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.




Farmed & Dangerous: Chipolte’s New Online Show

Premiering February 17, Farmed & Dangerous is a new 30-min online program that supports Chipotle’s branded entertainment initiatives. It’s a comedy that will air with commercials from Chipotle and other brands, but that surfaces new issues about sustainable agriculture that people might not know about.

Chipotle has led the pack with its branded entertainment initiatives. As far back as 2009, Chipolte was sponsoring viewings of films like Food, Inc. It then began creating its own content with its Back to The Start spot in 2011. Just last it year released The Scarecrow, a video as well as a game. Through these initiatives, Chipotle is solidifying its POV on sustainable farming and becoming an ally of family farmers, an underdog story anybody can get behind.

Why I’m Curious

The most compelling part of this activation is actually the length of Chipotle’s programming. There are four episodes of 30 minutes in length. It will be aired as part of Hulu’s Brand Authored Content section. I’m wondering how many people will seek out this execution by name or if people visit that section of Hulu on purpose. Furthermore, I’m curious to see how this plays out digitally within social or if they have any additional support for the video.

As Chipotle is firming up its stance on food and farming related issues, how does this actually dive people to the store? Branded entertainment is a great way for brands to start a conversation and tell its brand story. I’m curious how Chipotle is attributing its success back to this model of advertising.

a teaser for a trailer for an ad

True to their irreverent brand personality, Newcastle Brown Ale calls BS on the convention of Super Bowl ad trailers. So far, the campaign consists of a teaser (for a trailer), a microsite (, and a social extension under the hashtag #IfWeMadeIt.

Teaser below:


Why I’m Curious?

The overblown hype around Super Bowl commercials is (and has been) ripe for parody, and I’m glad somebody stepped in and acknowledged it. The execution fits perfectly with the “No Bollocks” stance/personality that the brand has been working towards in recent years, and it’s seen pretty solid response in the day or so that it’s been live (#IfWeMadeIt:

Manning Brothers Rap for DIRECTV

“Your phone ain’t for calling, it’s for football,” tout the Manning brothers in DIRECTV’s latest ad, which has turned into a viral hit on YouTube. Forewarning: This tune’s like a permanent marker on your mind.

Why I’m Curious

Toyota previously saw gobs of success when suburban parents rapped in favor of the brand’s new mini van, and now we’re seeing the same scenario with DIRECTV. The takeaway? People love it when a brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. That, or it’s the clash of cultures we simply can’t stop watching and sharing. A lesson to be learned when aiming to create successful videos for the social web.

Facebook Testing Auto-Playing Videos in the Mobile News Feed

Facebook is testing auto-playing video in your mobile News Feed. These videos are similar to the auto-playing videos on Instagram, except they start playing silently.


Facebook said in their Newsroom:

“…we’re starting to test an easier way to watch videos on Facebook. Now when you see a video in News Feed, it comes to life and starts playing. Videos initially play silently, and if you want you can tap to play with sound in full screen. Scroll past if you don’t want to watch.”

For now, the only videos that will auto-play are posts from individuals or musicians and bands. Facebook says over time they will explore how to bring this feature to marketers.

Why I’m Curious:

While Facebook is billing this is as “an easier way to watch video,” I think most people had the same reaction when hearing this news. Everyone assumes this is just opening the door for in-stream video ads. It will be interesting to keep an eye on how Facebook develops this feature to create an experience that can both benefit brands and provide a seamless, non-distracting experience for users.

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.

LG Can’t Stop Pranking Job Applicants

LG is back at it, this time pranking intern applicants. LG clearly really believes in the quality of their Ultra HD TV, so they turned it into a faux window and scared the bejesus out of people.

From Business Insider,

The commercial, which surfaced Monday on YouTube, shows the LG team rigging up the TVs to look like windows. Then, they sat job applicants across from the televisions under the premise that they were being interviewed for a position with the company.

