Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You Can Make The New Dockers Ad!

Dockers, the traditional men's brand, is seemingly embracing a decidedly untraditional advertising strategy.

The brand appeared in a commercial during "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on the 29th of April, promoting a digital element of their latest campaign prompting for users to construct their own Dockers ads.

Using a platform developed by Mixercast, consumers can use portions of the most recent Dockers commercial, including music and logos, as well as their own content to create a commercial. Those commercials will then be distributed throughout the web with a Mixercast widget. The winning entry will air on "The Tonight Show" this summer.

Seeing that so many people I seem to run into think that it's so easy to make great ads, why not check out the site and maybe submit an ad of your own by clicking here?

Find Your Perfect Starbucks Blend

The launch of Starbuck's new microsite - - coincides with a slew of new initiatives under CEO Howard Schultz.

The new site attempts to demystify the chain's many blends and methodologies with a virtual barista.

"What the online experience does is mimic the experience consumers would have in the store, if they went to the barista and said, 'I want to try Starbucks, but I don't know where to start,'" said Wendy Pinero, VP-global consumer products group at the coffee chain. "The majority of consumers still have not necessarily realized the different tastes you can get."

"We want to make people understand that if you tried one [blend] and you didn't like it, it wasn't the right blend for you," said Ms. Pinero. "That doesn't mean the whole brand isn't right for you."

Apart from allowing you to find your perfect coffee blend, there's also a gallery of chalk board art created by the baristas who drew their inspiration from the various blends.

Adidas Encourages Us To "Dream Big"

Adidas’ football division has had some memorable campaigns of late. Having established the “Impossible is Nothing” positioning over the past few years, the brand is now encouraging one to “Dream Big”, by sending out high-profile football celebrities to work with local kids in traditionally smaller soccer nations to train and inspire them.

The initiative uses TV, digital, mobile, print and retail components to direct people to the main part of the campaign, in the form of a personal and emotional 12-episode web series hosted at

Maybe they can send a few stars our way to help out Bafana...

Unique Prada Items Can Be Yours!

Prada kicked off an online auction for the prototypes of their 2008 Spring/Summer "Flower Faerie" Collection earlier in April.

The auction is now in it's final phase where four unique skirts are being auctioned off.

If the chance to own a little piece of fashion history weren't enough to tempt you, Prada has decided that all proceeds will go to the San Raffaele Foundation, one of the most important Italian institutions concerned with medical research, clinical work and training.

A combination of luxury, exclusivity with a time limitation. I'm not sure if premium gets more personalised and exclusive than this.

Go to the Prada website to keep an eye out on the bidding for yourselves by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Where's Wally" In The 21st Century?

22 year old Canadian artist Melanie Coles has brought the "Where's Wally" game well into the 21st Century, by painting an enormous Wally that can be seen by Google Earth satellites.

The 55ft figure was installed on an undisclosed rooftop in Vancouver last month, sparking a flurry of interest among internet users keen to be the first to spot this Web 2.0 Wally.

But competition is tough. Not only do they have to locate his roof perch, they also have to wait for Google's imaging equipment to pick him up, which could happen at any time. The company does not reveal exactly when it updates its images.

"It's like this huge shift. Radio is going to the Web. Television is going Web. And now Waldo is going Web, which is pretty fitting right now."

Coles, an art student who publicised the project on her blog, is encouraging others to follow her lead and create a network of Google Earth Wallys across the world.

Commute In Style With IKEA

As part of it's promotion for the opening of their new store earlier this month, Ikea, known for its affordable, flat-pack furniture, has been using the trains running on The Kobe Portliner Monorail in Japan as their mobile showroom.

The result is a bold campaign, with vibrant colours and crazy patterns adorning the upholstered seats and adding punch to curtains and towels. Even the outside has been painted in theme, featuring fun retro prints like flowers and hearts.

BE The Football Superstar

Nike, with the help of Guy Ritchie, has crafted a new and pretty unique 60 second ad that allows the viewer to enjoy a snippet of various soccer superstars' lives.

