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.

Join our LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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?

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 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

 

>>> IN STORES NOW: ORDER YOUR COPY HERE <<<

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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)

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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.

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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.

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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)

 

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


What's Next for Marketing & The 'Internet of Things'

Iot_internet_of_things_marketing

Is 2016 the year marketing and the Internet of Things finally enter a meaningful new phase?

Don't bet on it. But there are some promising signs.

In the days since CES, much has been made of the emergence of new ecosystems enabled by so-called "smart products"—connected devices that deliver information or can be controlled using your mobile phone. 

Fitness apparel brand Under Armour was one entrant that generated a lot of attention during the show for its new Gemini 2 running shoes, which can track run duration, distance and more—without the need for syncing with a mobile device.

It's just the latest in innovative smart products UA has been rolling out, including a heart-rate monitor, new headphones and apps that, as Engadget reports today, the company hopes to use as the foundation for an interconnected ecosystem.

Indeed, while Engadget indicates these products still have a ways to go, they still point toward fitness apparel that doesn't just keep you comfortable, but also delivers useful services to you automatically and seamlessly, behind the scenes, to help you attain your goals.

From Data Collection to Data Utility

Last week, Social Times cited a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that finds 51% of marketing executives expect the Internet of Things—or "IoT"—"to revolutionize marketing by 2020."

In the view of the Times at least, the first phase of marketing's embrace of the IoT will be what we experience today: Devices that collect data on usage patterns, facilitating new offers based on needs, or helping developers improve the products.

In Phase 2, says Social Times, brands will open up the their ecosystems to other advertisers. Think refrigerators that don't just send you alerts that you're almost out of milk, but also let Tropicana send you a coupon for Orange Juice.

It's hard to imagine the Times can possibly be wrong about that. Some brands will indeed attempt such things—it would be crazy to not explore monetizing the ecosystem in this way.

It remains to be seen, however, whether consumers will really cotton to a barrage of offers coming from the fridge, the toaster, the washing machine and so on.

I'm personally skeptical many people want an ad supported home appliance—the equivalent of a promotional announcement that "this refrigeration is brought to you by Heinz Ketchup."

Product Plus

Instead, as I write in my book, THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, the ecosystems enabled by the IoT likely represent something far more compelling than applying ad models from one medium—essentially banner ads or mobile coupons—to a whole new one (in this case your home appliances) merely to eke out some additional revenue in ways that alienate customers.

While ad models will no-doubt be explored, ultimately brands will keep these ecosystems to themselves, finding that advertising only cheapens what may be their only point of differentiation in a world where physical products themselves are increasingly commoditized.

As I put it in the book, "In the digital age, differentiation may come less from the quality with which your products are manufactured, and more from the on-demand digital services they deliver to your customers."

And I'm not just talking about household appliances, by the way. I'm talking about everything from those Gemini 2 running shoes to your breakfast cereal, to your kids' toys, to your laundry detergent.

Smart brands will focus on delivering truly useful services via these connected ecosystems. Not the kinds that throw coupons at you. Rather, the kinds that add immediate value—Lean Cuisine frozen dinners that tell the microwave how to cook them to perfection, for instance—or provide new services, such as real-time smoking cessation support from Chantix, triggered by sensors built into a wristband.

Perhaps some of these services will prove valuable enough to warrant both freemium and premium subscription models—turning products sold once into ongoing revenue streams in ways customers appreciate, instead of loathe.

In a recent radio segment with Forbes Radio's "Jim Blasingame Show," I talk about this emerging trend as one of three that will start to gain traction in 2016.

Do note that this particular program is aimed at SMBs, so I talk about the trend overall, and then address how smaller brands and local stores can leverage existing technologies to avoid being Amazoned by the likes of, well, Amazon and its Dash devices.

Which, like those Gemini 2 running shoes, are perfect early examples of products-as-services enabled by an IoT in which many of even the earliest offerings provide tremendous value without requiring a digital interface at all.

CLICK TO LISTEN—TREND WATCH: "PRODUCTS ARE THE NEW SERVICES"

Or follow this link: http://ow.ly/Xo7OP

(Approximately 4 minutes, 14 seconds)

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


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!

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes


TOP 10 BEST MOBILE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS 2015 (VIDEO)

 

GenWowAwards-2015

Mobile is where it’s at again this year, though we quibble with its definition these days.

