Augmented reality is the idea of the month. Even if it has been out there for at least a year or so, in the last month the buzz around it has literally exploded. A lot of marketers are excited by the wow effect augmented reality can generate, but fortunately another good number of bloggers and marketers have a more realistic approach to the idea. Advertising Lab writes "Augmented reality is the new Second Life", SuperCollider blogs about "Augmented Reality, Second Life, and the trough of disillusionment".
I share their same feelings and concerns. It's a bit like QR codes as well. Everywhere in the world (a part from Japan and South Korea probably) there is a lot of buzz around them, advertising agencies sell them as "the coolest thing" to naive clients, but numbers are not there to support the investment. Augmented Reality could suffer of the same problems, since it strongly relies on consumers having a webcam, and be willing to spend five minutes to understand what the brand ask them to do to enjoy the experience. If you use augmented reality only to promote your product or to simply entertain consumers than you are late and already out-of-fashion. The third (or even the second) comer already cannot count on the wow-effect. But but but, augmented reality can still have a future, like any other digital gadget, if it's used in a smart, really interactive way, with the end goal of providing an added value to the end consumer.
In Sweden, H&M; has launched a project to collect funds and drive awareness around the HIV virus. Fashion against AIDS features a special t-shirt collection designed by a series of international music artists (Tokio Hotel and Cyndi Lauper among the others).
The website is pretty straightforward, you have the celebrities and the t-shirts you can immediately buy through the online store.
Worth the fairly hefty load, this feels like a fresh way to get people interacting and engaging with your music. Turn the Cold War Kids off and on as they play their new single I've Seen Enough. So often the music industry pioneers a new technique and the rest of the marketing world play catch up - expect to see this used to sell processed cheese shortly.
In the US, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has launched a website to explain citizens what to do in case of an earthquake. Given the educational goal of the project, the experience is conceived as a quiz.
Visitors are presented with a series of daily life situations in which an earthquake can surprise them. For each scene, pictured with illustrations, users have to decide which action they should take when the emergency happens.
Recently, the guys at Contagious, sent me a complimentary copy of their latest report dedicated to Mobile Applications in 2009. Having developed an iPhone application myself (see Nike Goal post) I'm extremely interested in the topic and I have to say this report offers good food for thought, both for beginners and more "mature" marketers. I like it because it features the right balance of numbers, tips for brands, consumer insights and ideas' review which, in my opinion, represent the ideal mix to inspire new projects.
I'm happy to share with you our latest work to present the Nikesportswear Summer collection to the Italian audience and drive awareness (and possibly sales :-) through Nikestore.com.
On Nikesportswear Stories we tried to bring to life the concept behind the NSW which is "designed for sport remixed for life". We shot a super fast series of photos with two athletes (a volleyball player and a footballer) and two DJs, showing them in moments of their daily life.
Tough as is advertising a museum exhibition i found this way quite original, the Tate Liverpool gallery displaying the work of Glenn Brown through a series of 3D slide puzzles for visitors to play with the works.
To promote its next video-game developped by Radical Entertainment called Prototype (to be released in Europe in June), Activision makes you live a unique experience.
You can check by yourselves by going on the dedicated website, where you will be asked to connect to your Facebook account. I won't tell you too much about the result not to ruin the effect.
I think it is a nice move by the Belgian creative agency One Million Dollars, that managed to go beyond the nice, clean, graphic trailer, by offering something else, through a clever integration of Facebook.
To begin this post I think i'll stole a quote from Agency Republic's Gemma Butler while voting last One Show Interactive: "There could be a Nike category in every festival". Being myself a big fan of Uniqlo's interactive stuff, i'm amazed on how often they're releasing such amount of high quality stuff, maybe festivals should think of another Uniqlo category too.
I think this "Uniqlo Tokyo Fashion Map" project is a follow-up to the Uniqlo Parka one released last February, and although reminds me a little of that Nike "Pass the ball" project i cannot but loving how Uniqlo makes fun of each and everyone of their catalogs while using amazing skills of data visualization.
You might have heard the news already, last Saturday the former Korean president committed suicide. All major Korean portals and search sites have temporarily changed their design and colour. Imagine them doing that in UK or US. NOT.
Nowadays to create an original, creative website to present a mobile phone is a hell of a challenge. We've seen (almost) everything. Like in the case of the automotive industry creativity seems to be the hardest word. Competition is fierce, differentiation is weak, money isn't always there. So what should an agency do to introduce a new Nokia mobile phone which wants to challenge the Blackberry?
Try, for example, with a colorful and engaging interface. Then create a video which uses pictograms a smart way. Shake everything together and then add a tiny smart widget that give a touch of originality to your emails. Visit the new Nokia E75 website to experience all of this.
Mojito is one of my favorite cocktails, so no wonder why I like the website launched by Havana Club to "celebrate" it.
The experience is rather simple but strongly video based and this makes the difference to appreciate the work.
Make sure to begin by testing your skills as Mojito barman in the interactive quiz. If you do it at the end it is way too easy.
A viral campaign to promote the upcoming Fifa World Cup qualifying series in Australia is cool.
Due to a widespread belief in Australia that the Socceroos are sure to qualify, they've have adopted an unorthodox strategy: to promote the opposition as fierce adversaries capable of knocking Australia out.
Nathan and Dave nice work.
From Brazil, another project that sees Colmeia involved and therefore shows a super use of video. It's a website to present Electrolux kitchen appliances.
The experience is rather passive and not interactive, but I appreciate the attention to details and the great quality of the images which are really able to deliver a luxury brand experience, even if we are "just" talking about a refrigerators, microwaves etc...
