As I ease my back into the marketing world after a few months of moving back to the US from Australia and catching up with friends and family I’ve been having fun playing with some cool new social media tools. In today’s spotlight - the picture-perfect world of Pinterest. The site has been around for just over a year, quietly using an “invitation only” strategy to build up buzz. A year ago the site had 50,000+ visitors, now the site just crossed over the 7 million user mark - it definitely is time to take a closer look.
If you haven’t heard about it, Pinterest at its core is a virtual inspiration board where people use images instead of words to entertain and inspire others. As you are roaming around the world wide web when something catches your eye now you simply “pin it” (through a cool button you add to any browser here) and the image is saved on a Pinterest board you’ve created. Before you may have bookmarked it or printed it out - now it is all saved online. Of course on the site you can also browse other people’s boards or check out the live feed and “repin” things to your boards too. It’s like creating a visual smorgasboard of inspiration - something I used to do when I would tear out images from magazines and create a big collage wall in my office.
There are some specific categories and companies that are going to find it very natural to pop on over to Pinterest. Anyone with a visual element to their work - fashion brands, architechts, stylists, designers, photographers - can easily join in on the fun. An architect working wtih a client by pinning visuals of other looks to discuss; a stylist sharing potential “looks” for clients to review before they go out shopping; a wedding planner sharing table decor ideas and thems to a bride - it all makes easy sense. Already brands like Nordstrons, Real Simple magazine and LuxeFinds are already having fun on Pinterest, with more to come.
From a fun and overall marketing perspective, Pinterest could definitely help drive creative thinking and overall inspiration in a number of ways. Here’s just a few to get you started:
Pinterest is a great way for people to engage and entertain other people through the power of visuals. It’s fun, easy to use and heavily addictive and something I highly recommend checking out to see if it makes sense to work into your marketing mix. The notion that a “picture tells a thousand words” is alive and well with Pinterest - so head on over and get pinning.
iButterfly” is an interesting iPhone application using AR, motion sensor, and GPS functions to “collect” coupons. The creative aspect of it allows users to customise their butterflies by snapping images of their environment. A practical/functional use for it is - through the iButterfly - delivering coupons, diverse information and contents which can be shared amongst friends.
A great example from Japan of using new technology in an engaging way that allows people to share content and with the extremely vitalk and rare link to retail. Watch the intro video below:
So we know a new website launches every second (at least it seems like it), so when I heard of yet another one that a friend said I had to check out I had my hesitations. Luckily I did check it out as Qwiki has opened my eyes to a whole new way to search – through storytelling. Pop in a topic and watch Qwiki create a multi-media smorgasbord of content that turns into a mini educational video and away your brain goes.
I’m not getting paid for this informercial blog post – and don’t want it to turn into that – so, in short, jump over to Qwiki and get ready for the fun.
Now back to our regularly scheduled creative ramblings …
Yes, it’s true, and it can be yours thanks to our friends at Sneaker Freaker – the global magazine that highlights the craziness of sneakers around the world. The magazine comes out only three times a year and is usually snapped up within a few hours in the lucky stores in 43 countries that receive it. In between publication dates the magazine is always looking for fun ways to keep the kids entertained.
With this in mind – enter the world of poop-on-the-shoe insurance. The magazine has created a hilarious Home Shopping Network style informercial – at least one that would be found in Japan. The two actors walk through the drama we’ve all had when we step on dog poop (you know you’ve done it at least once). Then, the insurance fun – buy it when you buy your sneakers and for a year you’re insured against poop mishaps. When it happens all you have to do is take a photo of the poop problem, ensuring it covers more than 5cm of your sole, vacuum seal the shoe and send it in with the photo and a copy of your insurance. Perfect poop protection!
Before Sneaker Freaker actually rolls out the insurance they want to make sure there’s a demand for it. They’ve set the goal of getting 100,000 people to raise their soles for poop protection, so if you’re tired of your footsteps being poopsteps, than head on over to the site and vote.
