Social Media: Iceland Friends, BART AR, Absolut Drinkspiration, JetBlue Twitter

Iceland wants to be your friend
Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend is an initiative of the Icelandic Tourist Board, “which means that it’s a very, very, very serious thing indeed. It is loved and cared for by many good people for at Takk Takk, using brains and fancy machines.”

San Franciso’s subway system, the BART, is the latest entity to use augmented reality to grab customers’ – or in this case, riders’ – attention with a message. Developed by metaio, the application – called junaio – shows transit data such as station locations and estimated arrival times. Riders point the phone’s camera and find directions to the nearest BART station and a list of estimated arrivals for the next several trains via text or graphics that are overlaid on real objects.
Absolut is launching Drinkspiration, a drink application combining the latest mobile technology with GPS, Twitter, and Facebook. Drinkspiration is an interactive encyclopedia of recipes that helps you find and share personalized drink recommendations based on taste, weather, time of day, bar vibe, sound volume and real-time drink trends. Drinkspiration by Absolut for Android is available for free in the Android Market.

Jetblue Twitter promotion attracts huge crowds
Huge crowds gathered across New York this week after budget airline JetBlue announced via Twitter that it would give away airline tickets at undisclosed locations across the city. Hundreds of tickets were given away within minutes of each location’s being announced, with long lines forming and one taxi driver abandoning his vehicle (and his fare) to claim a free ticket.

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Beyond The Browser: AR, Mobile WiFi

Is AR the Next Big Thing?
Augmented reality, heretofore seen only in science-fiction films or computer labs, might soon become the latest Web 2.0 tool for marketers. AR, which uses webcam technology to blend footage from the real and virtual worlds, is being tested by Zugara to allow users to “try on” clothes without being in a store.

augmented reality

As gaming systems become increasingly integrated with the physicality of the gamer, developers are seizing upon the intricacies of our actual environments for new ways of having fun on-screen. Aspyr’s Treasure World for Nintendo’s DS and DSi handhelds is one such attempt to bridge the gap between the real and the pixelated, launching players on a virtual treasure hunt that requires exploring one’s surroundings for actual wireless networks. Real-life WiFi spots are converted into in-game “treasure,” which can be traded in for items.
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New Consumer Journey, Heineken Mixtapes, Live Ads, Brands v British Films

Marketing has always sought those moments, or touch points, when consumers are open to influence. For years, touch points have been understood through the metaphor of a “funnel”—consumers start with a number of potential brands in mind (the wide end of the funnel), marketing is then directed at them as they methodically reduce that number and move through the funnel, and at the end they emerge with the one brand they chose to purchase (Exhibit 1). But today, the funnel concept fails to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer.
Picture 1
This summer, every 6-pack of Heineken comes with a USB stick designed to look like an old school music cassette. These USBs give access to three free song downloads, and five different music styles are reflected in the USB designs
Says the show’s writer and star: “In this new world we live in, it’s not enough just to be funny or talented, but you also have to understand the business side of it,” he said. “I’m all for Comedy Central making tons of money off of advertisers doing our show. I want to make it as easy for them as I can. But if it ever seems weird on our show, that we’re holding product X in our right arm and it takes you out of the show, that makes it not good.”
Maybe it’s because marketers, just like the rest of us, are looking for an escape these days, that Augmented Reality (or AR) has exploded onto the marketing scene in recent weeks. In the simplest terms, AR combines real time images with virtual ones, to create entirely new 3D computer-generated graphics, often with parts that the consumer can control.

UK Film Council looks to brands to help fund British films
Although box-office takings reached a record £850m last year, British filmmakers are struggling to secure funding from broadcasters and traditional City backers. The Council is seeking to establish a third-party venture to facilitate relationships between brand owners and filmmakers. Any such tie-ups would be likely to give some creative control to the brands concerned, as well as ownership rights. John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said a sponsoring brand would be able to speak directly to filmmakers about projects that fit with its values.

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Gaming: Videogamers (apparently) aren’t Losers, Virtual insanity

There is an old curse that goes like this: “May you live in interesting times” It doesn’t get any more interesting than two recent strange news stories about digital worlds sparking irrational behavior in the real world. These two items illustrate the weird problems we could be encountering on a regular basis as bleed-through increases across the border of the real and virtual worlds.
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