NFL Tackles Online Gaming to Score Sales

Home Depot is once again making a bid to win over college football fans by bringing back a newly updated mobile gaming application from 2012 that lets consumers challenge their friends and family in games for a chance to win prizes.

In conjunction with Carrot Creative, they’ve launched the iPhone game app called Corso’s Cornhole Challenge in which fans compete against ESPN virtual personas for impressive prizes. In the 8 weeks since the campaign relaunched, the number of mobile game downloads has topped 55,000 with over 450,000 games played and growing. Engagement levels have been extremely high, with the average user playing 13 games.

To complement the iPhone game with a social element, Carrot created the Home Depot College GameDay Facebook application to serve as an additional hub for fan interaction. The Facebook application includes tailgating tips, an Instagram contest and DIY projects so fans can build their own cornhole sets – bringing the mobile game to life.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 3.26.24 PM

Carrot Creative Video 2012: http://carrot.is/creative/college_gameday

Why I’m Interested:

Brands of all kinds are trying to find ways to engage consumers. Using branded mobile games is an often-subtle (see Chipotle and “The Scarecrow”) way to attract customers , raise brand awareness and ultimately drive sales. Home Depot is leveraging college football fans’ loyalty and passion to promote their brand effectively.

Mobile gaming has not caught on with all online retailers yet, but Home Depot’s app is a great example of effective brand-related mobile gaming. If designed to be a fun and addictive experience,  a branded mobile game can be an effective means for a retailer to stay in the forefront of a consumer’s attention.

I’m particularly impressed with Home Depot’s integrated approach to bringing the whole campaign full circle by not only building the game but using social media and sweeps to further incentive users and create bus. Furthermore, they’ve provided CTA’s back to the Home Depot website for DIY tips to build your own cornhole game, thus providing users with real-world applications and a reason to shop for specific products.

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Lexus: Trace Your Road

To promote the new Lexus IS Hybrid, Lexus created “Trace Your Road,” an experiential life-sized video game event featuring Formula 1 driver, Jarno Trulli. To make the experience even more engaging, the series of improvised racetracks were sourced from 10 lucky Facebook fans who traced their tracks on an iPad while sitting next to Trulli.

Why I’m Curious

This is one of the most innovative and eye-catching ways to use technology to showcase a car’s handling abilities. The concept on its own is brilliant, but the way it was visualized makes it hard to take your eyes away.

Candy Crush Saga: A Killer Social/Mobile Combination

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If you own a smart phone or have a Facebook account, chances are you’ve heard of or at least evaded the Candy Crush rage. The simple bejeweled-esque mobile game has reeled in a whopping 15.5 million players so far and tops the charts as one of the highest grossing free apps on the market. The game forces players to depend on their Facebook friends to grant them access to new levels, or else it’s $0.99 a pop (and there’s a lot of pops, pun intended). It’s a killer yet simple combination of social and addictive game design.

From ABC,

“The game, which was released for mobile phones in November 2012, has topped Zynga’s Farmville 2 and other popular mobile games such as Texas HoldEm Poker, Bejeweled Blitz and Subway Sufers. But why? What is it about this game that’s really no more than a simple puzzle game that has made it so popular? It’s a combination of mobile and social elements, says the makers and experts.”

Why I’m Curious:

Before Candy Crush I took pride in having a clean record when it came to these bandwagon social/mobile game rages. These games often have either the addictive or social piece nailed down, but not often do you see both being integrated so well. The dependency on one’s Facebook network that the game has garnered can reduce even the most conservative social networker to a shameful spammer. I am confident that Candy Crush has set a new bar and has facilitated a new upcoming wave of social integration in mobile gaming.

Does silly stuff matter?

UK telecom company Three’s viral pony has been galloping all over the internet at breakneck speed. Launched on 1 March in a TV ad, it’s since picked up more than 3.5 million YouTube views in six days for the UK’s fourth largest mobile operator.



