April 24, 2013 Leave a comment
A simple, but clever ad from Audi. Take a screenshot of the car whizzing past on the advert:
technology, campaigns and trends from the world of mobile
November 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Aviva has created a new ‘behavioural driving’ app, called Aviva Drive, for UK motoring insurance. The app is available for Android in Google Play. Drivers install the app and use it for 200 miles of driving. Using the GPS and accelerometer, it assesses their driving and discounts up to 20% of the price of their next insurance, based on the results.
Motoring insurers have been looking at in-car telematics for a while, and some have considered linking this to insurance premiums. However the Aviva app not about delivering this kind of service. It is much more about creating brand engagement and new customers, rather than monitoring drivers’ behaviour. Aviva have taken a sensible test and learn approach to the app. It was first released in beta in the autumn, and besides ensuring the success of the functionality, they added a couple of additional features for the full release. These include hints and tips on better driving as well as a bit of gamifaction in the form of score sharing and social media integration.
The strength of this app in terms of the Aviva brand is that it is being used to acquire new customers by rewarding good driving, rather than punishing those who are less careful. Interestingly though, in the test version fewer women downloaded the app than men. Although Android has more male users in the UK, the disparity seemed to be greater than handset ownership. This could present an opportunity to address the change in the EU insistence on equal premiums for women. A spokesman for Aviva said: ‘We would call on safer women drivers to try out the Aviva Drive app as we believe it could reduce their premiums which would be helpful, particularly with the EU Gender Directive coming in to force next month.’
It remains to be seen if the app users want to engage with an insurance brand by winning badges and points. There are certainly further opportunities though. Once engaged with the brand through this app, Aviva could continue that experience through mobile, post purchase. With additional functionality has the potential to become a brand platform or service app beyond the initial insurance quote. The app can be downloaded here.
October 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Felix Baumgartner’s jump for the Red Bull Stratos project created a number of records. Besides the significance of the feat, it was also important for brands for two reasons:
Firstly, it was not broadcast through television, but on YouTube (gaining nearly 8 million live viewers). Whilst there have been live events on the internet for a number of years, nothing of this nature has ever been broadcast in this way. We are moving away from traditional TV formats, to internet-based viewing on a range of devices – from TV sets, to tablets to mobile phones. Could the jump mark the start of a new way of broadcasting?
Secondly, the jump was not orchestrated by an agency, such as NASA or a private adventurer with brand sponsorship. Adventurous though it was Baumgartner’s feat was about creating brand content for Red Bull. Ironically it also created plenty of data for NASA to sift through. For many brands, the future of engagement is around content. Red Bull have been doing it successfully for some years and the jump was the pinacle of this approach.
Not to be outdone, Nestle sent a KitKat into space the following day. Whilst it only attracted 33,000 views, a fraction of the Red Bull visits, the budget was considerably less. A nice piece of guerrilla marketing.
October 15, 2012 1 Comment
As one of the more forward thinking sectors, it’s no surprise that the fashion industry has generally embraced the mobile channel.
Early apps from the luxury brands were disappointing, but companies such as Nike (if we are allowed to call them a fashion brand) have created some excellent mobile campaigns. And it’s not just apps either; Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo have both experimented with Foursquare, Diesel ran a ‘scan to like of Facebook’ QR code and Louis Vuitton created their own designer QR code.
Mobile has become important to all brands, but especially those in retail. We are seeing an increasingly ‘smart’ world. One where consumers can shop, share and compare anywhere they are. We have seen the rise of new behaviours, such as ‘showrooming’ which is distrupting the traditional retail and ecommerce spaces which fashion brands inhabit. We are also seeing a consumer shift away from print media, the traditional home to many fashion brands, to mobile channels. However, the US analyst, Mary Meeker has shown that there has not been a corresponding shift in brand spending. Whilst many fashion brands have created some great engagement through social media, few have been able to do the same in mobile. Who is doing mobile well, and what are the trends for the future?
New Content Platforms
Content, particularly in print format, has always been important for fashion brands. However with the consumer move from print media, brands need to develop new forms of content for the emerging platforms of mobile and tablet devices.
