Archive for the ‘social networking’ Category

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.

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.

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.