What’s more, Three wants people to create their own dancing ponies and has provided a Pony Mixer tool to enable them to do so. People can choose from different musical genres such as rave, funk and boyband, to see their customised pony move and can then share it via social media. In a veritable internet meme pile-up, there’s already a Harlem Shake pony mix. Also with a view to prolonging the pony’s viral success, the company is floating the hashtag #DancePonyDance.

So what’s the point of all this? Three is attempting to celebrate ‘all the seemingly stupid stuff we look at online on a daily basis.’ While it ‘may seem silly,’ claims Three, ‘it’s not – it’s what connects us through the simple act of sharing.’

Results: Wieden + Kennedy London, Three’s agency, claims that the video generated 14,000 tweets within five hours of its internet premiere on Friday 1 March.

Why I’m curious:

When most operators differentiate either on price or network technology, this is an interesting approach for Three to address identity crisis and to differentiate itself from its major rivals. Whether this will help Three to establish an emotional bond with consumers and hence to assert itself in the sector and attract new customers remains to be seen.

Best Bus Stop Ever?

Mobile phone technology company Qualcomm produced this charming stunt at a bus stop, in order to prove that using your phone can make your life a lot more exciting.

Why I’m curious:

This is a very interesting example of using offline channel to commute directly with individual customers and provide personal experience. One thing they are missing here is social sharability. How about installing a camera taking pics of those people when they were offered the ride and allowing them to share on Instagram?

Twitter Metadata Change: Tweets To Be Assigned ‘High’ Or ‘Low’ Value

Twitter is going to start publicly assessing the value of each tweet.

In a blog post about metadata changes to its API, Twitter notes that tweets will be considered “low,” “medium” or “high” value. An alternate value of “none” may also appear in the metadata, perhaps for spam or something that makes no sense at all. The value will be assigned under “filter_level” in its API. That means developers can tap into the change to deliver more relevant tweets in third-party apps.

While Twitter doesn’t share how a tweet is ranked by the new algorithm, The Next Web speculates that “shares, views, engagement numbers and so forth” will be factors. It’s likely that the popularity of a user could also be taken into account.

The metadata change is expected to go live on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why I’m curious:

Besides third-party apps, Twitter is very likely to apply the filter to its Discover Tab and search function. Imagine the tweets show up not in a continuous chronological stream, but one ordered by value or relevancy to individual users.

INTERACTIVE YOUTUBE MESSAGE SCOLDS VIEWERS WHEN THEY PRESS PAUSE

Longstanding CEO of Publicis Groupe, Maurice Lévy, has made his annual Holiday Message an interactive experience capitalizing on the fact that many viewers of Youtube videos fiddle around with the controls rather than let the video play out.

The video reacts according to what the viewer does. Pause the message, and Levy looks bored waiting for you to return. Raise the volume, and Levy increases his voice. Go full screen, and see the ‘set’ for the production. Rewind or skip ahead and Levy goes through a stack of papers to ‘start again.

Why I’m curious:

The Christmas message, although clever in its own right, also shows the creative applications of hosting a video on YouTube. It’s a great marketing tactic for Publicis but also a masterful display of Youtube’s rich media capabilities.

Old Navy creates a scannable coupon out of humans

After reaching the five million fan mark on Facebook, Old Navy decided to celebrate by giving all their fans a big deal. Agency CP+B brought hundreds of people together to create a 30% off coupon. An aerial shot of the 120ft x 60ft promotion features colorful props and a barcode made of 88 placards, which is readable by in-store scanners.

The human coupon, which can be downloaded here, is valid from 12th-14th October and should encourage a lot of Old Navy’s online fans to visit their stores. Check out the video below to see how the coupon was created:

Why I’m curious:

I liked the cute creative execution that makes the main message “thank you FB fans” stand out and the benefit “coupon giveaway” more memorable. However, as a fan who sees this video, they’d have to go back to the website to either email or print out the coupon to be able to redeem it in store. Not that quite seamless in my opinion.

