The infamous file sharing website The Pirate Bay have outlined some bold ambitions for the future of file sharing, launching something called ‘Physibles’. The idea is that as 3D printing becomes more accessible, easy to use and cheaper the next step is sharing schematics for 3D printable objects – ‘no more shipping products across the world and then sending the broken bits back’. How would brands maintain control?
Sony have launched a new mobile accessory using NFC – smart tags, that let you automatically start phone actions with a simple touch. You can program these tags to perform different tasks e.g. a bed time tag that turns your phone on silent and sets the alarm, a car tag thatturns on the phone’s GPS, weather and calendar app. Helps make life smoother – as long as you don’t lose your tags!
As Instragram and Tumblr grow in popularity brands have begun to follow their audiences. Levis is using Instagram to find the next stars of their advertising campaign and Tiffany have created some custom filters for people to use. Coca-Cola have looked to Tumblr and launched its own ‘tumblog’ called Happiness Is where people post vintage Coca-Cola ads along with other images to deliver happiness to visitors of the site. These are platforms perfectly suited to the Sony DEJ for make.believe.
The Rugby Football League (RFL) has confirmed that the Stobart Group has been given the naming rights of the game’s elite competition. Unlike the previous title sponsorship deal with Engage Mutual Assurance the new deal will free up available inventory, which will have commercial value for blue chip brands, attracting many new partnerships. The RFL has said the new title sponsorship deal could be worth up to £2.5 million per year.
The cash generated from sport sponsorship is set to overtake ticket sales. It has been said brands need to start forming commercial relationships and strategic partnerships on the basis of shared objectives to create engaging experiences rather than using out-dated ideas. For example, the Electronics Arts (EA) maker of the FIFA game series and Manchester City partnership produces video game-related content to link the brands physically, digitally and through marketing. This partnership is driven by content and live experiences for fans.
In Manchester City’s conquest for world domination they recently launched a digital campaign challenging fans to spot avatars of players such as Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero. Using a 360-degree image of a match crowd fans were invited to take part and share it on social networks with the opportunity to win a signed shirt and personalised video message from the player. The basic concept is to engage fans in the physical space on match day and involve the wider international fan base digitally through social channels – something that hasn’t been done in football before.
At this year’s CES Technicolor demonstrated their ‘Personalized Content Rendering’ technology which is designed to enhance viewers experience of a wide-angle sporting match. The device incorporates six camera angles and tracks your eye movements so you control what you view. It can even zoom giving better detail and focus. This technology will be commercially available in the next few years.
The Department for Work and Pensions is launching an £11m ad campaign to inform the public about the impending arrival of its automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme. The campaign is due to feature in the press, radio and outdoor ad campaigns. The campaign is due to launch in 9 months.
Content in 2012
In a pre-digital world brands were static but now the ambition has evolved to become part of people’s online conversations. Because these conversations happen all the time, brands need to move from telling one big story a year to continual engagement – telling multiple stories all day and every day.
There are some key principles brands need to consider when creating effective content: first listen and understand what people are currently saying, target influencers and consider what is their incentive to share and potentially how can they be brought into the creative process, make it participatory, make it travel rather than considering where to place it and finally – the importance of tone of voice.
Brands that are most likely to make full use of the content opportunities in 2012 will mix technology with creative thinking to create groundbreaking, new experiences. There are more screens than ever before to work with and consider how they work in combination – dual-screen TV viewing. All you need is ambition, a willingness to collaborate, to be unafraid of making mistakes and to put creative media thinking at the heart of your strategy. Let’s write the Kameleon POV for Campaign.
Axe have jumped on the graphic novel trend – or realised that geeks are most likely to buy deodorant that pulls girls! They have created an online graphic novel on Youtube that evolves as viewers participate. You can pick out characters, choose scene locations and propose story lines that can later be selected and incorporated into each issue. There will also be the opportunity for people to appear in future issues. I think this has the potential to be a long lasting idea if people relate to the characters[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttnPGpDu3xg]
Scottish band Twin Atlantic are using their fans in new ways to build PR by encouraging their fans to share their instagram pictures #freetwinatlantic on Facebook to unlock free musical content. Musicians are increasingly acting like brands and rewarding their fans with additional or exclusive content for spreading the word.
