Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top 10 VW Ads

Campaign (part of Brand Republic) have a great article on the top 10 VW ads of all time as selected by DDB London (TV ads that is). I joyfully sat and watched everyone of them - remembering how good the quality of ads have been from VW over the recent years. Unfortunately my personal favourite was the terrorist viral that did the rounds a while back, though VW have always maintained this was not produced by themselves. If it wasn't I hope they did find out who did it and gave them a job!

From DDB's selection, my favourite is 'Singing in the Rain (2005)'

Terrorist Ad

O2 Scrum on the Beach 2009 (UK)

With a top prize described as 'the stuff that dreams are made of', O2 UK's latest campaign, Scrum on the Beach, offers the chance to play at Twickenham. However, before you get to prove your skills with a rugby ball in front of a packet Twickenham arena, you've got to get the hard part out of the way. Turn up your style and skills to the on-looking English Rugby Team as you compete on the sand. The teams that show the most flair on the sand will be picked to play in a special tournament at Twickenham.

The roadshow will also offer the public the opportunity to compete on Batak™ Duel competition stations for chances to win rugby goodies and pick up autographs from the English Team.

Dates and Locations:

  • Martello Bay, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex 4 July, 11-6pm
  • Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth 11 July, 11-6:30pm
  • Ainsdale Beach, Southport 18 July, 10-5:30pm
  • Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth 25 July, 10-7pm
  • Weymouth Beach, Dorset 1 August, 10-6:30pm
  • Tynemouth Longsands Beach, Newcastle 8-9 August, 10-4pm
  • Skegness Beach, Lincolnshire 15 August, 10-5pm
  • Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay 28 August, 12-7pm
  • Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay 29-30 August, 12-11pm

To register your team just email 'scrumonthebeach@therfu.com'.

Augmented Reality Shopping

I've posted about Augmented Reality numerous times now, and although I've said it before, I'll say it again; Augmented Reality rocks! This is where cutting edge is for me. This is the place that digital marketing can go to create the most interactive, most engaging, and most dynamic creatives and campaigns.

I was lucky enough sit in on a Cybercom 'Friday Session'* presented by Marty. Marty gave a fantastic run through of numerous Augmented Reality applications. Afterwards I said, in my mind it's clear that the next step is Augmented Reality shopping - being able to "try on" clothes in a virtual store before buying them. Well guess what? There' no need to wait....

How incredibly cool is that! Sure it's not 100% accurate or spot on, but it's cutting edge, it's not meant to be perfect. However, give it 6 to 12 months and as it transitions from cutting edge to leading edge, I guarantee this will be picked up by every major online clothes retailer. Consider that this technology could tell you what size clothes to buy. No more guessing as to whether an American 'M' is an English 'L'!

Augmented Reality Posts
Augmented Reality By Hand
Augmented Reality Top 10
Augmented Reality: Shopping for Glasses
Mobile Augmented Reality Game
Augmented Reality Music Video
Augmented Reality Pizza
Eminem's Relapse Augmented Reality
WWF Augmented Reality
What's In The Box? (ARG)

*Friday Session - every Friday 1 or 2 agency staff give a short presentation on a topic of interest to the whole agency. This could be on a new Social Media tool, new International Digital news or holiday snaps of a far off place. Either way, it's a place for everyone in the agency to get together and wind down for the weekend.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Jean Moonwalk FlashMob

Last Friday at Liverpool Street Station (the same location as the T-Mobile FlashMob) an impromptu FlashMob came together to pay tribute to the late Michael Jackson. The event was sparked off earlier that morning by Rob Manuel, founder of web pranksters b3ta.com, who Tweeted "If I claimed there was a mass moonwalk being organised for 6pm at Liverpool Street Station would anyone believe me?".

This was then picked up by @Markcorrigan. The rest so they say, is history (I could have gone with a really bad pun there!)

Augmented Reality By Hand

It seems stupid but I had never even thought about doing Augmented Reality with drawn symbols. Of course it makes sense once you see it, and in my mind lends itself to something more - perhaps some sort of Augmented Reality based game where users had to discover symbols or solve problems, to see what's hidden in the code.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google Voice: Update

Last Tuesday I posted about Google Voice, Google's phone and voicemail management system. Essentially this is Google's offering to allow you to unify all your telephones - including mobile, home, and work phones, into a single phone number. Previously the service was only on offer to existing GrandCentral customers. However, as of Thursday, Google are now rolling out invitations to everyone who requested an invite. Full details are available over on the Google Blog.