"Take It To The Next Level" combines a football match with glimpses into behind the scenes of the players' life. These shots include practice, attractive girls in limousines, getting your tooth knocked out and aftermaths of intense workouts. Makes you wish you were them!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Diesel Wall - Update

Last month, we posted about the Diesel art series called Diesel Wall. The local juries from each city selects the winning pieces for their city and the winner's art will then be installed on The Wall.

Below are some images on the work-in-progress at the Manchester event courtesy of Designboom who posted an update earlier this week, featuring local artists doing their own small installations on the walls of the diesel showroom.

Sony Executions

Here are some simple and clever print executions for the Sony Bravia from advertising agency Cerebro Y&R in Panama City. It's so good to see a single-minded positioning work for so long and still be so successful and creative.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Opening the "Fitch-Gate"

UPDATE 29 April 2008:

Not that they would ever admit to doing it if they did, but according to an article from Advertising Age published yesterday, Abercrombie and Fitch officially denied any involvement in the Obama product placement theory.

Tom Lennox, VP-corporate communications for A&F, said the company doesn't "seek product placement at all."

He went on: "We appreciate the exposure, but can not take credit for it. So, thanks to the Obama campaign for this great product placement. We wish we had thought of it."

Somewhat disappointing as everyone loves a good conspiracy theory.

Someone somewhere pointed out the three guys wearing Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts strategically placed behind Obama the Senator's televised speech to his supporters in Indiana earlier this week, and suddenly, the blogosphere is full of theories ranging from product placement to A&F attempting to latch on to some of "Obama's rock-star appeal" in order to connect with their target market. Others have even suggested that it was Obama who planted the three gents in question in HIS attempts at winning over more youthful voters.

It seems only Abercrombie & Fitch would know whether this was a promotional stunt or not and so far, I haven't been able to find any official statements from the company. A great promotion though, whether planned or not, in my opinion.

See below the YouTube video of the speech and decide for yourselves.

Bud Tells You What Kind of Dude You Are

In my opinion, the only thing more refreshing than a cold beer on a hot day is the notion of a beer brand not taking itself too seriously. Communications that tell me about a beer brand keeping their promise (whatever that promise is) since sometime in the late 1800's really doesn't mean all that much to me, personally.

Onto much more engaging beer category communications news though, it seems Bud Light have been at it again. In a new campaign that once again unashamedly targets the male demographic, Dude Madness is a campaign that's rather funny with a great online element that allows you to determine, once and for all, what kind of "dude" you are, as well as providing for you to spread the word among your friends.

Below is one of the TV ads:

A Sledge - Built From Citroen Parts

The winner of the Citroen C Design competition this year was announced earlier this month. The international competition attracted over 1500 applicants, of which 8 were chosen as finalists.

Citroen's online contest threw down the design gauntlet and issued a competition brief for web-savvy creatives to make use of Citroen vehicle parts to design an object intended for everyday use.

The winning design was the Citroen sledge, manufactured from
a C4 Picasso’s rear seat, a C3 steering wheel, a C3 Pluriel’s roof pillars and the spoiler from a C4 Coupe. To view work from the other finalists, click here.

Another Sony Campaign: "Tumble"

Over the recent years, Sony ads have always managed to bring a smile to my face. Hot on the heels of "Foam City", comes another 360 Sony campaign showcasing several new Sony camera technologies, such as the CyberShot’s Smile-Shutter technology, “face detection” in the Handycam HDR-SR11 camcorder, as well as the DSLR-A350’s “Live-View” technology.

It's also nice to see the ad deviating slightly from their recently formula and still working for me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Spike Lee Film Shot Using Nokias

Cell phone companies are increasingly repositioning their products as more entertainment/lifestyle based, rather than merely utilitarian. Samsung and Adidas’ co-branded miCoach system and Motorola’s focus on music and design are just two examples.

In Nokia’s latest effort, the company is seeking to promote and encourage the making and distributing of user-generated content. In their latest marketing effort, renowned director Spike Lee has teamed up with the brand to direct a short film, the footage of which will be YouTube-styled short videos created with the use of cell phones.

