It seems like this has already blown up pretty much everywhere on the internet but if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s one of the most ingenious integrated campaigns to come around in quite a long time. Using the Old Spice Man Who You Want Your Man To Smell Like, W+K has created a character that has gone beyond TV and crashed the social media party on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – and just about everywhere else. And the best thing about this is how simple it is. Select user comments on Old Spice are selected and then posted as a YouTube video response – with often hilarious results. My personal favorite is the serenade of Teressa Iezzi and Ann-Christine Diaz from Creativity (embedded below). What’s ingenious about this campaign is how it’s suddenly turned everybody into Charlie from Willie Wonka in search of the Golden Ticket. The Golden Ticket being a personalized video response from The Old Spice Guy after posting a comment on one of Old Spice’s social media channel (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
You can view the rest of the YouTube videos here and an Adweek write-up on how they pulled it off here. It’s risky when brands try to create a personality that can extend outside of ‘advertising’ but this social media execution was done at the right time and targeted the exact right people – influential bloggers, high profile twitter users and even ‘normal’ people. The normal, average Joe’s being the main reason I think this is taking off.
The last time I can remember a well done integration of a ‘fictional personality’ and social media was Kenny Powers from Eastbound and Down. Deep Focus helped give the character a voice on Facebook and Twitter that helped build the characters popularity even after the HBO season ended. How will this work for Old Spice? Who knows, but it’s definitely fun now and hope they can keep it going for as long as possible.
I was originally intending for this post-Coachella entry to be about all the cool emerging media and tech at this year’s Coachella festival. Instead, it’s going to be a rant against AT&T. Not only was cell service non-existent for basic calls, text messages and even email but trying to use the mobile web was an even worse nightmare. What makes this ironic is that the festival ran out of paper schedules by early Saturday and directed people to the Coachella iPhone App which didn’t really help you find your way around. So not only could you not contact friends to meet somewhere but you also had to rely on the sparsely located stationery “Here you are” map areas to locate certain stages. And that’s if you happened to already have the app installed – there was no way you were going to be able to download the app with non-existent service.
So there you have it. I’m not sure how Apple can continue to market livestreaming and other advanced features and apps for the iPhone when it’s pretty clear that AT&T cannot keep up with demand. With projections of mobile web usage continuing to skyrocket, I think the upward trend on this graph will clearly outpace the time it takes for AT&T to get it’s act together or just render their entire network useless. And as long as Apple is tied to AT&T, I don’t think mobile interactive video will take off this year as hoped with the rumored iPhone 4G coming out. Another post for another time though…
In closing, if you want to know how the overall festival went (sans any cell or internet service), there’s some good footage on both YouTube and Ustream. RFID technology continues to gain ground at events as you can see from the picture above of the Coachella wristband. You can also see some of the praise and complaining on twitter with hashtag #coachella. And if you are still not a fan of Muse, you have obviously not been enlightened yet!
Dear AT&T, Whatever You’re Doing AT SXSW, Do It In San Francisco (I bash AT&T all the time and to give credit where credit is due…SXSW was near flawless…dream was shattered however when I arrived into DC yesterday…wtf is with this network already!)
NPR and WSJ Building iPad-Only Websites (Great…we’re back in 1999 again but now with 5X as many platforms to develop for…can’t we all get along?)
MyBrandz: Finally, You Can Find People Who Love Nike, Apple, And Ferrari As Much As You Do (Maybe it’s just me…but I’m not the type of person that’s going to connect to other people for love of a brand…)
Is there any other brand out there doing a better job marketing themselves on Facebook? If so, let me know because Vitaminwater just continues to both amuse and innovate on the social network. Via Techcrunch, their latest flavor will be called “Connect” which was chosen via a contest on the brands Facebook page. Vitaminwater was the 1st brand to use their Facebook presence as the URL in a major television campaign and continues to hit all the right buttons in activating their Facebook fan base. I think I just might have a ‘brandcrush’ here…
On a final note, if you never saw the infomercial for their initial contest, it’s spot on and definitely worth checking out. And to think you could do about 5-6 of these social media campaigns (including the web video production) for about the same cost as 1 traditional television campaign.
(This article originally appeared in the WebAward October Briefing Newsletter on 10/13/09)
3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Using Augmented Reality In Marketing And Advertising
(If you are already familiar with the basics of Augmented Reality, please skip this paragraph)
Augmented Reality is a technology that has to be seen to be believed. In its basic sense, Augmented Reality is just what it sounds like – Augmenting One’s Reality. For a more detailed definition per Wikipedia, Augmented Reality (or AR for short) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery thereby creating a mixed reality. AR on a computer usually requires a webcam and a marker where a person can hold a unique marker (usually a symbol on a sheet of paper) up to the webcam and an animation will appear on the marker within the feed of the webcam. This is augmenting your ‘video reality’ by adding additional information to your live video feed. You can view examples of Augmented Reality on http://www.facebook.com/augmentedreality or alternatively, search YouTube for video examples.
