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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Italian Marketing is keeping up…

So… gone are the days when I’d think I’d never come back to Italy as the market was far behind compared to the English one! I’ve been down here for the past couple of weeks and I have to say, I’m extremely impressed by how far they got to!

I’m not sure if you all know, but  the Italian audience is now one of the most prolific both in terms of iPhone  and Facebook usage throughout Europe (2nd in Apps’ Downloads and 3rd biggest audience on FB). From what I’ve seen and heard, ‘social media’ campaigns seem to be working pretty well; also, in terms of ‘innovative use of media’ the market currently looks pretty healthy and not entirely different from the UK. What stood out while surfing the internet over here or watching both TV and the ‘bigger’ screen is how creatively they are producing and delivering content.

Some examples below:

I spotted a lot of bespoke landing pages to promote movies á la Nintendo Wario Land YouTube page. If you haven’t seen it before, this is something that’s been done over and over again by other brands. In Italy I’ve spotted the trailer of ‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs’ (Piovono Polpette) using the same technique. Check it out here!

Another interesting thing I saw through a YouTube takeover was this campaign launched by Intesa SanPaolo, an Italian bank, to put trust back into their consumers. Called ‘Per Fiducia‘, (English Version here) the project includes three short-movies produced by three young talented directors with the mission of highlighting the positive and vital energies that animate the Italian country. Named ‘Per Fiducia 2.0’ the campaign is now asking users to participate through an interactive story-telling tool and create their own stories. Through a crowd-sourcing tool, users will be able to vote and rate the content, deciding the winners and therefore the next batch of short-movies to be showcased online…

Flashmobs seems to be taking over the more adventurous Italian audience as well. The Italian FOX TV decided to promote the American TV Series GLEE with a flashmob in ‘Galleria Alberto Sordi’ in Rome – check it out down here:

Also I haven’t managed to find a link anywhere online, but there is a new Italian TV show called ‘InnovatiON‘ where users are asked to interact with the content on TV from their computers while watching the show. Something like this obviously works if you are watching the show live – but no issues there at all as in Italy there is no SKY forwarding/rewind/recording facilities yet!

Last but not least, I’d like to give a massive thank you to Andrea Genovese who is providing an excellent review on everything happening in Italy through his 7th Floor website. If you speak Italian I’d really recommend you all to follow him – he’s an increadible source of inspiration and definitely keeps me in the loop with everything that’s happening “back home” – Grazie Mille Andrea!

I think there is a little bit of work to do in terms of using more emerging technologies but I am definitely going to keep Italian case studies in my mind now that I know things are working nicely here! ;O)

Over and out … happy holidays peeps!

E/.

 

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Google – Favourite Places

I don’t know what’s happening with Google but there are definitely way too many things to demonstrate that they are going to be taking over the world very very soon!!! After Google Goggles, they’ve just launched a new marketing initiative together with Business Owners to integrate even more the offline/online brand experience, taking advantage of all their existing internal tools/resources. I am talking about the newly developed Google Favourite Places which allows users to scan a QR Code outside any participating business and receive reviews and ratings from the Google community.

Take a look at the demo-video below which will show you how it works in more details…

Overall I think this is an amazing idea and will hopefully increase QR codes’ penetration, however I am not really sure how it compares to augmented reality applications which do exactly the same and with an easier procedure (used on apps like Layar or the same Google Goggles)

What’s your thoughts?

E./

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 16, 2009 in Innovation, mobile, Personal

 

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Most Contagious 2009 – Best of…

Morning!

I checked my emails this morning to find the much awaited Most Contagious 2009 report in my inbox. It was a nice surprise and definitely something you should read to remind yourselves what a fantastic year 2009 has been. You can download the 45-pages PDF here or you can read the slideshare document clicking the image-header above.