Adsense Opens For iPhone and Mobile Applications

Last Wednesday Google announced that Adsense was expanding to the iPhone and other mobile application platforms. A trial program has been in place with a small group of publishers such as Sega, Shazam, and Urbanspoon since April, to test and trouble shoot the new service. While the current offering will still be in beta, Google says that they see this as a way for developers to be rewarded for their work, and also to extend their contextual ad network.

Of course for advertisers, this means that the opportunity is now available to expand existing Adwords campaigns into various mobile applications. Some of the benefits that are offered are targeting traffic from specific applications and locations, and of course, targeting by specific keywords and categories.

The following is a testimonial from Howard Steinberg, Business Development Director at UrbanSpoon:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Display Advertising: Click for Fun

Cheers to Brian for sending this one around the office. Perhaps a perfect example of how to drive huge interaction rates, brilliant engagement times and, ultimately, grab attention and retention within your consumers.

Michael Jackson

Without doubt the world's greatest performer has died. Yesterday evening Michael Jackson passed away, following a cardiac arrest at his home. I feel truely sorry for everyone who never had the chance to see him perform. I saw him in Lansdowne Road in 1992 - no one has ever come close to doing a better gig in my opinion. Michael Jackson really was the King of Pop.

Chris Cornell - Bill Jeanie

Some of Michael's Moves

Facebook Connect

Spotted this great presentation from Razorfish, explaining exactly what Facebook Connect is and how it could be integrated into existing services. Worth a look if you're not completely familiar with Facebook's data portability function.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The 2010 Mustang

In 1990 Roger Keeney was involved in a farming accident. A piece of metal struck him in the head and when he regained consciousness he was unable to see anything. He had completely lost his sight. It might seem odd then to hear that Roger was given the chance to take the newest Ford Mustang convertible on an amazing ride; reaching speeds of up to 90mph and pulling doughnuts.

The 62 year old won the chance to do this by participating in Mustang's '10 Unleashed' promotion. The promotion asked people to describe their ultimate Mustang experience in 250 words or less. Sounds simple.

For anyone who likes cars (especially Mustangs!), watch Roger's entire video diary here.

If you have any interest in performance cars or drifting, check this out...

Hell.ie Pizza

Cheers to Damien for finding this (or at least posting about it so I could find it). I'm fairly sure there is no better Pizza company website, anywhere. Not only are these guys based in Dublin, not only do their pizza's look totally delicious, not only do they have a load of other mouth-watering foods, but when you get bored you can play with the devils! Honestly - chuck them around the screen - brilliant!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VW: Meet The Volkswagens (Display Ad)

I think this may be my favourite ad this year. For one it looks fantastic - extremely well designed and visually impactful. Secondly it works perfectly - no bugs or stalls. Finally, without appearing to jump on a bandwagon, it utilises a mainstream trend to pull you in and encourage engagement. Fantastic work!

The Future of Packaging

I won't spoil this by saying anything first, just watch...

Between the advent of e-paper and mag-ink technologies it's not hard to imagine this as a very realistic future of advertising. I'll admit that the photo-taking bit is probably a good deal further away and obviously forget the empty box with a camera popping out of no where, but otherwise I'm almost surprised that someone hasn't done something similar for highend products that could easily offset the cost.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Honda: Dream the Impossible

Honda have put together a series of documentary films called Dream the Impossible. They describe their company as believing in the Power of Dreams with a rich history of making impossible dreams come to fruition. The purpose of the films is to document Honda's advancement as a company. There are currently three films up, and all are worth watching if you want to be inspired or motivated to think beyond the now.

Mobility 2088

Failure: The Secret to Success

Kick Out The Ladder

Orange: Glastonbury Mobile App

I posted at the beginning of the month about Orange's great 'Spot the Bull' competition to win tickets to Glastonbury (check it out if you haven't already!). With the festival starting this Wednesday Orange have released their latest addition to their Glastonbury sponsorship, the latest version of the GlastoNav Mobile App.

