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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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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World's First Patent-Pending Brand Logo—A Behind-the-Scenes Video

Bts_titleIt’s a logo like none other.

Which is why there’s no way I could resist asking Rich Silverstein and other people central to its creation to appear on-camera to share insights on "The Seagate Living Logo"—the world’s first patent-pending corporate brand identity.

(See video at bottom)

NEVER THE SAME LOGO TWICE

Ll_story_still_rich_Yes, it’s true that brand identities rendered in real time through data visualization have been around for a while now.

But the Seagate Living Logo—launched at CES last January—is the first to have a patent in play for literally taking its shape using live data feeds flowing from public data sources such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LastFM, Amazon, Getty Images and more.

The idea? To represent the integral role Seagate storage solutions play in storing 40% of the world’s data, and in enabling the data-centric business models of today’s most innovative companies.

INNOVATION IN MOTION

Bts_interactive_llThroughout the last 12 months, new variants have included interactive Living Logos that respond to physical movements through Microsoft Kinect-based technology—allowing you to essentially swim amid social media posts and images.

A standalone Facebook version lets you personalize the experience using your own online images.

And another can be customized in real time using Twitter and Instagram keywords and handles, as well as your own uploaded images, for live business meetings and events.

THE START OF SOMETHING BIG (DATA)

As is typical in social media these days, reaction to the Living Logo there and elsewhere has ranged from the snarky to the sublime.

Yet regardless of where you fall on that score, the Living Logo represents a notable new entry into the annals of corporate branding.

And it seems to have sparked a trend.

Last July, Brazilian telco FS Company launched a dynamic logo that uses code and generative design to reflect the real-time activity on the company’s servers.

Just within the last few months, HavasOrtega developed a data-enabled “living logo” for a CEO summit in the Philippines.

And a UK-based design firm called Amaze is now tracking employees’ physical movements and digital activities to drive a “human-powered” living logo using a framework that sounds a lot like Seagate’s.

Which makes sense. Given the fact that Gartner reports nearly 75% of companies plan to invest in big data solutions in the next two years, the Seagate Living Logo surely stands on the cutting edge of what is likely to become a crowded field in the years ahead.

This short video, edited by Seagate’s George Shubin, will give you the inside scoop on the Seagate Living Logo and how it came to be.

(Full disclosure: I've had creative input on the development of the Living Logo, and have worked closely with these and other people working on the project at Seagate, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Pet Gorilla and elsewhere.)

DATA IS BEAUTIFUL: THE STORY BEHIND THE SEAGATE LIVING LOGO

 

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10 Digital Age Coke Taglines—From The Distant Past

 

So much for "Happiness."

As the marketing world obsesses over Coca-Cola's decision to trade out its hugely popular "Open Happiness" tagline to "Taste the Feeling"(see one of 25 new spots, above), it's been fun revisiting the commotion created over some of its previous slogan changes.

Check out reaction (including my own) to "The Coke Side of Life" in Ad Age a decade ago.

Indeed, whenever Coca-Cola makes marketing changes of this magnitude, it can be a hoot to take stock of its taglines from times past. You usually find some surprises along the way.

A SIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

Despite being one of the world's most successful brands, there have certainly been some oddballs in Coca-Cola's advertising oeuvre—who can resist "Enjoy a Glass of Liquid Laughter" (1911), or "Proves a Big Help to Tired Housewives" (1909)?

And then there's that golden oldie: "Coca-Cola: The Great National Temperance Beverage" (1907)—which, we're told, "has none of the ill effects or 'let down' qualities of alcoholic stimulants." Yum.

Some old taglines are just inscrutable—"Same to You" (1940) sounds as if the feeling you're tasting is indignation.

And present-day regulators might have a field day with any tagline that proclaims Coke is "Pure and Healthful" (1904), and "Adds a Refreshing Relish to Every Form of Exercise" (1906), with "The Perfect Blend of Pure Products from Nature" (1923).

To modern audiences, other tags charitably might seem like aspirational positioning in the extreme—such as, "The Ideal Beverage for Discriminating People" (1906), "The Sign of Good Taste" (1957), and "The Best Drink Anyone Can Buy" (1913).

