Monday, March 31, 2008

levi's mobile

Levis has ventured into the wireless phone business. Most of us are used to and familiar with Levis other products such their jeans, T-shirts, shoes, etc. Recently however, Levis, put out a very limited edition of a cell phone called the Red Tab.

The Red Tab comes with MP3 player, stereo bluetooth and a two megapixel camera.

“Extras include a ‘premium’ presentation box, a case for the handset, stereo hands free kit, a metal chain and if you like, customization with your name (up to 13 letters),” LuxuryLaunches adds. “Offered in a limited number of 100 only, it displays a tag of 550 euros ($870) and they are being sold online via cool Parisian retailer Colette.”

From a design standpoint, the phone doesn’t look too bad. But as far as I am concerned, I will continue dropping by the Levis Store when I go shopping for jeans. But when it comes to mobile phones, I plan to stick with the companies whose main business revolves around mobile phones. No offense Levis. I still love your jeans.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Clever Design?

Above is the winning design of a wine bottle by Viktor Pucsek for the “PapaMama Design Competition”.

The Vinho Verde (literally meaning "green wine") concept incorporates eco-friendly practices in the design of a very attractive bottle.

The bottle’s labels can be peeled off and folded up into paper cups. The unfortunate news for non-wine connoisseurs (and students) is that, being a green design, the bottle still uses a corkscrew, which means you cannot just enjoy the bottle on the side of the road when the mood takes you, the way you can with the tried and trusted pap-sak.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Compare Yourself To Becks & Co.

David Beckham, along with a host of other soccer superstars such as Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas have all teamed up in a new TV ad for Pepsi in the US. The interesting thing about the spot is the connection it has with a social networking site called Youniverse.

The site is currently in Beta testing at the moment but would eventually offer users exclusive footage and downloads as well as allowing them to compare themselves with their favourite sports stars usinga technology called visualDNA. visualDNA is essentially a set of images that defines the user’s personality, predetermined by the user.

An interesting concept and could this be the way 360 campaigns are executed in future? We'll wait and see...

Book Innovations

Penguin UK has recently launched a new book series called “We Tell Stories”. With this series, Penguin aims to converge traditional book-reading with real world and online elements, with the ultimate goal of enhancing and furthering each book’s storyline. The online element also allows interaction for the user and will be tied in with a competition element.

The first story to be published, Charles Cumming's The 21 Steps, allows readers to follow the protagonist's movement with Google Maps in order to learn more about the story.

Going viral before the ad has even been released?

For the latest Bravia instalment, Sony chose to shoot in Miami and transformed the city into a huge swamp of bubbles, courtesy of the world’s largest foam machine that produces two million litres of foam a minute.

Sony invited 200 guests, including bloggers, to attend the shoot for the new ad. Each guest was given a complimentary Sony camera to document the ‘making of’ process. Their hope is that the new marketing approach for the Sony Handycam and Cybershot will launch the ads to a viral state.

Personifying Apple

This amazing photo mosaic of Steve Jobs is made exclusively from Apple products and features everything from the MacBook Air to the iPhone. It also has other new gadgets like the iPod nano pink. While this image of Steve doesn’t hold any moving messages about society, it does show how passionate some Apple users can be.

“The art was made using Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop and Apple QuickTime Pro with custom developed scripts and techniques”, said the artist Deanna Lowe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Travel Cheaply

In Germany and Austria, a company called LaudaMotion is offering people Smart cars and/or Mini Coopers to cruise around in for one euro a day. The company offers loan cars covered in ads between 9 am and 6 pm. The only requirement is that customers have to drive a minimum of 40 km each day to make sure enough people see the ads.

On top of cheap rental cars, Europeans are also able to fly for free, courtesy of adverts! Low cost air-carriers such as RyanAir and Wizz Air are both offering 100% discounted flights in exchange for brands, logos and ads covering seat backs and trays, blankets, pillows and of course also lining the interior walls. Ads range from promotions for car rental companies to cell phones and cars.

Leo DiCaprio Brings You The Green Credit Card

Leonardo DiCaprio first visit to Hong Kong wasn’t purely for pleasure. He was there to attend the premier of his new film, “The 11th Hour”, as well as to promote HSBC’s new “Green Credit Card”.

In a joint venture between the actor’s foundation and HSBC, it has been said that each transaction with the card will contribute to a local environmental protection project. Furthermore, the “plastic” is made of environmentally friendly materials and bills are only delivered electronically to help save paper.