Now, as always, how can we make it better? I’m hoping that Sneaker Freaker team sent out some sneakers with maybe chocolate on the sole (close enough) to some key influencers to help get the word out. How about a way for people to send in actual photos of poopy sneaks to be entered to win a limited edition of some new kicks? There’s got to be a songwriter out there ready to turn stepping into poop into a hit country music song. And last but not least, wouldn’t scratch and sniff stickers really bring the whole campaign to life? Maybe that last one is a stinky idea but I had to go there.
In any case, well done Sneaker Freaker! Poop is the word!
Throughout 2011, Kahlúa is hoping to inspire friends and family to connect and converse at home with their “Delicioso
Nights In” effort. The initiative invites consumers to spend one night a month in 2011 reconnecting at home with friends or family. Consumers can log on to the Kahlua Facebook page to join in on the fun.
Those who join are automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a “Delicioso Night In” for themselves and three friends in New York City and three nights in Mexico. This trip includes a one-night stay at a luxury hotel in NYC and a personalized experience with celebrity chef and TV personality Aarón Sánchez. Then they’ll be whisked away to Veracruz, Mexico, the birthplace of Kahlúa, for four days of adventure.
According to a Kahlúa survey, enjoying intimate conversation at home is gaining more and more fans. 46% of Americans say great conversation would make them most happy when spending a night in with friends, family or a significant other—far more than food (19%) or music (5%).
I’m a newbie at Quora - so I’m a Quobie I guess. Not sure if there is an official name but I’m definitely quickly understanding the instant fascination (and major time suck but I love it) that happens when you take a few minutes to browse around. As I’m always on the look-out for inspiration from new places, I have to say I’ve found a plethora at Quora that has my heading spinning with creative delight.
Take, for example, the list below of start-ups that have made their case on Quora in hopes of finding a big investment check in their pockets. I can spend an hour thinking about and dissecting each one, leading to no doubt a totally new way to approach a challenge I’m working through for clients today, or perhaps an idea is tucked away in my brain and pops out a few months from now - all thanks to this list I found on Quora.
Imagine the fun if/when QuikPiq arrives if you work for a fashion brand and you hire hot models with lots of friends on Facebook to try on some clothes and get people to vote - instant buzz-driving for new and old designers. Or use it to take a photo of some packaging or POS to your Brand Fan page to see what people say in an instant. How about using it at the beauty bar to have people vote for the right side of your face via Mabelline or your left side with L’Oreal? Can’t wait!
And how about Lifegroove, can’t wait to use it to document the creation of a campaign to share and teach new team members as they join - an instant recap of every insight and inspiration, every client comment and up and down, all in one place. It will be incredible learning that will help create even brighter professionals in the future.
And MondoWindow - imagine tourism boards all placing unique stories at this site for people to discover as they fly 33,000 feet in the sky. Or sports arenas that let you know who’s playing in the venue in the next few weeks - even letting you buy a ticket right then and there.
And that is so just the beginning. There’s too many things to think about it one post. Take some time to browse through some of the sites below and see where the creative thought takes you. YAY for Quora!
-StuffBuff- Amazon in a buttonwww.stuffbuff.com
- MakeVolume www.MakeVolu.me & MakeVolume.com (social music)
- Lifegroove http://www.lifegroove.com (Life Stories: Capture, Communicate, Collaborate, Curate & Create).