After all, everyone knows the best drink you can buy isn't Coca-Cola. It's Coke Zero.

PAST AS PROLOGUE?

Despite so many antiquated curios from campaigns past, many Coke taglines of yesteryear would be completely at home in the digital age.

Think about it:

  • In an era of virtual reality, 3D printing and social media poseurs, Coke promises to bring you "The Real Thing" (1948)
  • Ad skipping technology? "Relax with the Pause that Refreshes" (1947)
  • The age of Uber and Airbnb? "Share a Coke" (2011)
  • Group texting, geo-fencing and flash mobs? "Meet Me at the Soda Fountain" (1930)
  • Personal aerial drones? "Look Up, America!" (1975)

Even online activism and crowd funding fit that all-time favorite, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" (1971).

Yet perhaps it's that texting-and-flash-mob example that hits home most. As it happens, Coke classics seem especially well suited for the mobile revolution—including (among a surprising number of others):

  • "Anytime, Everywhere—The Favorite Beverage" (1918)
  • "Along the Highway to Anywhere" (1949)
  • "Call for Coke" (1953)
  • "People on the Go—Go for Coke" (1954)

Whether this is all a sign of soda-pop prescience, promotional predestination or pure chance, Coca-Cola remains a venerable brand whose slogans will provide plenty for (pop-) cultural anthropologists to ponder in decades to come.

Will future advertising aficionados still find it as amusing as we do?

As Coca-Cola itself once put it: "Always."

 

(Check out these and other taglines here, here and here)

 

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Coke Ditches 'Happiness,' Tells You to 'Taste the Feeling' (Video)

 

You can stop looking for "Happiness" now.

That's the word from Coca-Cola's new global CMO Marcos de Quinto, who says the decade-long "Open Happiness" campaign had become too preachy in promoting sharing and co-existence for his, er, tastes.

So now, Coca-Cola, Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, will all share a common theme: "Taste the Feeling."

Having brand consistency across its cola portfolio is indeed a no-brainer. 

And we're seriously digging the opening spot, "Anthem" (above). Be sure to catch "Under Pressure" and "Breakup," too.

In fact, there is a lot to like about each of 25 new spots released earlier today.

But here at Gen Wow, we can't help wondering if "Taste the Feeling" skates a little too close to Skittles territory.

And let's face it, there's a lot to miss about some classic "Happiness" initiatives over the last few years—especially the physical + digital variety.

Among our favorites:

COKE HAPPINESS MACHINE

Let's face it, Happiness shared is doubled. Or tripled. Or...

COKE HAPPINESS TRUCK

How Coke helps you brake for good times.

COKE DRIVE-IN THEATER

Call it the Happiness Traffic Jam

COCA-COLA WISH IN A BOTTLE

Open a bottle and light up the night sky.

THE SHARING CAN

A single serving—for two.

COKE DANCE MACHINE

Bust a move for your favorite beverage.

COKE POP-UP  PARK

Coke creates a city park and rolls out the happiness.

COKE SMALL WORLD MACHINES

Happiness brings even the people of India and Pakistan together.

THE FRIENDSHIP MACHINE

It takes two to use this 12-foot-tall vending machine.

COKE HUG MACHINE

Hug it, get an ice-cold Coke.

COCA-COLA FRIENDLY TWIST

An on-campus ice breaker for the first day of school.

COKE FOR COUPLES: ROSES ARE RED

Cupid makes you prove you're a couple to get a Coke.

PROJECT RE-BRIEF

Reinventing that age-old Coca-Cola classic for the digital age.

Of course, change is the only constant—and perhaps the time is right for a Coke refresh.

But that doesn't mean we won't miss the happiness we've shared in times past.

 

 

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Play 'Buzzword Bingo'—CES Edition

Buzzword_graphic

 

 

 

 

 

This is one game that's easier to play than avoid.

We're all guilty of overusing tech industry buzzwords. And why not? They play a useful role as common shorthand that (conveniently) confers an aura of "cool" to those fluent in the lingua franca of 21st century business.

But as CES 2016 reaches its climax, many of us are finding ourselves facing buzzword burnout over what feels like an egregious level of noise pollution emanating from Las Vegas over the last few days.