For instance, Facebook says nearly 80% of its ad revenue come from mobile advertising. But in our humble opinion, just because an ad is experienced on a mobile device doesn’t mean it’s “mobile.”

Small wonder then, that as in year’s past, most of our top pics for 2015 bring something more to “mobile” – by in fact, relating to place, or the specific capabilities or key functionality of the device in which they are consumed.

Here's 10 of our favorites from the year that was.

10. JOHN LEWIS: MAN ON THE MOON

This wildly popular (and widely spoofed) holiday campaign from UK retailer John Lewis includes a mobile app featuring augmented reality that lets you point your phone toward the moon to unlock daily facts about each phase of the moon. There’s also a game in which the player has to avoid obstacles and collect power boosts to get a specific item up to the man on the moon.

9. COKE ZERO: "DRINKABLE ADVERTISING"

Despite the fact that we're never ones to require any additional prompting to drink Coke Zero – we live on the stuff – this year’s “drinkable advertising” caught our notice. The campaign’s TV spots featured Coke Zero being poured from an onscreen bottle – before migrating to viewers’ mobile phone screens before transmogrifying into a coupon.

8. WWF: #THELASTSELFIE

What’s not to love about the World Wild Life Fund’s “Last Selfie” promotion with Snapchat, which takes advantage of the fleeting, transient nature of Snapchat snaps with short ads that show just how quickly an endangered species can be wiped off the planet. Powerful, and perfect for the platform. In just its first week, consumers posted 40,000 tweets about the initiatives to 120 million timelines. And in just three days, WWF reached its fundraising target for the entire month.

7. GUESS: VIRTUAL SUNGLASSES

This year, Guess's special mobile ad units enabled users to snap selfies and then “try on” sunglasses via augmented reality, complete with pointers on which styles work best for your face shape. The user takes or uploads a selfie, adjusts the placement, applies from a wide selection of sunglasses and can even share the image for feedback from far-flung friends via their social platforms. Add a "buy" button and this could be m-commerce magic instead of just promotion.

6. TOYS 'R US: IN-STORE MOBILE AR

How do you get shoppers into store locations during the Easter season? Launch an augmented reality Egg Hunt for the chance to win store gift cards. Here’s a brick & mortar retailer (in Australia) that refused to shy away from mobile and instead embraced it to enhance the retail experience.

5. SPOTIFY: #FOUNDTHEMFIRST

This summer, the online music streaming service rolled out a "Found Them First" microsite that lets users see which musicians the system knows they heard before the artists became megawatt sensations. Users can then build and share a playlist built on those early discoveries. In exchange, Spotify will offer them a new playlist with other new acts they might help “discover” as well.

4. MINI USA: 'BACKWATER' & 'REAL MEMORIES'

MINI USA is big on short online films featuring its cars, so it made since that the brand would be among the first to take 360-degree video for a test drive. Two such films, “Backwater” and “Real Memories” are definitely worth a gander—and could mean big things for the road ahead.

3. SNICKERS 'HUNGER BAR'

Let’s face it: You’re not quite you when you’re hungry, are you? Which is why the latest installment of Snickers’ long-running "You're Not You" campaign includes a mobile app that enables consumers to create images related to their particular hunger symptoms and share them socially. The key isn’t to show off what kind of hungry you are, of course. It’s about calling out family and friends for acting “snippy,” “loopy,” “cranky,” “confused,” “spacey," or ... insert your own adjective here.

2. QANTAS: ‘VIRTUAL DESTINATIONS’

Yes, I’m still fixated on this VR initiative from Qantas, which enables you to go on a eight-minute, 360-degree virtual vacation to Hamilton Island. In fact, it was really hard to decide between this and our #1 pick this year. It is, after all, either instant justification for the VRevolution, or a sure sign of the Apocalypse. Once companies start producing VR content like this that lasts not minutes but for hours on end, the human race may just opt out of the “reality” part of the equation all together—at least when they aren’t physically going to these amazing locales.

1. PIZZA HUT: ‘PIZZA BOX PROJECTOR’

Okay, there's rarely a moment when a large TV screen is much out of arms reach these days. So maybe this is the solution to a problem that few will ever face. But it's still hard not to dig the Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box - a pizza box that's also a movie projector. Throw in a cold one and this could be the best thing to happen to pizza since pepperoni.

NEW: JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Listen in on iTunes