February 1, 2011

Honda’s Unpredictable Life

You know that apps have gone mainstream when they are integrated this well into an ad campaign. As reported in Creative Review, “Wieden + Kennedy London has created a stunning new animated ad to advertise the new, improved Honda Jazz car. Titled This Unpredictable Life, the spot aims to depict the numerous joys and challenges that we encounter through our lives, and articulate that the Honda Jazz car is engineered to cope with these changing demands”.

Creative Review goes on to say that the ” TV ad is accompanied by an iPhone app, which contains one particularly striking innovation – the ability for users to ‘grab’ characters from the TV screen (or computer, depending on where you are watching the ad) by swiping the iPhone at it, Nintendo Wii-style. The characters can then be interacted with – for example, a space monkey character can be made to dance by singing into your phone”.

December 1, 2010

Week of tweets #21

My Twitter follower count recently broke through the 1000 barrier (I know Ashton, nowhere near yours). To celebrate here is another “best of” from my most recent tweets…

Small wonder! RT @glueisobar: What a brilliant piece of design!! i3DG: a mobile 3D exhibition. http://bit.ly/aOPECI

  • Just love it when you take an idea from times past and update it for the digital age. This would be great for McDonald’s Happy Meals.

Wise words. RT @MrJonath: “Digital may be everyday but it’s not effortless” – Iain Tait in New Media Age http://bit.ly/aNOcqE

  • Iain Tait is going to be my next featured digital hero in this blog but in the meanwhile he defends the value of digital specialists in this article. We might live in a post-digital age where technology is every day, but (as Iain says) “to deny there’s an art and a specific skillset required to produce and execute great digital products or advertising is a huge, epic, ostrich-like mistake.

Love it! RT @intersphere: Major Oops. Publicis’ Hacked Twitter Video Is a Lesson on Inoculating Your Brand Against Satire http://ow.ly/3bZTN

Sweet idea – unless you’re a tree. RT @BLOGILVYdotNL: When Facebook becomes a book http://bit.ly/ds4bFk

  • Developed by Perfect Fools for DDB Paris, from an original idea by Siavosh Zabeti and Alexander Kalchev. Bouygues Telecom asked them for an idea to launch their Facebook platform. Something that would “go beyond using your profile picture in a funny way, or pranking your friends with a small joke”. They took a look at the way people use Facebook and “found that even though we use the social networking site everyday, we forget our favorite moments we share online”. So they created an app that could change that, and keep your Facebook in book form.

More Kinect goodness… RT @mariegoupry: Xbox Kinect Launch – Interactive Art Installation in Munichhttp://bit.ly/f7zgJT

  • I am always amazed how quickly new technology gets hacked and repurposed. You can find loads of incredible Kinect rehashes online now. They’ve also sold a bucketload of the devices. Which is more can be said for their Windows 7 phones.

The new new media? Richard Branson announces Virgin’s magazine for iPad – in the Guardian UK http://bit.ly/fCwDVA

  • Forget the arms race. Now it is the tablet war with rival media moguls battling it out for our touch screen devices.

And finally, a big bucket of cold water from my good friend and colleague Eric Phu

Reality check… RT @intersphere: View From the Consumer |http://bit.ly/ijfHyG by @ericphu

  • Here’s a sample : I will not jump through your hoops, so don’t even bother asking. If you want me to participate, you better keep things simple.I don’t want to create a custom video, or spend 20 minutes interacting with blatant advertising. I don’t even want to watch a two-minute video intro, or click through 10 pages to get to a point.
March 31, 2010

Week of Tweets #10

Oops, slipped a little in my weekly updates from the world of Twitter. It does mean that I have a few weeks to pick from so this should be good…

Interesting article – TV + Twitter @time: http://bit.ly/cdrmrW

  • Seems like Twitter is the new water cooler. But rather than “did you see that show” it is “I’m watching this great show, tune in with me and let’s chat in real time”. This effect contributed to the fact that the 2010 Super Bowl was the most watched U.S. TV show ever, surpassing the finale of M*A*S*H. This year’s Olympics far outrated the 2006 Games. The Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes all increased, and on March 7, about 41 million people watched the Oscars, 5 million more than last year. Read on >


Thanks for sharing! RT @digital_london: Wunderman’s Mobile Mania: A Manual For The Second Internet Revolution: http://bit.ly/aprzBc

If you’ve been around as long as me you would have heard “this is the year of mobile” for about 10 years now. Maybe this time it’s true. This great manual from Wunderman spells out what to expect…

Phew! RT @AdweekDotCom: Old Is the New Young: Adults keep adolescent values – teens maintain a more ‘adult’ outlook. http://bit.ly/cleNap

  • I’ve actually noticed this with my own teenage daughter. She is sooooooo sensible. She really keeps us straight. I hear her say “what is that terrible music you’re listening to” or “please grow up. This article looks into this strange trend.

