Thursday, October 17, 2013

Melbourne Remote Control Tourist

Have you ever wanted to really see a city before you visited?  That's the main idea behind the wonderful new Melbourne Remote Control Tourist campaign from Tourism Victoria.  As you may remember, a few months back I highlighted the San Pellegrino remote control robot that allowed internet users to control a robot in a small italian square for a few minutes at a time.  Now Tourism Victoria has taken the idea the the nth degree by enlisting a combination of technology and remote control tourists.  The campaign allowed internet users to control one of four people roaming around the city of Melbourne from October 9th to the 13th.  Outfitted with a combination of livestreaming cameras, GPS backpacks and handheld computers the tourists can be controlled by users on via Twitter & Facebook.  The remote control tourists can be told where to go, what to taste and what to experience.  It's a brilliant idea in allowing potential visitors to truly see and experience the city of Melbourne before they go.  In the first two days this modern evolution of the classic subservient chicken saw the remote-control tourists drink 21 cups of coffee, 71 high-fives, handshakes and hugs, 28 selfies, 2 karata lessons, one busking session while traveling a combined 50 kilometers.

The tourists were available throughout the day, with highlights from each day turned around in hours and uploaded to the website and YouTube.  Check out the intro video below as well as the Friday highlights.  I absolutely love the idea and while technically challenging, you can imagine the wide future and application this will have across the travel industry, particularly as wearable technology such as Google Glass becomes more pervasive.  The project was created by Clemenger BBDO, Exit Films & Jason Zada (the guy behind the Cannes winning 'Take This Lollipop.')

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The Dodge Durango & Ron Burgundy

As part of the promotion for the upcoming release of Anchorman 2, Dodge has teamed up with Will Ferrell (in character as Ron Burgundy) to promote the new Dodge Durango.  Ferrell and his Funny or Die colleagues, in conjunction with Wieden & Kennedy Portland have produced over 70 different ads for the Durango in the form of TV commercials, YouTube videos, Vines, etc.  It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds in the lead up to the release of Anchorman 2 in December. It's kind of a big deal.

The ads are (as one would expect) absolutely hilarious.  It seems like a win-win, bringing additional exposure to the movie as well as a great deal of levity and fame to the Dodge Durango. Ron  Burgundy isn't your typical spokesman.  For instance, rather than focusing on the power of the Hemi engine, he chooses instead to call out the many excellent features of the glove box.

Have a look at the playlist below or head on over to to see Ron Burgundy in all his glory, or as Dodge says:  Style. Power. Performance. Best-in-Class Handsome. What more could you ask for from a Dodge Durango spokesperson? Watch Ron go Burgundy all over YouTube. #BurgundyDodge

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KLM - Dream Catcher

When it comes to embracing digital platforms and technology, KLM has been at the forefront of the airline industry (Think With Google had an interesting article/case study which can be found here).  A few months ago I wrote about the KLM 'Must See Map,'which used a custom Google maps implementation to allow travelers to create a personalised map for an upcoming trip while also allowing users to invite Facebook & Twitter friends to suggest places to visit and directly add their suggestions to the personalised map.  Now KLM has extended the idea further with the KLM 'Dream Catcher' site/service.  Dream Catcher 'collects and sorts travel information supplied by some of the most used search and review platforms worldwide - painting a comprehensive picture of your chosen destination that is both honest and inspiring.'   Users can then browse, save and export a map of things to do and places to see for an upcoming destination. Hopefully they'll extend the service even further by combining the functionality of the Must See map and allowing users to link their G+, FB or Twitter accounts as a way of pulling in and/or ranking suggestions from friends and people in their social circles, much in the way that Google+ already does with local reviews.

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Google Glass Apps - Sherwin Williams & Philips

As more and more people get their hands on Google Glass we'll begin seeing a brands developing apps for Glass as a way to (literally) get closer to their customers.  Two recent (and very different) examples come to mind.  The first is from Sherwin Williams as an addition to their existing ColorSnap suite of applications.  While the use case here is a bit ambitious, it's still nice to see a relatively low interest brand devising ways that they can provide genuine utility to their customers.  Check it out below.