When the tranquil cityscape displayed on the televisions erupts into a series of explosions, hidden cameras capture the applicants’ outrageous reactions.

Why I’m Curious

I had very mixed emotions when watching this video, from heart racing for the applicants to cracking up at their reactions. It seemed ridiculous, however I think it’s a great way to show the product, the personality of the brand and the culture of the office. I do wonder if that boy is still working at LG though…

App Alert: Glide boasts 3.5 million users

Private video messaging application Glide has reached the 3.5 million download mark, dispensing 139 days worth of video in its first few months. The company also noted it saw a 120% increase in daily active users last month. “Glide’s growth can also be attributed to the startup’s ability to iterate quickly to meet the demands of users,” Jordan Crook writes.

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Why I am Curious

We discovered and posted about Vine, Instagram, Whatsapp, Line, and GroupMe before they even reached their million download mark. Just curious to see who is going to win the battle of instant video messaging.

Walgreens Offers Discount in First Instagram Video

Instagram just reached it’s one month anniversary of Instagram video, and brands are continuing to try to make the most of these emerging platforms. This week Walgreens launched its first Instagram video that offers followers 40% off of their next Quick Prints purchase on their mobile app when they use the coupon code showcased in the video.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.10.24 AMScreen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.12.07 AMWhy I’m Curious:  I’m curious to see how brands continue to refine their short form video strategy through contests, video series, and more. It’s important for us to continue monitoring how brands like Walgreens and Nissan’s “Your Door To More” leverage these emerging platforms in a way that offer utility to their consumers.

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).


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.

Vine Reacts to Instagram Video with a Promoted Tweet

Following (or right before) the announcement of Instagram’s new video feature, Vine promoted a tweet thanking users for all the videos they’ve created. It was a nice tactic to keep the original mini-video platform top-of-mind among the trending conversation about Insta-video. But the update seems to be inciting a social media battle of sorts.

We know that Vine is more popular on Twitter than Instagram (and rightfully so since it’s seamlessly incorporated), and we also know that Facebook owns Instagram. CNN seems to think that Facebook is a Twitter copycat.

Why I’m Curious

There used to be a much clearer distinction between different social media platforms. Facebook was for networking with fellow students, then friends, and now everyone. Twitter was strictly for 140 character posts. YouTube for video, Instagram for images, and so on. But the lines are getting blurred with each update. And social media platforms are competing with each other to keep their users engaged for longer.

So what’s the benefit of using all Facebook products instead of Twitter? Will people start sticking to one platform for all their social media needs? I’m curious to see how the Instagram update (and more to come in the future) will effect how we use social media.

Campaign Mocks A&F While Dressing Homeless

A quote by the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch has not only gained a lot of attention, but has also sparked a larger Internet campaign. The campaign, started by LA-based writer Greg Karber, is attempting to “rebrand” Abercrombie & Fitch by donating the company’s clothing to the homeless.

From Mashable,

The video, which has since attracted nearly 400,000 hits, Karber encourages viewers to donate their Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to a local homeless shelter, and then share what they’re doing on social media. His goal? To make Abercrombie & Fitch “the world’s number one brand of homeless apparel.”Some commenters have criticized the campaign for objectifying and demeaning homeless people, but Karber said this was not his intention.

Why I’m Curious

I initially agreed with some of the critics, saying it objectifies homeless people, but I think that only came across in the video due to their reluctance of taking the clothing. What I’m really curious about is how this campaign was started when another writer reignited an article written in 2006 by commenting on it. There is no cause or brand behind the campaign, it is fueled by social media and people. There have already been over 7,000 uses of #FitchTheHomeless and over 4 million video views. I’m eager to see if this will ignite a change in A&F.

Cap’n Crunch Launches Late-Night Show

Cap’n Crunch cereal has been turning to social media to revamp the brand, and this May is no exception. After launching Facebook and Twitter in 2011, with nearly 300,000 fans and followers combined, Cap’n Crunch is launching a YouTube late-night talk show at 11:35pm every other Tuesday.

