Archive for August, 2010

Here’s some out-of-the-box thinking that helps keep our industry fresh and inspired. Lionsgate films recently ran a promotion for its new thriller “The Last Exorcist,” using the popular website, Chatroullete.com. Online users cruise the website to videochat with random people, mainly men hoping to find a girl who will show them some skin and other men who do all the showing themselves. Capitalizing on their knowledge of Chatroulette.com’s users, Lionsgate entices them with an image of a woman who seems to be about to bare her chest. Just as she is about to show them what they want to see, the woman puts her head down. When she resurfaces the woman’s face is distorted, as if possessed by a demon, then she lunges at the screen. After the scary clip, the website for the film is displayed onscreen to the shocked Chatrouletters. This is a great example of a marketer getting creative about how to reach its target audience, although we suspect that the movie is getting more buzz from people talking about the frightening promotion, than the promotion itself.
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Internet dating has never been a simple matter. In fact, unless you were willing to pay for expensive dating sites, Craigslist or other similar platforms were the usual route for the relationship-challenged. VisualFriend is a new iPhone app that aims to revolutionize online dating by calling on iPhone to facilitate video dates between users, using Apple’s Facetime functionality. How does it work? From the VisualFriend’s website: “Meet friends, share information, flirt…” Put simply, users can view pictures of other members, chat in interactive chat-rooms, and exchange digits with that special someone they are interested in pursuing via Facetime. So it’s essentially a more selective version of Chatroulette.com, hopefully sans exhibitionists. The service is free, and we are watching closely to see what kind of results dials up among the singles crowd.

At the Mega Diner, the waitress is mega hot, and she’s serving up a mega-brand. Adidas recently launched its Mega Diner interactive website, where users place their orders with Flo the waitress, who then has the chef cook up your favorite…..well, pair of shoes. Different responses to her questions causes her to bring you a different meal, I mean pair of sneakers. Customers can then inspect the shoes, order them, and of course, share on Facebook. The web interface is great and provides a stable platform for engaging consumers with content that they want. As the trend of targeting consumers via brand-generated content continues to grow online, we are watching closely for what will come next.
As if pulled from a scene in a spy thriller, Unilever’s Omo brand detergent will be tracking its Brazilian customers to their homes using GPS. The promotion, “Try Something New with Omo,” aims to increase the buzz about the stain-fighting mix, rather than directly increase its sales. Bullet, the brand’s promotions agency, has placed GPS tracking devices in 50 boxes of the popular detergent, which will let the company track the lucky customers. Once the locations of the boxes and consumers are known, special teams will be dispatched to those sites. When the winning purchasers are identified, the teams will provide them with video cameras and ask them to film their day at a Unilever-sponsored family event. A website (experimentealgonovo.br.com) will go live this month (August), that features a map of the winners’ locations, and video of them taken with the free cameras provided by the brand. Known for its “dirt is good” campaign, Omo urges parents to let their kids have fun, and let the detergent take care of the dirt. We can’t wait to get the dirt on the buzz this campaign creates and the possible outcomes that clean laundry will reveal.