Metrics For Your YouTube Videos

Google has introduced a free YouTube tool that will provide those who post clips with deeper insights into when, where and how often their videos are viewed. Using YouTube Insight, publishers can analyze the viewing patterns of individual videos far more thoroughly than in the past.

With the new tool, any content publisher can examine which days of the week or hours of the day traffic spikes; which U.S. states account for the most viewing streams; and how long particular clips remain popular.

Theoretically, publishers can use the tool to determine programming strategies. Advertisers can use it to test the popularity of several different ads in different parts of the country. Media planners could use it to gauge their best spending opportunities.

"Effectively, we've become the world's largest focus group," said YouTube product manager Tracey Chan, "There are so many use cases. This really enables programmers and marketers to optimize their presence on YouTube."

Copperise Yourself With Levi's

Levi's Asia has launched a microsite to help promote the Levi's Copper Jeans range. The site allows you to "copperise" yourself, in the same vein as the characters in the various TV executions and then sends the copperised picture of you to your predetermined recipients with a personalised message.

The site looks pretty and offers a bit of fun and personalisation but no information about the range and the content. I'm also not convinced that the content was engaging enough to either keep me coming back or pass on the message. Have a look by clicking here.

It seems that Levi's is one of the many brands out there looking to engage, entertain and interact with consumers
. Advertising Age reported today that alternative media spend has increased by 22% over the past year, and predictions for the following year looks to be equally healthy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stay Dry While Watching 24

Being an unashamed 24 fan, I was excited to say the least to discover an online mini-series based on 24 sponsored by the Unilever's antiperspirant brand for men called "Degree".

Even though the techniques and style of "24:The Rookie" is based on the original 24, none of the show's main characters are featured in the online version and The Rookie does not interfere with the original storyline.

The site allows users to enter into competitions for different prizes over a six week period as well as a grand prize of a Hummer H3. Free samples of Degree Men are also available for entrants.

Below is one of the episodes:

For more episodes and to check out the online competition, click here.

The Future of Communications

SlideShare's featured slide show of the day today is "What's Next in Marketing + Advertising" by Paul Isakson. It's a clear and concise presentation on the changes in today's world of advertising and marketing and his advice on how to engage with modern consumers. Definitely worth a read!

Open-Source Car Development

FastCompany brings to our attention various automotive-wikipedia projects on the go from around the world. The aim for all of the designers and engineers featured is to create the next generation automobile for the people, keeping in mind the all-important issue of environmental sustainability.

The above is an artist's rendering of the one of the projects called "Kernel", currently under development by the Society for Sustainable Mobility's Open Source Green Vehicle Project. The Kernel is said to be a seven-passenger SUV that will get around 3 litres per 100 kilometers, sell for about $30,000, and have the performance of a Porsche Cayenne.

Domino's Spanish-Speaking Ordering System

Domino’s Pizza, with an eye set on capturing and retaining the growing Spanish-speaking Hispanic market. The pizza chain has served up a new ordering service that provides Spanish-speaking customers nationwide a toll-free number, 1-888-Dominos, to place orders via a system that boasts a personable, digital Latina voice free of regional accents and phrases.

A TV and radio campaign breaking this month, themed "Tienes 30 minutos" ("You've got 30 minutes"), by LatinWorks, Austin, Texas, prominently features the phone number for those wishing to order in Spanish. In the past, frustrated consumers would hang up their phones, or would muddle through conversations with non-Spanish speaking Domino's workers, with some callers even resorted to putting their young English-speaking children on the phone to place their orders.

"With this platform, every store that is part of this program now essentially has hired themselves an entire staff of people who speak Spanish and can embrace the Spanish-speaking consumer," said Rob Weisberg, Domino's VP of precision and print marketing.

BMW Glows With Top Canadian Publication

Vice Magazine, a Canadian publication bought and read by influential early adopters, has combined with BMW in an attempt to promote the 1 Series. The media strategy for the 1 Series is all about short, intense experiences and on the April issue of Vice, a glow-in-the-dark ad for the BMW 1 Series appears, with the 1 appearing where the "i" in Vice usually does.

