Crowd sourcing

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Advertising, Social Media, Uncategorized

Friday Email

This week we’re going to look at how brands are using crowd sourcing to collate content to use in campaigns. This idea of using alternative methods such as their consumers helps to bring fresh content to consumers in a new way. And allows them to engage with the brand.

The Vaccines Music Video

The British band The Vaccines are using this technique to create a music video for their upcoming single ‘Wetsuit’. They’re doing this by using photos shot by fans using Instagram. A platform which allows people to share photos.

The concept is simple. By asking fans to tag their photos of music festivals with #vaccinesvideo, the band is able to collect shots to make an animated video. In an effort to capture the perfect summer music experience, they are looking for photos of bands, tents, fields, mud, thrills, spills; pretty much anything that gets across what it feels like to be knee deep in a summer festival.

Just image if you found yourself in a music video….

Crash the super bowl

As we know the Superbowl  gathers huge hype in America with over 160 million people watched the Superbowl last year. This means that the commercials are invaluable to brands.

Utlising this fact Pepsico plan to show six user generated commercials.  The challenge was for the public to choose which brand they wanted to make a commercial for Doritos or Pepsi Max and create a action packed funny commercial , If you commercial is voted in the top 6 you’re commercial will get played: infront of 160 million people! A great use of crowdsourcing and gaining even more recognition, allowing the public to have some control over the advertising space

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire’s Imagination” campaign drew upon its Facebook fans’ participation to inspire the visuals of the campaign. Users were invited to share their creations and artwork to be used in a 3D projection show which was unveiled on the 8th June at London’s Battersea Power Station.

Imogen Heap Album Campaign

For her latest album Imogen Heap is pulling on the resources of her loyal fans, and anyone else that fancies claiming their moment of glory within the music world, by creating a dedicated microsite which cleverly uses hashtags to collate all the ideas. Each day, fans are tasked with a different challenge e.g. Day 1: upload a sound clip, Day 2: Send in buzz words, Day 3: Send in photographs to be used on the album cover, Day 4: Upload videos for the music video, and so on. Imogen then uses all these ideas to create each song on her album. A great way to avoid doing all the work yourself!

Here’s a link to the microsite which will be starting work on Heapsong3 on 19th September so check back in then if you fancy joining in.

Pril – German washing up liquid

And finally, to show how crowdsouring doesn’t always bring the best out of brands, here’s an example from Pril, the German washing up liquid brand owned by Henkel. Henkel launched an online campaign allowing users to design their own ‘individual’ bottle using a tool set with mostly predefined graphics to stamp on the virtual label. The two designs with the most votes would then hit the shelves in October.  However, one customer that found the idea of predefined shapes boring decided to pick the freehand pen from the creative tools and came up with the design below (it reads ‘Chicken flavoured Pril’). He then asked his followers on Twitter to vote for it, sending it shooting into the top 10 designs and sparking a whole raft of other spoof designs.

Happy Friday everyone!


Retail and digital innovation

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week is all about the retail industry and how it’s going digital to make shopping experiences more tailor-made and fuss-free.

Acure vending machines Japan

With facial recognition proving to be popular on Facebook,  it’s used in this vending machine in Japan.

With an embedded camera, this touch-screen machine scans the customer’s face to find out his/her age and gender to make beverage suggestions.

Digital signage by NTT Docomo, Japan 

Another innovative idea from Japan using the same concept:

The Japanese technology company, NTT Docomo is developing digital signage that recognises the number of people standing in front of it with the embedded camera. Imagine this: you’re shopping with your friends, you’re peckish and happen to stumble across the digital sign that suggests you and your friend have lunch at a restaurant nearby because they’re doing a promotion. Very helpful!

NG Connect’s Virtual Personal Stylist

Tired of waiting in the fitting room queues or even dragging your feet to the shops? With Virtual Personal Stylist, you can try clothes in the comfort of your own home without taking them off.

NG Connect has created this platform that scans customers’ body to get accurate measurement and creates a life size avatar on the screen.

You can browse clothes, get expert style and make-up advise from professionals via video and even make purchases.

