Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some thoughts about the iPad

The iPad launched last week - here are a few initial thoughts:

It's for consumption, not creation. It's a big version of the iPod Touch, not the iPhone. Perfect for watching stuff on, with some other functiuonality like email, but not a computer. But... Most people don't need a computer. Whenever I travel I see lots of families taking laptops on holiday with them (I see this when they go through security). The iPad is for them.

They'll sell lots to businesses. Imagine if everyone in First Class & Business on an aeroplane got one of them instead of the usual in flight entertainment options. Or if you were offered one for an extra £10 in economy, when you booked.

Newspapers and magazines will be able to develop really engaging content, which is much more visual then the current versions. Allow people to subscribe like podcasts but for a fee. Remember this video that was doing the rounds before Christmas?

Think what The Sun could do, or Heat. Or The Economist.

Steve Jobs' Issey Miyake sweater

Apropos of nothing I love this story recounted by John Lassiter of Disney about his friend Steve Jobs, in yesterday's Financial Times:

“He found this one really great black turtleneck which he loved – I think it was Issey Miyaki [sic] – so tried to buy another one and they didn’t have any more. He called the company and asked if they would make another one, and they refused. So he said: ‘Fine, how many do you have to make before I can buy them?’ So they made them – I think he has a closet full of them.”

That's why he always wears the same thing...

(Howard Hughes did the same thing with Baskin Robbins when they stopped making his favourite flavour, Banana Nut)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Social Media Banner

The Social Media Banner is a new ad format developed by some friends in the Netherlands at Detroit Media.

The ad has a small bar on the bottom with buttons to simply post to twitter, Facebook, or (it being the Netherlands) Hyves.

This shows what it looks like tweeted:

Yes, it's similar to these shareable ads from Eyeblaster, but much simpler.

Lifeline to Haiti

I love this idea - create a virtual human chain to Haiti online, raising money in the process.

Similar to the Eternal Moonwalk, the World's Biggest Mexican Wave and the Nike Football Chain, but who's complaining..?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dockers use Shazam in their new TV campaign

I really like this: Levi's brand Dockers are using the Shazam music recognition app in their new American TV campaign.

Shazam is a service that recognises music playing - so if you're in a pub or watching TV and you hear a great tune, you can find out what it is. (I used it to identify Machine Gun by The Commodores that was playing in the film The Kid Stays in the Picture)

When mobile owners use Shazam to identify the music in the new Dockers ad with the mobile app they get taken to a Dockers branded content page, where they can find out more about Dockers, register for giveaways and so on.

The song used is a version of this one - I Wear No Pants by the Poxie Boggards

Update - 8th February - & here (finally) is the Dockers ad:

A really innovative use of the technology!

Mediapost has the full story here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free navigation from Nokia with Ovi Maps

Launched today - big news!

More info here.

Full disclosure - the company that I work for, Isobar (including Farfar, White Sheep and Isobar Global) have been leading the digital development of this campaign.

YouTube Disco - Create your own music streaming playlists

New today from YouTube is Disco, their new music discovery service.

Essentially it creates a playlist of tracks that you stream in order. You start off by inputting the name of a band, and then it created a default playlist of about 30 tracks. You can add or remove items, then same, and share.

This is a (pretty lazy) selection around the Rolling Stones, including tracks from Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, The Kinks, and more. You can save, and share. Some of the tracks come from Vevo, which is blocked outside the US, so it skips over those.

It's not perfect (it scheduled a liver version of Satisfaction straight before a studio version), but as with all things Google, it will only get better. I'm guessing that it works on mobile phones too.

Watch out Pandora, and Spotify.

It's now so easy to make your own Cameron poster

The MyDavidCameron site has been live for over a week now, allowing people to parody the Conservatives' new poster campaign, but now it's become so much easier and more viral.

This site gives you a very simple template; all you have to do is fill in the words.

44,500 posters generated so far. Wow.

Andy - hope you can handle the fame!

Update - here are some stats on most popular words used in the posters

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Vision Desk

I've just been reading an incredibly interesting kids book 2010: Living in the Future, written in 1972 by Geoffrey Hoyle, and photographed and transcribed on this blog.