- Moolave http://angel.co/moolave http://moolave.com (scan docs, sign, and send to recipients with mobile apps)
- Best Content Network www.hujelabs.com ( Demand Media of Mobile applications, 700 applications in the network with 6.8M+ active users, 200k in revenues) http://angel.co/huje-labs-1
- Phrot http://phrot.com/ (social blogging platform)
- Macro Mode macromo.de (high quality photo sharing)
- Quik Piq www.quikpiq.com (web & mobile app that lets you instantly get friends’ opinions on what to buy & what to wear)
- Filmaster www.filmaster.com (movie checkin and recommendation app)
- BizGreet www.bizgreet.com (mass-personalized videos in real time)
- 33needs www.33needs.com (connect social entrepreneurs to crowsourced investment capital)
- RadioExiles www.radioexiles.com (collection of professional broadcast talent who have lost their jobs, but still have something to say)
- BusinessReel www.businessreel.com (search engine for business for sale listings)
- Meeteor www.meeteor.com (leverage data from Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter to introduce you to people you don’t know, but should)
- Jspot www.jspotapp.com (connects local businesses with motivated customers through limited time offers)
- OnTheRoad www.ontheroad.to (concept of the story publication for travelers and active people)
- Kooee Messaging www.kooeeapp.com (fill the void in SMS in the current smartphone environment)
- Training Intelligence www.trainingintelligence.com (catalog the world’s training information and make it available to everyone in an easily searchable way)
- 9slides www.9slides.com (auto syncronize your presentation slides with video and create compelling interactive presentations online)
- Mpiphany www.mpiphany.com (makes it easy for advertisers to improve their campaign ROI using proprietary algorithms developed over years of experience in mobile ad buys)
- Gamers Portal www.gamersportal.com (makes it simple for gamers and teams to interact, share and meet in real life)
- LinkCloud www.linkcloud.org (makes links, post, search, RSS interactive)
- SolarBear www.pvpower.com (activates the long-tail of the solar power market - Excelerate 2010 company)
- InverSearch inversearch.com (connection platform through which queries and responses are aggregated and managed)
- Open Source Recordings www.osrecordings.org (open Source record company/portal frame work based on collaboration and expert curatiion)
- BidZuku www.bidzuku.com (better way to purchase your next vehicle)
- Loqly http://loqly.me - Location based Q&A service focussed on local businesses
- Moolave moolave.com (mobile app that allows consumers to scan documents from their iPad/tablet notebooks, affix their signatures/notations and send the documents to recipients in realtime)
- Whitelist Receptionist www.whitelist.com (email feature, wide adoption of which could eliminate many forms of spam)
- Boo.ly - a free browser add-on that provides you with price comparisons, latest coupon codes and money saving deals, when you need them most.
- Pre-STEM Partners www.prestem.com (provide early career college students with personalized academic advice that will help them earn a degree in computer science, mathematics or the sciences)
- Please Stay Calm www.pleasestaycalm.com (Foursquare meets World of Warcraft meets Left 4 Dead)
- Needium www.needium.com (social media lead generation service for small businesses)
- Accelsor http://Accelsor.com (Empowers anyone to rapidly construct websites and develop layouts by intuitively creating and interacting with their content and design in real time.)
- Forrst: http://forrst.com Community of developers and designers giving each other honest, thoughtful and actionable critique, rolling out a unique twist on a job board soon
- Frame It www.frame.it (drag and drop / click and ship picture framing)
- Zingaya www.zingaya.com (voice calls through any computer, right from a webpage)
- InsidePerks www.insiderperks.com (travel videos with primary revenue generation through advertising and transactional revenue sharing)
- Cull www.cull.tv (new music television for the Internet age)
- CarmaBid www.carmabid.com (auction platform that offers great deals & crowd-sources monthly charitable donations from its profits)
- Accelsor www.accelsor.com (putting web design back into the hands of the designer in real-time, in the cloud)
- CollaborActive www.collaboractive.org (free Advocacy & Collaboration tools for Conservative organizations)
- MondoWindow www.mondowindow.com (interactive map for airline passengers that provides location-based content and entertainment)
- MinuteBox www.minutebox.com (simple and social way to trade domain knowledge)
- Lovefre.sh (mobile app to share your local food story with the world & discover great produce, wherever you are)
- ExpertBids www.expertbids.com (a professional services marketplace where clients can get bids from lawyers, accountants and consultants)
- OpenSesame www.opensesame.com (a marketplace for buying and selling corporate elearning courses)
- Quizy.me A social “fill in the blanks” network. Answer randomly and explain yourself
Another LA icon named Jack (not Jack Nicholson who always seems to be at every Lakers game) was sitting courtside at the Lakers-Clippers game on Friday night. This one has a massive clown head, his own antenna ball and delivered tacos to 19,000 fans. Any guess?Jack in the Box’s celeb CEO, Jack Box and his son, Jack Jr., rubbed shoulders with Hollywood elite for the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Los Angeles Clippers, while taking photos and signing autographs. As a surprise for fans of both teams, he even treated everyone in attendance to free tacos.
