Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Amazon's 1 Hour Delivery Comes to London

Available to Prime members only, for a £6.99 fee, and for orders of £20 and over only.  It always begs the question of how many things do you need that urgently, but these days we're more spontaneous, forgetful and impatient, so maybe the answer is 'lots of things'

More here

Monday, June 29, 2015

Beats 1 & Exclusive Content

Beats 1, Apple's free streaming radio service, launches tomorrow.  Here's a trailer for it:

This looks pretty good - people having fun in a radio studio, making stuff that you can't find anywhere else, a bit like all the best radio stations do, but this time globally.

The line-up of shows looks imaginative too - Zane Lowe, poached from the BBC, Dr Dre's Pharmacy, and even Elton John's Rocket Hour, a mix of old and new tunes.

It's kind of like the BBC's 6 Music but for a younger, more hip hop audience.  It feels a bit like when new TV stations launched in the 90s - for example British Satellite Broadcasting, which had lots of experimental shows, that pretty much no one could see.

But this time anyone with an iOS device can theoretically listen, so it's going to be really interesting to see how it develops.  Remember that the Beats 1 radio service is the free product to lure people in to subscribe to the streaming service.

I've occasionally wondered why there isn't a successful music version of Netflix - making its own premium content, completely paid for - and I think the reason is that we attach more value to content we watch rather than listen to.

Beats 1 seems to be taking the 'premium, rare content' idea and really pushing it.  Tidal is also doing the same thing, but radio shows seems like a better way to do it than occasional exclusive tracks that will immediately get pirated.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Haribo Minions

Apropos of nothing this is quite inspired...

See also - The HariboMinions

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Personalised Promoted Tweets

It seems that you can personalise Promoted Tweets, and Coke is the first brand to do it.

It's a great way to promote the new set of personalised Coca Cola bottles.  There is, obviously, lots of scope for getting this wrong - machines can interpret two words as a first name and surname - but I haven't seen any examples of this going wrong.

More here

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Apple Music - The History of Sound

Apple has produced this lovely ad to promote the launch of Apple Music.

I think the battle between Apple and Spotify (& Google and others) for music streaming will be very interesting.

Apple is striking its own path - no free level, and curated radio, appealing to the more creative and richer end of the market.  I think their idea of curation is very interesting, hiring Zane Lowe and others from the BBC, and letting them make shows and pick music.

Spotify, on the other hand, is all about big data, and trying to use your past choices and the context you're in (time of day, location) to suggest music to you.  Google will I'm sure do similar things when they properly launch their YouTube music offering.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Ten Years of YouTube - an A-Z

YouTube has produced this to mark their tenth birthday.

Some are obvious - A is for Animals, G is for Gangnam - but M is for Memes, R is for React, and X for Xperiments.

& well done to Old Spice on being the 'O'!

PS - there's something quite magical 1 minute 36 seconds in.

Plus - There's a game to play here - test your knowledge of classic videos

Friday, May 29, 2015

Vertical Video

One of the most unlikely trends over the past couple of years has been the rise of vertical video - that is, video shot to be viewed vertically, rather than horizontally.

It's come about through the smartphone being overwhelmingly the main method of taking both photos and videos, and people being more comfortable holding the phone as they would normally rather than turn to to shoot in landscape mode.

This chart, from Mary Meeker's most recent Internet Trends presentation shows the rise of time spent with screens that are generally viewed vertically.

At first vertical videos looked a bit ridiculous - and they still do on YouTube.  But with lots of ways of viewing vertically, most notably Snapchat and Periscope vertical video has now found its place.  Snapchat is now persuading brands to make vertical video - users are watching 2bn videos a day - and I'm sure someone will enter a vertical movie to Sundance before too long.  (There have already been episodes of TV shows filmed on phones).

Horizontal video is generally professionally produced, with high production values, and often made for big screens - anything from film blockbusters down to music videos, to TV, to videos you made on traditional digital cameras

Vertical video is generally amateur, user-generated content, and produced exclusively for mobile and on mobiles.

Each has its natural expectations associated with the form, but within this there's scope for expectations to be confounded.

(Instagram and Vine get around this by being square formats, of course)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Food pictures, and unintended consequences

I take food pics.  You take food pics.  Lots of us take food pics.  I'm such a food pic geek that when I order at some places I ask them to 'make me a photogenic one'...

(I even know a cake company who directs you to their Instagram page when you want to order something from them)

So as a pretty logical, and a good example of 'thinking 6 moves ahead' that Chili's restaurant in the US should tweak its menu items and change ingredients so that the food looks more photogenic.

"Chili’s recently committed to making its food more “shareable.” No, they’re not further increasing the size of their portions. Rather, they’re spending millions to make their food look more photogenic.

Nearly a million dollars for an egg wash to give its buns a photogenic glaze, that “glistens,” to use an adjective from Wyman Roberts, CEO of Chili’s' parent company, Brinker International. A new way of stacking ribs to look better in photos. Sexy stainless steel baskets to fetchingly hold its fries."

You can see some examples on Chili's Instagram account here

I love this example.  I love the ridiculousness but also the logic of it.  But mostly I love how it's rooted in a mass experience, because this is how smartphones have changed the world - fundamentally, but in lots of unintended ways

Watching Paint Dry on Periscope

Every agency that has a DIY or paint client must be kicking themselves - Glidden Paint used Periscope to let people 'watch paint dry' over several hours, complete with a competition to win free paint

They've archived it on YouTube - it looks like it took an hour for each coat to dry:

Brilliant in it's simplicity, and presumably very easy and cheap to do...  I'm not saying that it will have sold much paint, but I'd never heard of Gliddens before now.

More here


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Simple Infographics

A nice simple infographic used by Sky Sports in a promoted tweet

Monday, May 18, 2015

Teasing Taylor Swift's Bad Blood video on Instagram

One of the main trends in 'content' is that people want so much of it.  It's no longer enough for brands to put out occasional ads, pictures and videos, if people like them, people are hungry for lots of things to keep them amused.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in music and celebrity.  One example of this is how Taylor Swift teased her recent Bad Blood video, which was finally released at last night's Billboard Music Awards and to Vevo.

The video is a high production value number, with Taylor as a superhero, Catastrophe, with appearances from the guest star on the song, Kendrick Lamar, plus lots of other celebrities like Lena Dunham, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne and more,

During the two week lead up to the release, pics of the guest start were teased on Taylor Swift's Instagram, each getting around 1 million likes.

It's important to do a series of pics on Instagram, as all content is shown as it appears, like Twitter, rather than through an algorithm, like Facebook, so it's easy to miss stuff.  By posting about 20 times, it increases the chances that each of the 30m followers will see at least one or two.

The stars also posted the pics on their own Instagram - for example Cara here

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kit Kat's YouTube Voice Search

This summer KitKat is being temporarily re-branded as YouTube Break supposedly to celebrate the joint anniversaries of YouTube's tenth birthday, and KitKat's 80th.

What's especially interesting about this partnership is that it includes a voice search element - if you say the words 'KitKat YouTube my break' on an Android phone, then it takes you to a specially curated selection of 4 tending videos from YouTube.

It almost feels like the 'AOL Keyword' footers that used to appear on posters over ten years ago, but it's a very clever thing for YouTube to be able to sell to clients!

Full details here

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