The glow-in-the-dark ad, which appeared on the cover of Vice's entire Canadian print run, wasn't easy to make. The magazine had to print its covers at one plant, ship them to another to add the glow-in-the-dark treatment, UV coat them once they'd cured, and then ship them back to the original plant for binding to the rest of the publication.

Music, Booze & Food

Wendy’s, famous for their square burgers made of fresh ingredients, have up their ante in their attempt to pursue young adults between the ages of 18 and 34.

Realising that music is an important to this target market, the fast food chain has partnered with San Francisco-based Ecast, a broadband "touch-screen media network" that provides digital music to bars and restaurants, with the goal that late-night revellers will stumble on a Wendy's ad while browsing for a song to play. When touched, the ads expand into a full microsite, including directions to the nearest Wendy’s.

Ecast has research that shows that around 50% of users will stop on the way home to get something to eat. Definitely beats a luke-warm pie from petrol stations to cure the mid-night munchies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BP Brings Us A Green SimCity

Collaborating with BP, Electronic Arts will help develop the latest instalment of the hit SimCity computer game series. Called SimCity Societies, the city-building game aims to deal with the causes and consequences of global warming.

EA has announced that the game will also include 'climate education' through "low-carbon electricity choices and carbon emission monitoring" thanks to a partnership with 'green minded' alternative energy organisation BP. The goal, says EA, is to give players an "accurate" look at some of the causes and available solutions to the inconvenient truth of global warming.

BP has also launched a pretty microsite to provide more information on the collaborative effort.

Pimp Your Toyota Scion

Last week, we made a posting in reference to the US launch of the limited edition Toyota Scion. It seems that the company has not forgotten the current loyal owners of Scions with another marketing campaign with an underground vibe that is intended to show just how much their chosen transportation reflects their personality.

On the official site, called Scion Speak, Toyota allows Scion owners to design their own personal “coat of arms” online, a piece of owner-generated art that is meant to reflect their job, hobbies and other personal interests.

In making their personalised crests, Scion owners can choose from among hundreds of symbols, all designed by a professional graffiti artist. The symbols range from an eagle, a jester, a king’s crown and a worker’s fist to Japanese anime-style flowers, a three-person family and a yin-yang circle. Customers can download their designs and have them made into window decals or take them to an auto airbrushing shop to have them professionally painted onto their cars.

Study Shows That Apple Brand DOES Make You More Creative

A study published in the US Journal of Consumer Research in April found that test subjects who were shown various logos subliminally (an exposure of no longer than 30 milliseconds), are more likely to act in a certain way, depending on the brand.

For instance, in the Apple vs IBM test, 341 subjects were presented with a split screen and asked to push either a right- or left-hand button when they saw a box flash. What they didn't see -- and couldn't possibly have seen in just 30 milliseconds -- was the flash of the Apple or IBM logo while the box was on the screen. Afterward, the subjects were given a creative challenge: Write down as many uses for a brick as you can think of, besides creating a building. The researchers then asked an independent group of judges to rank the answers for creativity.

The results: The group that had been subliminally primed by the Apple logo came up with 15% to 30% more uses for the brick than the control group. And the independent judges more often rated them as more unique and creative.

Various other brands were tested and the results were said to be consistent and replicable.

Gavan Fitzsimons, professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University, and one of three authors of the study, has since switched to using Apple computers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unpackaged Retailing

Catherine Conway believed that there was a better way to sell food. Her opinion was that most of the products sold today have excess packaging that’s not only unnecessary, but also detrimental to the environment. In late 2006, she did something about it. The result was the store in London called Unpackaged - said to be the first permanent store there to sell produce without packaging.

The organic grocery shop runs a self-service system where customers are encouraged, by way of a small discount, to bring their own containers to fill up with the products they want.

The products sold range from cereals, grains vegetables and eco-cleaning materials and is said to be just as good for you as it is for the environment.

Nike "Be True" Launch

Nike’s Be True collection is a highly exclusive range, with only seven models named and designed after seven different cities including Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, London, NYC and L.A.

Marking the launch of the Brazilian release, Nike created the “Operation Be True SP”, which is essentially a treasure hunt for fans with a pair of Nike Be True sneakers as the prize. Contestants will initially be briefed and then sent out into the city to capture shots of the city. In order to show that they have completed each task, they need to send the photo to Nike as proof.

