Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Snapchat's Spectacles, and the move to Hardware



Snapchat has announced that they are releasing a video camera, called 'Spectacles', and shaped like...  you guessed it.

I think it's a great move, and very much in keeping with Snapchat as a fun brand.  You can imagine them being a bit hit at a party, a wedding, on holiday or whatever.  They record 10 or 30 second video clips which can then be shared to a phone via Bluetooth and then uploaded, so it sounds like they're shareable - i.e. you could buy a couple of pairs for people to much about with (at $130 a pair).

It reminds me a bit of the Flip video camera - it's a fun, single use device that is 'good enough' to be fun, rather than a high spec product.  Let's see how these sell.

It also raises the question of what hardware would other software companies produce?

Amazon made the Kindle, and then moved on to the Kindle Fire tablet, the Fire Stick, and now the Echo and Dash buttons, which are ultimately all about making shopping easier.

Google has now made phones, and maybe most interestingly, the Chromecast, which is all about accessing content, or sharing content.  Oh, and their car.

What would Facebook make?  (The Facebook phone has often been rumoured)

What would Instagram make?

What would Twitter make?

How about WhatsApp?

What about Slack?

Pinterest?

Spotify?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Krispy Kreme's 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' Giveaway on Snapchat


I love this - sadly I think it's happening in the US only.

This campaign will run on 29th September, to tie in with the bizarre 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' which was created in 1995:

"In celebration of Talk Like a Pirate Day, which falls on September 19 this year, Krispy Kreme is inviting customers to dress up in their finest pirate gear to receive one dozen free original glazed doughnuts. Qualifying costumes must include three pirate-themed items, such as a bandana or eye patch.

If individuals do not own such gear, they can simply visit a Krispy Kreme store to access the chain’s custom Snapchat geofilter, which can be used to digitally adorn their outfits.

The filter features a pirate hat, parrot and sword.

Consumers must then show their Snapchat selfie with the accompanying filter to any in-store associate to receive a free set of a dozen original doughnuts."


I think it's a great use of both location (you've got to be in a Krispy Kreme to get the filter), couponing (one of the first give-aways I've heard of on Snapchat), and you can bet that the pics are going to be shared far and wide, as will pics of people eating the free donuts!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Apple - Don't Blink

A great summary of their iPhone 7 (& Apple Watch) launch




Those headphones are going to be endlessly amusing though...


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slash Football's The Last 5

This is a great example of Facebook Live Video.  Slash Football, the football community, are going live every Saturday afternoon at 5pm (UK time) to talk through the football results.  Like they do on TV, but with panel members who are less 'TV'

(Starts about 3 minutes in)


Plus, there's a definite reason why it is live - pre-recorded just wouldn't work.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Twitter and Sports Rights

This Twitter Moment from yesterday gives an example of what Twitter is turning into, with their recent sports rights deals - a video platform that is the place to go to catch up (legally) with the latest action.



I'm sure as a twitter poster 99% of my tweets will still be text, links, and pics, but as a twitter user, I'll be watching more and more videos.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Deliveroo feeds the Pokemon Go players in London


Seemingly everyone is playing (& talking about) Pokemon Go

It's not yet possible to buy locations in the UK - although it will come soon, and McDonalds has paid for 'Gyms' to be located at 3,000 of its restaurants in Japan - but some companies are using guerrilla tactics to capitalise on the craze.



For example, Deliveroo, the food delivery people, are taking out food to popular gyms, and giving it out to players when they tweet the #GottaFeedEmAll hashtag - with a different restaurant each day



See some happy customers here:



& here




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Shell's Fill Up & Go app

This is a really good example of a brand app that is useful.



Lots of parents fill up at petrol stations, then go in to the kiosk to pay, while leaving their kids alone in the car (which is technically illegal)

The Fill Up & Go app lets you scan a QR code on the pump, fill up, and pay through your phone, which has been told by the pump how much fuel you have used.  Payment is via Apple Pay or Paypal.

Very smart!  More here

Friday, July 01, 2016

Fifteen of my favourites from Cannes 2016

This year I was lucky enough to go to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

It's the first time I've been, and it was a great week.  There were lots of interesting talks, meetings, installations and more.  So many people seem to have been there, and it's always strange to unexpectedly bump into people you know from home when you're abroad, especially at midnight at a party, or walking along the street, but clearly at Cannes this is the normal state of affairs.

Here are fifteen of the best things I saw, either around and about at Cannes, or in competition (although to be honest I watched those online back in London...).  I've tried to steer away from the more famous ones like #OptOutside.

Life Saving Stickers - I love simple ideas, and this one, making life-sized stickers that look like kids to stick onto wheelie bins is great.



Tata - Dipper Condoms - Trucks in India have the slogan 'Use Dipper at Night' to remind drivers to dip their headlights.  But Tata trucks took this as their inspiration to create a condom brand called Dippers to reduce levels of sexual disease among truck drivers



There was lots of VR on display - I really liked Samsung's Maison Samsung which had lots of things you could try out

A photo posted by dancall (@dancall) on

The Second Scoreboard - A campaign in Costa Rica put a second scoreboard on the TV during football matches - showing how many domestic violence events had been recorded during the match.  A great way to raise awareness among likely perpetrators.

The Second Scoreboard from J. Walter Thompson Costa Rica on Vimeo.

We held an all woman panel - and it wasn't to talk about diversity, more about the use of data within marketing.


BMW - Animal detecting billboards - Billboards on windy roads that used video cameras with night vision to show what animals had strayed onto the roads ahead.



