little something on Medium here.

Both are currently only accessible with a Twitter account.

Why I’m Curious

More social networks, hooray! Pretty big aims in a crowded market, but as a regular user and fan of Twitter, I’m interested. There seems to be a very clear issue with the standard of social networking, Facebook, that tech innovators are willing to explore and refine. As head of Branch product Josh Miller said, “Between articles, blog posts, and tweets, the internet is dominated by monologues. So we want to build a home for dialogues online, by combining the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the internet.” I’m just not sure what will pick up and why, and whether Facebook is still king due to ubiquity or what. But hey, it can’t hurt to try. And of course, keep an eye on the Obvious Corporation for more in the future.

Crowdsourced Fashion Design

-Kristie

Cut On Your Bias is a new website that invites shoppers to vote on clothing designs during pre-production, allowing them to determine which fashions are created.

From PSFK,

After logging onto the site via Facebook, consumers can browse the weekly designs that are up for vote. Users can alter the piece in terms of its color, size, silhouette, material and more. Final combinations which receive the most votes are made in limited editions for pre-order the following week. The platform allows designers to skip the sample process, producing clothing for an enthusiastic fan base straight from the drawings and digital renderings stage.

Why I’m Curious

It’s interesting to see the various approaches to the fashion industry. Some designers and influencers believe fashion is an art, and designers like Coco Chanel and Alexander McQueen have just as big of an impact as the most well-known artists.

It seems that having consumers designs clothes takes away so much of what the fashion industry is (or at least used to be) about – an eye for a silhouette, colors and trends.

I’m interested to see the reactions from designers who believe in the “art” of fashion and wonder when UGC becomes a money saving strategy rather than an engagement strategy.

Static Texts Are So Outdated

There’s a new app for iPhones that can take a video and convert it to an animated gif so that you can text it to your friends.  MyFaceWhen launched this week, and is a free app, for now, but should be $0.99 at some point..  So now, instead of responding with “ROFL”, or even an emoticon, you can send an animated gif showing yourself ROFLing.The web is full of images and gifs that express certain emotions, but this takes it to a new level.  No longer must we rely on one of these memed pictures, although the app can accommodate many of your favorites as well, to express how we feel about a given situation in a message to our friends.

Why I’m Curious

Everyday communication continues to evolve.  Remember when we had to actually speak to a person to communicate?  Now, we’ve taken another step at removing words from communication.  At some point, I wonder if we’ll just get back to hieroglyphics like the ancient Egyptians…. but you know, in animated gif format.

An aggregator here, an aggregator there.

From Techcrunch today, comes a release about a new LBS APP, Gopogo.  The article says, “With the rise of social networks, people are now sharing more information about themselves online than ever before.  Social feeds now disseminate content in real-time, but the problem of course is that a lot of this sharing gets lost in the noise — and with content piling up so quickly, stuff quickly gets lost.”

So, enter Gopogo.  They’ll tap into all the available APIs from existing LBS services, to aggregate information into what they call “Strings”.  When users use Gopogo, they’ll have access to all of these strings, and be able to publish additional content out to their own LBS accounts, adding to the Gopogo strings.

Currently the service is only available for NYC and L.A., and APIs for various services are being added on a rolling basis.  It’s in Beta, but already has 10,000 users, and funding on its way.

Why I’m Curious

New Apps launch all the time, and I agree that there is a lot of fragmentation among apps that might have marginally better experiences than their competitors.  But aren’t each of these apps trying to develop their own business model – Gopogo doesn’t even seem to have one nailed down yet.  Maybe the hope is to get bought up by a bigger player.  But if all your data is sourced from other services’ APIs, who’s to say that you can’t be duplicated, or shut off?

Kaleidoscope, An App for Curated Street-Style Fashion, Arrives on iPhone

Between Pinterest, Fancy, Have to Have, Pose, Fashism, Lucky Shopper, Thre.ad, Snapette and about three dozen others, it’s fair to say the world is not in dire need of another fashion inspiration or social shopping app.

However, all that aside, there are a few things that make Kaleidoscope different. For one, its high-quality feed of street-style images. Instead of depending on user-generated content for fashion inspiration, Kaleidoscope displays thumbnails of photographs pulled from lookbook.nu or produced on its own. Between 30 and 50 new images are posted each day. The startup is currently forming partnership with select bloggers to bring their content to Kaleidoscope’s feed as well.

Kaleidoscope also brings quality curation to another key part of its service: product recommendations. The app uses ShopStyle‘s API to locate products that match the clothes in each photograph, and internal staff — i.e., the startup’s interns — filter through the options to offer users the best fit.

Also, it is integrated with third-party networks which makes it easy to share looks straight to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

The app only has a few thousand users at present, but the expectation is that the number will multiply quickly now that it’s available on iPhone. The company is also doing a big marketing push around Coachella, including a partnership with Details magazine.

Why I am Curious?

I am curious if this app will be more successful than its earlier counterparts that do not have the aforementioned features. It seems as though they are fixing the things that tend to go wrong with other fashion inspiration based platforms. There is something to be said about engaging users via user-generated content. However, the flipside of this is the quality of the content. The street-style photos may not always be high quality or form a cohesive content pool. I like Kaleidoscope’s model of not depending on the user for content but forming partnerships with an already established content curation sites or bloggers with an existing following.

However, the most interesting thing to me about this app is their integration with the ShopSytyle API to make product recos. I like looking at inspirational “real-people” fashion photos but I do not  have the time or the patience to figure out where to find the pieces to put together a look that I may like. I hope that through this API integration, Kaleidoscope will be able to point people to where they can purchase a piece they see on the photo but also make recommendations for similar looks at different price points. Because for some reason it so happens most things that tend to grab my attention on these curation platforms tend to be at the “aspirational” price point.