Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Audi recently launched the all new A8 in the US, a car that the marquee has bench-marked as the cutting edge in innovation and design.
The new sedan boasts a whole new aluminum frame, next generation LED lights as well as a whole new interactive, hand-writing based navigation system. Added to these visible technological advances, Audi also claimed that despite the larger capacity engines, fuel-consumption will decrease with the new model.
Audi combined with the opening of Design Miami for the launch of the new A8, and featured a panel of design experts who spoke about the importance of innovation in design, and how core both are at Audi. A special sculpture was commissioned by Audi which took four weeks from brief to completion, and was inspired by the car's impressive use of aluminum and LED and interior ambient lighting.
Via - Cool Hunting
Monday, October 19, 2009
Via - Disney Parks
Thursday, October 15, 2009
EA Sports has developed a new application, released on beta which uses data driven by an estimated two million Fifa10 games played each day, encouraging players to share their opinions, passions, and dedication for their team.
Fifa Earth uses data from Twitter, tapping into tweet mentioning keywords or hashtags such as goals, football, soccer and uses geotagging, to show how the world talks about and plays both real and virtual football. The application also aggregates game score from Fif10 matches, creating a live interactive competition. The better a user plays in Fifa10, the higher the team's ranking on Fifa Earth.
Via - Brand Republic
For the initial launch, Audi will allow multiple users to configure and customise the A4 of their dreams in an immersive 3D environment. Through simple hand gestures or motions, one can virtually alter everything on the car. It'd be interesting to see whether the brand will make use of this latest technology in their dealerships, as opposed to the more traditional brochures.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thirty years after the first mainstream rap song, Rapper’s Delight, hit the US charts, 13 October 2009, Hip Hop has become a dominant culture that has influenced the creation and advancement of many brands. In thirty years this genre of music and culture is a Multi Billion industry and includes: TV Shows, record sales, beverages, films, record sales, endorsements and clothing labels.
50 Cent and Jay Z, prominent hip-hop artist have collectively made $ 180 million in the last twelve months alone. How this brand of music has influenced the world of marketing is particularly interesting, brands like Ciroc Vodka and Patron have been launched on the back of Hip Hop mogul support such as P Diddy.
The culture not only promotes music, but also has been influencing hip-hop culture purchases and brand development for the past thirty years and Counting. "Despite the economy, hip-hop is just as powerful as it's ever been in the endorsement and licensing world," says Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye.
Monday, October 12, 2009
For a fee of £1.79, iPhone owners can download the REPS app which promises to turn your phone into a mobile Nintendo Wii. Users can set weight loss targets and view their progress via a real-time rep counter, which calculates how many calories have been burnt and alerts users to how many reps they have completed by vibrate or sound. Users can also use the app while listening to the iPod music on their iPhone.
There are also motivational audio clips from a personal trainer to further keep you motivated.
Via - Revolution Magazine
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
New York based adverting agency Wielden & Kennedy has created a digital game that aims to link the past with the future. This game blends real and virtual worlds as the player goes on the ultimate treasure hunt across America.
The games narrative revolves around a historic character named Grayson Ozias IV who left message recordings in the 1890’s and the aim of the game is to hunt these messages and can ultimately win the $ 100,000 fortune Ozias buried. This campaign entrenched the heritage of the brand and celebrates the brands roots.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Bottled water has been a marketing phenomenon over the past decade or so and will no doubt one day go down in marketing history as one of the cleverest new products - alongside tobacco marketing. The ability to have consumers willingly pay disproportionate amounts of money for a commodity is the holy-grail we're all after and perfected by various bottled-beverage companies world wide.
However, with fears of global warming and the negative impact the bottled water category has had in it's contribution, the past few years have been far more difficult for the industry with various projects aimed at discouraging consumers to purchase bottled water.
It would seem a similar initiative has recently started in London. The city will install various "hydrachills" - essentially water fountains - that will allow people to purchase 500ml of water for a nominal fee of 20p, a fraction of what's charged traditionally by bottled water brands. The 20p charge will go to a charity organisation called Waste Watch, whose aim it is to change people's perception and use of natural resources.
Via - Gemma Charles' Green Blog, Brand Republic
The restaurant in question is called Ogori Cafe in Japan. Apparently an innocuous enough looking cafe with an interesting difference in the way patrons experience their orders.
According to the post, "you get what the person before you ordered, and the next person gets what you ordered. Thus, if you’re in on the game, you can choose to be either a generous benefactor, and treat those that come after you – or try your luck at being cheap. Either way, it’s an interesting experiment that explores surprise, kindness and encourages interactions."