Now, how can we make it better? Would love to see Jack serving up a slam dunk before the game, providing an awesome video with the potential to go viral. How about getting the seats next to Jack Nicholson to get the other Jack in on the act - that could have been a paparazzi dream. Maybe for Jack’s next visit the JitB team can reach out to Lou Adler who sits beside Jack and see if he’d be up for the fun. And surprised to not see the photos hit the Jack in the Box Facebook Page so they could make the rounds. I’m sure all of the above could be in the works in the future, but fun to think about.
Well done Jack - a great example of how one brand is leveraging its’ sport sponsorship to entertain consumers in a new and unexpected way.
We’ve seen a lot of brands over the past year try to ‘one-up’ the instant classic of the “Best Job In The World” that searched for an island caregiver to live for a year in Queensland, Australia. Today one caught my eye that I think is a worthy comparison – enter the search for an Ultimate BMW blogger by BMW dealership Endras in Toronto.
Here’s what’s up for grabs: $65,000 salary, attend BMW events around the world, live in a downtown Toronto condo for free, and of course drive around town in the latest and greatest BMW. All this in exchange for being a BMW mega-fan ready to blog, Tweet and Facebook all-things-BMW and performance for a year. Not too shabby indeed.
To enter simply write a 200-word blog by April 1 showing why you are the perfect choice for the job and can live a high performance life. Once you’ve submitted your entry you now need to socialize it to the max – getting people to come to your blog and vote for your entry (current leader has had nearly 10,000 views of their post and 3,500 votes). The 20 most social media connected peeps will then have 48 hours to create a video that shows their obsession with performance. The 10 contestants who get the most video votes will be interviewed with one winning the big prize.
We love this one for so many reasons – the first one, massive incentive for people to enter (who wouldn’t want this job). Second, natural use of the world of social media to amplify the efforts – nice stages for the competition provide more rounds to get the word out. Third, leveraging every social media channel available to provide a plethora of tweets, posts and updates.
Now, of course, how can we make it better? Would love to see some dealer involvement by the finalists – spreading the love of the campaign to the ground level and getting the dealers excited. And how about creating a BMW Blogger Brigade (name needs some work) with the finalists – these guys and gals with be brand BMW mega fans, let’s put them to work with a small salary to keep the conversation going.
All in all, a solid example of a brand putting out an offer worthy of the time/effort that is being asked by the participants. And an instant playbook on how to create a campaign with various levels that keep the content and the people coming back for more. Well done BMW!
And be sure to check out the campaign video here.
Always love when an agency jumps into the world of social media just to have some fun. Case in point for today: Digitas Boston. The poor guys and gals this year have had massive snowfalls, and the white stuff has been piling up for weeks.
The company decided to make a game out of it all - encouraging people to tweet what day they believe the snow will officially melt away in Boston, using the hastag #whenwillitmelt. Nicely there is a very cool prize for the winner - a shiny new iPad. You don’t have to live in Boston to guess, so pick a date and go for it. And while you are at it, what fun can your agency have in the social media space?
Just heard about something that any aspiring artist would love to score - the cover of the influential Rolling Stone magazine. Every major global music superstar has graced the cover of this magazine. Now 16 undiscovered acts have the chance to be among those elite - as the magazine for the first time in it’s near 50 year history is offering up this valuable space in the new “Choose The Cover” campaign.
The competition is conneting some major heavyweights to drive mass awareness - in addition to Rolling Stone Magazine the campaign tied in The Jimmy Fallon Show which will air the first national performance of the winning band. The campaign also checked off the music “cred” box by teamping up securing some performance spots at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. And Garnier Fructis is on board and providing I’m assuming some of the dollars from a brand trying to reach the youth segment. A smart move for the brand given the marketing mix that should see the effort go far and wide. And with the various stages of narrowing down the field it should have an engaged audience over several months.
Check out the sweet 16 music sensations at the campaign site and vote for your favouite. And read the official campaign announcement from Rolling Stone for more details.