Absolut Drinkspiration

In a bid to promote their ‘Drinkspiration’ app to consumers during the festive period, Absolut Vodka have decided to adopt the use of QR Codes on a new neck collar for their bottles.  This story caught my attention for 2 reasons: firstly, the use of QR (Quick Response) codes. Now these things have been about for years, and just when you think that nothing is really going to happen with them in Europe, they raise their heads again! I’ve always thought that the idea was great (you simply take a picture of the strange barcode-type image using your smart phone and it will take you straight to a specific URL, in this case to download the app) – it just needed some thought around the right way to use them in integrated campaigns. I think they have done a great job with this one!

Secondly, I like the proactive approach that Absolut are using to  promote their app offline. Far too many brands create an app of some sort and then sit back and expect that their consumers will find it (eventually), with very little promotion.

The Drinkspiration app helps you to decide what drink to order or make based on all sorts of options (even colour and music volume!), tells you how it’s made (just incase your local barman has never heard of it!), share it on Facebook and see what other people are drinking around the World. Quite handy for a Christmas Party lacking fun and inspiration!

Etsy: Tapping into Facebook to find that perfect gift

This cool new tool on the Etsy website allows you to use your Facebook account, and more importantly, the links to your friends on there, to find them a perfect gift this Christmas. It’s a nice idea, and actually quite useful (it has given me a few good ideas for people who are usually hard to buy for, even if most of them are shipped from the US), but does obviously rely on your friends being quite active on their Facebook account, and in particular, what they post, join or ‘like’.

It’s the idea of Etsy personalising their offer to your needs that I really like about this though. It highlights how the way online has developed in the last few years has really turned things around and made the customer in control and expecting more.  Utilising the tools and information already out there to tap into, Etsy can showcase their products based on your needs without you having to do too much. It also gives a relevant reason why you should buy them (i.e. your friend likes Radiohead so why not buy him this great cover print we have on our site, he’ll love it!). It’s much more powerful than a search tool which leaves it up to you to do all the thinking. I am guessing it will create a big increase in sales for them also.

Waitrose finally getting social in time for Christmas

All this snow in Yorkshire is making me feel very festive (and cold!) so I thought I would kick off December by having a look around to see who is doing what online for Christmas 2010.

Waitrose have finally entered the World of social media with their Christmas campaign ‘Heston’s Prize Pudding’, which is featured on Facebook and ties in with the recent launch of their You Tube channel and Waitrose Facebook page.

The idea is that users ‘like’ the Facebook page and whenever they see a ‘Prize Pudding’ in their newsfeed they can click through to play the game by adding the unique code into the competition app. The first 5 of your friends to also click on it can claim one of the virtual slices, one of which contains a ‘silver sixpence’. The winner of this will then be sent a voucher which they can redeem in store. Prizes include mince pies or a years worth of free shopping at Waitrose! Slices without a sixpence contain Christmas tips as well as a money saving voucher promoting their online shopping (very clever!).

This is all nicely integrated with the launch of the limited edition Heston Blumenthal Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding in stores, which I think is great. Joining up the online and offline is often something left out, but can be very valuable in any campaign or competition.

The campaign has also been seeded amongst some of the key online food bloggers, to help spread the message virally. Looking forward to seeing the results from this ‘joined up thinking’ by agency Kittcat Nohr Alexander Shaw after the tinsel is put away.

Right, off to have a hot chocolate infront of the log fire and watch the snow fall…..