GlastoNav, produced in association with the Guardian Guide, is a free mobile app that provides fans with an interactive guide to the festival. The app gives users stage times, the full festival line-up, the ability to create their own schedule for the weekend and an interactive map of the site. On top of this there's also a wealth of festival news, advice and alerts.
It also allows users to share their schedule with their friends using the app.

The fun doesn't stop there though. At noon every day a ‘bull' icon will appear on the interactive map. Users just need to get to that spot to find a life-size bull with a code word written on the side. They then click on their map to be in with a chance to win exclusive VIP access to the Pyramid Stage for one of the featured performances.

Spencer McHugh, brand director, Orange UK, said "Orange GlastoNav is the best way to plan the perfect Glastonbury weekend, and sharing your schedule with friends means you will never miss meeting up for your favourite bands."

As a bonus Orange has also entered into a partnership with Bauer for everyone who downloads the app to get 50% off an annual subscriptions to Q Magazine.

Glastonbury starts on the 24th June.

Google Voice Now Has 1 Million Numbers!

There was some really big news last month when Google went ahead and reserved 1 million phone numbers. Following months of beta testing, this looks like the first sign that Google Voice may finally be ready to roll out. Going back to March of this year, Google annonunced it's latest service - Google Voice (their development plan for GrandCentral which was acquired in 2007) - a service that would allow users to unify all their phone numbers (work, personal, home, mobile etc.) into a single number.

Up until now GrandCentral has been opperating in Beta, but these 1 million numbers (all of which are level 3 numbers) surely indicates that Google are close to adding a significant amount of additional users. Unfortunately a Google spokesperson would only say "as a matter of policy, we typically do not comment on contracts with third-party technology suppliers."

Beyond unifying all your number, Google Voice proposes a number of new, really cool, features. Pop over to the Google Voice site and check them out (via handy YouTube videos!).

Uniqlo Calendar

I'll say nothing, just check this out.

I love Uniqlo so much.

Brilliant Music!

Brilliant Video!

Brilliant Application!

Brilliant Idea!

Monday, June 22, 2009

ComCast Highspeed Broadband

Hilarious ad from ComCast for their new highspeed broadband.

Google Maps Car in Dublin Today!

News reports are surfacing across the interweb that the Google Maps Car has been spotted around Dublin today!

Cloud Computing

A nice little video explaining the origin of Cloud Computing from IBM's 'A Smarter Planet' site. As they point out, there's also a more detailed article in the New York Time's here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tweet to Ads, Live!

In an industry first, Nestle (US) are preparing to launch a campaign allowing users to Tweet directly into their online display ads, live. Developed by SocialMedia, the new concept, coined 'Twitter Pulse', is currently being tested as part of a drive to promote its Juicy Juice fruit drink.

The ads will carry a range of questions such as ‘How do you stimulate your child's mind?' and ‘How important are vitamin enhanced foods to you?' Users can then use Twitter to answer the questions by posting tweets directly into the ad. Through use of a #hashtag the Tweets will also appear on the campaign Twitter profile.

When users clickthrough on the ads themselves they are brought through to the Juicy Juice's YouTube channel, where they can see a number of videos with useful information for parents.

Google: Real-Time Search

Without doubt, one of the largest growing areas within the Search Industry is Real-Time Search. That is the ability to search resources (usually User Generated Content and Web2.0 self-publicising platforms) that has just been created/uploaded. The best example of this is Twitter Search, which allows users to search through Tweets within real-time. This contrasts against traditional Search Engines that need to index and catalogue webpages before they become available through the engine.

A recent article on Revolution discussed how Google will integrate itself into this new area of search. The article quotes the unofficial Google System blog as saying that a real-time search service from Google would most likely deliver results sorted by relevancy that could integrate into Google's main results page. According to Revolution, Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has made it clear that Google is interested in the growth and potential of live search.

At the recent Zeitgeist Europe, Google co-founder Larry Page said, "People really want to do stuff in real-time and they [Twitter] have done a great job about it. We will do a good job of things now we have these examples."