“Disruptive.” “Influencer.”“(Anything)-Hacking.” “Unicorn.” I'm sure we've heard them all this week, many times over.

Never mind that some of this lingo could be headed for limbo faster than Kim (or any other) Kardashian can “Break the Internet.”

“Unicorn,” for instance, is quickly morphing into “unicorpse,” as concerns grow that companies like Gilt, Tango and SFX Entertainment may prove emblematic of some of these hard-to-find beasts with billion-dollar valuations may ultimately fare.

In the meantime, GEN WOW found some catharsis in a piece this week by Shawn Paul Wood in PR Newser, lamenting some of the most irksome buzzwords found in news stories and press releases.

When we mentioned the article in our GEN WOW LinkedIn Group, member Rick Wootten, senior director of global marketing for Seagate, mused about having some fun with it all—in the form of a game of "Buzzword Bingo."

That sparked an in-group and subsequent email conversation about developing a mobile app for facilitating a decidedly tech industry-centric version of the game at events such as, well, CES.

"It's natural for industry buzzwords to come and go in cycles, but sometimes enough of them peak at the same time to create Lingo Overload," Wootten says. "We're experiencing one of those times right now—and I think we should make the most of it!"

It's a great idea—and one that might prompt us all (myself included) to be a little more judicious about how often (and how accurately) we use these phrases.

Best of all, while it could take even the most agile development team (another buzzword) days or weeks to produce a full-blown app, we figured we'd just mock up a bare bones Buzzword Bingo card so you can start playing today.

Buzzword_card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Play

  1. Each time a news story or press release using one of these painfully overused words or phrases hits your inbox or browser window, mark off a square.
  1. Capture the link to the story or release for validation.
  1. Mark off a solid horizontal, vertical or diagonal line of lingo—and BINGO!

If the mood strikes us, we'll try a formal round this coming Post-CES news week. Who knows, there might even be a prize involved.

That is, if the game doesn't go too fast. A three-minute audit of my inbox and news feeds this morning produced plentiful junk jargon, including:

“SHARING ECONOMY”

A particular pet peeve. Not merely because it’s so overused, but because there’s no such thing.

So far as I can tell, the total number of so-called “sharing economy” companies that are “sharing” anything comes to zero.

That Uber driver isn’t “sharing” her car. You have used an app to request a ride that you will pay a fee for using. The only thing that may get "shared" is polite conversation on the way to your destination. The far more accurate term is “the on-demand economy,” since that’s truly the distinction separating many of these new services from what has come before. Then again, I'm biased.

Perp:  Business Insider (quoting a car company executive). Again, I am including links not to call out the pub or its sources—we're all guilty of geekspeak—but rather to document buzzword use so I can claim my square.

 "IoT" & "IoE'

Ah, "The Internet of Things" or "The Internet of Everything." Whatever variant you want to use, it’s surely vying to be #1 biggest buzzword at CES this year. Perps just today include EE Times, ZDNet and EWeek.

"DISRUPTIVE"

Actually, I take back what I just said about "IoT;" this one could very well take the cake, with numerous entries this morning, ranging from Forbes’ look at “The Five Most Disruptive Innovations at CES” to WIRED's "Best of CES" and beyond.

And this is all in under three minutes.

What do you think your card might look like in the same amount of time?

Could games like this raise our awareness and encourage us to seek other terms and phrases?

Or are these words, flawed as some are, just too useful and compelling in (catchphrase alert:) the marketplace of ideas?

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15 MOST INNOVATIVE AD CAMPAIGNS OF 2015

 

GenWowAwards-2015Call them "The Fab 15"—fifteen of the most innovative advertising initiatives of 2015.

That is, fifteen that aren't otherwise captured in our "10 Best" lists in Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Brand Pranks and Brand Viral Videos.

Fifteen that, it's worth noting, feature mostly—though not exclusively—physical-world experiences that do not require consumers to interface with mobile devices.

And fifteen out of countless other notable efforts worth celebrating this year.

But hey, fifteen had a good ring to it.

Plus it's our list, so we're picking favorites—and we think you'll dig them, too.