Surf The Largest Swells At Teahupoo With Red Bull

Red Bull, with the help of a company called Immersive Media and their 360-degree spherical video camera (a technology that uses a specially designed camera housing to capture eleven separate video streams), have created a completely spherical and high-resolution view of various surfing clips at the Teahupoo surfing event in the South West Pacific.

The technology, in effect, creates an unique viewing experience that allows viewers to feel as though they are part of the action by controlling the camera with their mouse during the video.

Below is one of the clips:

To view more, go and check out the Red Bull Surfing site by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Flying Simpler, Better, Faster

Continental Airlines in the USA have been testing out new ways of checking in customers. Customers can now pass through security and board their planes by flashing their mobile phones. Security and airline staff can scan barcodes that are displayed on a phone in the same way they scan paper passes today.

As mobile devices become more sophisticated and applications for smaller screens evolve and with air-traveling becoming so accessible and stressful, perhaps airline passengers will be able to use their phones, BlackBerrys and other mobile devices for a growing number of services, like re-booking a ticket after a missed connection, switching seats, checking standby status or seeking an upgrade.

Let The Battle Of The Digital-Music Providers Begin

Rhapsody America, a digital-music service from MTV Networks and RealNetworks, has been quietly working for its first major marketing activity.

Rhapsody, which wants to challenge iTunes' dominance in the digital-music marketplace recently re-branded with an investment from MTV Networks. At the time, MTV pledged to invest about $230 million over five years to market the service. Rhapsody have also struck a deal with Yahoo in which the latter would drop its subscription-music service and use its online audience to promote Rhapsody. Furthermore, Rhapsody also has a deal in place with US mobile carrier Verizon to extend its service to cellphones.

The challenger will be a subscription-based music service where users pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited music downloads.


According to a UN report, in 2010 about 50% of the Chinese population will reside in cities. This huge migration from rural regions to new urban settings will create a dramatic cultural and social crisis, a loss of existing traditions and considerable unemployment.

Some of the inevitable results of this mass urbanisation are the depletion of natural resources, the exhaustion of urban infrastructures and natural resources, as well as the disproportionate increase in air and soil pollution.

The winner of the 2nd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing, Knafo Kilmor Architects, presented a concept which addressed all of these concerns. The Agro-Housing program is one that combines a high-rise apartment complex with a vertical greenhouse within the same building.

The idea behind Agro-Housing is to create a close to home space where families can produce their own food supply according to their abilities and choices. This will allow the citizens more independence, freedom, and additional income.

Click here to view and learn more about Knafo Kilmor and their winning concept.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rarity Breeding Demand - With Technological Help

Scion has established a cult following through its association with hip culture, music, as well as their alternative marketing campaigns since the brand’s launch in the US market a few years back. When Toyota USA announced the launch of the limited edition Scion tC RS 4.0, a carefully crafted and integrated launch campaign was inevitable.

The launch campaign broke on March 15, in Chicago and New York. Pedestrians encountered custom, large-format interactive billboards, which use the retail storefront ad platform from New York-based InWindow Outdoor.

Following the 'Out of Reach' campaign theme, the cars appeared in the window displays, but as people moved closer, the cars moved away from them.

There’s also an interesting online element consisting of a microsite and web-banners which allows users to download wallpapers and browse specs and picture galleries of the car, which has been limited to only 2300 units.

With the interactive billboards, Scion is further differentiating itself, said the vice president of Scion USA, in trying to reach its target audience, which mainly consists of males in their early-to mid-20s.

"It's less about trying to sell a car than communicating that scion is doing things differently".

"How To" By Ralph Lauren

For the Rugby Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2008 collection, a campaign was created to compliment the preppy-chic look that’s taking over the fashion world by storm. To raise intrigue over the collection, the fashion house has released a series of how-to videos, such as How to Tie a Bow Tie, How to Layer, and How to Cuff your Pants. They’ve even launched their own Rugby video channel on YouTube.

Rugby Ralph Lauren shows you how to master the elusive bow-tie below:

Get Something For Nothing

Picnik is the latest on a list of web applications that have been popping up online that allows users to make use of software for free that they’d otherwise have had to pay for. Two other sites, and, for example, let users edit videos online, not to mention the ad-supported student photocopying service first offered in Japan.

By signing on to Picnik, users can upload photos from their desktop and alter their colour, brightness and other characteristics. When done, they can post them on popular photo-sharing or social-networking sites. The tool is entirely accessible from a user's browser - so there’s no need to download or install software.