Augmented Reality (AR) has quickly become the buzz word du jour for those of us in Interactive Marketing and Advertising. Like every other emerging media or technology that becomes flavor of the month, agencies and marketers are rushing to launch an AR execution to show that they’re hip and down with the latest interactive technologies. To say this is becoming a problem is an understatement. Most of the AR executions coming out lately are one-off executions that don’t seem to be part of any well thought out strategy and don’t make any sense for the brand. AR is here to stay so it’s important that brands and their agencies start looking at the utilitarian aspects of AR that can help promote their product or service in a meaningful and engaging way for the consumer.
Unfortunately, utility based AR examples are few and far between. Listed below are some recent AR initiatives that are utility focused and based upon a simple objective – using AR to solve a problem for the consumer or end user:
AKQA launched an AR based shipping solution for the U.S. Postal Service
However, these are the exceptions to the flood of recent AR executions. Most current AR examples are really nothing more than animated 3D demos that are exploiting the novelty of this new technology. As a result, the AR space is quickly becoming overcrowded and it won’t take long for the novelty of AR to wear off.
Over the next year, more consumers will be exposed to AR based initiatives, so it will be critical to rise above the current ‘gee whiz’ factor of AR and develop well thought out AR initiatives that provide a benefit or enhancement for your consumers. For AR to be effective for both your brand and your end consumer, you should be asking yourself 3 questions before getting started:
1. Is this something I can already do on my site within a normal browser?
Too often, we’ve been seeing AR executions that are AR just for the sake of using AR. Do you really need to launch a video in AR? Or a 3D asset? Too many recent AR executions are guilty of this and scream, “WHY!!!” Why are you making your consumer go through unnecessary hoops when they can just as easily view the video or 3D asset in a standard player on your website? An AR initiative should not be exempt from Best Practices online, so it’s always important to put usability before the ‘experience’. AR is already asking a lot of the consumer – that they have a webcam and, in some cases, will need to print out a marker to view the AR itself. In addition, there are AR platforms or technologies that will require an additional Internet browser plug-in or will only work in Internet Explorer so doing your research beforehand will be vital to the end consumer experience.
2. What am I trying to communicate or accomplish with AR and what is the experience I’m providing for my consumer?
Gimmicky executions of AR are not the way to go so if you are going to use AR effectively you should first outline your objectives for using AR. Are you using AR to show how your product can solve a problem for the consumer in a way they might not have seen before? Will AR help enhance an experience for your consumer that they otherwise would not experience through other interactive channels or technologies? In regards to the Webcam Social Shopper above, we focused on the aspects of AR that we could use to help bridge the gap between offline and online shopping. This specific AR application would not have been possible without AR so it’s important to focus on the utility based aspects of AR and how it can potentially solve a scenario or problem for your consumer, and subsequently your brand. One brand (that shall rename nameless) was guilty of doing AR just to do it and suffered from severe backlash on the web. The AR had nothing to do with their product and in fact, targeted a demographic that was least likely to be engaged by AR technology. If you’re not careful, the AR experience can hurt your brand or product rather than help it.
3. How will Augmented Reality interact with or enhance other aspects of my Integrated Campaign?
It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype and amazement of viewing AR for the first time. I know we all did the first time we saw AR in person. However, that should not stop you from asking the hard questions about any AR initiative that might be part of your campaign. Will your AR effort tie into any other integrated efforts or are you only looking at the ‘cool’ aspects of AR that function as a one-off for your product or campaign. Many well thought out integrated campaigns lately are using print and AR together to provide a unique experience. Mobile AR has also become much more prominent on smart phones like the iPhone and Android and can be leveraged with retail or OOH components of a campaign. There are even examples of AR integrated with Social Media that help transform AR from an individual to community focused experience.
Augmented Reality is not only here to stay but is the future of how we will view and access virtual information in the real world. However, in the marketing and advertising worlds, it’s going to take some restraint by agencies and marketers to not rush out multitudes of gimmicky, non-utility based AR executions that will quickly turn off consumers and overhype the technology. AR has the potential to be a unique technology that can enhance the product or brand experience for the consumer – especially when paired with other emerging media and technology. It’s an exciting time right now watching AR evolve into a science without the fiction.
For the AR examples mentioned above and more, please visit the Facebook Augmented Reality community – http://www.facebook.com/augmentedreality. If you have any questions related to AR, please feel free to reach out to me at Matt@zugara.com.
Seems the “Mob Mentality” is breaking out on Facebook and Honda is the latest scourge of the angry Facebook mob. Auto Marketing Blog has full coverage on this debacle here. In a nutshell, Honda released images of the new Crosstour on it’s official Facebook Fan Page and didn’t quite anticipate the negative backlash it was going to receive. It also didn’t help that they were using media to build up hype for the announcement. Honda is caught in a Catch-22 here because they can’t delete comments nor can they just let the negative comments continue.
Best option – have someone from Honda’s Marketing Team start an open discussion with the same people who are being vocal about their dislike for the vehicle. Currently, there’s no discussion areas on the Crosstour Fan Page nor is anyone from Honda responding to questions that are being posted on the Wall, so as would be expected, people are being vocal and increasingly negative. It’s almost as if Honda has adopted the “Ignore the negative backlash and it will go away” approach.
