Showing posts with label retail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retail. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IKEA - 2014 Augmented Reality Catalog

A few years back it seemed like augmented reality was going to be the NEXT BIG THING.  Reality has since intervened as most augmented reality executions proved to be mainly gimmicks that didn't provide a particularly compelling experience nor did they provide true utility to consumers.  Now IKEA is showing how augmented reality can be truly useful through their 2014 augmented reality catalog.  Created by McCann and IKEA's in-house agency, Icom the app allows IKEA customers to preview items from the catalog to see how they'd look in their homes prior to purchase.

Here's how it works, a user places the 2014 IKEA catalog on the floor in their home and then fires up the app on their phone or tablet.  The mobile device recognizes the tablet as the augmented reality marker.  The user can then select from various items in the catalog where they are overlaid onto a real-time view of the room (as captured through the camera of the mobile device).

Again, this is a great use of technology in order to provide true utility to the customer.  Users can see how various colors would look in-situ, as well as getting a sense of the size/scale of the furniture within their homes.  Those two features alone ease two of the most common pain points when buying furniture (eg. will color x good? will it fit properly?).  In fact, IKEA developed this app after their research showed that 1 in 7 customers purchased items that were either too large or too small for their homes.  It's a win-win as the app also has the potential to reduce the amount of store returns.  Check out the video that demonstrates the app below (complete with slightly creepy Swedish guy):

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Google - Art, Copy & Code

Art, Copy & Code in a series of experiments that started last year with the Google Project Re:Brief. Whereas Re:Brief re-imagined classic ads for the modern web, Art, Copy & Code looks at the future of modern advertising on the web through a series of experiments conceived, developed and executed in partnership with brands such as VW, Adidas & Burberry.  As the site explains:

A Time of Change
In the 1960's, advertising went through a creative revolution that changed everything simply by partnering up art directors and copywriters. The idea of a creative team made up of art and copy was born.  Today, it’s happening again. We’re in the midst of a second creative revolution, driven by technology. Code is being added to the core creative process, enabling new forms of brand expression and engagement. Art, copy and code is the creative team for the connected world.

The Idea Is Still King
What hasn’t changed is the need for human insights, breakthrough ideas and emotional stories. Code facilitates new kinds of experiences, but it doesn’t replace the storytelling skills the advertising industry has honed over the past fifty years. Our connected world is giving brands more dimensions and touch points, but they still need something compelling to offer in order to create a real connection.

A Series of Experiments
How will the modern web shape the future of advertising? We’re partnering with the innovative brands, storytellers and makers who are defining it to find out.

I highly recommend watching the dynamically generated manifesto/intro film on the Art, Copy & Code site.

The first in the series of experiments is the VW - Smileage app.  The official Google blog has a good overview of the experiment or check out the video below.  I envision it as the driving equivalent of Nike+, providing both entertainment AND utility back to the user in the form of insightful information about the individual's driving behaviour, habits, etc.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Malmo Hardware Store - Toolpool

The past several years has a tremendous rise in the number of sharing (p2p or otherwise) and on-demand services that are disrupting existing business models.  Service like Zipcar, AirBNB, TaskRabbit, etc. are changing traditional models of ownership and resourcing.  Considering how potentially disruptive these types of services can be to existing business models, it's surprising that more brands haven't recognized the potential in these sharing services as an alternative to ownership of their products.

One business that has embraced the on-demand usage model is Malmo Hardware store.  They've developed a Zipcar-like service for power tools, called ToolPool.  As their agency, The Fan Club, describes:
'Malmö Hardware Store needed an idea to be able to compete with the giant home improvement chains that are taking over the market. We learned that the stores main earnings comes from supplies, not from expensive tools. So we created ToolPool. It works just like a carpool, but with tools. And it's for free. All we ask for in return is that you share our message on Facebook.
During the very first month, ToolPool received extensive media coverage, over 600 members and sales in the store increased by 25%.'