Kraft Foods and Intel’s Next Generation Meal Planning Solutions, US 

From a personalised look, you can have personalised recipe suggestions. Kraft Foods and Intel have collaborated to create the Next Generation Meal Planning Solutions that intend to help shoppers at supermarkets decide what they should make for dinner. Recipe suggestions are based on demographic information that matches your age and gender when scanned. To make your experience even more personal, you can present your supermarket loyalty card, Kraft’s iFood Assistant mobile app or browsing history on

New window shopping by Franhofer Institute of Germany

Aimed to revolutionise shop fronts, the Franhofer Institute of Germany has created this prototype that allows potential customers to browse through an entire catalogue with the wave of the hand. Other features include trying out different colours, rotating items for a 3D view and zooming in for a closer look.

New Mango MNG App for iPhones

Finally, a little something for those who want to be up to date on the latest Mango clothes. The new app allows you browse through the  new collection, watch style tip videos but the most exciting aspect would have to be the ‘Mix & Match’ tool. By uploading a photo of yourself in the interactive fitting room, you can ‘try on’ Mango clothes and then save items that you fancy in the Wish List for purchasing later!

Happy Friday!

Viral Videos

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

The internet has always been a powerful source of content. This teamed with an ever increasing array of social media sites and a rise in the percentage of Smartphone ownership means content is shared and viewed by thousands of people instantly, where ever they may be.

So, to make everyone’s Friday slightly more entertaining after all the dismal rain we’ve had this week, we’re going to take a look into how various brands have harnessed the power of the internet to promote themselves via videos.

First up is Samsung. Samsung have produced various videos with two of my favourites being the ‘Sheep LED Art’ back in 2009 for their LED TVs and the more recent ‘Unleash Your Fingers’ which has been used to promote the Galaxy Sll phone.  Both these videos are entertaining with the fireworks in the sheep video being particularly impressive!

Sheep LED Art

Unleash Your Fingers

BMW has also had success in channelling the power of the internet to promote itself. In this case they have focused slightly more on brand by using their cars to publicise their power and agility.

BMW Wall

BMW Helipad

A slightly more comical video produced by the English National Opera shows how strange all our online connections and interactions sound in the real world by bringing Facebook and Twitter to life in the streets.

Will you be my friend?

Another fun and light hearted series of videos was produced by Volkswagen, known as The Fun Project. These videos are based around the fact that by making things fun you can change people’s behaviour. The ideas range from a speed camera lottery to an arcade bottle bank. My personal favourite is the piano staircase.

Piano Staircase

And finally, to hopefully leave you with a truly feel good factor this Friday, here is a video from Coca Cola which proves that not all is bad in the world.

Reasons to believe

Happy Friday!

Why Do People Follow Brands?

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week we’ve look at a more content based theme: Why do people follow brands? What makes them engage.

Studies show that the majority of consumers who engage with a brand in a digital space tend to purchase the product and make recommendations to friends and family.

  •  Over 97% of people say that social media has influenced their decision to make a purchase of a brand or product.
  • Over 23% of people have downloaded a branded app onto their mobile devise.
  • Over 18% of people follow a brand on Facebook for interesting and entertaining content.
  • Over 22% of people follow a brand on Twitter for interesting and entertaining content

But why get involved?  Most companies have a Facebook fan page but I’ve chosen a few examples that have recently stood out from the crowd to gain attention and make people want to actively follow them. It is worth mentioning that in general consumers get something in return – games, chat or updates, becoming a two-way communication between the consumer and company.

Skittles have introduced a new banner across the internet advertising their brand.  Although it’s an idea that we’ve seen many times before, it does prove that simplicity works. By clicking and playing the game, the link takes users straight to ‘like’ their Facebook page. This method works to increase Skittles fans in an easy, effective manner. Essentially consumers actively choose to get involved. In turn, Skittles can update members with news and events.

People got involved with the brand by activating their webcam and measuring the size of their mouth. Then a burger was recommended for  the user. The person could like or post this to their wall, inviting others to join. One lucky person a month would be sent a coupon for a burger!

The aim? To increase Honest Tea’s distribution in America.

To grab consumer’s attention Honest Tea created a part guerrilla stunt, part social experiment. ‘The Honest Store,’ was a pop-up shop stocked with ice cold Honest Tea with nothing but a money box and a sign requesting “$1.00 on the Honor System”, testing the honesty of six cities across America. Then, with hidden cameras in place, photos and video content from each city were collected, revealing the results through social media. The story proved to be media gold, and the tea brand is now well on its way to being a household name in America.