In an update to their article Revolution also had the following statement from Google:

"At Google we strive to connect people to all the world's information, and this includes information that's frequently updated such as news sites, blogs and real-time sources. While we don't have anything to announce today, real-time information is important, and we're looking at different ways to use this information to make Google more useful to our users."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Augmented Reality Top 10

I spotted this great article on Brand Republic listing Alex Smith's (of Zed Media) top 10 examples of Augmented Reality. Most of them have been covered here on Digitology but there are a few quality examples that you should check out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggers Report Robot Sightings

A digital campaign has launched to promote 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen', which is based around two 'blogs' carrying stories of sightings of giant robots around the globe. The two blogs, The Real Effing Deal and Giant Effing Robots, are both conspiracy style sites, informing the public of the hidden truth about these strange giant robots. The sites feature regular blog posts, imagery and video footage of "transforming" robot sightings across the world.

The videos are really well done and show a host of locations such as Tokyo, Berlin, Barcelona and the UK. There is also one brilliant video of a robot sighting at the Champion's League final in Rome.

The campaign has been produced by Rubber Republic for Paramount Pictures and is being promoted worldwide. The blogs are supposedly run by characters from the film. Rubber Republic say that "the overall objective of the campaign is to allow fans to get more involved in the film's back story and find out what has happened since the first instalment".

Heath Tyldesley, marketing director for Paramount Pictures International, said: "Extending the narrative of the film into the real world prior to a film's release is a great way of building buzz and awareness among fans and viewers, rewarding them for their engagement with the first film. Directors are really embracing broadening the platforms of the films narrative to include the web and Michael Bay is no exception."

Matt Golding, creative director at Rubber Republic, said: "These clips not only take the world of the film into new spaces where fans can engage online, but also provide additional content around the film driving awareness of the release."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Microsoft $10k Give-Away

It seems that Microsoft Australia have really decided to go after Firefox's growing marketshare. In a rather intering online campaign, MS are offering (AUS)$10,000 to one lucky person who finds where the cash is "buried" on the internet.

The campaign has been activated from Microsoft's own site (http://www.microsoft.com/australia/ie8/competition/) but users have to follow Microsoft on Twitter (@tengrand_IE8) for clues to find the money. However, they have to do it with Internet Explorer 8! The site states:

"But you'll never find it using old Firefox.
(So get rid of it, or get lost.)"

Interestingly there is a dialogue box on the Microsoft site that is not viewable through Firefox, so users are forced to use Internet Explorer 8 to see any content there. Obviously Twitter works perfectly through Firefox, leading me to question their use of the micro-blogging site. Obviously it makes sense to "fish where the fishes are" (as someone I greatlty respect often says) but at the same time, if the entire campaign is driven to use Internet Explorer 8 instead of Firefox, surely they could have based everything through the Microsoft site?

Cheers to Gav for passing this on to me.

- - - - - Update - - - - -

Lukasz in work directed me to this site...

It's from a Mozilla Linguist and Coder, Mitcho. Clever! Check him out here or follow him on Twitter.

Win a House on Twitter

Back in 2007, Channel 4's 'Grand Designs' featured a house in Cheltenham owned by Tim Bawtree. Tim's £800,000 house failed to sell and soon after the airing property prices in the UK started falling. Faced with no certain turn-around on the current market, Tim decided to give the house away. Honestly.

Tim's plan is to link a microsite for the house to a Twitter account and generate enough traffic to sell ads on the site to raise £820,000 to cover the price of the house (and all costs) and allow a donation to 'Help for Heroes'.

Ads on his site are being sold for £100 a block, and Tim needs 90% of the blocks to be bought for the give-away to be activated.

The winner will be chosen at random from Tim's Twitter followers

Tim said: "Similar things have been done, but there was no hook. The hook here is that people can win a house for free, which will drive traffic from Twitter to the home page."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


According to a Brand Republic article, a new Search Engine is about to launch specifically aimed at orthodox Jews. The Search Engine, named Koogle, will allow orthodox Jews to search the net without breaking any Torah commandments. The site has been designed to meet guidelines provided by orthodox rabbis and will ensure that no sexually explicit material is shown.

The site will be Hebrew language based, offer a filter for ultra-orthodox Jews (so cannot have things such as TVs in their homes), and will not allow any activity on the Sabbath.

The name 'Koogle' comes from Google and the traditional Jewish dish 'kugel'.