A 12 year old boy in my daughter’s class just made an iPhone app for the school. I now feel officially old.

  • OK, so the app could be better. But he did something I can’t do. So after being relieved that I’m the “new young” I suddenly feel ancient.

Careful brands, its a jungle out there! RT @simonmainwaring: Nestle’s social media meltdown. Lots to be learned here. http://bit.ly/cSO48S

  • The world of social media can be a minefield. Especially if your product costs the lives of cuddly hairy animals…

Time to change – RT @parsonsdigital: Why Today’s Ad Agencies Won’t Cut It Tomorrow: http://bit.ly/b1oRXX

  • There is so much talk about how the traditional agency is on its way out. I think they are smart enough to move with the times. Maybe they could move faster but they are not the quartet playing on the deck of the Titanic. Ad agency people are first on the boat.

ipad_179145xWill ads on the pad take off? NYTimes: Advertisers Show Interest in iPad http://s.nyt.com/u/Q_m

  • This weekend is the beginning of a new era in hyperbole. World-changing, magical, paradigm-shifting… Advertisers just want to know how to use it to sell more stuff. Let the fun begin.

Inspiring… RT @hellokinsella: Some nice stuff here. 2010 MediaGuardian Innovation Awards winners: http://bit.ly

  • This is the third year of the Megas (MediaGuardian Innovation Awards). These awards “recognise those at the pinnacle of achievement in media innovation. The finalists and winners represent thinkers and doers in UK media who act as a catalyst for change and inspire others with their ideas and actions”. Check out the winners. They are (dare I say it?) mega…

Great video interview. RT @darrylohrt: How Pepsico embraces digital – with @jkarpf & @boughb: http://bit.ly/byrsov

    RT @BBHLabs: Something for Saturday morning – our recap of SXSW, the highlights & themes; a @BBHLabs post – http://bit.ly/a34N0b

    • If you followed anyone on Twitter attending the event you would not have garnered much information. The best I got was from Lars Bastholm who ended up in a BBQ coma. But this article from BBH sums it up nicely.

    RT @BBHLabs: New Forrester report out: Future of Agencies: focus on Ideas, Interaction, Intelligence; @AdAge reviews: http://j.mp/cW1SQZ

    • Agencies should be ashamed if it takes a client to drag them into the 21st century. But that is what is happening. Read on

    I always end on a smile (that sounds a little rude).

    Nice RT @adland: RT @kylevanblerk Augmented reality before there was AR. Flipbook that creates a rainbow in your hand. http://bit.ly/avCoYm

    • Yes, there is more to life than digital.


    Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.


    March 11, 2010

    Week of Tweets # 9

    Another week, another bunch of Tweets cherry picked from the past week or so…

    RT @LBiLondon: Digital world’s top thinkers share their visions of the future with the BBC from 8 to 19 March http://www.twurl.co.uk/155/

    • No idea why I wasn’t invited but go check out speakers such as Martha Lane Fox, Steve Ballmer, Eric Schmidt, Jimmy Wales, and others.

    Great collection RT @pyesawichjr: RT @RGA: 15 amazing interactive installations: http://bit.ly/9g1fpn

    • Digital is escaping the confines of devices and being used for amazing effect by artists in public spaces.

    RT @Adverplanner: Bank Run: iPhone App extends into Interactive Movie – control the outcome through your phone http://ow.ly/1eqvK

    • Interesting project that combines on screen video and an app. A taste of future TV?

    Interesting read RT @Razorfish: Digital agencies embrace business reinvention http://bit.ly/9qJHuS

    • Agencies like Razorfish and R/GA are  now able to “move up the ladder with clients while developing a track record for delivering technology to advance businesses. The ideal is a client that invites shops in to craft a plan to take advantage of digital technology to move the business in a new direction”.


    Inspiring people. The 2010 Creativity 50 – I’m not on the list and neither are you – but check it out. http://bit.ly/99HnUW

    • Great people, amazing stories – get inspired by Alex Bogusky, James Cameron, David Droga, Michael Lebowitz and more.

    Great story RT @wired: 10 Years After: Wired mag takes a look back at the dotcom boom and bust http://bit.ly/d0Y90h

    • It was tough at the time but it had to happen. The web has grown up a lot since.

    RT @ChristianHughes: RT @contagiousmag: Google’s Tom Uglow’s presentation from The Future of Advertising event www.bit.ly/22youtubeslides

    • Very inspirational presentation. Below is just one clip you’ll find there.

    and finally…

    Do the Cannes Cyberlions have their own version of the Razzies? This would win big time – http://www.walk-outs.com

    March 8, 2010

    Something strange in adland – episode 1

    upside-down-houseYou know there’s something strange in adland when…

    You don’t needs ads.