There's also an interesting account of their personal experience when they visited Ogori on the post which definitely makes you realise that unexpected generosity is possibly the easiest way to bring joy to those around us.
Via - PSFK
Friday, October 2, 2009
Howtospendit.com will offer advertisers microsite opportunities and has already secured several launch advertisers, the most prominent of which being Rolex. Included in the offering will be regular postings has well as weekly video bulletins highlighting the latest in the world of technology and gadgets.
In an environment where luxury brands are facing increasing cynicism from consumers in their brand messaging, the FT believes that they will meet the advertising requirements to an interested and targeted audience.
We'll wait and see.
Via - Brand Republic
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Audi capitalised on the PS3's ability to go online and has created a virtual universe called Audi Space, where one can test drive the new R8 concept around a track. Presumably a safe enough environment so that their precious concept vehicle does not get damaged...
The game goes live in December for all those lucky enough to own a PS3!
Via - Top Gear
The beer brand has installed interactive billboards all around London that invite passers-by to plug in their MP3 players and view their selected tracks in the form of visual displays. The interactive poster generates a graphic display from the music that is being played on the iPod. Once the track is over a still is taken of the display and uploaded to becks.co.uk/flickr.
Uploaded pictures are tagged to the various posters sites, which completes the interactive circle for participants.
Via - Talking Retail
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Campaign elements feature print ads designed and painted by Ghanaians using traditional Ghanaian techniques, as well as a viral spot filmed in a Ghanaian village.
The soundtrack is provided by one of Ghana’s biggest music stars called Tinny features in the video, along with High Spirits, regarded as one of the country’s best dance troupes.
The music track is also available on iTunes, with the proceeds of the sale going to Ghana's cocoa communities.
Via - Brand Republic
In a first for Coca Cola and FIFA, the beverage company is taking the authentic FIFA 2010 World Cup trophy to 86 Countries in 225 days. The original trophy is seldom seen by the general public, and Coca Cola’s campaign will be the first of its kind.
The Worlds most sought after soccer possession, will travel 134,017 kilometers around the globe, the trophy will visit every nation in Africa, giving the fans a once in a life time opportunity to get a picture taken with the prestigious award. "Through this event, we are really engaging football fans on a global scale, giving them the unique opportunity to have their picture taken with the most prestigious prize in world football and to embrace the excitement surrounding the FIFA World Cup," said Sep Blatter on the FIFA website.
via - FIFA.com
Monday, September 21, 2009
To prove his point to a colleague that packaging design is integral to increasing the value of a product, he began an experiment which saw the artist collecting and re-packaging trash found on the streets of New York city into specially designed cubes - each signed and dated by the artist.
8 years down the line, New York City Garbage has sold over 1200 items. The collection also boasts "Special Edition" cubes such as 'New Year’s Eve Times Square 1-1-08', at a price starting merely at $100.
Via - PSFK, NYC Garbage
The campaign was supported online, as well as via a simple mobile app which allows consumers to send in their vehicle registration details. Castrol then checks the registration with the department of transport, thus allowing the brand to know the details regarding your vehicle before sending the user their recommended Castrol oil.
The brand has taken it a step further this week. Castrol has set up registration plate number recognition cameras at five slow-moving traffic sites in London, and once the registration details has been verified on the database, the correct oil recommendation for the vehicle is displayed on adigital billboard further down the road.
It's a clever use of technology which will allow the brand to add a highly relevant touchpoint for potential consumers.
Via -Brand Republic
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Those who purchase the New Balance 574 has a polaroid taken and are invited to the online portal - 574 Clips - which features a short video for each of the shoes sold, where owners can match their polaroid to the video about their particular pair of shoes.
Once a match has been made, the user can "claim" the video and have their name featured at the end of that clip.
Via - 574 Clips
The luxury label will soon launch an online portal called Art Of The Trench which will invite consumers and fans to send photos of themselves in the brand's iconic trench coat. The portal, Burberry hopes, will offer a consolidated brand experience for those who might not otherwise have had that much exposure as yet.
It will be interesting to see how this latest online engagement from a luxury brand turns out when the website launches. In the meantime, interested consumers can sign up for an automated update from Burberry.
Via - Brand Republic
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Pepsi Max is calling on entrants to submit a proposal for a 90-second ad under Pepsi's ethical banner 'Refresh Everything', with the eventual winner being granted budget and guidance to produce a Pepsi Max digital advertising film that will be rolled out in early 2010.