36% of all Advertising will be Online Advertising by 2013

In a report on the British Entertainment and Media Market, PricewaterhouseCooper have concluded that 36% of all advertising will be made up of Online Advertising by 2013. Although these are UK based predictions, the figures indicate an almost 100% increase in Online Advertising spends in just 4 years. This follows an April report from PricewaterhouseCooper that showed UK Online Advertising expenditure had grown by 17.1% year on year in 2008 to £3.35bn, an increase of £540m compared to 2007. This was a growth from 15.5% to 19.2% of total UK ad expenditure.

Phil Stokes, the leader of the entertainment and media practice at Price Waterhouse Coopers, said:
"We anticipate fundamental structural change in many of the business models across E&M sectors to happen imminently. Perhaps surprisingly, a slowing economy will accelerate the migration to digital technologies among both providers and consumers of content, meaning the industry that went into the recession is very different from the one to emerge the other side. Segments will have to consolidate, the least loyal customers have already left, higher quality products will be valued by both consumers and advertisers, and digital distribution will have become mainstream -- commanding fees more in line with its value. For each of the industry's diverse segments, the winners will be those who focus on driving and leading change which delivers real value for consumers."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tampax: ZackJohnson16

This is an odd one for sure. In fact it's beyond odd, I'm surprised that Proctor & Gamble were able to be convinced that this was a good idea. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying it is a bad idea. I'm just surprised that the Brand Manager on this campaign was willing to go down this route. Seriously good move on thier part - forward thinking, risky and definitely leading edge!

The new Proctor & Gamble Tampax campaign is based around 16 year old Zack Johnson. Zack has the mis-fortune to wake up one morning missing his 'boy parts'. Instead Zack has 'girl-parts' and doesn't know what to do. Things get even worse for poor Zack when 9 days later he gets his period.

The campaign utilises online short video interviews with Zacks family and friends, a video-blog, a blog and a micro-blogging feed, all brought through a dedicated microsite. The campaign is not branded with P&G or Tampax but does feature regular mentions of Tampax products from the point that Zack gets his period.

The first episode of Zack's blog already has 6,036 views on YouTube, and his Twitter profile has 973 followers.

Vodafone Twitter-Google Maps Mashup

Vodafone UK have launched a great Twitter and Google Maps mashup that lets users tweet where they’re going on holiday and have it automatically appear on their microsite map. The site also gives a trend analysis of what users are talking about in relation to their holidays.

Users just have to drop the '#ukhols' hashtag, their age, the first half of their postcode and where they're going into a tweet. All of this comes from the same guy that developed the #uksnow hashtag system that allowed users to tweet their post code and amount of snow, to create a truely accurate snowfall map, Ben Marsh.

The whole campaign is designed to promote Vodafone's drop in roaming charges this summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vodafone: Mission Magic

Vodafone NZ have just launched their latest digital campaign to promote their HTC Magic phones. The campaign, called “Mission Magic“, is a treasure hunt being run across the entire country, offering users the chance to win one of 20 HTC Magic phones. From next Friday, 19th June, users have to figure out clues about the phone locations, and they can also subscribe to additional clues by text. Using an onsite interactive Google map, users track campaign progress and can see where and when a phone has been found. On top of the phone, winners get tickets and flights to Auckland for the Black & White Magic party on the 24th June.

In conjunction with the microsite and txt based prizes, The Rock radio station is also giving away a phone each day between today and Friday

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Galactic Center of Milky Way

I Stumbledupon this great video of the 'Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party'. I love how fluid the stars look. This gives a real sense of how the every star moves independently of each other, while still having an impact on each other. Perhaps it's just the geek in me, but this is totally cool!

Contagious on Display Advertising

I was pretty surprised to read this article in Contagious about Display Advertising. Chris Kempt-Salt, MD and founder of Kempt, talks about the future of display advertising and how he sees the market changing.

Chris states that "display advertising online is doomed. Users don’t notice it, click-through rates are poor and I hear that even advertisers are wising up and spends are falling fast."

