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!

Microsoft Surface 2.0 – how will it change things?

I don’t usually write about technology, but I couldn’t resist sharing this video from Microsoft about their new Surface 2.0 platform. Whilst the idea is not new, it seems that we are certainly getting closer to the ‘Minority Report’ impression of user interaction with technology than ever before, and what interests me is how this is going to change things.

The examples shown in the video are well-selected – you can instantly see how having such technology available in certain retail situations will help with customer engagement and the overall sales process.  You can also see how in other situations, such as at the doctors, you could quickly access and view information which may otherwise be more difficult to access and share (although I can’t see the NHS in the UK adopting this approach anytime soon!).

What does this mean for marketing? Touch technology becoming more widespread will undoubtedly mean that the design of digital content needs to change and usability testing will become even more crucial. We have already seen this somewhat with the growing use of tablets such as the iPad, but it really is just the tip of the iceberg! Add into the mix the recognition of objects and you have a whole new World of personalisation possibilities (as well as build,design & usability nightmares!) to work with. It’s going to be fun!