Remember the Youtube Young Lions contest? Well, it's live. Young talents have produced their ads in 48 hours, and are now busy getting the word spread about their work. I'm happy to help building the buzz (if the work is good, according to my personal taste and opinion, of course). So here you go with the first two videos.
The BBC has launched a simultaneously digital and experiential event called Blast Studio It was conceived and produced by Fallon London .
Behind the scenes here
The project is a collaborative art installation which will be created in real time (limited to 12pm to 12am) by young people interacting with the website. Their instructions made at the website will affect a real art studio. During the event, Fallon will collaborate with the users to create TV commercials as well as inviting artists to express themselves in the studio together with the online audience.
In Sweden, Wasa has launched a website with a guide to an healthy breakfast. Forsman & Bodenfors have created a simple yet extremely beautiful visual experience.
Visitors are invited to pick the stuffs they usually eat for breakfast. Based on their choices they then receive a feedback on how healthy their nutritional habits are. Plus they also get some suggestions for healthy alternatives for each of the week.
From Brazil, a great example of use of video to explain HD digital television. As ADivertido explains, Brazilians still have a lot of questions and doubts regarding HD and they end up not trusting (and therefore buying) the new technology. So LG has decided to educate them with an advertainment approach and a great web execution.
Os Remotos (which I suppose translates into "the remote controls") is a sit-com where (almost) all the questions about HD find an answer with a touch of humor and an impressive video quality.
Last Christmas, Brasil Telecom launched many offers like cash bonuses, free calling minutes or free cell phones, so, as to say, they pimped out everybody's Christmas as it is showed in this hilarious website in which every single character is also pimped out.
Last couple of weeks it was time for judging some iberoamerican festivals, such as FIAP (in Argentina) or Wave (in Brazil) and as usual, my main interest was to check, as agencies, which messages those festivals are giving when announcing their lists of winners, as to know where the industry from the region could go.
A bit disappointed because we're pretty much stuck to formats as microsites and banners still, but finding also some little treasures as the one that won Grand Prix at Wave, a kind of advergame called "T-Racer", created by Agencia Click (in collaboration with Colmeia and TAXI.Labs), and in which you can race in real time against a real driver, either in the site or in a car-installation done for the brazilian Big Brother tv show.
The case study shows the project better than my words, i like very much this approach of extending the digital experience outside the screen :)
Here's another great example of online marketing in the entertainment sector - the twitter based Resistance2018 game. The premise is convoluted but it would seem that the "Resistance" is using Twitter to communicate, you can join the resistance and help by decrypting message which have been intercepted from Skynet.
The game instructions and all the assets surrounding the Twitter game are housed on a blog which feels very of the moment - everything is easily embeddable, shareable and searchable.
In Germany, Scholz & Volkmer has created a new website for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe, presented as an "object of desire".
I very much like the creative idea of seeing the car through 30 different points of view even if this approach ends up being probably too focused on the car's aesthetic rather than on its performance characteristics.
What is contemporary for you? Zoogami beer will probably reply: Contemporary is not caring about copyright. At first sight their website it's just another beer website, but if you choose to play their game you'll be surprised.
The trick is nice, even if I have the feeling it has already been done before...
The legend of Chanel n.5 lives again on the Web with a micro-site which tries to go beyond a TV spot that is such a dejavu. For such an iconic perfume I would have expected a touch of innovation that is definitely not there in the commercial and not even in the extended version available on the Web.
On the other side, I think that the contents on the website represent exactly what a Chanel n. 5 fan would like to discover. And here the discussion begins...
An inspiring little project in this time of worldwide recession. Cards of Change is a collection of business cards from people who got recently ditched at their company, but bring out the positive side in a personal message on their card. The project is set up by some former TBWA\Chiat\Day employees, united in Unknownlab.
Papervision3D has already been overused and underdone. This site turns the tables back to cool. Foxtel in Australia has launched, via Lowe Sydney, a great new site that uses the best of the technology. Using all the "right now" tools eg social media integration and personalisation/sharing creates a rich experience that just works.
A few days ago I wrote advergames might have gone out of fashion. Fernando, from Argentina emailed me to deny my comment, and show that advergames are alive and kicky, and can be used also to drive awareness around sensitive topics such as anti-fur communication. Look at the advergame created by BBDO Argentina for FABA (the local PETA).
I'm sure this is not exactly new but I came across it today and was amazed. Absolutely fantastic view of NYC on this site. I really love the last image (select from bottom left) that has the dude hanging out the window. Spin and zoom to find your fav part of NY from above.
Young creatives out there, this is your chance to make to Cannes. Youtube is looking for young and fresh ideas to enter the Young Lions Film Award in Cannes. The brief will be released on May 15th and you will have 2 days to submit your film. Then, you will have 15 days to spread it virally. Get ready!
From Belgium, an amusing website to promote Pearle contact lenses.
The message is simple and pretty straightforward: sometimes it is better to wear contact lenses rather than glasses! Choose the character you prefer (I recommend going for the opposite sex), and enjoy an amusing experience that will make you understand the meaning of the campaign message.
The thing itself goes like this: displaying a recipe post in one of the most respected advertising blogs in Brazil (Brainstorm9) and next to it displaying the ad, that reads something like "this is the first time you see a post like this in Brainstorm. And this is also the first time you can see a sedane like this" (a new VW car)
Probably there are more executions in different sites covering different topics, so it appears to me as a clever way of buying online spaces to promote a new campaign.