    An iPhone app for VW is downloaded four million times generating an “80% increase in leads, test drive and quote requests without a print ad, banner or broadcast spot in sight”. AKQA have a track record for zigging instead of zagging. See the video case study here >

    You don’t need agencies.

    Clients like Doritos now ask consumers to create their ad campaigns (only they don’t know that advertising folks are the ones submitting the best ideas!)

    tunickIn this New York Times article Stuart Elliot writes “BE afraid, Madison Avenue. Be very afraid”. He mentions various campaigns where “consumers” developed the ideas. But on the flipside, this blog post from ADLAB reveals a different story.

    You don’t need a budget.

    One agency got a year’s worth of media for only $500 by taking advantage of people with poor eyesight. See the story from McCann Erickson Israel…

    You don’t need TV.

    The 2009 Cannes Film Grand Prix goes to an interactive movie you can only see on the internet. Watch the DDB case study video…

    Keep your eyes open – the strangeness isn’t over yet.

    January 18, 2010

    Nike True City

    On January 14th, Nike Sportswear released True City, an “iPhone application that provides users with a unique insight into six European cities, making the hidden visible through the knowledge and insight of Nike Insiders—local tastemakers who pride themselves on being at the forefront of things happenings in their cities”. According to Nike “True City is not just another digital guidebook application. Itʼs a powerful combination of premium, geo-tagged content, the latest iPhone technologies, and social media integration—updated in real-time by real people. All with Nikeʼs unmistakable irreverence”.

    I’ve been playing around with it for the past few days and so far find it a little processor-intensive. I like the idea of hand-picked locals recommending the best places to go. How it ties in with sportswear is a bit hard to reconcile. Then again, go into most Nike stores and the majority of people shopping for shoes will be raising a sweat in a nightclub rather than a gym. Looking forward to seeing how the app evolves over time. Maybe geo-location branded apps like these will gain more followers than the likes of Foursquare. Download the app here http://bit.ly/5TeLVM

    October 23, 2009

    Apps take the lead

    As reported in AdAge, “Volkswagen of America is launching the newest-generation GTI exclusively on an iPhone app, a cost-efficient approach the automaker said is a first for the industry” You can read the full article here but to sum up:

    VW spent $60 million to launch the GTi in 2006 – this time they are spending $500,000.

    Volkswagen licensed the game from Australian developer Firemint, so as well as saving millions be choosing a mobile platform over a 30-second TV spot they save costs by licensing an existing game.

    VW is the first to do this and that means huge PR value.

    To read a review of the app itself head over to the ADLAB blog.

    It will be interesting to see how this works out for VW. Brands have had varying degrees of success with apps but nobody has put all their eggs in one digital basket like this. Good luck.

    June 24, 2009

    That’s heavy Doc!


    One of the great things about having a kid is the chance to relive your own childhood by making them watch all your favourite childhood movies again. Watching Back to the Future 2 with my daughter from 1985 (OK, I wasn’t a kid then – just acted like one) I was struck by how many of the future predictions have either come true or are way off. They travel to 2014 to make sure Marty’s kids don’t end up in jail. We see flying cars powered by fusion which will not be appearing any time soon… but check out the computerised Nike shoes. We’ve got Nike+ that send running data to your iPod.

    back-to-the-futureMarty gets spooked by a 3D shark advertising Jaws 19. Well the Jaws series died a death but the shark looked a lot like Augmented Reality. Later we see old Marty on a video conference with Needles. At the bottom of the screen we can see all of Needle’s personal information scrolling – favourite food, hobbies etc. Social networking? User profiles? The faxes around the house were a bit old school but there was an element of instant messaging in there.

    Over a dinner of hydrated pizza Marty’s kids are wearing personal entertainment goggles. They even had phones built in. There was definitely an element of the iPhone in there especially when you consider that those goggle devices are now available.

    ipod_gogglesLoved the cafe 80’s in the movie. Funny that the 80s revival is already in full swing in music, fashion and more. Now, I’ve just got to get my daughter to watch Tron.

    May 26, 2009

    Finger painting

    We’ve probably all seen people using the iPhone as a virtual canvas. Even David Hockney has got in on the act. Now the New Yorker is using an image painted with the iPhone app Brushes on its cover. Read the full story on Gizmodo.

    They were going to write all the magazine articles on the iPhone too but they didn’t want to miss going to press by a year.

    Check out the Brushes app here.

    May 11, 2009

    Urban Art iPhone app


    Another interesting branded iPhone application sees Adidas celebrating Urban Art by allowing users to capture photos of graffiti and uploading the results with a short review. Right now it is all about Berlin but hopefully this will expand over time to include other cities. For those without iPhones you can enjoy the same content on a special website. Adidas branding is kept to a minimum which helps to give the guide more of a sponsored feel rather than an in-your-face advertising ploy. Will we discover the next Banksy? Or has the credit crunch put an end to celebrity artists? Download the iPhone app here.