It's a wonderful example of service design.  See the overview video below.

via: Yosuke Suzuki

Monday, February 4, 2013

Target - Tweet To Runway Show

I'm pretty much a sucker for real(ish)-time video response campaigns.  Old Spice pioneered the format, but other brands have taken up the mantle in new and interesting ways.  The latest Twitter --> Video response campaign comes from US retailer Target.  The Everyday Collection campaign, conceived and developed by mono, is an unlikely fusion of high style with food and various household items like kitchen rolls, detergent and diapers.  The idea was to create a fashion show with a couple twists.  Rather than show off high-fashion, the models were showing off everyday items from Target.  Furthermore, the featured objects were chosen based off tweets mentioning said objects, often in humorous or otherwise quirky ways.  Basically taking the banal and turning it into something more.

In total, more than 150 videos were created, all of which were featured on the Target YouTube channel as well as the Every Day Show site.  Each video shows the original Tweet and those Twitter users featured were given Target gift cards.  In general the response video is a nice mechanic to create a personalized digital artifact for a select group of people.  It also has the benefit of ensuring that the people featured will then spread the artifact (and campaign) among their own social network.

Check out the highlight video below, some of the videos are quite amusing, but to be honest most don't really land well.  It just goes to show that execution is everything.  What sounds hilarious when read on Twitter becomes something completely different when delivered by a model.  Regardless, it's a nice effort from Target and their agency, it's just tough to top some of the campaigns that preceded this one.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Diesel - Pre-Internet Campaign

Diesel is launching a 20th anniversary edition of their YUK shoe and supporting it with their 'Pre Internet Experience.'  Developed by SMFB, the relaunch of the 1993 shoe encourages users to go back to those pre-internet days by challenging you to go offline and not post on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for three days.  Those who can abstain from social networks for 72 hours have the chance to win a pair of the boots.  Ironically the campaign uses a dedicated website and Facebook to encourage participation in the contest, asking questions like 'When did sharing become annoying, and liking just a pointless online gesture?' and 'Why do you know what your friend's lunch looks like, and how is this making the world a better place?'

The campaign differentiates the YUK shoe by billing it as the pre-internet shoe, 'no tracking, no timing, no wall posting, no bullshit.'  Clearly a dig at sensor enabled shoes from Adidas & Nike while encouraging users to 'Take a little break from your life online.'

Diesel have also created a series of videos that make fun of the current state of footwear affairs by chronicling a fictional GPS artist and Parkour athletes.   See below.

I predict we'll see a lot more activity aimed (ironically) at encouraging users to disconnect.  I expect to see more and more brands looking to enable or co-opt the movement to disconnect for periods of time as a way of coping with information overload and constant connectivity.   Basically brands looking to enable a 'digital sabbath' once a week or the like.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Juicy Couture - California Dreaming

We talk often talk about the various content triggers that get people to watch, view, share, participate, etc.  This Juicy Couture video, directed by Terry Richardson and featuring supermodel Candace Swanepoel hits a number of content triggers.  That alone would be enough to guarantee substantial views.  What makes this particularly interesting is how they've used annotations throughout to make every single frame of the video shoppable.  Click the annotations at any point and users are taken directly off to the purchase page for that particular item.  Really simple and clean, no crazy microsite or custom experience, just good content and an easy way to buy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 Election Season - 7 Eleven, Jetblue & Blippar

The 2012 presidential election is heating up in the States.  It's been interesting to see how brands are tapping into the interest around the US election.  Most are doing it poorly (I'll ignore those), but some are doing great work.  Three in particular stick out.

JetBlue - Live Free or Fly
I've heard people threaten to leave the US if their candidate doesn't win.  Apparently JetBlue has also heard this claim from both sides of the political spectrum.  They (and their agency, Mullen) have developed JetBlue Election Protection which will give a thousand sore losers the chance to get out of the country (at least temporarily) if their candidate loses.  Users are invited to go to and choose their political party (Democrat or Republican) as well as one of more than a dozen overseas destinations that JetBlue is offering up.  If your candidate loses, JetBlue may send you there.  The site gives you a sense of the current political leanings of the audience showing the polling so far among participants.  JetBlue is also doing their part, reminding people that the best part of Election Protection is to do their civic duty and vote.