I understand that Chris is coming from a UK point of view but I don't see there being very much of a difference between the UK and Ireland, and I think he's completely wrong. While he does go on to clarify his position, and says that it's all a case of there being too much advertising online, I still find myself coming back to his statement that clickthrough rates are poor and spends are falling. I would say nothing is further from the truth. On at least 4 of the last 5 advertising campaigns I've worked on, the CTRs have not only exceeded industry standards but have done so by 350% to 500%. I see CTRs going up, I see conversions increasing, and I see spends growing. Display advertising isn't just alive, but it's well and truely kicking.

One thing that I do agree with Chris on is his analysis of display advertising density. Chris takes the example of FHM.com and how display advertising features on a typical page. On a typical page there could be three different ad positions: banner, skyscraper and an MPU sitting around a 300 to 400 word article. This translates to the following:

  • Above the fold on a 1024x768 screen, the content takes up 195930 pixels while the ad positions take up 143340 pixels
  • That equals 42% of the combined area being used for ads
  • Consider that TV advertising in the UK is restricted to seven minutes of advertising per hour (11%)
  • In the US, television uses 27% of airtime for advertising
Those are crazy stats. 42% is a huge amount of space. However, I don't think that it's correct to compare online display advertising to tv. They're not the same, at all. If instead you consider press advertising, the figures are an awful lot more similar. I just picked up a glossy film magazine and at least 35%/40% of the entire thing is advertising.

So what does it all mean?

My experience is that display advertising is not dead or dying, and as for the amount of space used - I don't have a majot issue at all. The death of online display ads will only come through a lack of creativity and innovation from advertisers. Push boundries, use AR, incorporate games and interactive engagements, or simply create stunning visuals. Advertising is built on innovation and creativity, when they die, advertising will die.

Live Display Ads

A really interesting advertising campaign from SOL in Norway. Essentially copywriters monitor site content within a live environment and create comments and illustrations in real time. To give the whole thing a personal touch, everything is presented in a handwritten style, copy and drawings.

Thanks to Claire for passing this on.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Numa Numa on 'American Idle'

Gary Brolsma decided to give 'American Idle' a go!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Interactive Display Ads

Spotted these two ads from Burger King advertising thei new late night opening. Fun and engaging for a fastfood chain. Worth a look.

Augmented Reality: Shopping for Glasses

It would seem that the new buzz tool in town is Augmented Reality. Yesterday we had a great mobile shooter game, last week we had the music video and the week before the Papa John's Camero AR experience. So what next? Well yesterday evening I spotted this cool AR app from the guys at Glasses Direct.

This is also extremely practical (as demonstrated by several people in the office who immediately emailed around themselves in stylish new frames!).

Basically, Glasses Direct, a company who sell prescription glasses online, have launched an augmented reality app that is designed to help users choose the right pair of glasses. By accessing their Glasses Direct Video Mirror, users use their webcam to watch a live video of themselves wearing any of the available glasses on the site. Nifty! So in full 3D you can see how the glasses suit you without having to get up from your pc.

Using facial recognition software, the app places a virtual pair of glasses on your face. Then you can move your head around and see the glasses from every angle. You can also use their app to post your picture to Facebook to get friends' opinions on your new frames.

The app was created by FittingBox.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Viral Video of a Viral Dance

Cheers to my mate Nick who sent this to me. You have to watch the whole thing, and note the growing enthusiasm that people have to get involved as the whole thing builds. Just brilliant.

Mobile Augmented Reality Game

Unfortunately the voice-over is terrible, but the application looks awesome. Admittedly it seems somewhat basic but none-the-less I can see great potential.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Arnie Wants The World Cup

The Californian governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has launched himself onto the Social Media circuit to bolster the Californian bid for the Fifa World Cup in 2018 or 2022. As the newest member of the board of directors for the USA Bid Committee, Schwarzenegger has created a video message in support of the committees preparation to apply to get the Fifa World Cup back to the USA.

Schwarzenegger says, "Soccer is the world's most popular sport and California has been home to some of its most exciting games, and I am proud to be a part of bringing the World Cup back to the United States."

Eight other countries have formally declared their intent to host the Fifa World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Interestingly, Schwarzenegger revealed his new role on Twitter.

The Black (Pixel) Truth

Here is a great article from Nick Burcher, discussing the reality of black screens vs. white screens when it comes to energy consumption.

