Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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?
The launch of Starbuck's new microsite - www.starbuckscoffeeathome.com - 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.
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 www.adidas.com/football.
Maybe they can send a few stars our way to help out Bafana...
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
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 www.whereonearthiswaldo.com, is encouraging others to follow her lead and create a network of Google Earth Wallys across the world.
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.
"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
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.
Friday, April 25, 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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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 ShoeTube.tv 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
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.
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?
By logging a special site called “YourGiftLabel.com”, 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
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:
- You are different; say so. Don't use common words.
- Have real attitude; bypass wishy-washy phrases (Inspired, Motivated, Involved, anyone?).
- 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).
- The best taglines come from individual flashes of inspiration.
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...
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Sneaker vending isn't entirely new—it's been done in
Birkins are regularly spotted on the wrists of glamorous celebrities, such as , and .
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 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?"
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
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".
An interesting site was created by Albion Brand Communications in
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!
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
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.
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 exploits the growing trend of architecture and art as luxury brand communication as its UFO pavilion began its two year global tour in
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
Thursday, April 10, 2008
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.