The second example comes from Philips Healthcare.  The video is a proof of concept demonstrating how Glass could integrate with their existing IntelliVue patient monitoring system and shows how surgeons could potentially use Glass in the operating theatre and beyond.  Very cool.

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YouTube - The Missing Person Pre-Roll

Throughout my childhood, missing persons were prominently featured on the side of milk cartons (if you're not familiar with this phenomenon, Slate has a good background article here).  It's only natural that the hunt for missing persons should be updated for the digital age, specifically YouTube.  For missing persons week the Australian Federal police and VML Australia developed a Missing Persons pre-roll ad.  The ads featured missing persons in Australia and were geo-targeted to focus on the specific location that each person was last seen.  Additionally, they modified the typical 'skip' button to allow the user to select 'Yes I have' or 'No I haven't' seen this person.

While no missing persons were found, it's a wonderful idea particularly when it comes to finding missing children as YouTube is the perfect media platform when trying to reach the younger demographic (who spend a tremendous amount of time on YouTube).  If I'm honest, the modification of the 'skip' button seems gratuitous as you could simply include a call to action to click on the video if you've seen the missing person.  In any case it's a smart use of media and something I hope will be used more widely.  Check out the case study video below.

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Forget Cats, Chickens Are The New Heroes Of The Internet - Mercedes, LG & Foster Farms

Conventional wisdom says that the Internet is dominated by cat videos (if you haven't seen the hilarious video from agency john st. on 'catvertising' then stop what you're doing and watch it here).  However, the past month has seen the unlikely emergence of chickens playing a starring role in several campaigns.

The first example comes from Mercedes.  The 'Magic Body Control' commercial was created by Jung Von Matt to demonstrate the stability and comfort of the intelligent drive system.  How ironic that  they use a $5 chicken to demonstrate the capabilities of a $50,000 car.  Check it out below:

Similarly, LG and their agency SuperHeroes are using chickens to show off the new optical stabilization features of the LG G2 phone.

Last but not least, Foster Farms are combining chicken puppets and classic 1980s songs to demonstrate the 'amazing' chicken that Foster Farms brings to the table.

Abercrombie & Fitch - What Does The Fox Say?

A few summers ago Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' was the hit of the summer.  The song began trending in large part because Justin Bieber uploaded a video of him lip syncing to the song.  That kicked off a trend of thousands of people creating 'Call Me Maybe' lip sync videos with everyone from the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders to Jimmy Fallon getting in on the act.  Several brands also created their own, with Abercrombie & Fitch creating the most popular branded version.  The video (20 million views to date) featured various half-naked Abercrombie models from cities around the world.  Eight months later, Abercrombie decided to also jump on board the Harlem Shake meme and create an Abercrombie & Fitch Harlem Shake video, though they were a bit late to the game and the video only garned 200k views.

Memejacking now seems to be a bona fide part of their content strategy as they've also jumped on the What Does The Fox Say? trend by creating their own version of the song featuring Abercrombie models.  It's a smart strategy as they can pretty much guarantee an audience by piggybacking on whatever is trending and inserting half-naked models into the equation.

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Other Things I Like But Don't Have Time To Write Up - Steinlager, VW, MTN

Steinlager - Be The Artist, Not The Canvas
I love this ad from Steinlager to promote responsible drinking.  Rather than tap into the typical cliches around responsible drinking, it appeals the juvenile, yet common occurrence that can happen when young men get too hammered.

VW - Take On Me
I'm blown away that Take On Me hasn't been used in an Ad before.  VW remakes the classic song to promote their no-charge scheduled maintenance on every new VW.

MTN - The Everywhere Library
Another great example of a brand doing good, in this case the Telco MTN brings books to students across Africa via SMS.

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