Greenpeace Brazil: Black Pixel Project

Greenpeace Brazil have just launched a great new campaign called ”Black Pixel Project” to promote the energy saving potential of turning off a single pixel on your computer screen. The campaign, which has been created by Almap BBDO, is based on users installing a simple little program that creates a single black pixel over all the windows on your monitors. For convenience the pixel can be moved around. Users also have the option to view real time stats about how many people are using the program and how much energy is being saved.

The campaign objective is to show that for every pixel installed, a few watts of power are saved. Unfortunately it doesn't work on LCDs, only CRTs and Plasmas.

Facebook Username

I got an interesting email from Facebook this evening to inform me that from 13 June Facebook will allow users to choose a username for their Facebook account. In their own words, this will allow you "to easily direct friends, family, and coworkers to your profile."

To choose your username just go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ any time after 05:01 on 13 June.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pix.ie Photo Upload Record

Pix.ie is one of those services that works in every way. With a clean, fast and easy to operate interface, combined with an excellent backend system, Pix.ie proves that not only are there alternatives to Flickr, ImageShack and Photobucket, but they're Irish! To cement their position as the best photo hosting service around, Pix.ie recently set itself the daunting task of achieving the fastest upload of any amount of photos to a single website. The event was developed in conjunction with the WDC-sponsored (Western Development Commission) competition being run on the site. The competition called for users to upload photos taken during the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival.

Although the competition doesn't close until this Thursday, 11th June, Pix.ie have already smashed the record for uploads with 10,140 photos from the Volvo Ocean Race Festival already uploaded to the site. The overall photo competition offers users the chance to win a host of prizes, including top-of-the-range digital camera equipment worth €1,500.

Pix.ie has run the record attempt in conjunction with the WDC to promote the West of Ireland internationally.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Original Social Networking Site

A rather bizarre ad that I've seen in several different places over the weekend. Coleman's set themselves up as the 'Original Social Networking Site' in a rather poor play on the word 'site'?? This is perhaps the worst example I've seen of anyone jumping on the Social Media bandwagon that has started to emerge. In my opinion the only thing going for this ad is the fantastic Sam Elliot type voice-over, and even that's only because I'm a fan of The Dude.

Do let me clarify my 'Social Media bandwagon' comment. I believe strongly in Social Media and in the various other ways that Web2.0 has driven collaborative, convergent social interaction, but the fact that something can be successfully used in marketing does not mean that it MUST be used. This is a place it did not need to be used!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's Better to Mix Things Up!

I love this ad, and I've been meaning to post it up for some time simply due to it's hilarity. Anyways I saw it three times this weekend so I took it as a sign!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Orange: Spot the Bull

Orange have launched their latest digital campaign, which offers visitors to the campaign microsite a chance to win tickets to Glastonbury. So what do you have to do win these much sought prizes?

Just spot the bull. Seriously.

Orange present a digital representation of a real field, a live webcam of said field, and a graphic representation of their bull, Desmond. There is also a slidable timeline at the bottom, of the screen that allows you to see where Desmond has been in the field throughout the day. Then all you have to do is pick one of the squares that the field has been divided up into.

Genius stuff - simple, easy to understand, easy to play, highly addictive and by its nature a huge draw on return traffic.

As you can see, the site is minimally branded and requires little concentration to see exactly what is happening, and what has to be done. The draw takes place every day at 3pm and visitors are free to make their guesses up to 2pm.

The site also has a cool loader (below), and I love when people go to the trouble of doing something a little different and rememberable with their loaders. The little details like that make a site for me.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mad Avenue Blues

An absolutely hilarious 'must watch' video for anyone involved in marketing, media or advertising. Brilliant work!

Dutch Display Ads

For Some Reason Facebook thinks I'm Dutch and keeps showing me Dutch ads. Funny thing is I kinda like them.

These two Heineken ads are stupidly simple but extremely eye-catching.

Then on the other hand, you have these two Vodafone ads. A lot more going on, with a huge amount of interactivity, but all of it geared towards a direct response online sale. Brilliant work - take the website and bring it to the customer.

Facebook + Election Canditate = Problems

This was covered fairly extensively in some of the National press but a lot of people seemed to miss the story entirely. Don't get me wrong, if this was an ordinary Joe Public I'd be the last to republish the story, but they're not, and I feel that this is a prime example of the pitfalls that the unsuspecting can encounter when it comes to Social Media.