“I’m interested because it’s a great collaborative effort,” Mr. Lee said. “Within five years, new movies will be made with devices like these.”

For more insights, click here to read the original article from New York Times.

A Health Club for Your Brain

vibrantBrains is a new type of health club based in San Fransisco, "where the sweat is figurative, but the results are real". Based on the premise that your brain, like any muscle, requires exercising and activity to keep it in its best shape, the club offers brain workouts using a variety of computer software programs and other tools, with some apt names like "The vibrantBrains Neurobics Circuit"and the "Science Salon".

On the issue of viability and future growth and competition, Springwise says:

"No doubt we’ll see plenty of additional products and services aimed at enhancing baby boomers’ brain power, joining a long list of companies already selling everything from vitamins to training seminars. Still, vibrantBrain’s model is unique. And from a business standpoint, it has a couple of profit-enhancing advantages over the traditional gyms that it’s based on. Space requirements are minimal compared to health clubs, and entrepreneurs won’t have to lease or buy an expensive array of exercise machines.

If the mental health club idea catches on, the real competition eventually may come from traditional health clubs, which could add brain-exercise routines as easily as they’ve added yoga and martial arts instruction. However, even if that happens, there should be plenty of opportunities for start-ups to differentiate themselves—from rehabilitative clinics for the elderly to centers focused on mental and physical exercises for kids."

A really interesting concept and it'd be great to see the same sort of exercises used at the Club being employed at all levels of our education system. Department of Education, I hope you're taking note.

IKEA - Power Naps

An IKEA in a downtown shopping centre in Stockholm was offering tired shoppers a 15 minute power-nap at their new retail innovation, called the Sovhotell (Sleep Hotel). Guests were given special pillows to suit their sleeping style along with sleeping masks and headphones. IKEA provided single, double and even a bridal suite in its offering.

Apparently, inspiration for the Sovhotell came when IKEA noticed some shoppers were taking quick naps in the bedroom section of their stores.

McDonald's Puzzling Billboard

McDonald's latest of their string of really creative communications in their effort to encourage patrons to drink more coffee at their outlets is an outdoor billboard that invites you to “sort your head out”. This particular one came from Europe.

The billboard is actually a puzzle that allows you to shuffle the pieces around to sort out the model’s head. The empty square displays McDonald’s logo.

A really clever concept that's also interactive. Nicely done!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Shoe fashion is big business, of that there's no doubt. On a quick survey carried out with the ladies at work being samples, it was estimated that a total of R35 000 was spent amongst the the 25-or-so of them over the past 12 months... and a disconcertingly large proportion of the respondents said that they can't get enough of shoes.

Now there's even a dedicated channel for all the ladies to indulge in their passion. With video features such as "The Daily Shoe" and "Shop Til You Drop," the new combines slick features about shoe fashions with user-generated videos about shoes.

There's also an online community aimed at shoe lovers of all ages which is said to be already attracting advertisers. One confirmed future ShoeTube project will feature Nine West's fall line of boots.

Be Clever or Die

The New York Times offers us a snippet of how advertising innovation in the arena of traditional print media is making use of technology in their bid to be noticed and impact a potential consumer.
It was reported that readers of the latest US issue of People magazine may have been startled to open to a bulky page in the middle and hear Natasha Bedingfield’s latest pop song start playing out loud. The ad was for Verizon Wireless’s music download service and is powered by a tiny battery and speaker wedged within the pages of the magazine.

As advertisers are looking for concrete returns on these creative and highly expensive ads, many are said to make use coupons or other incentives to drive consumers to Web sites or stores, where the effectiveness of the ad can be measured.

The Next Step in Interactive Marketing

Interactive holograms that you can control and communicate using hand gestures!

An interactive holograms program called Airstrike, developed by LM3Labs, opens the door to exciting applications in interactive advertising and novelty products.

Some of the potential avenues for this technology range from virtual shop assistants, fashion models, receptionists, product demo and sales to having an interactive hologram of your Facebook friends or someone you are talking with on the phone.