I’m taking the opportunity to put down some of the best highlights from the REPORT together with some extra content that have stood out during 2009:

  • Live Stream facility coming to YouTube, as seen with Alicia Keys and U2 special gigs. But also, the integration of a Facebook Chat facility on LIVE events  as it happened with the CNN LIVE on the Obama inauguration and the Michael Jackson funeral memorial.
  • We’ve seen more and more brands using new Emerging Technologies to create outstanding pieces of work. The NIKE Chalkbot is a perfect example –  A robotic chalking mechanism that receives, processes, prints, captures and delivers data (text, GPS coordinates and photographs). It received messages from anywhere in the world via Twitter to @Chalkbot, via an SMS shortcode, or from an entry form on wearyellow.com and printed them along the roads of the Tour de France in bright, LIVESTRONG yellow using 48 nozzles and vats of emulsified chalk. BakerTweet is one amongst many other tangible technologies using the Twitter API to create a rather useful tool. A London bakery called ALBION is using BakerTweet to tell their customers when the bread is hot and ready through Twitter. So customers know when they can come to the bakery and get the freshest bread. Check the video below:
  • The first real examples of Augmented Reality applications. As mentioned within the report, there have been way too many examples of brands/agencies jumping on the bandwagon to simply demonstrate a “look how cool this is and all this cool stuff we can do” attitude.  Possibly the handiest AR application of 2009 was the United States Postal Service’s Virtual Box Simulator designed by AKQA, San Francisco. The website-based app allows users to place their parcels inside a series of virtual boxes, calculating the precise size needed, and in doing so, saving them money on postage and tying in with USPS’ tagline of ‘If it fits, it ships’. Another really good example were the Topps’ 3D Live Baseball Cards. When scanned via a webcam, these produce miniature animated players in the palm of your hand or on your desk, which can then be controlled to play a series of simple batting and pitching mini-games.
  • Motion Sensor Technology integration with AR. See the Fashionista demo-video below to understand more. I honestly believe that we are going to see a lot more exciting projects using this technology; definitely something to keep in mind dear marketeers!
  • In terms of campaigns (some of them featured within the report), imho the ones below are definitely the top 10 to remember:
  1. Compare the Meerkat
  2. The Best Job in The World
  3. Walkers Do Us a Flavour
  4. Axion – Concerts in a Banner
  5. V Australia – 4320:LA & 4320:SYD
  6. Tampax – Zack 16 (website/blog)
  7. Air New Zealand – Nothing To Hide (website)
  8. Sprite – Green Eyed World
  9. VW – The Fun Theory
  10. Coca Cola – Expedition 206 (website)
  • 2009 has been a very ‘profitable’ year for Mobile Branded Applications as well – mainly for the iPhone but there’s definitely more to come for the Android and the rest of mobile OSX. The best ones below:
  1. Nike ID
  2. Absolut Drinkinspiration
  3. Pizza Hut
  4. ZipCar iPhone App
  5. Prius App
  6. VW Golf GTI Competition App
  7. ING – ATM Locator
  8. The Guardian
  9. Ocado
  10. Tide Stains Tips

Make sure you read Johnny Makkar’s blog at Attention Digital and take a look at his extensive spreadsheet of branded iPhone apps.

  • 2009 has also seen the very first ‘Digi-Novel‘ being launched into the publishing industry. Called ‘Level 26’, this is a trilogy produced by the CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker. The first novel, Dark Origins, is the very first book that drives users to a comprehensive site with exclusive interactive cinematic content. Zuiker claims: ‘Level 26 takes the best features of books, film and interactive digital technologies and rolls them all into a unique storytelling experience’. I really hope that this is only the beginning for content to be available on different media and initiate richer branded user experiences using interaction through different engaging platforms.