The added incentive is that the ad will also be played on the big screen before the gala premiere of British actor Clive Owen's new film, Boys are Back, at the London Film Festival.
If you think you have what it takes, download the brief online here.
Via - Revolution Magazine
According to Revolution Magazine, "Other innovations include being able to "tickle" -- say for example -- your Barbie online and it will giggle in the real world or a grandmother would have the ability to record a story that the toy can read to her grandchild hundreds of miles away."
An interesting application which the platform also allows for is the connection to social networks from the physical toy - which would allow children to have a physical avatar to their online presence whilst interacting with each other.
Via - Revolution Magazine
Her products products contain no pork extracts and no alcohol, allegedly both common in standard make-up ingredient. The range has been certified by a Malaysian Islamic authority, which has verified that everything down to the fluids used to clean the production equipment is Halaal.
According to Springwise, over 70% of Muslim women worldwide live by the Halaal code - and the stamp of authenticity should ensure the range's appeal to many of these individuals.
Via - Springwise
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Via - AdWeek
A small company based in the Silicon Valley called SayNow has been offering a free service allowing stars to connect with their fans (65% of whom are teenage girls) via voicemail over the past few months. The approach has been gaining in popularity, with the service claiming that it averages 10 million fan calls per month - equating to one million voice minutes per day.
Callers can also leave voice messages of their own, many of which are then made public on SayNow.com. Callers can sign up to get text alerts when stars like Selena Gomez, of “Wizards of Waverly Place,” or the Jonas Brothers (22 million SayNow calls from fans and counting) record a new message.
Artists can also choose to chat on live conference calls, as well as returning calls for one-on-one conversations that can be broadcast to the entire group. Part of the value-add SayNow provides to it's users is the ticket sales alert, allowing fans to be the first in line to purchase tickets to see their favourite artist in person.
With cellphone penetration ever increasing worldwide, SayNow's business model is certainly one worth keeping an eye on for brands.Via - NY Times
Monday, September 14, 2009
Jansen and his team looked for tweets mentioning a brand and why the brand was mentioned - to inform others, express a view on the brand or something else - and found that people were using tweets to connect with the products.
According to the press release, "with about six million active users daily and predictions of more than 20 million users by the end of the year, Twitter has become the next big thing on the Web."
With businesses starting to make profits from the use of Twitter - both in terms of sales and as a brand-building tool - the micro-blogging tool could see increased adoption in future. Imagine your brand reaching a potential of 6 million per day, can any brand afford to ignore this free channel?
Via - Penn State University
Below is the proposed technology in it's infancy stages but already holds much promise for brand application in future.
In a move that could potentially save the company millions, Fabergé has decided to forgo the traditional boutique stores and instead opted to hire various online advisors who will be available to consumers worldwide 24 hours a day. The company believes that the on-on-one assistants will provide premium consumers a high level of personalised service, as well as having some consistency at this important brand touch-point.
As the sales advisors build relationships with customers, they will be able to place new or alternative products directly onto customers' screens based on personal preferences and interests. Customers can browse the jewellery from every angle in minute detail online.
To view the new and updated website in line with this relaunch, click here.
Via - Brand Republic
Friday, September 11, 2009
The application has also been designed so that users can superimpose their own faces on the design and share it with others - adding a nice social media element to the initiative. Users can share their look on Facebook Connect, email, or within the app's Rugby Gallery, which will distribute the look to Rugby.com as well interactive high street store windows across the UK.
Via - Rugby.com
The pizza chain simply installed white doors featuring delivery phone number and equipped with doorbells for the delivery people to ring in a public space - thereby allowing modern consumers to satisfy their need for instant satisfaction right there and then.
A fantastic example of a simple idea based on a relevant consumer insight.
Via - Adverlab
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Once there, users will discover that the clips are mechanisms driving traffic to the Audi global site, with a count-down clock until the 15 September.. when Audi plans to unveil their iteration of "Electricity Untamed". The site also shows that Facebook is utilised as a viral mechanism. My guess is that the German marquee plans on showcasing their version of an electrtic vehicle. For now, we'll just have to wait and see.
With Audi having lagged behind other premium motoring brands in establishing their green credentials, could this be the first major effort for the VW-owned brand?
According to Revolution Magazine:
"The internet giant's plans, outlined in a proposal to the Newspaper Association of America, focus on allowing publishers to generate much needed Revenue from online subscriptions and micropayments.
The system will essentially allow consumers to sign-up and manage multiple content delivery accounts through one single channel, thus allowing them to easily access premium content from a range of different websites.