See Through Google Video Billboard

Here's a cheap and creative advertising example from Google Germany, promoting Google Video! By using see-through billboards, the message that Google Video gives you a realistic experience, as if you are seeing real people and scenes right in-front of you.

The see-through billboards, which were installed in Germany, have a typical Google Video Player layout. When you look at the billboard, you see the people, traffic and whatever is on the other side as if it were being played inside the Google player.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Art From "Design and the Elastic Mind"

We've blogged about Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition before, and while the concept of organising traditional research data into aesthetically pleasing works of art sounds like a great idea, it's hard to understand fully how amazing some of the art works can be.

Below is a clip called "I want you to want me", which
examines and organises data from online dating sites and reveals some deep insights into who we are and what we are looking for.

"I Want You To Want Me", by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, for their "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition.

The Pain of Remember-Ring

Here's a product that's presumably designed with men in mind, for a change.

This ring, aptly named the "Remember Ring", incorporates a micro thermopile to heat up to about 49 degrees Celsius for exactly 10 seconds, 24 hours before your big day. It will also warm up every hour, on the hour, all day long literally searing the date into your memory.

The best part about this gadget - apart from never having to deal with your angry spouse for forgetting your anniversary or her birthday - is that it is completely maintenance-free. The thermopile uses the heat generated from your hand to recharge itself.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Who Says Advertising Doesn't Work?

I guess it doesn’t make much difference here in SA, where fuel prices are regulated by the government, but it’s still interesting to note the article by Advertising Age about research carried out in the USA on how people choose their petrol brand, and how marketing activities are paying off.

One of Shell's very successful viral clips

According to the research carried out by NPD Group, US consumers in the past year have more often cited product performance as a reason to buy a given brand of petrol. That marks a turnaround after a decade of decline, indicating that big oil's branding pushes are indeed working. As fuel prices are also rocketing in the US, this piece of research seems to confirm consumers’ belief that if they have to pay more, they might as well go for the best.

Karen Wildman, brand and communications manager of the Shell brand at Shell Oil Co., said the $35 million Shell spent last year for the brand's "Passionate Experts" campaign was a good investment and is spending the same amount this year to continue the effort.

Shell's quarterly research shows that consumers' perception of the brand's petrol has improved dramatically since the campaign began running, though specific details seem to be sketchy.

What’s more, the Shell brand is also trying to reach drivers, many of them younger, who might not be exposed to its national TV, banner or local radio ads with three humorous online viral videos featuring geeky, lab-coat-clad scientists who are the "passionate experts."

Lexus Tells You What "Luxury" Means (As If You Wouldn't Know)

Lexus USA has launched a new site called “Luxury Awaits”. According to a press release, "the website is designed for the women who reach for the first time the world of luxury" and contains editorial tips for a luxury lifestyle from travel to art, fashion and food.

The site features a soundtrack from Alicia Keys and attempts at literally explaining what the concept of “luxury” is all about, as well as providing what the company must have thought are tips on how to "blend in" with the luxury consumer sphere.

In my opinion, just because the potential clientèle may be a new premium consumer, doesn’t mean that they need the concept explained to them in such simplistic terms.. which seems to be the only function of this disappointing new website.

Wine Tryvertisng

Springwise points us to an innovation in the wine industry in their attempts at appealing to the less knowledgeable of wine appreciators.

People who are not too well informed of the right year or region now have the ability to sample a selection of fine wines before actually shelling out a small fortune for that special occasion. WineSide has come up with the novel approach of offering wines packaged in sample size tubes. The French company offers both sweet and classic wines in patented, flat-base glass tubes with screw tops carefully engineered to protect the flavours of the wine.

A small and easy to transport sample of what the wine tastes like is a nice idea in theory, but I wonder if this would encourage those who enjoy drinking a little too much?

Personalise Your Gift

Pernod Ricard USA are bringing new levels of personalisation to their product offerings.

By logging a special site called “”, buyers are able to customise lavels with various personalised text and backgrounds. They will then print your personal message on authentic labels for Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Jacob’s Creek, Kahlua, Mumm Napa and Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve bottles for free.

