Archive for the ‘Public Relations’ Category

We’ve all heard about the cutting-edge developments in the world of Augmented Reality (AR). But, now that this trend is starting to surface more as part of mainstream we wanted to showcase how major brands are incorporating AR in order to engage consumers.

For those of you living underneath a rock for the past couple of years AR is simply a live direct (or indirect) view of the physical world, whose elements are altered using computer-generated virtual imagery. This technology was originally confined to the military realm of display systems. And, it was later adopted by TV broadcasting stations in the form of displaying the yellow line that marks the first down in sporting events such as football. Now, we are starting to see innovation coming from big brands who don’t necessarily have a background in technology.

Take the iPhone app – Scoops of Happiness – by Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream. This app comes with a feature called “Moo Vision,” where consumers can point their iPhone camera at selected ice cream containers, and see a 3D image in their camera display. And they aren’t the only ones serving up these exciting treats. Doritos recently shot an AR stunt (see video above) where the brand reveals a dancing mascot on roof top in Brazil. Even General Motors is currently working on an AR program that will help drivers in bad weather.

As AR uses advance, something tells us that we should keep our eyes open and smart phone cameras ready…chance are, we haven’t seen anything yet.


@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.

Pepto Bismol wants you to stuff your face

July 4th is synonymous with American independence, fireworks, flags, family time and plenty of barbecues. Our love for over-indulging in food is extremely high. We all have a tough time resisting that delicious extra burger or hot-dog.

Well guess what? This festive weekend…don’t stop, eat all you want because Pepto Bismol has got your back!

The brand, which recently launched its Facebook page, is sponsoring a litany of gluttony-themed events around the nation in hopes of extending its brand presence. And, what better way to do this than by hosting events with tons of food. Check this out; Ice cream event in Austin, buffalo wing festival in Buffalo, and a hot-dog eating contest with whom they partnered with Nathan’s.

Facebook fans can enter a contest to guess how many hot dogs the winner will eat. If you guess right, you can win a Pepto Bismol T-shirt. Wohoo!! (somone will be very happy to win this.)

So this 4th of July, stuff yourself all you want. Pepto Bismol has got you covered.

Note: Being a fan on Facebook’s Pepto page alone will not stop the riot and discomfort in your stomach.

Nike’s “Write the Future” ad, created for the world cup, has by all standards become a global phenomenal success. In a move to further capitalize on its success, Wieden + Kennedy, the agency responsible for the campaign, has launched an interactive component via Facebook, and Twitter (#NikeFuture).

Through these social mediums fans are encouraged to “write the future,” of their favorite players. The best headlines are selected daily and are displayed in electric lighting on the facade of the Life Centre building in Johannesburg.

Another great example of a brand adapting its role and acting as a facilitator between the emotions and conversations taking place between people and their passion for the World Cup. It’s not just about engaging the audience in real-time rather in this case its almost the sense of empowering people to embrace and take control of their lives by writing their version of what the future holds.

Who knows what the real outcome will be but one this is for sure…this initiative is definitely helping Nike’s to write its own future.

Perhaps many of you are already familiar with the various Zynga games on Facebook such as Farmville and Mafia Wars. If not, you need not worry…you’re most likely going to see more of these social-networking based games as Zynga has partnered with chain-store giant, 7-Eleven.

Both 7-Eleven and Zynga are hoping this could be a “win-win” situation.

Stephanie Hoppe, senior director of marketing at 7-Eleven states, “We know social networking and social gaming is something they’re interested in,” its all about giving consumer experiences that they’ll enjoy and that will bring them back to 7-Eleven. Zynga will compliment this effort by having virtual “goods” codes placed on 35 of 7-Eleven’s products, ranging from potato chips to Slurpees.

Consumers will be able to redeem the codes at http://www.buyearnplay.com for items in 3 of Zynga’s most popular games, Farmville, MafiaWars, and YoVille.

7-Eleven plans to begin a wide-ranging advertising campaign to promote the project, on June 1st. Looks like this might just be the beginning of a long-term trend of brands teaming up with social-media networks, ultimately enhancing their connections with consumers, and enhancing brand loyalty.

Toyota

throwing rocks at toyotas - can the giant recover?

When we were younger, my friends and I had a long standing joke for things that were cheap and worthless, it was a statement actually, “throwing rocks at Pintos.”

While, I can’t account for the veracity of our theory, basically, if it was lame, boring, weak, garbage, or otherwise unworthy it was like throwing a rock at a pinto, in our minds we thought that’s all it would take to explode that unsafe lemon.

I couldn’t help recall this memory in light of Toyota’s recent woes. Last Friday, Akio Toyoda, grandson of Sakichi Toyoda (founder of present day Toyota), took to a press conference to formally apologize to all its consumers and stated that indeed the company was in trouble. This situation is definitely going to be a case study in crisis management for a brand that has long prided itself on quality control, and let’s face it – Saatchi – its agency will also be on the hot seat.

Due to a slow response, the company has now gone a PR blitz with its executives taking to the airwaves on America’s morning talking shows and social media such as youtube and twitter. Toyota even bought time on Super Bowl Sunday.

But is it too late?

The company is now set to testify before congress about what it knew and whether or not it acted accordingly.

Detroit is probably salivating at the fact that the Giant has finally shown signs that it is not indestructible as many once thought; not to mention that the U.S. car manufactures needed something to level the playing field again.

At least Toyota seems to have learned a valuable lesson in all this – never turn your brights on in the fog. You can’t see what’s in front.