This weeks digital campaign chatter #16

Two quite different launch campaigns this week by phone companies for the newest HTC handsets. T-Mobile take an innovative approach using Google Goggles in the US, and Phones4u partner with New Look for their Facebook competition in the UK.

1. T-Mobile – HTC Sensation 4G launch

Now, here’s a blast from the past! Not the phone – obviously – or the new functions it offers, but rather the use of Google Goggles (which I had forgotten all about!) in the US ad campaign. Since it’s launch in 2009 it has been pretty quiet on the Google Goggles front – a simple ‘little’ tool which enables you to search based on pictures of landmarks, art, books, addresses or other objects taken directly from your mobile phone, and can even translate text (for example, from a menu in a different language) by taking a photo of it.

A little like QR codes, it seems that the marketing world have just not known how to use the tool, and are still experimenting (in very small numbers!) with how to make it work for them. This campaign for the new HTC Sensation 4G phone, however, seems like quite a clever use of the functionality.

People viewing any part of the integrated campaign – be that outdoor, TV or print – can take a picture using Google Goggles in order to access unique bonus content, such as music videos.

I love this idea of mobile interacting with other areas of a campaign, such as what Honda did with their Unpredictable Life app which allowed you to ‘catch’ characters from the TV ad and then interact with them on your phone. It will be interesting to see how many more brands start to use Google Goggles in this way after such a high-profile campaign.

2. Phones4u – HTC ChaCha/New Look Facebook Competition

Another HTC launch this week, this time in the UK, with a Facebook competition developed for Phones4u to promote the launch of the new look ChaCha.

Working with fashion retailers New Look, you need to ‘like’ the Phones4u page before entering the competition, which then requires you to add a password that can only be found on the back of changing room doors in New Look stores. Interesting idea to link offline with online in this way, and a great way of driving people to the Facebook page from stores – but what about the other way around? I went to the page expecting to find a competition, only to find that there was nothing I could do unless I had the password. Could have been worth looking at an alternative of some sort for users accessing the page (and therefore the competition) from a different route?

No mention of the competition anywhere on the main Phones4u site either – homepage or phone info pages………

This weeks digital campaign chatter #14

Campaigns from Pedigree and Listerine this week, as well as the launch of the Orange Glastonbury 2011 app. Fun, fun, fun!

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1. Pedigree (New Zealand) – Doggelganger

Mars owned pet food brand, Pedigree, have launched a fantastic digital app and microsite this week for New Zealand as part of their Adoption Drive – a global initiative aimed at getting more people to adopt dogs from shelters. I say ‘app’ as opposed to campaign, as I am not sure if there is anything else around it. I’ve seen no evidence of it anywhere else online in the form of Facebook pages or advertising, but that’s not to say that it isn’t (hopefully) part of a bigger drive.

Working with the idea that people and their pets often look alike (allegedly!), the nicely designed application allows you to either use your webcam, or upload an image of yourself, which will then be matched with your doggy-double taken from a database of pooch-pics of dogs in shelters across New Zealand.

It seems I look like a Staffordshire bull terrier (not sure I’m happy about that!).

The idea itself is fantastic, but not new – The Shelter Pet Project in the US used the same ‘matching’ idea just a few months ago.

Truth is, this is such a fun thing to do! The 80’s sci-fi computer interface design (complete with computer voiceover effect) is quirky but relatively easy to use, and links you nicely into contact forms if you are genuinely interested in adopting as well as more information about the overall Adoption Drive.

What it doesn’t do, however, is allow you to share your results, and therefore the campaign, with any social tools? Very strange that they should omit such a fantastic opportunity to spread the message even more. There is also no sign of it on their main site homepage or even the Adoption Drive website for NZ too, which is a real shame – lots of opportunities to integrate it more with what they are doing elsewhere.

2. Listerine – Mouth vs Life

Listerine claim that they are the first to launch an ‘interactive’ You Tube video campaign with their latest Mouth vs Life promotion. Whilst I’m not so sure about that (I can think of a couple of others who have done a similar thing – Desperados for one), what they have created is quite good fun to watch and certainly gets their message across!

It’s nothing complicated – they have simply created a bunch of different small videos which display what the mouth goes through in different situations, such as when you chew, lick or eat things. The only difference is that the user can personalise it by selecting the scenarios which they want to see, and can view it in one video.

Not sure how ‘politically correct’ their choice of actors is……

It’s really nice to see a company thinking about how they could possibly do things a little differently with regards video and YouTube. HOWEVER, as with the Pedigree Doggelganger campaign, they have totally missed an opportunity by lack of integration into their other digital channels. No mention of it on their main website. No mention of it on Facebook. I’m guessing that online-offline campaign integration was also far from on their minds! What this shows is a lack of strategic thinking – another bolt-on campaign, which whilst it may help with their general messaging (use mouthwash – it kills germs and is good for your mouth!) does little to take into account a longer term digital strategy.

