Beatie Wolfe Part of World's First AR-Based Live Streaming Music Event (Video)

First there were the NFC-powered album covers that enabled you to tap your mobile against the jacket and bring up a website featuring one of her singles. Now, Beatie Wolfe has launched a augmented reality live streaming experience promoting her latest album, Raw Space.

So: What's your brand doing with AR?

Read more here.



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Heineken 'Worlds Apart' Pulls Off What Pepsi Couldn't (Video)

... Mostly by not trivializing issues and by bringing people who are world's apart a little closer. 

Oh, and by being true to the role Heineken actually plays in the world—as an ice breaker.

Pretty powerful stuff, actually.

Read more here.

Doritos Bag's Built-in Casette Player Rocks Soundtrack to 'Guardians 2' (Video)


Have to love this—plus the fact that the day of the movie premiere, Doritos and Marvel will host "Rock Out Loud" pop-up recording booths in LA and NY. No word yet on any special appearances by Groot.

Enter: 'The Micro Mac'—April Fools from McDonalds, AirBNB & Google Play

You gotta love these April Fools Day pranks from Mickey D's and others (scroll down for more). For more on these and other brand goofing for April 1, 2017, check out Adweek's roundup here and The Verge's recap (including Snapchat's brilliant Instagram filter), here.

Oh, and don't miss our favorite: The Augmented Reality Monocle for hipsters.

What did your brand do this year? What are your plans for 2018? Let us know!

Airbnb: 'Humanless Host'

'Google Play for Pets'

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Social_media_visuals_2In part two of this recent segment on the Jim Blasingame Show, we take a look at some of the amazing tools available to quickly and easily create visuals for social media posts.

In part one, we talk about solutions like Canva, and here we discuss a simple resource I wish I'd discovered years ago—PlaceIt.Net.

Along the way, Jim and I joke about how much harder it was to whip up creative assets back in the day. Check it out:

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Approx. 4 min, 20 sec


5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Part 1)

Social_media_visuals_1Okay, I'll admit it.

I work with incredibly talented designers who whip up great visuals for me anytime I like. Rarely do I ever need to develop something on my own.

But lately, I've been playing around with some popular design tools for social media posts and so far, I'm impressed with what I'm finding—including some options I wish I'd discovered years ago.

In this recent segment for Jim Blasingame's show, we discuss tools for developing social media visuals, quotes, memes, infographics and more.

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Pt 1)
Approx. 5 min, 55 sec



To Bot, or Not? Rick Mathieson Talks Chatbots for Emerging Brands

BluebotTo bot, or not—it's suddenly an open question instead of a foregone conclusion.

Chatbots are increasingly an on-again-off-again hot topic among big brands these days—but is the timing right for startups and SMBs to get in on the action?

Once heralded as the new shiny object for marketers, Chatbot hype boomed with the launch of bots from the likes of Taco Bell, H&M, CNN and Unilever

These miniature, AI-enabled apps were instantly seen as transformational. Now, instead of closing Facebook Messenger or Slack and opening up your Lyft app, for instance, you can simply message Lyft and ask for a ride using conversational language.

Last Summer, Facebook had 11,000 chatbots within weeks of launching its bot developer kit. By fall, that figure had hit 30,000.

But now, some are wondering if the rise of the bots was a bit premature.

No, I'm not (just) talking about Microsoft's bot Tay, which famously started spewing racist messages on Twitter within 24 hours of launch. I'm not even talking about pro-Trump chatbots that overwhelmed social media with fake news in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

It's more prosaic than all that: In recent weeks, Facebook announced it would scale back its chatbot efforts after bots were shown to fail 70% of customers' questions and requests.

Instead, Facebook is refocusing its efforts on getting a limited set of questions right and shifting to a persistent menu function that's more akin to browsing a website (or "cards" in bot vernacular) and clicking options instead of trying to have a "conversation."

OrangebotBut while big brands may end up taking a small step back as the technology's underpinnings get worked out, it's not out of the question to ask if this is the time for startups and SMBs to start checking bots out.

So far, smaller companies have been decidedly "wait and see"—over 60% of SMBs have reported being only "somewhat" to "not at all" interested in chatbots or bot-based commerce.

Still, with new DIY chatbot tools for even the least techy among us, now might be a good time to emphasize the "see" part of that equation, if for nothing else than understanding where the technology might go next.

Indeed, that was the topic of a recent segment of the Jim Blasingame Show, where Jim and I talk chatbots. To be clear, Jim's show focuses on SMBs. As you'll hear, this whole chatbot thing may be new territory for this audience.

Check it out here:

Rise of the Bots

Radio Interview with Rick Mathieson: Rise of the Bots

Approx. 4 min, 39 sec