7-Eleven - 7-Election
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven is back for the fourth edition of 7-election.  Customers can choose from partisan coffee cups (Romney cups are red, Obama cups are blue).  7-Eleven is then tallying sales for each to predict the outcome of the election.  This is the fourth election that 7-Eleven has done this and in each case it's successfully predicted the winner as well as coming within 1% of the actual outcome.  Unscientific? Yes.  Amazing?  Most definitely.

Check out the slate video about the initiative below and head over to the 7-Election site to see the current results.

Blippar - Blipp A $5 Bill To Donate To Obama
OK, this isn't technically a brand execution, but it's fascinating.  Blippar technology is probably the predominant app used by brands to execute mobile augmented reality experiences.  Blippar is taking a stance and coming out in support of Obama.  They've decided to throw their support and their technology behind Obama in an innovative way.  Fire up the Blippar app, point it at a 5 dollar bill and you can donate $5 directly to Obama's campaign.  The AR experience also has additional features such as the ability to create a picture of you high-fiving Obama, find your nearest campaign office to volunteer your time, listen to Obama speeches, etc.  I wonder if pointing Blippar at a $100 bill fires up a Romney experience?  Anyhow, check it out in action below:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tesco - Virtual Grocery Store At Gatwick Airport

Many of you may remember the Tesco virtual grocery store in S. Korea that brought home a media grand prix at Cannes last year (case study here).  Commuters were able to purchase groceries from their smartphones by scanning QR codes in a virtual grocery aisle composed of subway billboards.  The project was very successful, helping Tesco become S. Korea's number one online grocery retailer and facilitating more than 50,000 transactions.

Now Tesco has brought the experiment to the UK, specifically to the departure lounge of Gatwick airport's North Terminal.  They'll be trialling this over the course of the next couple weeks.  According to Tesco, 'around 30,000 people depart from Gatwick's North Terminal each day and each has an average of 70 minutes of downtime while waiting for flights. They can now use this time to ensure they don't have to make a trip to the shops on their way home.'

This is just a great example of a brand making life easier for their customers and solving an actual problem.  The insight that people getting home from holiday often have empty fridges at the time when you least want to deal with pedestrian things like grocery shopping, is something we've all experienced.  Pair that with the natural downtime that takes place before a flight and you've just turned unproductive time into life made easier for your consumers.  See the video below for more information.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nike Football - My Time Is Now

Apologies that this blog has been radio silent for the past month due to a ridiculous amount of traveling around for work (and pleasure).  By now, most of you have have probably already seen this campaign, but if you haven't please set aside the next 30 minutes to play around with the Nike Football Youtube experience.  It's without a doubt one of my favorite all-time Youtube executions.  Kudos to W+K London & Stink Digital for an amazing piece of work. First a bit of background from the W+K London blog (they can certainly explain it better than I can):

Our innovative new Nike 'My Time Is Now' campaign celebrates this next wave of footballers, whether it's the participants in The Chance, Nike's worldwide hunt for football talent (with previous winners featured in the spot), or elite athletes looking to make an impact on the world stage. 

But more than simply reflecting the defining qualities of hunger and impatience, this new global campaign provokes and rewards these behaviours in the participating audience too.

To achieve this, the campaign flips the traditional AV model: rather than creating a film for TV and running it online, we created a film for the internet, a version of which runs on TV. Launched online first, with the TV edit following up in Saturday's Champions League Final, the film is driven by a variety of different types of content, interactions and experiences, as well as seamless extensions to the overall narrative flow of the campaign.

It all kicks off with another epic 3-minute, star laden spot below.  That's followed by a call to action to 'Follow The Tunnels' which are areas of content/interactive experiences throughout the film similar to easter eggs.  These include Ronaldo's training program, a Sonic video game, Football IQ test, etc.