Research has shown the use of micro-blogging tools by businesses is set to jump in the next few years – as companies take advantage of their benefits. It is suggested that such technology helps staff to collaborate more easily, communicate with specialists in their company, reduce product development timelines and much more. #lunchtime drinks?
The controversy surrounding the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) trended on twitter (#wikipediablackout) this Thursday. SOPA is said to be the desire of powerful media conglomerates who wish to content creation to return to thin-pipe content distribution days. In essence changing the way the web works now. Media companies who were once in sole control of content distribution are now powerless to stop UGC. Restricting open post fields would see the downfall of many familiar sites such as Twitter and YouTube.
Did anyone do their Christmas shopping through their phone? Research has shown a whopping 187% increase in the number of mobile transactions during December 2011, from same month in 2010. This has helped increase total online shopping by 5.4%. This study demonstrates that retailers will benefit from smarter commerce initiatives- complying with consumer’s needs.
Britvic and Pepsico have joined forces with environmental regeneration charity Groundwork launching a campaign for the social good. The 9 month cross-brand ‘Transform Your Patch’ campaign will be launched across the UK to transform outdoor spaces helping community sports and outdoor activities. H&K will be doing the PR for this campaign. The campaign will be launched February 2012.
Virgin Media is launching its biggest advertising campaign to date, which features Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt. The ‘Keep Up’ campaign by DDB UK features Bolt, the fastest man in the world, sporting a blonde goatee beard in Branson’s office impersonating the Virgin boss.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpNtntHVrkc]
P&G is partnering with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to give children the opportunity to practise sports by supplying facilities and training. As part of P&G’s ‘Thank You Mum‘ campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the campaign also offers athletes’ mothers the opportunity to see their children compete at the Games. P&G is an IOC TOP partner, and, through its brands, is sponsoring more than 150 athletes, who will be featured in advertising and retail marketing to generate sales and donations to support youth sports. P&G has already named 11 British athletes as brand ambassadors for a range of its products.
Vinnie Jones’ ad for the British Heart Foundation, which premiered on the web before its TV debut, is the most-shared video this week with more than 53,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILxjxfB4zNk&feature=relmfu]
For the last Digital Digest of the year we have scoured the internet for some of the best charts for viral, digital, brands and more, to take a look back at 2011. Merry Christmas!
The Best Virals of 2011
It came to our attention this week that some people don’t get around to viewing some of the viral masterpieces floating around the web, so from funny kids to weird adverts and of course that old favourite cats, here is a montage of the best virals of 2011.
Top 100 Most Valuable Brands
As we know, brand value is becoming more important as the focus on brand engagement grows. This year saw a huge shift with Apple knocking Google off the top spot in Ogilvy’s BRANDZ Top 100 list, and new brands flying into high positions from nowhere. This was with the help of digital innovations and developing new ways to make consumers love them, not just their products and services.
Top 10 Marketing Moments of the Year
Marketing magazine have chosen their Top 10 Marketing Moments of the Year, rather than just being about campaigns the list also looks at new products, changes in law, brand repositioning and how shifts in society are affecting brands.
19 Biggest Social Media Moments of 2011
There is no question that social media is a huge influence in many people’s lives today, which is ever more evident in the events that are influenced by it, the news that is broken on it, the trends it creates (how else would planking have been invented?) and those moments captured by one person, that can end up being shared with the world. This list looks at social media biggest moments this year.
Top 10 UK Digital Media Stories of 2011
The scope of digital media is growing rapidly, with new ideas and trends sprouting up constantly, usually followed by an entourage of “me too” sites. This year saw the rise of deal sites like Groupon, Google develop a social network, online newspaper The Huffington Post move to the UK and superjunctions become a little bit useless, as well as a few other scandals.
