Archive for the ‘People’ Category

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.

A new trend has major retailers and social media giants like YouTube trying to cash in.

What is it?

Shopping haul videos – the act of an individual showcasing and reviewing items that they purchased online for the world to see via social media networks such as YouTube. Take a look at the video, which we posted above. It was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America on July 14th, 2010.

Talk about the convergence of word of mouth, user generated content and social media all being produced into unofficial commercials. It’s definitely something to keep an eye out especially because one has to wonder if this is the future of commercials or even sponsored programming.

The global food and beverage corporation Kraft has cooked up Big Fork Little Fork, a new iPad application.

This marks a new trend that has major companies rushing to embrace a new gadget, in this case Apple’s iPad, in order to create a new application for a specific consumer.

With help from Meredith Integrated Marketing who assisted in building of this app, we want to compliment and highlight Kraft’s innovation. The brand sought to uncover a way to educate young parents about healthy eating in a way that was fun and interactive way.

Kraft expects that Big Fork Little Fork will help to fill a void where young parents, mostly in their 20s and 30s have when it comes to finding information about nutritional eating for their children. The Kraft app comes on the heels of a proprietary study Kraft conducted via Google that found 37 million web searches were recently conducted on topics such as family and kids food.

So that begs the following questions: How many consumers will this cool app actually reach given that only a small segment own iPads? Will Big Fork Little Fork leave consumers stuck at a proverbial “fork” in the road?

@earlybird catches the worm

Twitter has announced the introduction of a social-shopping function to its already semi-convoluted business plan. After rolling out its “Promoted Trends,” and “Promoted Tweets” advertising platforms, the micro-blogging platform will begin tweeting daily deals through a new account aptly named @earlybird.

Similar to popular sites such as Groupon.com and LivingSocial, which recently raised $173 million and $50 million, respectively, Twitter will allow users to opt in to receive daily discounts.

Twitter is hoping that since users are the ones make the choice to follow, these ads might be more receptive. Of course, Twitter and its partners are banking on the viral nature of the platform, whereby people will retweet ads that they deem interesting, to their legions of followers.

If you ask us it sounds like a win-win situation for both Twitter and sponsors. The investment is minimal and the rewards are potentially massive. We’ve already started following @earlybird, and think you should too.

So how does an iconic fashion brand such as Levis manage to stay relevant? Especially after one hundred plus years.

Some would state that its apparel is timeless and that’s the reason for such a success. And while there is little room to argue that, we believe there are other reasons.

A couple of weeks ago, Levis announced another extension to their “Go Forth” campaign designed by Widen + Kennedy. Instead of doing traditional ads that center on beautiful models and fashionable clothing, Levis will shift the focus to a struggling American town that reflects todays’ current situation where a once booming town tries to piece a community and neighborhood back together.

The brand hopes to shine a light on Braddock Pennsylvania and capture the real essence of truly “going forth” by helping to rebuilding a small town that embodies the true spirit of hope.

Now some sceptics will say that this is another big company PR stunt trying to cash in on the whole cause-related marketing craze. But you have to give Levis credit for such a daring move as the brand will donate more than a million dollars to rebuild this area.

In a bid to generate some buzz surrounding its new series, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, MTV has launched an online game that encourages users to navigate through the hard times of adolescence.

This series, which premiers on June 6th, is about an awkward 15 year old boy, who has a hard time talking with girls he has a crush on.

The game, called “Chain of Thought,” challenges the player to connect objects in such a way as to create a sentence that causes the in-game “crush” to respond positively.

MTV is slated to release additional game content as the show progresses, creating a unique user experience, in both the game and the TV program. It’s going to be interesting to see how these content elements play off each other, and if they form a symbiotic relationship. MTV is releasing the game earlier than the show, in hopes that it will catch on virally.

You can check out the game here: http://www.mtv.com/games/arcade/game/play.jhtml?arcadeGameId=10264361

With so much talk about being politically correct (PC) nowadays – it should come as no surprise that the new spots by MetroPCS are drawing some attention.

Just yesterday we came across an article in Adage in which Bill Imada wrote a piece questioning whether MetroPCS could produce funny and unique commercials without playing on certain ethic stereotypes that are perpetrated among Americans.

One could argue that if the intent of these ads are to generate buzz and awareness than MetroPCS succeeded. But others will still question whether it’s necessary for this company to play on specific ethnic stereotypes in order to stand apart from other telecomm providers.

The main question is whether or not these commercials are offensive.

What do you think…