Rather inconsistent with their altruistic nature?
Via - Revolution Magazine
A Canadian based Company has created the ultimate solution, designer vomit bags that any expected mom would be proud to keep as a part of her fashion accessory, until needed. All morning chicness bags are made of sturdy paper with leak-proof polyethylene lining and horizontal closure clip and are available in six designs. This is proof that anything if packaged and marketed properly can grab the attention of the consumer.
If a certain flavour consistently causes enough of a buzz, a final top-ten list will be published on the virtual Flavour Creator app where a final ballot will be held and the most popular flavours available in stores by net year.
Another nice touch calls for consumers todesign the label for the bottle, name the flavour and write the entertaining blurb explaining the water's health benefits, with the winning design selected by Vitaminwater's celebrity partners 50 Cent and Carrie Underwood. The new flavour and label will be announced in December with the winning designer taking home $5000 for their efforts.
Basically, the entire process allows Coca-Cola to create the most popular flavour for the relevant target market, by simply handing over the power to the consumers themselves.
Via - Brand Republic
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The beautiful site, called History of Flight, contains interesting anecdotes and stories that have all helped to shape the Air Jordan story throughout the sub-brand's 24-year history. The easily navigable space also entices users to try the various links, thereby increasing the time one spends interacting with the brand.
Definitely worth checking out!
Via - Nike.com
The website will target mothers with children aged five and over who use the internet on a day-to-day basis, with content ranging from special guest contributors, blogs, a forum and online product offers.
There are also features articled on subjects from growing plants to funding children through university and getting ready for a party.
According to Brand Republic, P&G is currently running similar effortsin other European countries including France, Germany and Italy, with a reach of a million consumers per country.
In addition to the relevant information, the interactivity and simply navigable space should allow the various brands to really make an impression on targeted users
Via - Brand Republic
Monday, September 7, 2009
Woofer is now online for all those who are frustrated with shortening their profound thoughts of the day into 160 characters. It has been irreverently described as the new anti-Twitter 1400 character 'macroblogging' service, which offers everything you would find on Twitter, but with the benefit of a lot more words.
The site has allegedly already grabbed the attention of some celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Seacrest, as well as more than 11000 other registered users at the time of posting.
Could this be the next big thing? Or will it's bark prove worse than it's bite?
Via - Funkadelic Advertising
Sony Pictures UK has launched a successful online campaign in promotion for SA film, "District 9" which calls for all humans to dial in to a 24-hour line and report any suspicious non-human activity. According to the digital agency handling the promotion, hundreds of callers have already left messages about alien sightings in the UK since the phone line went live last week.
The online campaign have also included takeovers of various popular UK sites, such as Sky Sports and MySpace.
Rich-media ads will also appear on The Guardian, which lead to sites that have been created to support the films release - including its very impressive homepage at www.d-9.com
The ads also encourage users to share their video content via social networks, helping drive online buzz on websites like Facebook and Twitter. It's a fantastic example of a cleverly integrated online campaign which we'll hopefully see more of in the future.
Via - Revolution Magazine
The company has commissioned 2 emerging artists in Michael Anderson and Josh Goldstein to design art for their Times Square billboard that will be on display until the end of October. Thereafter, the vinyl from the billboard will be transformed into 1,600 limited edition bags designed by Anna Sui.
US consumers can pre-order the bag online for $30. Not a bad price for an exclusive piece of art!
Via - PSFK
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
There seems to be a growing number of brands targeting the lucrative gay consumer market, a trend that has been exemplified by certain bespoke services that target the gay consumer directly. In recent years we have seen a banking service, hotels, wedding boutiques, restaurants and travel websites specifically target gay consumers. The recent addition to this growing trend is the introduction of a Spanish wine, specifically marketed to homosexual men. UO! is a new brand of wine created with gay men in mind, with the packaging and website imagery tailored accordingly.
The winemakers describe their offering by defining the Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo as a blend, featuring earth tones and "wisps of flowers and fruit – the perfect accompaniment to a gathering of friends on a hot day, whether the heat comes from within or without." Antinoo, meanwhile, is a Monastrell that's "young and mature, fruity, elegant, smooth…Mediterranean.... When you try it, shut your eyes and imagine that you are licking rivulets of syrup from his body.” This is merely one example of a niche brand that has decided to targeted the growing homosexual market, and has done so successfully.
The site allows fans to log on and submit their own American Football moves for their chosen team. All submissions are then ranked according to user generated votes, with the winner crowned ‘Armchair Hero’, as well as winning tickets to the cup final.