The labels are said to be of high quality and would no doubt allow you to create distinctive and memorable presents for the lucky recipients.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Writing Power Taglines

Steve Cone, a chief marketing officer who has helped build power brands such as CitiGroup and American Express, wrote an interesting article in Advertising Age on the state of taglines in advertising today, as well as why he thinks taglines today are no longer as powerful as they were in the past and how we can change this.

Among his advice, are his four principles of creating compelling taglines:

  1. You are different; say so. Don't use common words.
  2. Have real attitude; bypass wishy-washy phrases (Inspired, Motivated, Involved, anyone?).
  3. Be everywhere, or you are nowhere (For a line to make a lasting impression, it must appear at all customer touch points and ideally be the headline of every marketing promotion).
  4. The best taglines come from individual flashes of inspiration.
To read the rest of the article, click here.

Talking Cockroaches

Zoo York, the skater lifestyle-orientated brand, launched a campaign called "Unbreakable" earlier this month. The TV ad features some talking cockroaches and is fairly humorous, and is supported by an online element called The Zoo York Roach Department, where users can sign up and watch director's cuts of the TVC as well as standing a chance to win Zoo York gear and equipment.

There was also a nice guerrilla element titled "Spread The Word". A group of famous professional skaters and bikers, spray painted hundreds of LIVE cockroaches with the Zoo York logo and loaded them into backpacks. They then hit the streets on their bikes and boards and made their way down to New York’s Wall Street, where they proceeded to throw them at unsuspecting passers-by. Rather disturbing and it must have taken some really brave marketers to have cockroaches represent their brand...

Big Adidas Shoes To Fill

As part of adidas Originals' new initiative, Celebrate Originality, which invites sneakerheads worldwide to express their creativity in web films throughout the year, New York City's Surface2Air (Gordon Hull, Daniel Jackson, and Alexia Stamatiou) and San Francisco's Upper Playground (Sam Flores) have joined forces to honor their favorite sneakers, the adidas Originals' shell-toed icon, the Superstar.

Collaborating on a video titled The Left-Right Project, the bi-coastal creatives were supplied with exact SUV-sized replicas of the shoe. Splitting the pair between the East and West Coast of the US - the right shoe went to Surface2Air and the left to Upper Playground - the artists customised their respective shoe over three days, after which the shoes were re-united in California as part of a public exhibition.

Below is a short film documenting the experience.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cell Phone Wallet

Nokia in Europe have launched a new phone that uses ‘Near Field Communication’-which is a short-range, high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeter distance - to enable functions like mobile payment. With the right retail systems the phone can be used as a credit card or even a pass to use on the train or bus.

The phone can also share content like images and videos by touching it with another 6212 and the features section on the Nokia suggests that the ‘touch’ will give access to other location based services when available/developed.

Some More Artvertising

1800 Tequila has developed an advertising campaign where nine artists from around the world were commissioned to design collectible limited edition bottles of the tequila; the bottle designs are also being displayed on billboards across several US cities.

Another element of this latest promotion has also been put together where people will be able to submit their own bottle artwork and design their own sneakers.

Check out their site with the full gallery of the artworks by clicking here.

Get Designer Jewelery For Free!

Here something for the ladies, and for once, it's available for South Africans too!

LA-based SilverJewelryClub give away many of their jewelry pieces to spread the word about the quality and craftsmanship of their designs. Customers just have to pay for shipping.

The club's homepage displays four pieces at a time and visitors have 15 minutes to order each piece, after which a new product takes its place. In their own words: "Giving away our jewelry for free is our way of introducing our products. We know the competition is fierce, and we want you to experience our jewelry so that you will remember our brand." SilverJewelryClub currently ships to 54 countries.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Truely Timeless Timpieces

Some say that time is the ultimate luxury, so it's rather ironic that at the watch and jewelery industry's largest annual trade fair in Baselworld this year, Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome's "Day&Night" watch -- which does not tell the time, only whether it is night or day -- sold out within 48 hours of its launch as watch fanatics snapped up the $300,000 timepiece.