Grab a seat – it’s Pimms O’Clock - Also using live posters - time time using beacons to see which local beer gardens had spaces, and putting the information onto digital poster sites



Legoland Dollars - Lego produced a physical currently for kids to spend at its resorts, and managed to get the dollars sold at foreign exchange desks in airports, including an entry on the foreign exchange display board



Lots of media owners did stunts - I really liked the 'Pinterest in Real Life' with tips for what to do in and out of Cannes



Clever Kash – ASB knew that parents didn't always have loose change for pocket money so they made a physical piggy bank that could be topped up via an app.



Pink Ribbon - Check it before it’s removed – It's against Facebook's Ts&cs to put pictures of bare breasts on the site, so Pink Ribbon posted pics of to highlight how women had to check their breasts before they were removed too.  A very bold campaign.



Donate the bars - Another campaign that used features of a media property - in this case people who took vertical videos and uploaded them to YouTube were able to donate the blank black bars on either side to charity campaigns



Verizon in Minecraft - Verizon actually built a working cell tower in Minecraft, giving connectivity to phones



Toyota Landcruiser Emergency Network - There were several campaigns based around creating a movement (for example the more famous The Swedish Number).  This one allowed Australian Toyota Landcruiser owners to form their own mobile network to spread safety alerts in areas of low connectivity.



There weren't many (any?) chatbots - there will be best year - but a local taxi company was using Messenger as a way of booking

A photo posted by dancall (@dancall) on


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Snickers HUNGERithm



I love this example from Snickers in Australia, which coincidentally uses two of my trends for this year, sentiment analysis and dynamic pricing.

The Snickers HUNGERithmithm analyses the sentiment of Twitter in Australia, and the more unhappy the mood becomes, the cheaper Snickers bars get at 7/11 stores.

Users just have to click on the button on the Hungerithm page of the Australian website, which then prints a money off coupon for a bar.



More here

Friday, May 27, 2016

Some thoughts on Live Video


Last weekend Candace Payne's 'Chewbacca Mask' video acheived over 100mm views on Facebook.

It's the first Facebook Live video to do this - but very few will have seen it 'live'

'Live' refers to the way it was uploaded - no editing, no enhancement.  Live is now the simplest way to upload video to Facebook (& YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat etc) - just open the app and shoot away.

The speed is extraordinary.  It his 100m in about 48 hours, I think.  By comparison Adele's Hello hit 23m views in 24 hours, and Psy's Gentleman (the follow up to Gangnam Style) took 4 days to reach 100m views in 2013, at that time the fastest ever video to 100m.

I suspect that Facebook put quite a lot of muscle behind this once they realised that it was so viral, and did a lot to help it get to 100m, including PR and more.

I also think it shows that Facebook is now the best place for a certain sort of video, better than YouTube, because it can reach so many people so quickly.

I think it also opens up lots of creative opportunities for using live video that is actually 'live' - think about what sort of times everyone will be looking at Facebook at the same time.  How about (in England) right after England's first Euro 2016 game?  Lots of people will go to Facebook to discuss the result (or look for distraction) and it would be a great place to respond immediately to what has just happened.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Louis CK's Horace & Pete


One of the things that really winds me up is the lack of decent original content on YouTube.  Yes, there are the vloggers, but as far as I can see they're the new Kids' TV.  I don't know anyone who watches them, apart from young kids.  While they get lots of views, and as a result lots of press coverage, they're only influential to a small group of people - kids.  Some of the people who are currently vloggers will go on to do other things when they're older - kids TV examples include Richard Bacon, Ant and Dec, and even Jeremy Irons - but I suspect many won't.

I quite often hear people at YouTube talking about all the great content, but they can never recommend anything that I'd want to watch.  If I watch something longer than 5 minutes on YouTube it's probably an old documentary, for example one of Adam Curtis' early ones that some public spirited soul has uploaded.

By contrast, I'm spoilt for choice with great podcasts - Marc Maron's WTF, The Nerdist, Adam Buxton, ReplyAll, Scroobius Pip's Distraction Pieces, RHLSTP, Tech Tent, Talking TV...  There's so much great stuff out there.  It's easier to do audio only at a budget.  These podcasts are usually enthusiasts talking to each other, which works fine in audio, and don't need much in the way of production.  They also don't compete with my TV viewing - Night Manager, Line of Duty etc - because I listen when I'm cooking, when I'm on the train etc.

It's now looking like there might be more independent video aimed at an older age group.  Since January, Louis CK has been filming and releasing episodes of his new show Horace & Pete on his site.  It's a sitcom set in a bar, but more inspired by Abigail's Party than Cheers, and stars Louis and Steve Buscemi as the eponymous characters.

Apparently it cost $500,000 per episode to make, and it's being sold for $5 an episode on Louis's site, or $31 for all ten episodes. (remember that he pioneered the direct sale of his own stand-up film 5 years ago).  It was 'dropped' an episode at a time from the start of the year, via an email to site subscribers.  It's also likely to be on Netflix or HBO at some point - Louis has the rights to licence it to other people.

It's not a very replicable example - Louis is a big star - but it's interesting to see him making stuff for online release, like Jerry Seinfeld does - with sponsorship - with Comedians in Cars.  Maybe if the audiences and advertising grows, and the costs of production come down, lots of my favourite podcasts could become web series, or develop new formats more suited to being watched rather than being listened to.

In the meantime, please tell me what great original content I should be watching on YouTube!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Volvo's Thumb Drive on Instagram

Touch the screen to drive the car on Instagram

A video posted by Volvo Car USA (@volvocarusa) on

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