Top 10 Worst Celebrity Ads
I thought we’d finish with having a laugh at the extent celebrities will go to for a little extra money through endorsement. Jenson Button, Jarvis Cocker, Luis Figo, what were you thinking?
Trendwatching released their 2012 trend report so here’s our summary of the consumer trends to be aware of.
Government and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their practises under wraps in our digital age. However brands do not need to fear this greater transparency. 2012 will see consumers favouring brands who are honest about their flaws – “people will prefer brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humour, character and humanity”. Essentially have a personality – great for brand engagement.
Using deals, discounts and vouchers has gone from something that you keep quiet to a socially acceptable activity, even something to be proud of – a show of smartness. 2012 will see the evolution of an even bigger ‘deal ecosystem’, more personalisation to individual customers and more loyalty schemes. Deals do not have to mean money off but can mean more experience.
Chinese residents made over 30 million overseas trips in the first half of 2011 (up 20% from 2010). With European consumer’s feeling the pinch, businesses and brands from The Hilton to Harrods are focussing their attention on appealing to Chinese tourists with tailored services and perks.
2012 will be the year that screens become noticeably more ubiquitous, personal and interactive. Consumers will care less about the device (mobile, tablet) and more about the content available. Sainsbury’s has partnered with Sky to allow shoppers to watch sports events while they shop using an in-cart iPad dock and speakers. They need to pop their tablet into the dock and can download the Sky Go streaming app. Sony are working on their ‘four screen strategy’.
The crowd sourcing trend will continue to shake up business processing and spawn new innovations, however it is a minority community – few of us have the time or skill. 2012 will see more examples of crowdsourcing initiatives that make it really simple to contribute, for example contributing personal data through GPS enabled smart phones.
We may still view the stereotypical sports fan as a man wrapped up from the cold, clutching his program and eating a pasty whilst not taking his eye off the pitch, but technology is changing the experiences at matches. There have been several new initiatives including paying £20 to have a tiny picture of yourself on a players shirt, the use of QR codes to order food to your seat, augmented reality apps, match replay apps and Facebook apps for interactive man of the match voting.
As part of Bacardi and Nadal’s “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign they have released a game via Facebook that allows fans to compete against a virtual Nadal, as well as win the chance to play him in real life in Mallorca. The game is built using the RoboServ 3000 technology which calculates Nadal’s position and optimises the speed, spin and distance of contestants’ serves.
Whilst we are focused on Thanking Mums with P&G, research has found a trend in Dads having a noticeable presence in the online social landscape. Not only this, equal roles are more common in the home, with Dads making key purchasing decisions. There are few brands who are targeting this small but influential segment and could be a ripe area to explore.
Collaborative consumption is a trend that keeps coming up in lots of different areas from car sharing to space sharing. The latest initiative is by Channel 4, who has developed the app Closet Swap, which allows you to swap clothes with your friends. The simple concept just involves uploading a photograph of the clothes you don’t mind sharing to your “Virtual Closet” on Facebook and choosing the clothes you want to borrow. The most frequent lenders earn points. Whilst this is a great idea to encourage collaborative consumption, there are some traditions that don’t need a digital platform, and this may be one of them.
The French luxury brand Longchamp Paris have launched an online drama this week set at a fictional fashion magazine. Heels is being streamed exclusively on SoFeminine as a seven-part series and follows a young fashion editor at Shine magazine and her antagonistic relationship with the new editor-in-chief. Unusually you will never see the faces of the actors as the brand wants their bags’ design and colours to provide identities for the characters. Does this make it feel more like advertising than quality, engaging content?
Just watch it! The 3 videos have all been shot in one take using projection mapping through the Playstation and no post production editing. Below is the first video, and the link provides two more that will leave you trying to figure out just how they did it.
We have recently been exploring different ways to use photography and animation, and Cinemagraphs combine the two by adding an animated element into still images. This is a simple concept that creates beautiful content.