A recent cinema spot by BMW in Germany used flash projection technology to leave a more lasting impression of the brand’s logo in the audience’s minds. Flash projection technology allowed BMW to reproduce the effect of looking up at the sun, or seeing a bright flash of light. Once you close your eyes, the contours of that light slowly fade away, leave the sun’s silhouette seemingly ‘on your mind’.

GU, ‘The Great GU Drum Off’:

GU created a giant drum set and invited passers to play. They ran the videos on Youtube and ran a competition to see which participant was most popular. The winner won a Virgin Experience Voucher. People were attracted to the brand and ‘liked’ their Facebook page in order to keep up to date with news and competitions.

The fashion label has launched a YouTube channel take over experience with an unexpected twist to promote its new Eyewear collection The page becomes interactive, allowing users to select different colours and watch engaging videos, then to go on and purchase the product.

Snoop Dogg made headlines recently for the progressive group deals he runs from his Facebook page’s “Shop Snoop Now” ecommerce tab. Each day, one product is featured for a special group deal – the more “Likes” the product gets, the lower the price for the product.

Curry’s and PC World, ‘Your Moment’:

The ‘Your Moment’ campaign has launched online offering people the chance to win Panasonic cameras and camcorders and a top prize of £5,000 by uploading their favourite summer moment. Online ads and video direct users to the brands’ Facebook page and encouraging them to upload their own pictures. Participants share with friends to get to vote a weekly winner for a new Panasonic camera or camcorder. The overall winner will receive £5,000. Essentially, a great, fun way of engaging consumers.

Finally… The anti-use of Facebook!

Surfing  has become hard to follow with too many distractions and too little time. Sundek had an unconventional idea to persuade people to log out of Facebook, aiming to increase the number of people surfing instead. Participants logged out of Facebook for a month which was monitored by an application for inactivity. The winner gained a week of surfing lessons in Malibu. There were 8500 participants  and 98000 visits to the webpage.


How many brands do people follow on Facebook? Percent of respondents:

1 – 2.01%

2-5 – 53.47%

5-10 – 21.2%

10 or more – 13.32%

Happy Friday!


Branded Mobile Apps

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week we are going to have a look at a couple of branded apps that deliver an engaging mobile experience.

According to new statistics from analytics firm Flurry, the average mobile user now spends 81 minutes per day on mobile apps compared to 74 minutes spent surfing the Web (both desktop and mobile). This is the first time that mobile apps usage overtakes surfing according to the source.

So with mobile apps becoming a more and more important part of our daily lives, many brands are now trying to profit from this opportunity of engaging consumers.

The Lynx Stream

Lynx have recently launched a mobile app that allows users to track all their mobile activity on a big night out. The app acts as an aggregator by compiling tweets, Facebook posts, photos, videos, texts and check-ins onto the stream, giving users the option to generate a cool video at the end. The idea behind the app is innovative and by allowing users to re-live unforgettable nights out, the brand successfully generates an engaging and unique experience.


Pringles: The Crunch Band

Another great example of a truly innovative mobile app comes from Pringles. Their Crunch Band app allows users to play a selection of different instruments and works by using the accelerometer to make different sounds. The app allows users to plug it in to packets of Pringles that then act as a loud speaker. In addition, there are added bonuses for scanning the bar code of Pringle packs to unlock new features and badges inside the app.  The app is a really smart way of engaging with consumers and linking the Pringles brand with the music festival season this year.



The NikeID Store app allows consumers to customise shoes on the go. The app is very clever and has a bunch of cool features such as point-n-shoot which allows users to take photos and use the selected colour palettes from photos to customise sets of shoes.  The app also allows the sharing of designs with friends via social networks, and consumers can purchase their custom made shoes straight from the app. Singles Finder, Argentina’s top dating website, has recently released the Singles Finders mobile app. The app aims to assist single people with finding the perfect date by telling users the exact amount of single people in different locations. This is an innovative and engaging app that will certainly create some buzz.


Pizza Express

The final app this week comes from Pizza Express. Their recently launched app offers a world first, by giving customers the option to pay their bill automatically through PayPal in restaurants around the UK. In addition, the app also enables customers to find and book a restaurant table, view menus, and store special offer codes and receipts. This is certainly a great and innovative mobile app that simplifies the paying process in Pizza Express restaurants.


Have a wicked Friday!