I love the fact that Nike continues to put digital first and foremost and are committed to creating truly immersive experiences.  Far too many of these ambitious campaigns start with TV and treat digital as an adjunct or bolt on at the end.

Additional Articles: W+K London | Contagious

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Nice Uses Of QR Codes - Emart, Guinness & Mercedes-Benz

QR codes have gotten a pretty bad rap and are generally shit on by the creative community (case in point, this genius Tumblr).  Until certain smartphone technologies mature, the fact of that matter is that it remains one of the best ways to quickly and (relatively) easily get mobile users to a site/app.  While there are definitely some absolutely abysmal executions out there, here are a couple of recent ones that work extremely well.

The first example comes Emart, the Walmart of Korea.  The Sunny Sale (created by Cheil Worldwide)  aimed to drive sales during lunch, which is a typically slow time for the retailer.  They created clever shadow QR codes which are only be readable/active in certain light, ie. between the hours of 12-1PM.  Users who scanned the sunny sale QR codes received special offers, coupons, etc.  It proved so popular they expanded it from 13 to 36 locations in Seoul.  Over the course of a month they sold over 12,000 coupons and increased store membership 58% month or month, but perhaps most impressive they increased sales by 25% during lunch hours.  Who says QR codes can't be effective!?

Additional Articles: Adverblog | AdFreak

The second example comes from BBDO New York for Guinness.  The QR code is printed on the glass and only works when Guinness (or another black/dark liquid) fills the glass, so don't try filling these glasses with lager, etc.  Once full scanning the QR code launches a site that easily/automatically tweets, checks in, posts a status update or sends an Instagram photo about where you are and the fact that you're enjoying a pint of guinness.  Very clever.
via Digital Examples

Prior to the official car launch, you'll often see speculation about the new model based off photos of the car 'spotted in the wild' on various aficionado sites.  Manufacturers combat this by wrapping the cars in plastic and generally camouflaging them so the new body/shape can't be deciphered before launch.  Jung Von Matt/Alster has cleverly tapped into this behavior by turning the camouflage of the prototypes into a form of media.  They've wrapped the new Mercedes Benz A-Class prototypes in QR codes.  The QR codes contain links to an app in which users hunt for trophies based off spotting the new A-class and give them a chance to win a trip to launch event.  Nice expansion of the idea of owned media and tapping into the existing behaviors of passionate car fans and paparazzi. 

Additional Articles: Digital Buzz Blog

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IKEA - The Smallest Store In The World

I've been seeing some really innovative rich media banner advertising lately.  I particularly like this execution for IKEA, the smallest store in the world.  In order to demonstrate how IKEA helps you make the most of any space, they've fit an entire IKEA store (all 2800) products into a web banner.  From this 300x250 MPU you can browse, click or buy anything that you could in a full-size IKEA store.  Check out the overview video below.

The ad was developed by Ogilvy Action Dubai.  Have a play around with the live version of the banner here:

Very clever and very charming.

Additional Articles: AdFreak | Adverblog

Uniqlo Undercover

I love seeing innovative uses of the Google Maps interface (such as Levi's Roadwear covered here a few months ago).  Uniqlo has recently partnered with Japanese fashion brand Undercover and their 'UU' website launched a month or so back.  The site uses Google maps as the mechanism to browser the whole product collection.  As you can see from the walk through below, you can zoom in further and further to go from big (and random) pictures to product details on individual garments.  You can also turn on and off different maps layers that will organize the collection by area (mens, babies, etc.), show social comments about the collection or take you to a store locator layer.  Just a great use of a navigation interface that we're all familiar with as an innovative way to show off the entire collection.

Have a play around with it yourself art the Uniqlo Undercover site or see the video capture below.