To address the objective of building long-term engagement with customers and nurturing fans, brands are increasingly looking to become curators of quality content for their audience. Topman and BA have both launched digital magazines that source relevant cultural content. Topman’s digital mag will offer an insight into fashion, music, film, sport and art, be viewable across multi-platform and the editor is the former Dazed Digital Arts and Culture editor. Sounds like it should be a great read. The BA magazine content is focussed mainly on travel and city guides.
British menswear brand has launched a 120 page print journal that aims to support creative talent. Although this costly, exclusive approach is best suited to luxury brands, it is worth remembering that engaging content does not have to be video measured by the number of hits, especially when you’re looking to engage a niche market.
Little Printer is an idea that allows you to print off your favourite bits of the internet into a receipt sized newspaper. The creators behind the idea believe that people still like having something they can hold, such as a puzzle, or post on the fridge – like notes to the family.
Passers-by to the Brighton branch of Waitrose will notice a John Lewis virtual store in the window. The virtual store features pictures of the top 30 items for Christmas and a QR code for people to scan on their mobile and buy directly 24 hours a day. P&G have also launched their virtual subway stores. A further build to the idea would be if the top 30 list incorporated elements of social shopping e.g. it updated to show the most popular items sold or incorporated customer comments. I think this could increase the motivation/confidence to make that impulse purchase if you see others have bought it too.
What does the future hold as purse strings tighten and entertainment systems become more and more advanced at home? Some interesting thoughts from event promoters and marketing strategists; live events should learn from festivals which not only feature music, food etc but foster a sense of community by encouraging people to mingle and meet, which is difficult to recreate online. Also, leveraging technology to extend the experience before, during and after the actual live portion of the event, and incorporate augmented reality to enhance the event itself e.g. show statistics. Either way, it is felt that events will become more important to businesses as the hard core fans that will still attend push their experience and UGC content out to the masses.
Children’s Social Networks
Research has found that in Western countries, most children are using mainstream social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook by 11 years old and have migrated off children’s networks. The Digital Diaries report by internet security company AVG looked at the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, EU5 and only Japan bucked the trend with few kids present on these sites.
For 99 cents this app is able to measure your heart rate and breathing rate just through the ipad camera. The technology can detect small changes in the colour of your face caused by a change in blood volume in the blood vessels to calculate your heart rate, and can also track the movements of your chest to calculate your exact breathing rate. There is a growing trend for health & lifestyle apps that monitor and track our daily lives but this moves into the area of real diagnosis. Is this the future of NHS direct?
The increase is even greater for those accessing a social network or blog every day on their mobile – 67% (27m people). Facebook is the number one destination (no surprises there) but Linkedin has seen rapid growth in visits through mobile so this trend is not just being driven by youngsters.
Fisherman’s Friend want to be a part of a Friday night out – and a part of the stories that are reflected upon on Saturday morning. You and your friends have to stay within 2 meters of one another for 4 hours, and there are some challenges to complete too – with the prize of getting your next night out paid for by Fisherman’s Friend. There have been apps that ask you to document your night out but this aims to enhance it. A great idea, although perhaps better suited to an alcohol brand.
There’s been lots of comms ideas recently that try to engage by personalising content to your Facebook profile and friends and this in itself is no longer novel or worth sharing – unless you use this function for a great purpose. I had a play of the new Jameson’s game which takes you to Dublin, and asks you to follow the clues to find out which one of your Facebook friend’s is the culprit. Clues are given to you in 6 personalised videos and strangely Jameson’s selected the exact friend of mine that would have nicked it!
The key architect of the BBC’s iPlayer has helped launch Zeebox in the UK which is a second screen app that enables TV viewers to simultaneously connect view social media and also find out more information via links (zeetags) and access bespoke additional content. The app will know what ad is playing and let you purchase things in Zeebox related to that ad. Channel 4 has explored opportunities around Zeebox for the new series, Desperate Scousewives.