This also brings up another issue. If you’re not looking to actively engage your Facebook Fan community, it’s probably not best to default your Fan Page to your Wall. Honda is clearly using these Facebook Fan Pages as promotional vehicles so why not just be completely transparent and default to your Just For Fans or Info page? That way you can show the images, videos and everything else you want to since engaging the community in conversation doesn’t appear to be your primary objective.
Like Twitter and other emerging social media platforms, brands will learn rather quickly that Facebook Fan Pages are not a substitute for a promotional website and need to be treated quite differently. Honda should take a page from Vitaminwater’s Facebook Presence where they’re going out of their way to engage and involve the community. And this is why they’re successful and IMO, the brand that’s doing the best job on Facebook right now.
It appears that Honda has finally responded with a note to Facebook Fans. AllFacebook reported on the update and here’s the note from Honda:
Hi, Facebook fans. We’re listening, and we want to address a few things you’ve been talking about over the past few days.
1. The photos: Arguably, the two studio photos we posted didn’t give you enough detail, nor were they the best to showcase the vehicle. There are more photos on the way. Maybe it’s like a bad yearbook photo or something, and we think the new photos will clear things up.
2. It’s not the European wagon: We’ve seen a lot of comments about the desire for a wagon, but this is neither a wagon nor designed for wagon buyers. We think the Euro wagon is a cool vehicle, too, and we appreciate the feedback… but a version of that wasn’t our intention here. That’s another segment worthy of our consideration, but the Accord Crosstour, built on the larger, Accord platform, is meant to give you the best of two worlds – the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car.
3. Many of you don’t like the styling: It may not be for everyone. Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover.
4. You want further details about the Accord Crosstour: We typically can’t give you details so far out from when the vehicle goes on sale for a number of reasons, including competitive intelligence and pure availability. However… we hear your frustrations, and while specs on the vehicle aren’t finalized, we’re trying to get some stuff together that we hope will satiate some of your curiosity and give you more to think about.
5. Honda associates participating in the wall comments: We didn’t remove comments out of embarrassment. We removed comments that were posted contrary to American Honda’s consumer-generated media policy for associates: We must first clearly state that we are Honda employees and that a posting is a personal – not Honda’s – opinion. Eddie forgot to add that, so his comments were removed.
Thank you for all of the interest, and we’ll be in touch again soon…
Integrates Facebook Connect To Put Casual Gamers And Their Friends In The Same Game.
August 12, 2009, Los Angeles – Today we’re launching another emerging media application, “Cannonballz”, an interactive webcam based flash game. Obviously it’s not news that an interactive marketing agency has built a flash game. The news is that “Cannonballz” is the first casual game built using Augmented Reality and our proprietary Motion Capture User Interface Engine (A.K.A. ZugMo Technology). ZugMo Technology enables anyone with a webcam (and a Flash plug-in) to physically engage with various elements that are integrated within their video stream. No mouse and no keyboard, it’s all done with gesture recognition. With this immersive technology you no longer just play games, you get to be in them. It’s a whole new experience.
If you just want to see a demo of the game, please check out the video below.
With “Cannonballz”, we’ve used ZugMo Technology to build a casual game to showcase the potential of this technology. We previously used the technology to build an online shopping application called the Webcam Social Shopper. While we hope that people find this game to be fun, it’s not “the star” here. The technology is, and the possibilities of how it can be utilized are really as endless as a company’s creativity. Think about it: educational games for children; an entire section of games on Yahoo; casual games that engage consumers with a brand; product demonstrations; an interactive element in a corporate training session; etc.
“We chose casual gaming as a way to showcase the ZugMo Technology because over 200 million people play casual games every single month” said Matt Szymczyk, CEO, Zugara. “It’s an experience we’re all familiar with, and we hope will allow people to see the greater potential for this technology. Gaming is also the perfect execution to show the power of social media integration. For ‘Cannonballz’ we integrated Facebook Connect to allow users to not only bring their friends into the actual gameplay, but to quickly and easily share their scores and the game with their friends via their news stream.”
So, what do you think? We’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.
Zugara, a member of the Augmented Reality Industry guiding “AR Consortium”, is an interactive marketing agency with a passion for emerging media and technologies. Unlike most agencies, we don’t claim to do everything: Interactive Video, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, and Website & Application Development are our core competencies. Since our doors opened in 2001, we’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands such as Reebok, Sony Computer Entertainment Of America, Toyota, Activision, Jelly Belly, Casio, The Air Force, and Lexus to create strategic interactive campaigns that focus on accomplishing their business objectives. Based in Los Angeles, we’re currently in the process of expanding, and opening our second office in New York.
We Are Organized Chaos (WAOC) is Zugara’s (www.zugara.com) interactive marketing and advertising blog where we’ll be featuring some great projects and discussing upcoming trends in the digital world. Work — good and bad — will be critiqued. Hope you’ll enjoy reading our insights and thoughts on interactive.