One other small point – it cuts off half the video if you’re using Firefox. Some basic browser testing needed perhaps?

3. Orange (UK) – Glastonbury 2011 App

For those of you brave enough to face the festival toilets this year and head to the biggest summer music event in the UK (and arguably, Europe), the free Glastonbury 2011 App by Orange is a MUST.

You can see that Orange have really thought things through, with options to plan which bands you are going to see, find out who is on ‘now and next’ at all the stages, keep up with the latest festival news, as well as generally just find out how to get to places you want to go to with a simple map!

There is a competition attached to the app also, offering you the chance to watch bands from backstage during the event. Nice touch. It seems that they will also have 3 all-important charging stations (‘chill and charge’) available at the event, otherwise they may as well have only covered the first day!

This all fits really nicely with their ‘Rockcorps’ CSR and ‘down with the kids’ brand messaging, and is available to download for all phone types from their own website as well as the usual suspects.

Oh, and good job on the launch video too!

This weeks digital campaign chatter #11

1. Speedo – Unforgettable Swims

In an attempt to engage with consumers at a more emotional level, Speedo have just launched ‘Unforgettable Swims’ – a campaign which encourages you to share your stories of ‘favourite swims’. The integrated campaign will use digital as well as in-store and press ads, but will keep the website at its core.

Interestingly, the main Speedo UK website does not mention the campaign at all (at least, when I looked), but it is on the homepage of the international version of the site? Perhaps just an oversight. The use of Facebook also seems a little strange – with the campaign page only having 109 likes at the time I viewed, but the main Speedo International page having considerably more, and talking about the campaign just as much? Would have been a better idea to keep the one space, but integrate the campaign within it. Still, its early days yet, and this approach MAY work for them (although I’m not convinced!).

On the whole however, it’s a really nice idea. In the lead up to the Olympics, I can understand their approach and can see that making people think about swimming as an ‘experience’ as opposed to exercise (as I do!) or anything else, will no doubt have good results for them further down the line in this 3 year brand exercise. Kinda nice that they have not overtly pushed any of their products within the microsite either, which would have really put people off from the start.

2. Friskies – iPad app for cats

I think I’m gonna let the video do most of the talking about this ‘campaign’ (can you call it a campaign?).

When I first saw this, my first thought was” why would anyone let their cats paws anywhere near their iPad?!”, but actually, looking at all the publicity Purina have gained from this for their Friskies cat food brand, I think they may well have come up with a fantastic idea! Although looking at their Facebook page – which has miserably low ‘likes’ – it seems that they may have been better off putting more effort into online coupons (as that is what most of the posts seem to be asking for.)!

Check out for the full range of cat-tastic iPad fun!

This weeks digital campaign chatter #9

Back from a lovely Easter break, and straight into stories of weddings, chocolate and sunshine! Did you miss me?

1. The Times – Royal Wedding Souvenir App

Lovely souvenir plate or cup anyone?

Whilst they are by no means sitting alone in the Royal Wedding ‘bandwagon’, I was pleasantly surprised to see that The Times have taken a different approach to their usual souvenir supplement, and have also developed an iPad app for those who wish to remember the Royal couples ‘big day’.

As you would expect, there isn’t much in the way of interactivity and innovation – the main focus on the app being the content – however, the platform has allowed them to explore the history of the couple and the Royal family in a little more depth, giving much more background, video content and imagery than they would perhaps have invested in for a printed version.

As they say in their promotion video (above) “it won’t go yellow and curl at the corners” either! However, it is likely to get deleted accidentally or become obsolete as soon as the next big wave of technological advancements hits. I’m thinking of my VHS of the Live Aid event………

2. Cadburys Creme Egg – Goo Dares Wins

This multi-million pound integrated campaign, created by CMW,  launched early in the year as part of the Spots v Stripes initiative (see campaign chatter #3) and alongside the start of the Creme Egg ‘sales season’.

The most recent addition was a mobile app (launched in time for Easter!) which allowed you to choose and participate in various ‘dares’ that gave you points towards your chosen side of ‘spots’ or ‘stripes’, as well as the fame of uploading your efforts onto the main campaign website should you want to.The focus is obviously on ‘fun’, and the app reflects this with its spinnable ‘Dare Wheel’ and burping ringtones. You can also send a dare to a friend (it’s always more fun watching someone else do something stupid!) – nice and viral!

Creme Egg facemask anyone? Or fancy making a picture out of Creme Egg goo, dressing up as a fairy, or making a dance up with your mates in the middle of town for all to see and laugh at?