From PSFK,

The show will involve interviews with animated celebrities and fictional characters perfectly situated within a giant bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal. The captain will ask guests about everything from pop culture to social media with a tongue-in-cheek spirit.

Why I’m Curious

I really like that when Cap’n Crunch was looking to revive the brand they turned to social media, where their loyal fans are, and is great proof that social media alone can help a brand make a comeback. However, this teaser just gave me a headache. I want to give the late night talk show the benefit of the doubt, but if it’s anything like this teaser, I think they’re missing the mark.

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches…with a Manly Twist

By now we’ve all watched the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video, and seen it shared on Facebook and Twitter all week. I’m not disputing the powerful message Dove is sharing, but a comedy group in California, New Feelings Time, created a parody that turned the table – men are describing themselves followed by women describing the men. And it’s hilarious.

From Creativity,

When women are tested on their self-image using a forensic artist working for Dove, the result is a moving video. When men are — as in this spoof by New Feelings Time, a Californian sketch group — it’s a lot funnier.

Why I’m Curious

Obviously the video is entertaining, but the real reason I’m curious goes beyond the giggles. The Dove Real Beauty sketches went (dare I saw it) viral fairly quickly, already racking up 7.5 million views in 4 days, and a parody quickly followed.

I think this could be a new way of measuring success, not just views and impressions, but how fast can someone else recycle your idea for their benefit, whether it’s another brand or a not. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Bitcoin – The digital currency quickly gaining mainstream traction

– Jordan

Bitcoin is an entire digital currency that is posed as the future of monetary means. The currency is “mined” online through a complex system of algorithms and is a finite resource consisting of $21 million Bitcoins in total. Watch this 3min video for a detailed explanation.

Why I’m curious:

The idea of a self stabilizing currency is an amazing theory, and only time will truly tell if this can become a reality. Current speculation has been focused around Bitcoin and the ability for hackers to attempt to steal or slow down bit services. Every dollar was once backed by gold backing our bills with an guaranteed value, but now we no longer have that security  Bitcoin on the other hand is also backed by no precious metal, however it does have a finite amount of Bitcoins that essentially limited the ability to simply print more. THrough this lens Bitcoins stop sound crazy and start sounding crazy awesome.

Online game demonstrates where urban dwellers seek privacy

A new online game from BMW Guggenheim Lab called Public/Private explores the topic of privacy in cities by focusing on where it is sought out by city dwellers. Users pin areas where they seek privacy and how often, creating a unique visual graph that can be compared with results from other people in the same city, as well as from cities around the world.

Public/Private is an extension of two research projects conducted over the past seven months as part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai. These explored the meaning and character of privacy for residents of one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

Public/Private, which was designed and developed by the New York-based design studio Collective Assembly, invites users to share their expectations of privacy as experienced in a variety of spaces, like home, work, and play. The responses produce a visual graph and as more feedback is gathered, a complex picture of privacy in urban settings will emerge.

Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 3.58.33 PM

Follow this link to play:



Dos Equis Moves the Celebration of Cinco De Mayo to May 2nd (Dos De Mayo)

– Jordan

Dos Equis anticipates the upcoming celebration of Cinco de Mayo and the fact that it is falling on a Sunday when bars in a lot of cities are closed or less busy than usual. In an effort to ensure strong sales this year they are encouraging people to celebrate on the 2nd of May for Dos de Mayo.

From Contagious:

Mexican beer bumps up holiday to ensure open bars and beer stores

With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Sunday this year – not traditionally a great day for beer sales – Mexican beer brand Dos Equis has decided to take matters into its own hands. Working with Euro RSCG, the brew brand is suggesting a change from ‘el cinco’ of May to, appropriately, ‘el dos’. Instead of the traditional celebration on the fifth, the brand is suggesting that people celebrate a few days early, on the second.