The free version of Picnik is ad-supported. But dedicated users can spend around US 25 for a one-year subscription for access to a more feature-rich, ad-free version.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Super Bowl For Women

Great news for all the ladies! HBO, along with New Line Cinema have finally got their acts together and are releasing “Sex and the City: The Movie” on the 30th of May in the US.

What’s significant about this movie, from an advertisers’ point of view, are the “partner brands” included in the film in ways that range from mentions in lines of dialogue to numerous appearances on screen. In exchange, the owners of the brands will help publicise the movie with commercials, posters, sweepstakes, viewing parties, events in stores, contests, ticket giveaways and even products with labels inspired by “Sex and the City.”

Brands such as Skyy Vodka, Bag Borrow or Steal (which rents handbags and jewellery online), Coty fragrances; Glacéau Vitaminwater, Mercedes-Benz and the jeweller H. Stern have all been listed as partner brands.

The president of New Line Cinema, Chris Carlisle, said that by aligning only with those brands that make sense, that match up with the ‘Sex and the City’ brand, they’re able to extend the footprint of Sex and the City, not duplicate it.

The first phase of the movie’s launch campaign gets under way with trailers in theatres, signs in Midtown Manhattan and a Web site ( Ads will begin in about a month in magazines and newspapers as well as on Web sites, radio and television, especially during the reruns of “Sex and the City” on US cable and broadcast stations.

Youth Trends According to P&G

Dave Knox, a brand manager at P&G was kind enough to share his thoughts on youth trends on Slideshare. He offers some great advice for all who are trying to engage with this market.

Free & On-Demand Web TV - For Some...

It's a sleek-looking and fun-to-use media service - and for once, it isn't from Apple., which launched to the public earlier this month, is Hollywood's long-awaited entry into free, on-demand Web video. The joint venture between News Corp. and General Electric's NBC Universal division allows users to stream full-length episodes of some 250 television series online, such as NBC's The Office and Fox's 24, as well as films from Warner Bros. and Lionsgate, and content from some major sports leagues.

The very sad part for us South Africans is that we don’t seem to be able to watch anything offered by Hulu as most of the videos currently on by the site are not available for our region.

Disaster Zone

There's something innate in human-nature that leaves us fascinated by other people's minor tragedies and imperfections.

Adverblog directed us to another great spot where we can marvel at others' errors, called "Photoshop disasters". All you creatives and DTP operators out there, have a look and feel great about yourself by clicking here!

Friday, March 14, 2008

R8 And An Unlikely Hero

Robert Downey Junior is set to make his superhero debut in the up-coming movie Iron Man.

Audi has just launched a microsite dedicated to the ‘parallels between Audi and Iron Man,’ giving us an inside look at the Audi R8 which is our hero's ride of choice. The site also shows that Iron Man only has Audi’s in his garage.

Click here to check out Audi’s Iron Man minisite.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ferrari Magazines

Ferrari, with the help of Condé Nast, has lately ventured into the world of publishing with a glitzy international magazine set to have an initial print run of around 30,000. The magazine will be published four times a year with the first issue due out around June, with the second slated for the 2008 Paris Auto Show at the end of September.

The magazine will be overseen by Editor in Chief Antonio Ghini, Ferrari communications and brand management director. The staff will include Jason Barlow, who has served as contributing editor to the motoring section of British GQ, as well as Rebecca Smith, formerly of British Vogue.

The publication, sadly, will only be available to the elite few who own Ferraris.

Tommy Hilfiger's Dreaming About You

Tommy Hilfiger is starting to shift its focus from real world to the virtual world with the launch of a new interactive website destination for Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger.

Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger debuted in stores February 2008 and the new venture is the on-line collaboration for the launch of the new women's fragrance, Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger.

The dream theme has been carried over nicely in the on-line execution, allowing users to have their dreams analysed or alternatively, a portal for their own dream confessions. The other campaign elements are also available for download. Have a look for yourself here.

World’s Ten Most Amazing Airport Lounges has released their rating of the top ten airport lounges world-wide.

"In today’s day and age, along with plasma screens and WI-FI connectivity, these lounges are offering amenities like full-fledged spas, private nap rooms, and meals catered by celebrity chefs."

Coming in at number nine is the South African Airways Cycad First Class Lounge at O.R. Tambo (pictured above). To view the rest of the list, click here.