The campaign season finished on the 24th April, after Easter, but you can still access the content and have a laugh at some of the uploaded stunts on the campaign ‘headquarters’ website.

No results yet on how well the campaign did, but lets hope that it’s more successful for them than the overall Spots v Stripes initiative has been!

3. Budweiser – Ice Cold Index

If, like me, you’ve been enjoying the un-British sunny weather we’ve had over the past few weeks, you’ll appreciate the latest app by Budweiser which gives away free beer when the temperatures rise. Genius!

The Ice Cold Index App, developed by DDB UK, has links with over 2500 Bud-selling premises across Ireland, and should the temperature rise above 20 degrees, the app will give you a free pint at one of them.  You’ll also get money off vouchers if it doesn’t quite make 20, but is 16 or above – the hotter the day, the less you’ll pay!

Seems simple enough to use, and the overall response so far has been great (no doubt helped by the TV, print and point-of-sale support). So great infact, that at the time of writing this they have had to pull the app in order to sort out some serious server issues, even though the campaign doesn’t end until August! Not good.

Still, free (or cheap) beer is always worth waiting for!

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Honda: Creating ‘unpredictable’ campaigns

So, were you sat in front of the TV waving your smartphone about during the ad breaks of Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding this week, shouting ‘”I’ve got one! I’ve got one!” like I was? If so, then like me you would have heard about the launch of Honda’s ‘This Unpredictable Life’ campaign, and were as eager as I was to try it out!

Always one of the forerunners of innovation, Honda created this campaign for the Jazz with Wieden + Kennedy, who have developed something that is both interactive and fun. You simply download the free app to your phone, which is then activated using ‘sound-synching technology’ by the music when the ad comes on TV, then you try to ‘catch’ one of the characters in the ad by waving your phone in front of the screen as they appear. Once ‘caught’ you can interact with them (for example, blow up the balloon by blowing on your phone or make them dance by singing). The app also gives you more information on the car and allows you to book a test drive.

This is a truly inspirational and beautifully created integrated campaign. My one negative comment would be that the information in the app on the car itself is really ‘thin’. In an effort to keep things light, fun and slightly abstract, they have missed the possibility to layer the information for people truly interested in finding out more. Whilst we are fast leaving the ‘drive all traffic to your website’ days behind, for something like a car, they should perhaps have looked at pushing users towards the more detailed information on the main website if they wanted to know more. Whilst a link to book a test drive is great – when was the last time you booked a test drive without knowing anything about the car itself?

Still, I can see that this is only the start of an increased link between TV advertising and mobile apps, and I for one am excited about the possibilities!

Are you happy?

The 2gether NHS Trust –  or to be precise, the Gloucestershire branch of it – has just launched a new smartphone app which enables you to monitor your mood and gives you tips and advice on how to make yourself feel ‘happier’. Great to see that the NHS are finally being proactive when it comes to embracing more ‘current’ communication methods!

The interface is really simple – select an emoticon that reflects your mood. From this point you are given tips on how to maintain your good feeling, or how to feel better if you have been low. There is also a map  which shows you how happy people are around you. However, as this app was obviously created for a different part of the country than the one I live in, and therefore (hopefully) is promoted regionally as opposed to nationwide, it seems that I am the only person in Yorkshire so far using it!

The users can see a graph of their moods over a period of time, and are prompted to seek advice if they are consistently ‘unhappy’. They are either linked into a supporting website which is rich in information on mental well-being, or are given contact details of places within the area where they can go to seek help. Really simple but a great way to get advice out to the people who need it (depending on if they have the app and have heard of it in the first place, of course!)

There is a supporting YouTube channel which has the makings of a great advice centre, however, with only 4 subscibers and 11 uploads over the last year, there is still some way to go with making this happen. Nice to see them linking to it from the app though. The Twitter account and Facebook page seem a little more active, but are yet to attract many followers.

All of this ties in with the current Governments focus on measuring how ‘happy’ the country is and trying to do something about the high rates of depression and stress we are facing. Nice idea. I also like the way that they have ‘layered’ the information. You see short but relevant tips from the start, but are prompted to dig into the supporting material on the website when required. I think it’s really important not to overface people with too much content and complexity, but rather to allow them to either discover it as they become more confident, or to lead them to it gently when the need occurs.

Despite the obvious teething problems with the app, I look forward to the NHS Trust building on the concept and perhaps investing in a nationwide roll-out which offers the regionally specific information which at the moment is only available for Gloucestershire. It would also be great to see them invest some time and money in their online presence, and make sure that all the effort of developing the app does not go to waste by not promoting it either on their website or on other relevant sites which are going to attract the right people.

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!