  • As I predicted at the end of 2008, Crowdsourcing has indeed had a major push however it still hasn’t reached the mainstream level I was expecting. MySturbucksIdea, Threadless Twitter, Marmarati, Walkers Do Us a Flavour and Fiat MIO are just some of the brilliant examples of how important your community can be to the development of new services and products. I mentioned RYZ last year, however I’d still like to advertise it as it’s still one of the best crowdsourcing community to create trainers I’ve ever seen around the web… get on there!
  • The astonishingly well-known T-Mobile FLASHMOB advert has initiated a bunch of other brands using the same promotional technique hoping to reach those ‘viral charts’. Some of the ones which have managed to do so…
  1. Antwerp – Sound of Music
  2. Bondi Beach
  3. Sony Central Station Mannequins
  4. Oprah 24th Anniversary
  5. Just Dance Sky1 -Diversity
  6. Elf Yourself in NYC
  • 2009 has definitely been THE year for Facebook! With more and more brands understanding the platform and initiating conversations with their fans, the biggest innovation must be Facebook Connect which allows users to log in with their Facebook credentials on any website whose settings enable users to do so. Since the API was made publicly available, a lot of brands have been using it very avidly – either implementing the facility within their official website log-in sections or developing bespoke campaigns using the new tool. Some Log in examples are available at Dada.it, the Hffington Post, Vimeo and Joost. From a creative point of view, there have been many useless and superficial ways of using the tool however the very best implementation was the one used for the PROTOTYPE Game trailer. I’d highly recommend for you all to give it a go here and read some more examples here!
  • Last but not least, I can’t really say that 2009 has been the year of Virals in itself as it’s not a NEW trend. However, as it happens every year, there have been some really good ones; below the ones I think have stood out…
  1. SIGNS by Schweppes (Amazing story/Emotional Value)
  2. Inspired Bicycles (Entertaining Content/Value)
  3. Audi Electricity Untamed (Entertaining Content/Value)
  4. Transformers Sightings (Curiosity)
  5. MSI Acrobutt (Entertaining Content/Value)
  6. All the Single Babies (Amateur Content gone Viral)
  7. The Apple Store Kid (Amateur Content gone Viral)
  8. Samsung Claymation (Very Good CGI)
  9. Cloverfield (Curiosity)
  10. Diesel XXX (Entertaining Content/Value)

And obviously, probably the most watched video of all time, the JK Wedding Entrance

I shall leave you with that and very much hoping that 2010 will be as amazing as 2009 has been…

Happy Making peeps!

E./

 

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Brave Smart Campaigns …

Hey peeps

I hope you are all keeping well. I’m sorry if I haven’t managed to write some more stuff in the past few days but it’s been extremely hectic. I’ve seen some amazing creative and strategically well thought campaigns this month and below you can find some of the ones I personally consider the best.

The first one is the latest by Skype called the Phone Box Experiment. Once again, through an experiential approach to their marketing initiatives, they enable users to understand the real benefits of using Skype to make cheaper international calls. Check the video below to understand what I’m talking about….

I wonder how many people will actually get to call him as you need actual Skype credits to make the call…. which I don’t – I believe that’s also part of the strategy to get first timers to buy credits, no?  The campaign has been put together by The Viral Factory.

The second one I wanted to showcase was the $500 campaign by Opticana by McCann Erickson in Israel.

The campaign is another example of ‘brilliant creative thinking’ and definitely something that I’m sure every person in my industry has thought about at least once…(the meerkat being another genius example playing with keywords) Campaigns like this definitely make you wonder if you really need $150,000 to produce an high-impact national campaign eh?

Last but definitely not least, it’s the experiential AR/Social Game put together by the Canadian MacLaren McCann group for the launch of HALO 3 ODST. The guys developed a very ambitious offline/online experience mainly aimed at geeks and game-addicts. Watch the video below to understand the campaign and see the results.

Generally speaking, the end results are not that impressive at first. However if you start thinking that it was mainly targeting the gaming community of Toronto – I’d have to take my hat off… Thumbs up for taking such a brave step, the agency is definitely proving to be extremely efficient in putting something like this together, as it’s definitely not an easy thing to do (especially the bit where you need to sell it into the client I believe… ?) ;O)

Cheerio folks…

Enzo

 

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