Given that it was written in the early 70s it shows incredible foresight, anticipating things like smaller dwellings, teleworking, and more leisure time (although as with lots of these things it's far too optimistic - teleworking means that there are no traffic jams any more. & what's with the jumpsuits?).

Have a read. I particularly like this description of the 'Vision Desk' that the boy does his homework on:

"The vision desk is more complicated than the phone and can do different jobs. It also contains a camera and a screen. The glass on top of the screen is made in a special way so that when you write on it, the camera can photograph what you write.
School work would be impossible without the vision desk. When the teacher writes a sum on the blackboard, the figures are shown on the desk. To answer the question you take your electronic pen and start writing on the desk. If the teacher sees that you are going wrong, he or she can correct you. All the school work that is done on the vision desk is recorded on a giant school computer."

I only hope that some of my predictions sound as good in 40 years time.

Via Metafilter

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nike True City local guides

True City is a new iPhone app from Nike, that allows users to explore their city in a new way, complete with curated highlights.

Nike True City Full Trailer - Official HD Version from NikeSportswear on Vimeo.

Mobile Behaviour has more details - in essence you see highlights specially recommended by an appointed 'tastemaker' and read specially placed QR codes which will unlock secrets. So far six cities are covered, including London and Paris.

Users can vie to become appointed official contributers, adding a user-generated element. The downside is that it could become incredibly cliquey; London readers will identify the cool areas of Shoreditch and Hoxton in the video (others should do a search on Nathan Barley)

It's a really good and innovative idea though, and, together with Foursquare and Gowalla, shows the potential of having a large number of interested people with smartphones. One to watch!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coca-Cola Happiness Machine

Starts well, and gets better. Brilliant.

Another hidden camera stunt that really worked was Whopper Freakout - watch that as well if you haven't seen it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Next Generation Media Quarterly - January 2010

Here's the second in my quarterly series of presentations showing how the world of media is evolving. I hope that you enjoy reading it, and find it both interesting and useful.

Regular visitors to this site may recognise some of the stories, e.g. Nike turning Twitter red, marketing on Foursquare, and the Lego Valentine's Cards.

The first presentation, published in October 2009 is here

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lego Valentine's Card

You've got to love Lego.

Part of the Design ByME range - design your own, and get a special box for it. Don't forget to order early (i.e. soon)!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

From gaming to reality

Nice example from Sony: Lucas Ordonez went from being a Gran Torismo player to being a real life GT4 racer, via a competition. It's part of the 'make believe' programme - anything that you can imagine you can make real. Full background here

Intel and Foursquare at CES 2010

Another good Foursquare example: Intel have partnered with them to provide special badges for people who check in at various points at the Consumer Electonics Show in Las Vegas this week.

According to Intel:

"There are over 15 locations where you can check-in for updates, freebies and special offers from Intel. (Check-in's include the Intel Booth, Paul Otellini's keynote, etc.) For each badge you unlock, you will be entered in for a chance to win an Intel-powered Netbook. The more badges you unlock, the better your chances. But remember! You can only redeem these badges by connecting with us on Foursquare. So get out there and discover all the great things that CES has to offer."

You can see the Intel page here.

A really interesting idea - maybe Foursquare isn't just for local companies...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Foursquare Heatmaps by

This seems to sum me up quite well...

Create your own at

Cadbury Creme Egg online competition

The start of January means that Cadbury Creme Eggs go on sale again in the UK.

This year they're trying an ambitious online treasure hunt, with hundreds of creme eggs, supposedly escapees from the lorry taking them to the shops, hidden online. Find one - each one has a bump on the head - input its code number, and you can win prizes, including a trip to New York.

More here.

The eggs will be hidden in banners, on MSN pages, on Facebook and on the Creme Egg site.

In addition the Facebook page will be posting regular teasers, where you have to guess the identity of 'lost' eggs. E.g. "Goo am I? Clue #1: I was born in Northampton in 1982" (Answer Matt Smith, the new Dr Goo - geddit?)

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Where does the time go?

Stunning chart from Morgan Stanley's Mobile Internet Report - the share of online time spent globally on Yahoo, MSN, Google, YouTube and Facebook over the past 3 years.

A brilliant visualisation of recent online history.

Full report (104 charts) here
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