GramGram: This Is Your Grandma's Social Media—Here's How to Use It (Video)

 

Check out this spoof video from Project GramGram, which comes with some great tips for connecting with your dear old grandma—including using a fictitious new service that lets you send social media posts via snail mail, so you can update her instantly, "in three to five days."

My favorite: Alternative options like, "the phone app, available on most mobile devices."

Apparently it's all the work of some Brigham Young University students. Which means their muse was, most likely, a certain somebody who wasn't going to hear any more about their excuses for not staying connected.

If this is the result, we hope they tell her thank you for us.

Read more.

 

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Excedrin Uses VR to Show What a Migraine Feels Like (Video)

 

Yup, sounds about right. The idea here is to help those who don't get migraines to understand what those of us who do experience (minus the actual pain part).

Call it VRetched. Or maybe just Virtual Hell. By whatever name, it's an interesting way for the pain relief brand to use virtual reality to drive home the problem it aims to solve.

Now show me how fast Excedrin can make it all go away, and then you'll really have something.

Read more here.

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Prankvertising With A Purpose: Reflections in a Bar's Bathroom Mirror—From Prison (Video)

 

The man in the mirror has a deadly serious message for you.

We love this PSA-based prank from We Save Lives, which campaigns against what it calls the 3 Ds: Drunk, Drugged and Distracted driving.

This particular initiative (see YouTube video above) involves a bar bathroom mirror in Los Angeles that serves up a video feed with a man convicted of manslaughter from drinking under the influences—live from jail in Florida.

Longtime readers know we love prankvertising—especially the kind promoting horror movies (and certain zombie stunts on sisters after dental surgery.)

This is a horror flick of a different kind. One where the story is, unfortunately, true.

Pretty powerful stuff.

Read more here.

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Domino's 'Zero Click' Ordering App (Video)

 

Domino's does it again—this time with an app that lets you order pizza without really having to do much of anything.

Just open the new "Zero Click" mobile app, and a 10-second countdown begins. Let it run out, and your pre-saved order is automatically on its way.

In my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, I look at how Domino's has put some serious dough behind being the default pizza choice for the digital generation.

Indeed, the Zero Click app is  just the latest from Domino's Anyware initiative, which uses its Easy Order platform to make it a breeze to order your favorite pie via Emoji on Twitter, text messaging, smart watchFord Sync in-car, and more

(Full disclosure: Then-Domino's CMO Russell Weiner wrote a glowing review of THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, featured in a cover blurb.)

Still, Zero breaks into some uncharted territory, at least for me. Now the hassle of ordering has reached a dangerously low threshold.

As the App Store page for the app puts it: "It's easy. Maybe too easy. You've been warned."

How is your brand using digital innovation to set itself apart?

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HoloLens TED Talk Demos The Future of Augmented Reality (Video)

 

We're still digging this TED video of HoloLens and Kinect inventor Alex Kipman as he shares his vision for the age of holograms.

Of course, we haven't decided how much of this is overly staged to optimize for video capture (clearly it's mapped to the area he's working in here, and it remains to be seen if HoloLens will create the same effect in any space).

We're also amused by some of the hype involved (we're pretty sure a thousand years from now, even AR will be a distant memory, replaced by something that makes it seem antediluvian at best).

And yes, for some reason he had us thinking of Ernie & Bert playing around with an ancient form of augmented reality.

 

But Kipman's vision is compelling, especially given his work with Kinect, the motion-sensing technology that enables you to interact with AR elements through body movement.

One thing's for sure: We can't wait to see where it all goes in next decade—let alone the 990 years after that.

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The Rise of Feature-Length VR/AR Movies: Q&A with Omelet's Steven Amato

Steven Amato Headshot Ready for full-length augmented reality and virtual reality movies?

In recent weeks I've been thinking a lot about what we are currently calling VR—namely branded entertainment intitiatives such MINI USA's ambitious cinematic shorts "Backwater" and "Real Memories," AT&T's "It Can Wait" and Target's "How on Hallow Hill."

As I point out in a recent conversation with Charlie Kraus of Limelight networks, there's just one problem: None of these are actually VR. They're 360-degree videos.

True VR is (or will be) far immersive because these videos, while incredibly cool, are missing one key element: interactivity.

I'm not talking visual navigation. I'm talking about the ability to pick up an object. Crouch low or jump high. The ability to move in relation to the virtual environment.

True VR is more like a first-person video game, whether the environment is photo/video-realistic or clearly fantastical, as with video games.

While this current wave of "VR" is an important step in that direction, it's critical that we don't lose sight of the "Holodeck"-like vision on which VR is based.

The evolution of VR will bring us 360-movies and eventually, truly interactive VR—or even better, AR or "mixed reality," that brings fictitious dramas to life within real world environments—for the ultimate movie-going experience.

Dawn of Awesomeness

As blockbuster movie fans (myself included) gear up for this week's 3D IMAX release of "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," I found myself thinking about a conversation I had a while back with Steven Amato, co-founder of Omelet LA.

In this short clip (from a source interview for my book,  THE ON-DEMAND BRAND), I ask Amato about the future of feature-length mixed reality experiences, and what it could also mean for brands using VR/AR to develop branded content in a world where you might not just sit inside that MINI in "Backwater"—but actually drive it. And where you don't just watch Batman & Superman clash with each other and their villains—you join them.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: OMELET'S STEVEN AMATO ON THE FUTURE OF FEATURE-LENGTHY 'MIXED REALITY' MOVIES

(Approx: 1:50 sec)

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 OD_cover "... EXCELLENT ..."