The TV ad now needs to be thought of as a trailer to further engage versus the whole story. “No ad will be a self-contained narrative designed to entertain, inform, educate or remind customers about a product or service”
We’ve all heard of Generation X but are the youngsters at Kameleon Generation Sell? Considering our friends and peers how many of them have ambitions to own their own business, commercialise their blog, turn their passion into a living… “Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration — music, food, good works is expressed in those terms…The small business is the idealized social form of our time. Our culture hero is not the artist or reformer, not the saint or scientist, but the entrepreneur”.
Culture (Music, Books, Food)
Currently only available in the US, Google have managed to sign up all the main music labels – except Warner Music so no Prince! Access to content is becoming key for these rivals to retain customers within their systems. By linking purchases to an account on an Apple or Google device it’s difficult for users to switch – “Everyone is using music and media as a jail. Ultimately, this stuff is going to be stored in the cloud and it becomes harder and harder to switch systems”. Also both companies have launched services in the US that allow you to access songs you own on any of your Android or iOS devices. As expected the Apple version is slicker and requires less work but costs $25 a year whereas the Android version is free. In an added extra, Google aims to let artists distribute their own work on Google Music – build an artist page, set prices and sell directly to fans. This could prove a nifty way to increase the content library for users if up and coming artists take this approach.
While some people predict the “death of print” what is clear is that storytelling is alive and kicking. New digital forms of stories are taking off all over the world, with the rise of self-publishing a particularly noticeable trend, supported by legend Seth Godin’s project with Amazon.
This idea caught my eye a few weeks back and I love the concept. A new company called Housebites offers hungry people the chance to order a reasonably priced takeaway from a local chef in their area. You go on the website, type in your post code and choose the chefs (rated by other users) and menus on offer that day. The order then gets biked round. This offers chefs the chance to test new recipes, build a following before opening a restaurant or just enjoy cooking someone a full menu rather than one element of one. Another example of community activation.
This shows the top ten fashion youtube videos in 2011 across branded and non-branded channels. Some key insights into what makes fashion content views fly are unsurprisingly some form of celebrity involvement — whether in front of or behind the camera but also videos with a humorous element tended to perform the best. This is something you may not consider with luxury brands but Lanvin’s lighthearted Fall 2011 campaign video has been viewed nearly half a million times since it debuted in August despite the lack of celebrity participation.
With our extensive knowledge of new tech – real time apps, QR codes, augmented reality, it’s easy to forget that the general public often aren’t so clued up. However, Tesco, will be trialling augmented reality in their stores, allowing customers to have 360 views of the products, such as TVs, which take up lots of shelf space. Is this the tipping point towards mass awareness? HMV too using QR codes in a new outdoor campaign. Together with Fox they have turned bus stops into virtual shelves with each DVD containing its own QR code so consumers can scan and purchase on the spot. Given the season, it might be quite successful when you’re sitting at the bus stop and realise you’ve forgotten that one present.
Now this idea obviously has a targeted audience, namely those who are a fan of spontaneity and adventure, and have strong ideas of what they want the weather to be like on holiday. However, the idea behind it is fantastic, it wasn’t too long ago that holidays had to be booked months before through a travel agent, and now we can pretty much take off without knowing our destination.
For those of you who are not as Tumblr conscious, it falls somewhere between a fully fledged blog and twitter, with an emphasis on “reblogging”, and in the last year it blew up somewhat. Despite being around since 2007, the past year has seen it grow globally by 900%, putting tumblr on most peoples radar.
PleaseCycle have launched another iteration of rewarding people with points for cycling. We wrote about TfL using this initiative a few weeks ago and PleaseCycle aims to make this a corporate scheme. What’s next – local councils offering you points for good behaviour – recycling, volunteering in your borough?
We trawl every corner of the internet each week to bring you the best articles, information, reports, websites, apps, events and anything else we feel like really, as long as we think that you’ll want to see it.
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