Emma Kiernan, one of Fine Gael's rising young stars found herself in a spot of bother when a photo of Ms. Kiernan out with some friends hit the press. I don't think there's much to say, it's all fairly obvious. If you're running for election, at any level, bear in mind who is taking your photo, and what you're doing in that photo.

The stupid thing is, that in the grand scheme of things, this is a completely harmless and innocent picture. In my honest opinion all it does is show that she's twenty-something girl who goes out and has a bit of fun with her mates. She's not obviously drunk. She's not smoking or doing anything illegal. Seriously, I don't really see an problems. In fact if this was the worst picture that anyone had of you, I'd be pretty happy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Augmented Reality Music Video

This is definitely a new one for me! Really cool idea.

The Beatles: Rock Band

My love of Guitar Hero and Rock Band is no secret, and I've posted about both before. Forget all of it - everything that went before. Those games folk have truly done it this time!

The Beatles: Rock Band

Basically every song is amazing. You will know every song, be able to sing to every song, and if you can play a real guitar then you can probably play some of the songs. This is the music game for everyone. This is the game that gives you the chance to become the greatest band that ever was. Experience the Beatles’ rise to fame, as four English lads took on the world and won! Become the band and make music history.

Whether you play as John, Paul, George or Ringo, this game will blow your socks off. The real fun, however, come when you get your mates around. This will be the first game to offer harmonies, custom-built models of the instruments and awesome graphics that document the key moments in Beatle history.

Confirmed songs include:

  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • I Feel Fine
  • Day Tripper
  • Taxman
  • I Am The Walrus
  • Back In The U.S.S.R.
  • Octopus’s Garden
  • Here Comes The Sun
  • Get Back

And this is the amazing intro video for the game:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tories Launch Facebook App

I'll admit, the idea intrigues me. However, I'll also admit that I had the same idea last Christmas when brainstorming a campaign I was working on at the time. Get people to donate their Facebook statuses or Tweets. Simple and yet the immediate potential to reach hundreds upon hundreds of people. Certainly interesting to say the least.

Well, in the run up to the European elections, the British Conservative Party has launched a new Facebook App and is asking its supporters to donate their Facebook statuses. The application allows the party to takeover your status and feed in its own message. Obviously all campaign orientated. At the same time, users can still update their statuses manually.

This is just the latest example of the Tory party moving online and capitalising on the cost-effectiveness of digital media. They have also recently used Google AdWords (PPC) to target searches relating to MPs expenses, and David Cameron has participated in Q&A sessions via CoveritLive and Twitter.

To counter all this online activity, the Labour has launched a website, cameronsconservatives.co.uk, to bolster their on-going campaign theme that David Cameron will cut public spending. However, all-in-all, the Labour party has focused far less attention online then their opposition.

This is the video that Labour produced:

Worst Job in the World

One of Brazil's most popular job sites, Emprego Certo, has just launched a new online campaign to highlight their service. Here we are shown the horrible story of a man whose occupation is not regulated, has no union, doesn’t allow weekends off and makes him work up to 14 hours day.

Shocking stuff.....

1930's Fashion Predictions for the Year 2000

Not sure it's worth saying anything - just have a look.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chinese Government Blocks Twitter

News broke today that the Chinese government has begun blocking access to social networking sites such as Twitter, Flickr and Blogger in the aproach to the June 4th 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Since last Tuesday, Chinese people started reporting sudden outages in web services. The problems were found on both the sites themselves and through third party applications.

Strangely enough, many Chinese people don't even comment on these types of outages due to the regularity with which the government controls/changes access to social networking websites in the lead up to politically sensitive dates.

D-Day 65 Online

The Royal British Legion has enveiled their new site, www.dday65.org.uk, created by The Gate. The site is geared towards this Saturday's D-Day remembrance activities, and allows visitors to plant a virtual flag on a Google map of the Normandy beaches, with an accompanying message. The online activity will mirror the offline activities that will take place on the beaches themselves. Interestingly, users that plant a flag will recieve an email with the necessary link/embed code to add 'their flag' to a number of different social networking profiles.