Saturday, July 7, 2012

Flashmobs - they're fun, they're surprising and in this case, very moving.

Spain's Banco Sabadell created this viral hit in May to celebrate 130 years in business and as a way to pay homage to their community.  Don't be surprised if it brings a tear to your eye or a chill down your spine - it's that moving.  The video production shows a 100 person flashmob comprised of members from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs. Already it has over 2 million views.

While T-Mobile has certainly dominated the flashmob as brand building and advertising medium, as this video shows, there's still lots of room for other brands to engage a wide range audience in fun and delightful ways.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Arsenal players perform to Swan Lake in Citroen TV spot

What do Arsenal (UK Soccer Team) and the The English National Ballet have in common? Not much, most would say, except some fancy footwork. These icons of Sport and Culture have been cleverly put together in a campaign to promote the new Citroen DS 5 called "Refined Redefined".

The ad is certain to draw lots of viewers on YouTube and positive word of mouth. The ad's originality and humour will no doubt have a positive impact on the Citroen brand. Because of the respectful yet comical way in which all the players are cast - the Arsenal team members, the dancers and the car, its likely that the ad will have a halo effect on all brands. Even Tchaikovsky Swan Lake was redefined in a refined sort of way.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nokia is back!

Over the weekend, Nokia launched its latest smartphone into North America - the Lumia 900.

Here are some of the best features that consumers will love:
  • Nice sleek contemporary design. Great colour selection.
  • Big screen - (4.3 inches) that is glare resistant
  • Great camera: 8 megapixels, large aperture (F2.2), wide-angle focal length (28 mm), and optics from German lens specialist Carl Ziess
  • Front-facing camera for videoconferencing/skyping
  • Long lasting battery 1830-mAh delivers 7 hours talk-time and lots of power for XBox or other online games
  • Super-fast - runs on AT&T's super-fast LTE network
  • Windows 7 - with built-in Microsoft Office Mobile and People Hub - a feature that amalgamates all your contacts' info - phone, email and social media on one page allowing you to view live updates and easily reach out to friends on your preferred platform.
  • Oh - and did I mention the great price? Starting at $49,99 on Amazon
The phone is getting very positive reviews which is big news for both companies. This could help bump Windows' share of the U.S. phone market which was only 3.9% as of February, according to ComScore. By comparison, Apple's iPhone held 30.2% of the market, while phones that run Android held a collective share of 50.1%.

This smartphone also has the potential to put the Nokia brand back on the map and top of mind with consumers in North America. While Nokia is still the dominant mobile phone leader in the world, its difficult to find a Nokia phone in any carrier's phone store in the United States. Nokia was always a revered brand known for innovation and style - remember the 90's Nokia model that fit beautifully into the palm of your hand? Nice to see that with the Lumia 900 Nokia is back in the game.

Remember this puppy?

Let's see how Nokia and AT&T are supporting the launch. It's a nice combination of PR, Events, guerrilla/experiential marketing and traditional advertising.

On Friday, there was an impressive well attended event at Times Square featuring a live performance by Nicki Minaj, a spectacular lightshow with CGI dancers on massive LED displays and coordinated effects on surrounding video boards.

Of course a video was made and as of today has almost half a million views.

The Lumia 900 ad campaign officially started on Sunday night with a 60-second TV spot starring Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell. The ad lays down the gauntlet to established competitors iPhone and Android. The ad calls out the inferiority of all smartphones currently on the market by calling users "beta testers" implying a still yet to be perfected product. "If you used a smartphone in the past five years, you were a secret product tester in the greatest social experiment ever undertaken,” the actor says before revealing the Lumia 900 as the result of that experiment.

Take a look at the ad here:

The spot will air over the next two months as will a handful of other 30-second spots focused on product features such as hardware design, the phone’s camera and Windows Phone’s live tiles user interface. Nokia is also placing ads on bus shelters in key AT&T markets such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles.

In addition, there were Nokia and Windows Phone “Free Time Machine” events in several locations to showcase the benefits of smartphones. By participating, people could win a myriad of fun prizes including access to Kourtney Kardashian's hair stylist, makeup artist, car service, and a personal shopper to her own shopping boutique as a prize. If you couldn't attend the event, you could go online and win prizes (sans Kourtney's prize).

With all this activity, it looks like Nokia's Lumia 900 is off to a strong start. The phone is trending as the #1 and #2 best seller on Amazon.