The "Day&Night" watch uses the complicated Tourbillon movement -- invented to overcome earth's gravity which used to affect the accuracy of watches -- which lures watch connoisseurs as well as fashion aficionados.

The Geneva-based company, founded in 2004, also has an order backlog of up to two-and-a-half years for its "Titanic DNA" watch, which is made from steel and coal from the Titanic and can cost as much as $500,000.

McDonald's Unsnobby Coffee

McDonald's in the US have brought out an edgy campaign today in their battle against the more premium coffee chains.

The campaign's microsite, called Unsnobby Coffee, is one initiative to stage interventions on expensive competitors. The site is light-hearted and interactive in its functionality, and claims that one shouldn't need a "second language" to enjoy good coffee. There's also an online game and downloadable coffee coupons... all aimed at helping us kick the snobby coffee habit, and boost their own sales.

The Sneaker Vending Machine

Onitsuka Tiger, the Japanese sports brand, launched a sneaker vending machine on Carnaby Street in Londonrecently. Vending machines were custom-built, and can hold up to 24 pairs of shoes at a time, in 6 sizes.

Sneaker vending isn't entirely new—it's been done in Japan, of course, and Reebok sold shoes from a vendomat back in 2004. Reebok's machine, however, was a bit of a let-down: the sneakers were packed into a seemingly standard, drab box.

Following its London debut, the machine will travel across the UK to bring convenience-buying to the rest of Britain's sneakerheads.

The Hermes Birkin Code - Cracked

The elusive Birkin bag made by Hermes is so sought after as a status symbol by women worldwide that the French fashion house has a two year waiting list for potential owners.The elusiveness of the Birkin has ensured it has remained one of the world's most coveted bags since Hermes named it after British actress Jane Birkin in 1984, with prices starting at about $9,000 and rising to about $34,000 for a crocodile skin bag.

Birkins are regularly spotted on the wrists of glamorous celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham, Katie Holmes and Eva Longoria.

As one would expect in situations where there's a large demand and short supply, someone will devise a way to meet, and profit, from this demand.

Michael Tonello, a beautician turned fashion buyer, says he devised a system to bypass the much-talked about list and spent five years traveling between different Hermes stores to snap up Birkin bags to meet -- and profit from -- this pent-up demand.

"I would go into a store with a list in my Hermes Ulysse notebook and pile up scarves, shawls, bracelets, worth about $2,000. This made me seem a regular Hermes client," Tonello told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Once I had that pile ready to buy at the last moment I'd ask for a Birkin and they would usually produce one of the back room. In 2005 I bought 130 Birkins in a three-month period -- and you tell me there is a waiting list?"

Creativity Stifled

The Creatives at Ogilvy over in the US had a pretty interesting idea for an ad for the convenience store chain called "am pm". They filled up the sides of bus shelter with real snacks, with the idea of slowly taking the snacks away over a four-week period, to reveal the tagline, “Too much good stuff.”

In two days, hungry passers-by had already shortened the campaign by breaking open the plastic casing and removing all of the snacks.. apart from the Doritos.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Sony "Foam City" Commercial

What a lot of people thought would be the new Bravia ad didn't turn out to be one for the Bravia at all. "Foam City" landed up being an ad for Sony's digital camera range and as usual for Sony ads, features a very fitting soundtrack. Have a look for yourselves below.

"Let's Date Because We Love The Same Brands"

In this day and age, with so little time and so much to distract us, it seems like meeting new people is getting harder. Enter Brand-Mates, a new way of meeting that special someone by your mutual brand association.

Brand-Mates is a new kind of dating site. A site where "likes attract" is celebrated and, materialistic as it may sound, the love for similar brands is the engine the site uses to match people with compatible others. According to the site, "by selecting and sharing with others the brands that are near and dear to your heart you’ll be surprised at how much that will reveal about your new friend, next date, long-term relationship or potential soul mate".

Join The World's Biggest Mexican Wave

An interesting site was created by Albion Brand Communications in London. Called “The World’s Biggest Mexican Wave”, the site serves as a promotion for a new online/communications partnership between British Telecom and FON, who are currently in the process of building the world’s largest Wi-Fi community.