1 July – QR Codes

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week we are going to look at the original and exciting uses of QR codes as a means of engaging and enticing consumers.

There has been much interest lately in the use of QR codes in marketing and advertising campaigns. QR codes are a two-dimensional image encoded with information that is ‘decoded’ using a mobile phone application. The reader application reacts accordingly based on the patterns within the image, upon which a variety of functions can be performed, such as the display of an image, hyperlinking to specific URLs, linking to video content or simply just providing further contact information.

Diesel lets you ‘like’ products

First up is a lovely use of QR codes by Diesel. They discovered that lots of people partake in ‘liking’ products on Facebook in order to show to their friends what they are interested in; therefore they attempted to bring this online experience into their stores, with a little help from their friend the QR code.  When consumers would scan the QR code it would automatically “like” the product on their Facebook and post it to their wall, which would enable the shopper to get a discount on the product (which seems like a fair exchange for essentially advertising the product to your entire Facebook)

Tesco’s shopping experience

Similarly Tesco in South Korea has recently integrated QR codes into the shopping experience to engage with consumers. By scanning the QR code at the virtual Tesco stores in subways, the selected food items were automatically placed into the shopper’s online shopping cart, ready to be delivered to them at home. Through this campaign Tesco not only strengthens their mobile marketing arm but further promotes their tagline ‘every little helps’, making life simpler for the shopper. Genius! Take a look at the power of the QR code:

Petition for signatures

Another clever use of a QR code was used in France’s National Library as part of the’ take a stand again the death penalty’ campaign. The QR code was cleverly used to drive petition signatures instantly:

AXA  creates an attractice code

Here is an example of one the biggest and most beautiful QR codes created, for AXA which cleverly began a conversation with customers by driving users to their mobile site. Check out the cool multi-coloured code here:

As you can see QR codes can pretty much be used to display any kind of content so the possibilities for its use as a marketing tool are endless. However one major barrier for the use of QR codes in commonplace advertising is that mobile phones do not come with a QR code reader built in and therefore users need to download a reader in the first place- which although is free and fairly simple, may still serve as an issue that advertisers face.

Happy Friday,


This week we’re going to look at digital consumer engagement and how brands are engaging more and more with the consumer using Facebook connect.

With social media strategies becoming more complex we are seeing more and more customised videos which you can share with your friends and personalised apps using  Facebook connect functionality. There are queries about Facebook privacy but seeing yourself and your friends feature in ads is always appealing

Trip your face experience from

This new campaign from is really fun and quirky. They’ve created this rich customisable content experience called ‘Trip Your Face‘. Using the Elf yourself concept they’ve created 3 of ‘The Hangover’ type scenario where you wake up in hotel room in either New York, Las Vegas or Paris and have to play a video to see what you got up to last night.

Mini Maps

Mini France has just launched a Social / Google Maps mash-up advergame called ‘Mini Maps‘. It’s a Facebook app that lets you customise a virtual MINI and then challenge Facebook friends to time trials around the world through a Google Maps mash-up, which basically has you racing your friends over satellite images of your favourite locations.

Nike and Graffiti challenge

This is a really nice campaign Nike Amsterdam created, to help youngsters get back into running. They launched the Nike+ mobile app in conjunction with a very cool Facebook app. But they also wanted people to connect offline and created the Nike run club and carried out Guerrilla and experiential marketing.

After identifying that youngsters think running is boring, Nike set out to make it a little more fun and socially rewarding. So they created a campaign called Nike Take Mokum, a social challenge that lets runners draw creative running routes over satellite maps through a Facebook app, before sending out challenges to friends to help complete them in the real world, through the Nike+ running app.

True Blood immortalise yourself

HBO have launched their latest digital campaign for season 4 of True Blood, creating a Facebook app called “Immortalize Yourself” that plays out a unique, customised video featuring you and your friends… You can choose who features in it, or let it pick randomly from your profile…

Although the Facebook connect functionality used here isn’t new it’s pretty well executed in this app.

Desperado Youtube take over

This final one I’ve included as I thought it was one of the best Youtube takeovers I’ve seen in a while, but also because fitting with the theme of this weeks post, integrates Facebook connect functionality as part of the experience.

The Youtube takeover for beer brand Desperados is different to most. It allows you to interact with the story with the slider but also socialises the whole of the expereince as brings your Facebook friends into the party by pulling photos in

Experience the take over

Happy Friday!