YouTube Coming To TV

The blurring of the television and the computer, envisioned by technology enthusiasts for years, advanced another step on Wednesday the 12th of March when TiVo, the popular maker of digital video recorders, announced an agreement with YouTube that will deliver millions of Web videos directly to users’ TV screens.

“TiVo’s strategy is to bridge the gap between Web video and television and make as much content available as possible for our subscribers,” said Tara Maitra, TiVo’s vice president and general manager for content services.

TiVo is the latest entrant into the marketplace for porting Internet videos to television. Apple has introduced a version of Apple TV with similar features. Although several companies are trying to merge online content with the big screen in the living room, no one product dominates the market.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MasterCard With Bling

Currently only available in Dubai, and strictly by invitation only for “a privileged few”, comes a diamond-studded credit card.

The card is handcrafted and only nine cards are produced in a day. The manufacture involves 36 processes from metal casting to diamond setting by a jeweler.

More than the income level, the credit card provider looks at prospective card holders as people who must possess the right criteria in terms of social standing and profile. People who meet these attributes are then invited to enjoy the benefits of the Royale card.

It’s an interesting shift of the credit card as status symbol to become a luxury object in itself.

Diesel Wall Helping Salvage Public Space

The Diesel Wall Project was first launched 5 years ago and is back for its latest instalment. This year’s competition was launched earlier this month and the winning designs will be exhibited in Manchester, Barcelona, Zurich and New York.

Diesel claims that the ultimate goal is “to salvage what prominent precious public space is left”. According to the project manifesto, "we are bombarded by a never-ending stream of mass-produced cerebral pollution offering at absolute best nothing more than needless want”, and it seems that Diesel's answer to this problem is to call for entries from aspiring designers and artists around the world for inspirational design, which will no doubt be PR-ed to death. Pretty harsh words and rather ironic from those who are marketing one of the most expensive fashion brands out there...

Nonetheless, click here to check out the site for yourself and submit your own inspiring design.

Cellphone Pub Finder

Guinness has launched a weekend of celebrations in anticipation of St Patrick’s Day. At the heart of the campaign is a ‘pub finder’ mobile application using GPS to locate the nearest Guinness serving establishment. What’s more, to help you kill time while waiting for your pint, there is a mobile quiz testing sport, film, music and general knowledge, which will take 119.5 seconds to complete, the exact amount of time needed to pour the perfect pint.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Music Video Shopping

GET Interactive, according to Reuters UK, is set to allow opt-in users to view music videos and shop at the same time.

If the viewer sees something they like - be it fashion, accessory, technology, cars or whatever else the company has tagged - they can open a new window that lets them actually purchase the item via still images from the GET Shop Spot.

“Our opt-in platform really opens up the door for brands to deliver compelling brand interaction with a very targeted consumer,” says CEO Rick Harrison.

They’ve already signed deals with Universal Music Group and Sega and are hoping on more deals with companies like Epic Records.

GET Interactive launched earlier this month, kicking off with a video by Ray J’s “Sexy Can I.” The video has already had over a million view on YouTube, but GET is re-launching it with additional scenes that will include Ray J and Young Berg wearing other branded items.

Monday, March 10, 2008

How Well Did Coca-Cola's Neuro-Branding Exercise Do?

We posted an article in February regarding Coca-Cola's use of neuro-branding techniques in preparation for the Super Bowl this year.

The advocates for neuro-branding claim that neuro-branding research methods help marketers more accurately decipher consumers' feelings because they measure physical and emotional responses as they occur, as opposed to having people remember or interpret their feelings after the fact when doing things like surveys and focus groups.

Well, the results are in. Advertising Age published results on the top 10 most-liked new TV ads in the US between the 28th January 2008 to the 24th February 2008. Click here to see how Coke did...

New Frontiers In Co-Branding

Just when Adidas and Samsung have teamed up to tackle the Nike + iPod collaboration with the rather ungainly health system incorporating the miCoach phone (which includes a heart-rate monitor and step counter to deliver instant feedback and online capabilities), Nike and Apple have up the game and have recently enlisted the help of a number of gym equipment manufacturers to build a whole eco-system of cardio-vascular gym equipment compatible with the Nike + iPod system.

The Nike + iPod system would let you plug your iPod nano into the equipment, track your workouts and upload the data to the website.