The online initiative invites users to film themselves doing a single wave using a webcam, digital camera or even a mobile phone. This can then be uploaded to the website after a simple registration process which lets you ‘join the wave’. As well as being automatically added to the main effort, you are also given the chance to start your own or view existing waves.

Below is one of the waves featuring the Arsenal First Team!

Guinness' Passport To Greatness

Guinness seems to be going through a phase of experimentation with mobile phones as a marketing medium. We had previously pointed out their mobile phone “Pub-Finder” application in celebration of St Patrick’s Day earlier this year, and it seems that a mobile element has also been incorporated by Guinness for their sponsorship of the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Tournament.

The Passport to Greatness is another mobile phone application to help the estimated 20,000 overseas visitors to navigate the city and cope with the language barrier. The passport contains useful information about the tournament to be accessed via mobile. Fans can use their mobiles to discover match schedules, team selections, stadium information and a city guide to Hong Kong, as well as reviews of matches and maps, with locations of Guinness-serving establishments highlighted.

The application’s top feature, however, is the ability to broadcast key phrases in Cantonese through mobile handsets’ loudspeakers, to help visitors make themselves understood. The pre-progamed phrases include asking for numerous addresses around the city, including key stadium locations, directions to ATMs, and, of course, another round of Guinness please.

Register Your Own Domino's Pizza

Domino's Pizza's new BFD builder (short for Big Fantastic Deal) lets consumers create the pizza of their dreams - specifying the type of crust, the amount of sauce and cheese, and unlimited toppings - for a flat rate of USD 10.99.

Consumers can name and register the pizzas they design in Domino's BFD database, where they can be viewed and ordered by other consumers. Nearly 12,000 pizzas have been registered so far. The site even tracks how many people have ordered each registered pizza so far, and consumers can view the database with the most popular pizzas first, as well as by newest, oldest or alphabetically.

Chanel Merges Art, Architecture & Design

Chanel exploits the growing trend of architecture and art as luxury brand communication as its UFO pavilion began its two year global tour in Hong Kong earlier this year.

Chanel Mobile Art is a groundbreaking travelling art exhibition, all housed in a mobile, 2,300-square-foot UFO-shaped structure. It weighs 180 tons and was shipped to Asia in 700 pieces, each no bigger than an inch or so thick and about seven feet wide, then assembled in Hong Kong over the course of a month. Organisers predict that it will take two weeks to disassemble and about three weeks to ship to the next stop in Tokyo. From there it will continue on a six-city tour that runs until early 2010, traveling to New York, London, Moscow, and, finally, Paris.

New Old Starbucks Logo

We had previously posted on Howard Schultz - Starbucks’ CEO’s efforts at turning the brand around. He has already ordered the chain to close for around two hours during trading hours in order to focus on staff training, much to the delight of Dunkin Donuts.

Now Starbucks is attempting to re-establish their core values of the company in the minds of the consumers by invoking a feeling of nostalgia. They have brought back the original brown Starbucks logo in place of the iconic green one.

Starbucks plans to use the logo on all its cups for about eight weeks. It will remain in ads and as the logo for Pike Place bags of coffee. The new blend, which will be available in every store in the US, has been crafted for a smoother, cleaner finish than many of the rotating blends Starbucks has traditionally carried week to week.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How The iPhone Is Shaping Up So Far

Rubicon Consulting has released a survey of iPhone users in the US, detailing the impact the device has had on their usage and the market in general. Included in the survey are some unexpected patterns that could change your perceptions of this revolutionary mobile device.

Here’s some good news for the iPhone:

  • Users report high satisfaction with the device
  • iPhone users report increased mobile web browsing
  • One quarter report it displacing notebook computer usage

Some unexpected news:

  • Email is the #1 function… for reading emails, not writing them.
  • One third of iPhone users carry a second phone? Why? According to the study, for making voice calls and composing emails.
  • It increases phone bills. The survey cites an average increase of 24% annually.