Alex Bogusky Takes on Soda Companies — Parody Video Mocks Beverage Giant’s Iconic Polar Bears

The ad legend behind Subservient Chicken is coming back to the creative world, in a new role. Bogusky’s video ad was created for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington. It’s a nearly four-minute anti-sugary-drink animated film aiming to show the ill effects of drinking too many sugary beverages.

The animated video featured animated bears called The Real Bears, the papa bear in the film not only suffers from erectile dysfunction, but also contracts type 2 diabetes, which forces him to have a “grizzly” leg amputation.

The video drives viewers to a website, where visitors are invited to share the video via social media.”Facebook it. Tweet it. Pin it. Google+ it. Email the link to your friends and relatives. Show it at school. Sit down and watch it with your whole family. Host a movie night and watch it before the main feature. Talk about The Real Bears on your YouTube show. Embed it on your website or blog. Have at it. You are the messenger. Sharing is the only means we have to make sure the unhappy truth about soda gets out to the world.”

A little background story on this, this is not the first time Bogusky attacked industries. Some of you might’ve seen the anti-smoking campaign “The Truth” launched in 1998. Although the major difference between The Truth and this one is that the “Truth” campaign was the result of a massive settlement with tobacco companies and was funded with their help. It even undertook the most expensive ad buy: a spot during the Super Bowl in 2004.

Why I’m curious

A lot of people would argue that for a brand viral video to go viral, paid-media support is essential. But we’ve also seen examples such as Chipotle’s “Back to the Start”, which garnered millions of YouTube views and lived solely online for months before airtime was purchased for the ad to run during the Grammys. I am interested to see when it comes to a challenge of making a commercial go viral without any major paid-media support, if some celebrities’ fame, a good story and excellent execution is good enough to make “miracle” happen. The film went up on Youtube on Oct 9th and as of today, it’s got 697,406 views.

What Amputee Polar Bears Have to Do with Coca-Cola

– Jordan

The Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) is going after one of the largest corporations in the world, Coca-Cola, and it is using its own lovable cuddly polar bears as its weapon. The center has created an emotional campaign that ties the dangers of over drinking soda to an average family, using an iconic and easily recognizable symbol to do it. Along with the 3min long video, the center has created a dedicated site called therealbears.org that includes hard hitting truths about some of the misconceptions and dangers of overconsumption of many Americans favorite beverage.

Here is the main header for the site.

THE UNHAPPY TRUTH ABOUT SODA
It wasn’t so bad when soft drinks were the occasional treat.
But now sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the American diet.
With one third of America overweight and another third obese, it’s a wonder
anyone is still swallowing what the soda companies are selling.

Why I’m curious:

This campaign is pure genius. Many PSA type spots fail to catch peoples attention because they usually land on the main message of “Don’t do this” which automatically turns many consumers away. The blend of a stylized visual only spot mixed with the use of a legendary icon that everyone can recognized makes this spot emotional, interesting, and educational.

Human Is Now On the Menu in New London Butcher Shop

Video

– Jordan

From Huffington Post

As our email spam filter proves, there are no shortage of PR stunts designed to promote video games. But this one might be on a different level.

To promote Resident Evil 6 – the latest in the series of zombie-monster horror shooters – Capcom has opened a butcher’s shop.

Selling humans.

 

The butchers even has its own webpage and Twitter account, if you really have to look…

The shop is open in London’s Smithfield market Friday and Saturday until 6pm.

Why I’m curious:

Being that the installation is only in a small shop in London the campaign has already had a big reach hitting top blogging sites like NeatoramaHuffington Post, LaughinSquid and Geekologie, which shows how a big impact idea can work harder per dollar than a constant blast of mediocre messaging.

With Halloween coming up there are a lot of brands capitalizing on the timeliness of the Holiday and coming out with ghoulish ads, but this one is going to be hard to beat.