15. LOWE'S: 'HOW-TO' WINDOW DISPLAYS

The home improvement retailer brings 3D, stop-motion style versions of its popular "Fix it in Six" series of "how-to" Vine videos to store window displays, complete with "Like" buttons. We do.

14. SPP: 'EARTH 2045'

What do you want the world to be like when you retire? This Swedish pension firm created this interactive experience that enables you to toggle two versions of life 30 years from now to show how sustainability pays off—for the planet and your financial picture.

13. CANNON: SMART BILLBOARDS

These intelligent digital billboards pull in data gathered from social media, traffic updates and weather information to provide tips on getting the best photos to New York City tourists and amateur photographers.

12. COCA-COLA: 'WISH IN A BOTTLE'

Next year we may have to dedicate a "Best of" list to drone-vertising. Until then, crack open a bottle of Coca-Cola, and share some happiness as these drones shoot fireworks to light up the night sky.

11. BURBERRY: CUSTOMIZABLE SCARVES

Digital signs developed with DreamWorks Animation enables shoppers at Piccadilly Circus to use their mobile phones to personalize and visualize custom scarves, and display them on a giant screen for all to see before placing a purchase.

10. MARKETING EVOLUTION: 'MONICA'

Online media planning and optimization solutions provider Marketing Evolution developed this robot that was able to identify attendees at this year’s Association of National Advertisers conference on sight – and engage in conversation about their media plans based on their past spend.

9. REACH FOR CHANGE: 'NEVER-ENDING STORY' DREAM-POWERED SITE

Cult '80s film 'Never-ending Story' inspires this site, which is “powered' by dream data” from five sleeping volunteers in a very abstract effort to highlight this non-profit organization’s efforts to improve the lives of children.

8. LEXUS: 'ORIGAMI LEXUS'

It’s 3D printed car. Made out of cardboard. That you can drive. Need we say more?

7. NETHERLANDS NUTRITION CENTRE: 'LIVING BILLBOARDS'

Five different living billboards featured encasements with live bacteria on affixed strips to keep them in place. Over time, the bacteria fed off the environment inside the encasements, and started go grow, forming one of five unique statements to educate consumers about how to avoid becoming ill due to household bacteria. So creepy, it’s (literally) infectious.

6. IF INSURANCE: 'SLOW DOWN GPS' APP

You either love the voice that comes out of your GPS navigation device, or hate it. Either way, this app automatically switches to a child’s voice when providing turn-by-turn instructions through areas where there are likely to be kids around, in an effort to cue drivers to drive more cautiously.

5. POST-IT: A BANNER AD YOU'LL ACTUALLY LOVE

It’s (almost) enough to make you love retargeting: This year, online display ads for 3M's Post-It brand sticky notes have proven just that—sticky—by enabling consumers to write themselves notes, reminders and to-do lists right inside the ad units. Through the magic of retargeting—technologies that deliver that same ad to you wherever you go around the Internets, usually to your chagrin—your virtual Post-Its re-appear everywhere you go.

4. NETFLIX: 'BRAINWAVE SYMPHONY'

This summer, Netflix came up with an innovative way to promote its 'Sense8' online series, which about eight random people who find themselves connected telepathically. It’s approach? Using brainwaves from eight viewers to create a musical symphony.

3. VERIZON: MINECRAFT IN-GAME MOBILE PHONE

What easier (or, at least cooler) way to take selfies and order real-world pizza while you’re playing Minecraft?

2. KAGULA: ROVING PRICE TRUCK

Out to demonstrate how quick and transparent its auto price evaluations are, Taiwan-based used car dealer Kagulu rolled out a truck outfitted with cameras and databases to scans cars on the streets and display its value instantly.

1. CLEANUP HONG KONG: 'THE FACE OF LITTER'

Call it "23AndThee": This past Earth Day, Hong Kong-based NGO Cleanup launched a billboard and bus signage campaign in an effort to get people to clean up after themselves in city known for more than its share of litter. DNA evidence on discarded chewing gum, cigarette butts and even a condom was used to by forensic scientists to predict the eye, hair and skin color, as well as the face shape, of litters – and a total of 27 different profiles were established, and then displayed for all to see. Nothing like shame—and the fear of it—to shape behavior!

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