 

“Through persuasive arguments and Q&A's with the major players in advertising, Mathieson makes an excellent case for greater creativity and outside-the-box thinking backed up with solid ideas."

Publisher's Weekly

 

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Author Rick Mathieson Talks 'Facebook Reactions' (Radio Interview)

 

What's not to Like about Facebook Reactions?

For some marketers, the answer may be plenty.

For consumers, Facebook's new Reactions feature is a fun way to go beyond the Like button, enabling them to express their feelings about posts with one of six icons: The Like or thumbs up icon; the Love or heart icon—and now, a choice of four emoji faces: HaHa or laughing; shock or surprise; sadness—and anger. (See Jimmy Fallon's take on the pros and cons in the YouTube clip above.)

There are even expansion packs that replace the official icons with images from Pokemon, Deadpool, Adventure Time—and even Donald Trump.

Reactions: HaHa—or Anything But?

While consumers may give Reactions a thumbs up, some brands may feel their relationship with Facebook has just become more ... complicated. After all, instead of just Liking a brand's post, consumers are now free to express emotions some marketers may not exactly heart.

In fact, early buzz indicates some marketers may have their own facial expressions (or hand gestures) for Reactions.

But is that the right away to react?

In a radio interview the other morning on the Blasingame Show on Forbes Radio, I talk about Reactions and what they may mean for marketers: the good, the bad—and the ugly. 

(Note: It sounds like there were some technical difficulties, so audio quality is not the best)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: RICK MATHIESON REACTS TO FACEBOOK REACTIONS (RADIO INTERVIEW)

(Approx: 4 min)

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Honey Beer Builds Buzz with Bee Drones—That Bring Booze to You (Video)

While the Amazon brain trust puzzles over how to deliver boxes of books via drone, this Taiwanese beer brand is already headed your way—with beer.  

In this marketing stunt promoting Honey Beer (yes, beer brewed with honey), Bee drones were dispatched to bring sample six-packs to office workers. Advertising enticed 15,000 people to register online for delivery in its first 10 days.

Meanwhile, sales were up 400% relative to other fruit-infused beers the brand had recently launched.

Now that's a special delivery.

Drink in the details, here.

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Virtual Reality Check: Q&A With Limelight Networks' Charlie Kraus (Conclusion)

Charlie Kraus 10-2-15IIf Augmented Reality holds so much more promise than Virtual Reality, are investments in developing VR-specific devices like Oculus Rift just a waste of time and money—especially when mobile phones can be used for both AR and VR?

In the conclusion of my recent conversation with content delivery network (CDN) provider Limelight Networks' Charlie Kraus, we'll get answers to that question—and learn why when it comes to both AR and VR, it's voice that's the killer app.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: VIRTUAL REALITY CHECK: Q&A WITH CHARLIE KRAUS (CONCLUSION) (approx. 6 min, 9 sec)

PLUS:

Listen to Part One Here.

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Virtual Reality Check: Q&A with Charlie Kraus of Limelight Networks (Pt 1)

VR_AR_GUYIt turns out the promise of virtual reality bites when compared to long-term prospects for augmented reality.

At least that’s according to research from Manatt Digital Media that estimates the market for VR-based solutions will account for only $30 billion of a total $150 billion combined AR/VR market by 2020.

But there’s always a “but,” right?

In this case, that “but” is followed by a question: How are we supposed to square Manatt’s research with seemingly contradictory estimates like those from Gartner, whose ever-popular Hype Cycle chart shows AR far behind VR—indeed, far behind even autonomous vehicles—in its advance toward true market traction?

Short answer: You can’t. And in my view, it’s VR’s fault.

A Virtual Conundrum

Charlie Kraus 10-2-15To get to what I mean, I went to Charlie Kraus, senior product marketing manager for Limelight Networks, which is a leading content delivery network (CDN) provider.

CDNs, of course, are used by carriers and others to deliver all that content you consume online—text, graphics, videos, games, music, etc.—with a high level of availability and performance.

As you might imagine, AR (content superimposed on the user's view of the physical world) and VR (content that immerses the user in a simulated world) can only be as good as the networks through which that content is delivered.  

After all, if you think buffering at a key moment on “House of Cards” is innervating, just wait until you miss a critical turn as you make your way around an unfamiliar city using AR-based navigation, or find yourself frozen and subsequently fragged by opponents within VR gaming worlds, due to network congestion.

So while most of the focus is on manufacturers producing devices like Oculus Rift and app developers for more common devices such as iPhones, I figured content networks may have actual usage patterns from which to base projections.

In pLimelight networksart one of this Q & A, I ask Kraus to spell out the differences between VR and AR for listeners who may be confused by the terms (and no wonder—look at this article out today that seems to equate the two), and why Limelight is especially bullish on AR.

Then I ask about what I see as a key problem with reconciling contradictory projections about adoption rates for both AR and VR.

Sure, AR seems pretty well defined. But VR is an entirely different matter.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: VIRTUAL REALITY CHECK: Q&A WITH CHARLIE KRAUS (PT 1) (approx 7 min)

 

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