Additional Articles: FastCo | TheFWA

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Columbia - Great Moments In Trying Stuff

I posted this to the 5 Cool Things G+ page a couple weeks ago, but just have recently had time to explore the rest of the Columbia Sportswear Youtube channel.  Their latest campaign 'Great Moments In Trying Stuff' is a series of videos that demonstrates the benefits of various Columbia sportswear through a series of amusing pseudo-science experiments.  As they put it: 'What do sweaty hot dog buns, cafeteria workers, mesh tank tops and a cat have to do with proving our gear is the best in the industry? Everything. Watch as we put our most innovative products to innovative tests.'  The videos are extremely entertaining while also being peppered with features/benefits/functionality throughout.  Anyone know the Agency responsible for the work?  In the meantime, here are my two favorites, but check out the rest of the 'Great Moments In Trying Stuff' on their Youtube channel.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gap Geo-Fencing Campaign

In what's sure to be a much more common media play, Gap (in conjunction with out of home agency, Titan) just wrapped up a campaign that combined standard bus & transit ads with geo-fenced mobile display ads.  For those of you who may not be familiar with geo-fencing, it's essentially a virtual perimeter in a real-world area.  In this case, the mobile display ads utilised the location based services standard in smartphones/tablets to establish that users were within the geo-fenced area.  Here's how it worked, people in NYC, San Francisco & Chicago saw standard posters for Gap, but smartphone/tablet users within a specific area around the posters also saw mobile display ad offering Gap coupons if they were on particular sites or playing various games from Zynga, such as Words With Friends.

Dave Etherington, Titan’s senior vice president of marketing and mobile, says that 'The lines are kind of blurring,' he says. 'You’re only a click away now from rich brand experiences and purchases.'  He went on to say that Gap & Titan were pleased with the results which has a noticeable, but unspecified, sales uplift.  Additionally, 'the campaign, which ran from Feb 20 to March 6, delivered 2.5 million impressions, with a 0.93 percent click-through rate.'

It's a really nice way to enhance the efficacy of standard outdoor ads and I love the potential that geo-fencing and other mobile technologies are starting to offer as a way to bridge the digital and offline to provide true cross-platform experiences.

As eConsultancy pointed out, we'd need to know more about the campaign before passing judgement, were the posters near actual Gap stores?  Were the results skewed due to it being an offer?  No

Supporting articles: PSFK | TechCrunch | eConsultancy

Puma Social - Live Life, Don't Watch It

Let me first say, I haven't a clue what Puma Social is...from what I can tell it's an amalgamation of their various social activity plus some ER stuff and an umbrella for their Lifestyle/Youth outreach.  But you know what, it doesn't really matter...what matters is the message they're putting out in the video below.

A Puma describes it in the video itself
'With the rapid rise of reality television, more and more people seem content to spend time watching life on television, instead of actually living one themselves. Elevating those who fight, backstab and cheat into celebrities and role models. Something has got to change. So for the latest PUMA Social release we are offering people a choice: do they want their nights to be spent staring at televised strangers, or do they want them to be more? A time when they live life, instead of just watching it. Where reality stars are replaced by teammates. The 90-second film juxtaposes a slew of reality television audio clips with visuals of life being played. It celebrates those who choose to ignore the banality of today's reality television climate, in favor of creating their own stories with friends and teammates. Furthermore, the film encourages those of us not out already, to get off the couch. Because in the end, life deserves to be played, and channel surfing is not a sport.'

AMEN.  Seriously, I couldn't agree more.  Our own friends and live are far more interesting than the vapid half-wits on reality shows.  That said, I'll vegetate for hours watching whatever HBO decides is worthy of airing, but that's not the point.  OK, that's the end of my rant.  Overall really nice work by Droga5 & a great way for Puma to send out a strong, inspiring message with a clear call to action.

via Nicola Young

Monday, March 5, 2012

BGH Air Conditioners - Dads In Briefs

I adore this spot for BGH Air Conditioners from Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, but it also gives me cringeworthy flashbacks to my own childhood experiences.

So how do you sell air conditioners in a humorous way in the middle of Argentinian summer?  Appeal to the visual violation that results from a non-air conditioned house with a middle aged Dad...hence the horror that many of us have surely experienced 'Dad's In Briefs.'

via No10 Buzzilla's Blog