December 28, 2010

The digital year ahead

The end of a year is always a time when people look backwards but mostly when digital trend watchers look forwards to the coming year.

It seems like for the past 10 years everyone has been saying that the coming 12 months will finally be the year of the mobile. Everything seems to point this being true in 2011 but in ways that nobody expected. It isn’t just about phones any more but now the tablet is allowing people to stay connected away from the PC like never before. Expect to see a whole selection of new products appear at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that will allow people to connect wherever they are – with each other and with brands.

What does this mean for the world of advertising? Location-based marketing will grow even more in 2011 according to Jesse Thomas in a recent article on Mashable.We are moving from people “checking in” to impress their friends to more retailers giving special offers to those people who drop in regularly. This is leading to a whole new way to drive traffic to stores and gives marketers a powerful tool to reward visits.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that Augmented Reality on smartphones will go mainstream. In this article in the New York Times, Nick Bilton explains how this technology has moved from being a geeky gimmick to a truly useful tool. It’s not just about looking through your phone screen to reveal hidden information or seeing yourself with a virtual girlfriend. People are now at home watching TV and augmenting the experience with additional content on their phones or tablets. In the case of ABC TV network app where the tablet listens to the audio of the TV show and is able to display relevant information at key moments in the program.

Social media is not going away in 2011 and many are predicting that it will grow even stronger as a marketing tool. In the Harvard Business Review David Armano presents six trends, for me the most interesting of which is the move to a more open social experience where campaigns cross boundaries between various social networks. This comes from the reality that people don’t stick to one social platform but dip their toes in many different ponds.

Now that I’m based in China it’s interesting to see how they fit into this picture. The country may have come late to the digital marketing party but is fast catching up. With our own social networks, location-based tools and microblogging services – not to mention the explosion of digital devices in the hands of the consumer – China is poised to impress the world with some amazingly creative and effective examples of 21st century advertising. The sheer numbers of online customers and their passion for all things new makes China a wonderland for switched-on marketers. While viral videos still seem to be the most popular online medium for brands we will hopefully see more active forms of participation through the smart use of mobile while more campaigns will become social-centric allowing increased participation.

As this digital decade ends and another begins we can look to the One Club to remind us of the best digital campaigns of the past 10 years. From a Subservient Chicken to Nike shoes that talked to your iPod, through to an online video that literally changed the face of advertising and gave us the word “viral”… enjoy some of the best work that will no doubt appear like ancient relics 10 years from now. Yet their ideas will still stand strong even if technology moves on. Creativity never gets old.

June 14, 2010

Week of Tweets #14

Welcome to another edition of my regular roundup of favourite tweets.

Instant advertising… NYTimes: An Ad Engine to Put ‘Mad Men’ Out of Business http://nyti.ms/by4u4L

  • How automated can advertising get? This article covers some new developments in banner advertising.

Great idea… RT @intersphere: Condom brand uses#Chatroulette to create an HIV awareness campaignhttp://bit.ly/a7g4vl

Hope the video below doesn’t offend anyone. No doubt Steve Jobs will stop reading this blog now. Nice way to use fun technology to get a serious message across…

Another one converted 🙂 RT @adage: Bring on Digital: Why I No Longer Consider Myself a Traditionalist: http://bit.ly/9P0ufM

  • Liked this article showing how one “traditional” creative discovered the creative possibilities that digital provides.

RT @PSFK: BMW Brings “Joy” To Singapore With Interactive 3D Building Projection http://su.pr/20cYz5

Interesting… RT @BrandRepublic: Pepsi launches location-based iPhone app with check-in rewards http://fwd4.me/Ra2

  • I’m the king of the castle! Has Foursquare unlocked our inner children or started the next bandwagon? I still believe in location-based marketing but maybe not the version we know right now.

RT @pyesawichjr: Will the future be filled with data displays and 3D holographic objects projected into physical space? http://bit.ly/dyVmBv

  • I love a good futuristic story. This article imagines what things might be like 10 years from now. Oh how we’ll laugh when we look back at Layar (no offence guys).

Sorry, we don’t serve Flash… RT @anguswong: Restaurant replaces menus with iPads.

  • Will this replace waiters? Not really. They’ll just be wiping grease off iPad screens instead.

Now that’s a YouTube channel! RT @leorayman: DDB/Tribal launches Budweiser World Cup/reality show mashup www.BudUnited.com

  • Reality TV continues to be a great way to draw in an audience. This campaign is a great execution of a YouTube-based campaign.

Great article… RT @Razorfish: Digital advertising out; engaging experiences in (via @psfk) http://bit.ly/brIXu3

  • Does advertising work these days? Can we connect more with our audience through “brand-fueled” events and content?

and finally…

I Like!… RT @PSFK: Facebook ‘Like Button’ Goes Physical http://su.pr/2vmUhw