Is seems like a highly interactive campaign with some built-in longevity. A simple, well-executed idea that I wished I had thought of.
Via - Contagious
Friday, August 14, 2009
The brand has taken an interesting direction in promoting the new publication in the form of a beautifully crafted online trailer, which should certainly appeal to those with an appreciation for creativity.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Many people praise the Prius for their fuel efficiency under city driving, but could it be that we have all become so used to technology that we have forgotten that we can simply switch the car off with the turn of a key to save fuel when we’re stuck in a traffic jam?
The automotive industry has born the brunt of the wrath from environmentalists for gradually destroying our planet. On the face of it, the criticism might seem justified. The functioning of modern cars has not fundamentally changed since the first Model T. Apart from the ever-advancing safety features, cars are fundamentally still driven by fossil fuels in internal-combusting engines. Just about every single one of them. Considering the sheer number of cars there are on our roads worldwide, the attack on the automotive industry really seems the most logical for most people.
But consider this for a second. In 2007, the UN published a 400-page report, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, highlighting the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. In almost every case, the world's 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
Added to the negative contribution by the livestock, burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it - and clearing vegetation for grazing - produces 9% of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. And their wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of methane, another harmful by-product which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.
The list goes on. Livestock also produces more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world's emissions of ammonia, one of the main causes of acid rain.
Wouldn’t it make sense then, for all those who claim to care about the environment to reduce their meat consumption first of all, rather than changing their cars? Or why not choose a diesel-driven sedan that independent test have verified as far more fuel-efficient than the Prius under mixed driving conditions? Could it be that their choice of cars is simply a way of easily showing that they genuinely care about the environment, rather than actually having to go the whole mile and changing all of their habits that may cause harm to the environment?
Cross-referencing a list of about 40 Prius-toting celebrities, only about 10% of them are vegetarians too. Is it that they aren’t as serious about saving the environment as they claim, or could it be that they, like millions of regular folks out there, simply jumped on the car-bashing campaign without understanding the other causes of our environmental downfall?
THE BIG PICTURE
It is the very complicated idea of global-warming that has led a lot of people, however well intentioned, to focus on issues that might not be the most direct contributors to the plight of our planet.
While we can all make minor changes to our lifestyles in order to better the world that we share - to do so without fully understanding all the causes would surely mean that we wouldn’t be as efficient in dealing with the problem as we could be. To denounce those with an interest or stake in the automotive industry seems full of hypocrisy.
Yet another example of those who are so ready to jump on the green consciousness movement without fully seeing the big picture can be found on Facebook. A quick search for the term “green consciousness” returned 145 groups, along with countless profiles of users who claim that they care for the environment. But do they know that by being part of the Facebook community, they are in fact helping to produce as much as half of the carbon emissions as that produced by the whole of New York City?
Added to which, Facebook has recently become a popular destination for photo sharing for users. With around 10 billion photos already uploaded on Facebook, and 4 separate file sizes per photo saved by the company, the company officially holds 40 billion photo files. 33 billion of these files were loaded on Facebook servers within the last 18 months alone.
This equates to 30000 photos uploaded onto Facebook per second, meaning that 38500 kW per second are needed to enable photo-uploads alone – or 124 cars with 309 kW running at maximum capacity per second to fuel this photo-sharing addiction.
WHAT ABOUT NOW?
It’s clear that the world is in trouble, of that there’s no doubt. But the inevitable question arises as to what we do to try and turn a dire situation around. Some of the world’s savviest investors have already placed billions of their own dollars on funding the development of green technology. They have recognized that the current downward spiral in terms of our environment will eventually lead to a host of solutions from bright minds from all over the world, and they have placed their bets accordingly in the hopes of a major payout a few years down the line.
But what can us mere mortals do about helping the environment in the mean time? Obviously we need to all do our bit to conserve energy and limit harmful output until a better, more financially viable option becomes available. But most importantly, we need to ensure that we are focusing our angst in the right direction by understanding the big picture, without which we could all very well land up driving, in Jeremy Clarkson’s words, “’orrible eco-boxes” that produces far more environmentally harmful by-products in the car’s lifetime than more “traditional cars”.
Companies that are providing consumers with far more balanced motoring options – with a long-term view and continuous improvements to providing greener options should be applauded for their efforts, and supported accordingly.
Motoring isn’t merely about transportation. It’s the joy resulting from the sense of freedom and independence one derives from driving that has made cars as popular as they are today. Let’s not lose that element of fun in our bid to latch on to temporary, and often inaccurate and inefficient ways to solve the environmental problem.