On the Dos de Mayo microsite, Dos Equis encourages drinkers to mobilise their friends via social media and get the party started on Thursday, not Sunday. ‘Sunday does not work for me,’ explained the Dos Equis spokesperson known as The Most Interesting Man In The World. ‘I teach a rattlesnake-charming class early on Monday and if the snakes are not solid with sleep for eight hours, pfft, no good.’

The campaign microsite includes a bar locator that will pinpoint bars serving Dos Equis near your location, along with recipes for food and drinks, and ten recommended new bands for your listening pleasure. Dos Equis has also created a Facebook tool so people can invite their friends to a Dos de Mayo party. In the 30 days before the holiday, the brand will be updating its site with recipes and ‘fiesta tips’ that it promises will ‘make your Dos de Mayo event more interesting.’

The beer brand has also partnered with Maxim magazine to throw a Dos de Mayo party. People can enter a draw to win a trip to the Dos de Mayo festivities in Los Angeles on 2 May.

Why I’m curious:

Granted there are some fans of Dos Equis most interesting man in the world but will people really be willing to change a holiday because he says so? With very little reasoning behind why the move should take place I am curious to see how much movement this nudge to celebrate Dos de Mayo will actually create. Currently the video’s popularity on the brand’s Facebook page is not moving the interest meter much at all, but maybe that will change as the holiday draws closers.

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.

Dove Makes Men Rethink Reaching for the Random Shampoo Bottle in the Shower

– Jordan

Dove creates a hilarious video to show why men should use a mans shampoo, finally explaining why there is a different shampoo for men and women.

From Mashable:

Everybody wants gorgeous, free-flowing hair, right? Not men — at least, according to a new Dove commercial in Brazil.

The commercial shows an average male cubicle worker showing up to the office with Fabio-style locks, complete with their own seductive soundtrack. His co-worker quickly points out the phenomenon is the result of new shampoo.

Simply put: His hair is a little too beautiful. Good problem?

Why I’m curious:

To follow the hilarious of Old Spice in the personal care area I think this particular execution nails being hilarious with out over doing it. (okay, maybe a little) But a lot of brands miss the mark and just can’t seem to quite get the humor right. Also, the brand mentioned that men don’t want these luscious locks and prefer some other sort of hair effect? If so, what is it?

Quantified Life: Swedish Energy Company Allows Users to Monitor Energy in Real-Time

– Jordan

Utility provider helps people in Sweden cut their energy usage by creating away to track energy usage in real-time via an app. The experiment took place for 1 year and included over 10,000 citizens to answer one question, “If we knew how much electricity we used, would it change our behavior?”

From Contagious:

Challenge / If we knew how much electricity we used, would it change our behavior? Well, that’s what e.on’s Swedish arm, e.on Energispar, wanted to find out in a recent experiment.

Solution / The brand partnered with energy solutions provider Wireless Maingate to develop a measurement tool, called 100koll, which displays energy consumption in real-time.

Working with Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, e.on then recruited 10,000 participants to take part in Sweden’s Largest Energy Experiment. Each person was given an app which connected to their homes and monitored their power usage. The data collected was then visualised in five different ways – one was a virtual battle between participants, another was a furry Tamagotchi, whose health depended on each user’s energy consumption habits. The video above shows the games in more detail.

A data visualisation website, open to everyone in Sweden, also enabled people to monitor their progress. Users could see who had saved the most energy, identify which regions of the country were the best at turning off their devices, and even compare their energy-saving efforts to other people with similar sized homes.

In addition to this, everyone was encouraged to share energy-saving tips on the experiment website, and the best ideas were turned into a comic book by esteemed Swedish cartoonist Henrik Lange. These drawings were also used in OOH advertising.

Results / Participants changed their habits and lowered their energy consumption by an average of 12%.

Why I’m curious:

As trends happen, new ones emerge. SXSW was all about the quantified self but maybe the next step with the help of technology will be a quantified life bringing in aspects of every piece of your life and allowing you to optimize and tweak them in real time.