According to Nike's own announcement, Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac and Technogym are already on board and working on iPod-ready equipment, while participating gyms (including 24 Hour Fitness and Virgin Active Health Clubs) are supposedly set to starting using the system later this year.

The Samsung miCoach system

Doctoring Internet-lessness

Protesting against the latest scourge sweeping across the nation, a group of dedicated people took to the streets. Below is the documented footage to show just how seriously some South Africans are taking this threat.

For more on internet-lessness, and how you can help fight it, please check out the following clip for yourself!

Sony Bringing Back the Thrill

To promote the commemorative Michael Jackson “Thriller” album, music company Sony BMG hired a group of dancers and had them break into an impromptu Zombie dance on the London Tube to Thriller. The footage was shot and posted on video sharing sites such as Youtube. Other zombie dance sequels were also seen at the central Copenhagen train station, in Chinatown in London and on the street outside the Sydney Opera House.

Sony undertook the campaign in part because of some major hurdles to a traditional approach. Mr. Jackson is not only somewhat tarnished, but also reclusive.

Within a month, the various videos had been viewed more than a million times. The album seems to be selling well all over the world apart from the US at the moment.

View the original London tube video below.. I can't imagine the same stunt being carried out in more traditionally conservative cultures such as those found in Japan and elsewhere in the Far East without some serious consequences. We would probably have seen shrieking passengers and angry policemen in action.

Zuckerberg Learning As He Goes

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the popular social networking site Facebook, was recently identified by Forbes as the youngest billionaire. Last week, he participated in a highly anticipated interview with BusinessWeek at the South by Southwest Interactive conference.

Whilst the BusinessWeek article was quick to point out Zuckerberg’s faults and Facebook’s apparent failures of late, Advetising Age defended the young billionaire and slammed the BusinessWeek interviewer on her strange and “meandering questions and diversions into anecdotal tales of her previous interviews with Zuckerberg”.

Both articles, however, did shed some light on Facebook’s recently launched advertising model. Beacon, a site service that publishes online shopping information and endorsements to your friends when you purchase something online, does not seem to have taken off in the manner that Facebook had originally envisaged.

Zuckerberg said the Beacon venture has taught him an important lesson. "Almost all of the mistakes we made, we didn't give people enough control," he said. "We need to give people complete control over their information. The more control and the more granular the control, the more info people will share and the more we will be able to achieve our goals."

Considering that Facebook’s broader strategy and vision is to help people communicate effectively, I would have thought that allowing those who use the site to have more, if not complete control on the information they would like shared would be mandatory from the beginning?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Attention Grabbing Red Cross

An innovative and impactful online campaign from Red Cross comes in the form of a very short hearing test. Can't really delve too much into it without giving it all away so you'll have to put on your earphones, click here and check it out for yourselves.

By-Passing Advertising

A deodorant and men's grooming product range, set to be launched in the US later this month - called NXT - is to be sold in an arresting triangular container that lights up from the bottom, illuminating air bubbles suspended in the clear gel. The plastic is tinted blue, and when the AAA batteries in its base are lit, the whole thing looks like a miniature lava lamp or a tiny fishless aquarium.

To call attention to themselves, the products, which are aimed at 18- to 24-year-old men, will glow on the shelves, inviting customers to pick them up. Every 15 seconds, a light-emitting diode (LED) in the bottom of the container flares on, stays lit for a few seconds, then fades out.

Each NXT light is powered by two or three AAA batteries, and a rolling switch turns off the contraption when it’s upside down or sideways. The light will flash for about a year, so the product is shipped upside-down from its plant in China in boxes that say “This Side Up” in five languages.

Jamie Leventhal, the man who conceptualised the product and marketed it, declined to say how much the lights cost, but said the additional manufacturing cost was less per unit than what many brands spend on advertising. The suggested retail price for the products is US $4.99 to $5.99.

Individually Tailored Adverts

It's both amazing and scary to think of the sheer amount of one's web surfing activities can be captured and used. A company that has started to use this data to better target potentials is Alaska Airlines.

NY Times has an interesting article on the company's new targeting method, which delivers tailored ads to individual web browsers. The question is, would potential consumers find this use of un-volunteered information rather intrusive?

Store The Impossible

A Sony campaign called "Store the Impossible" seems to be generating a lot of talk. The concept was brought to us by Promoseven in Dubai by way of really fun executions of small animals eating impossibly big ones. Pretty cool!