So how to maintain sales momentum? According to Forrester Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, there's a couple things Nokia needs to do right to ensure its long term success.
  1. Pay off the channel. Make sure that the AT&T salespeople are supporting the launch and are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Windows. If not, the launch could definitely fall flat. Training (and follow-up) of AT&T staff is paramount. Do I also hear secret shoppers?? When I visited my local AT&T the sales person was 100% behind the phone and did a great job selling it. He's already had the phone for 2 weeks to play with. Smart.
  2. Target the right customer. Nokia’s product marketing is targeted at the vast number of consumers who don’t yet have smartphones. At an affordable entry price this sounds like a great idea. However, are these folks ready to fork out plus or minus $100 a month for a data plan? And...if they are looking for a smartphone, would they be more conservative in their choice and go for an Apple or Google operating system (like their friends). We are not necessarily talking about early adopters here. Why not go after some low hanging fruit? Nokia could easily target Blackberry users who are either becoming disillusioned or getting antsy for something new. RIM has admitted that the next gen won't be out for some time soon. These folks already pay for a monthly plan so no shock to the wallet. According to Epps, that's about a 8.2% share worldwide. I say ripe for the picking.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nike Catch the Flash - multi-channel promo

Can you imagine running through the streets of Vienna at night, running past the Opera House, the Hofburg and through the Museumsquartier, all in the hopes of winning a 10,000 Euro platinum bar?

Sounds like fun.

Nike set up a multi-channel contest to promote the new Vapor Flash Jacket not only creating awareness of the jacket but doing it in a way that that showcased the jacket's unique features and benefits - the jacket is fully reflective making the wearer completely visible in the dark, thereby providing greater safety at night.

To promote the Vapor Flash Jacket's launch the German agency Jung von Matt created the “Catch the Flash” contest using both offline and online components. The idea was that 50 athletes dressed in the Vapor Flash Jackets would be running around the streets of Vienna. Contest participants would chase these runners and "flash them" - take a picture with a flash camera which would reveal the number on the runner's jacket. The person (or team) that had photographed the most numbers shot would win 10,000 Euros.

The online component had two parts. You could track your progress as a team using an app. Or you could also play the game online using a virtual runner since the 50 flashrunners' GPS data was uploaded real time.

Nice way to engage fans both online and offline in a way that reinforced the brand's image as an innovator and generated awareness about the jacket's core benefit. The contest was promoted in-store, through social media and through a radio co-promotion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mobile Geo-targetting

You're excited because you just launched a killer app and thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded it. You realize that these downloads are from your biggest brand fans but what's your plan to keep people engaged? Did you know that most people stop using an app after a month or so?

To combat this inertia, Urban Airship developed a push notification system with the ability to deliver rich media content and allow in app purchasing and subscriptions. Until now, this was a great but rather blunt instrument. Today Urban Airship announced the launch of "Segments", an enhanced geo-targeting add-on to their existing push notification system. This service allows you to slice and dice audiences by location, time context and preferences to improve the relevancy of messages and offers.

So let's walk through a couple examples. Let's say you are a grocery chain and just received a huge shipment of ripe organic mangoes at a certain location, you could send out a geo-targeted notification including a coupon to drive traffic and purchase.

Or perhaps you are a coffee chain and have just opened a new store. You could geo-target your users with a special offer to create awareness and traffic to your new location.

According to Scott Kveton, CEO and co-founder, he doesn't yet have data on the effectiveness of the Segment service. But Kveton said customers using push notifications are seeing a 540 percent increase in daily app opens and a 30 percent increase in social sharing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Are you "Cat People"?

When you walk into a pet store, why does the cat area seem like an afterthought compared to the huge selection of doggy toys, beds and foods? And why is the stereo-type of a cat person so different from that of a dog person? Just mention "cat lady" and we easily imagine a crazy woman draped in an old housecoat living with 20 or more cats. Are cat people somehow maligned?

In a feel-good spot, Purina is uniting cat people together by turning the cat lady stereo-type on its head through a collection of testimonials by men, women and children declaring "I'm a cat person" and why.

....Because she makes me laugh even when I feel like crying
Because he doesn't care if I'm having a bad hair day
Because it's nice to have someone around who's smarter than me
Because of the way he sleeps on my head.....

The ad was launched on the Country Music Awards on Sunday and invited viewers to tweet their reason for being a cat person using the #catperson hashtag. The tweets were streamed live on two billboards in Times Square and the brand has been sending TwitPics of many of the Times Square tweets to the people who wrote them.

It's a simple and clever way to build an emotional connection to the Purina brand and create a community among cat people.