ASOS is a great example of how a fashion retailer is addressing this. Fashion Up is a magazine app for iPhone and iPad. Rather than creating new apps, Fashion Up acts as a platform app to deliver new updated content, offers or even push alerts. The brand has always produced good content through their printed magazine, but distribution outside the UK was always a problem. Fashion Up has allowed ASOS to reach new audiences in the Europe and US with little marketing spend. The next development will be their ‘Daily Edit’ of editors’ picks, which will only be available on mobile devices.
The Rise of The New
Another behavior change with our smart, connected devices has seen consumers become creators, commentators and journalists. You only have to look at the Arab Spring, to see how camera phones combined with Twitter and YouTube shifted the reporting of events away from the major media channels.
To some extent, the same is true for the world of fashion. Just search Instagram for tags such as #streetfashion or #style and see the results. There are also a growing number of apps and channels specifically for the fashion consumer. Thre.ad is a good example of the trend away from print to SoMoLo (social, mobile, location) channels. Think of Thre.ad as ‘Instagram for Street Fashion’. It brings immediacy, choice and sharing outside of the traditional media channels.
Many fashion brands are successfully using Instagram in their social media campaigns. It’s hard to mention the channel though, without including Burberry (if you want to see another luxury brand using the channel well, then take a look at Tiffany). When it comes to the luxury sector, the brand pretty much owns the social media world, and it is no different with Instagram. The company has been delivering shots from the catwalks and fashion shoots for a few years and gained nearly ½ million followers.
Brands and Consumers: Co-Creation
Fashion brands need to think beyond mobile as simply a one way content platform. The shift away from old media towards user generated rich content means that brands need to create a conversation with their consumers. Co-creation is one of the best methods of achieving that. Top Shop (who do social well, but mobile not so well), used Instagram for a summer 2011 campaign called ‘Wish You Were at Topshop’. Store visitors were offered a free summer makeover. There was an iPad on hand so customers could take photos through Instagram and share them. At that time, Instagram was pretty niche, but by using it in-store with the iPad it became an accessible creation tool. Users shared over 2000 photos. A pretty good result, but the real impact was that they were posted on the Topshop Facebook page. There were 2,500 comments and over 5 million page views (and a 25k increase in online visitors).
As Instagram grows in popularity it is bringing new co-creation opportunities for fashion brands. Currently, Foot Locker are running their #kickstagram campaign, collecting a range of images from their users. If Ford’s #fiestagram is anything to go by, then Instagram is the on-trend channel for co-creation. The motor manufacturer had over 60,000 entries during their 6-week campaign. They extended the entries into the physical world with an exhibition of winning photos, and live updates on digital billboards.
Shops Won’t Be Shops
Over 28% of smartphone users have purchased clothes on their device … whilst they are in a competitors store (Google Think Insight, 2012). This presents a major challenge for the retail sector. And an opportunity. With so many consumers using smartphones, the retail experience can be almost anywhere. Tesco’s Homeplus campaign in Korea kicked began a trend of this new style of shopping.
A couple of interesting examples form the world of fashion retail demonstrates the possibilities. The online fashion retailer, Net-A-Porter created their ‘Window Shop’ campaign. They put posters in store windows in New York and London. When scanned, each item came alive with videos of models walking down the catwalk. Customers could then tap through and purchase the clothes. Although it was just one night only, the campaign received 2500 scans on the night, and considerable PR value.
Tesco’s fashion brand F&F opened a pop-up store in London during the Jubilee celebrations. They took the unusual step of having no tills. Instead customers could purchase by scanning the QR code on the clothing tags or using iPads supplied in-store. By taking shop staff out from behind the tills, it created a more customer focused-friendly experience. Urban Outfitters have now taken a similar step into to remove the tills from their stores, and arming their staff with iPads to take payments (in much the same way as an Apple store).
Mobile Connects Devices
The next iteration of the digital channel will be to connect to the devices around us. From TVs to cars to washing machines, many products will have apps which will be managed through smartphones. For the fashion sector, this may take the form of wearable technology. I say ‘may’ because wearable technologies general fail on the fashion front, making the wearer look somewhat ridiculous. Perhaps accessories are the answer, as Nike’s Fuel wristband has shown. Google also think’s the future is in wearable technologies, namely their Glass project. These glasses project and augmented reality environment to the wearer, powered by an Android smartphone. Google aren’t the only ones creating these types of glasses, but theirs are the most high profile. Some commentators have said that they would only be interested in wearing them when they are designed by Ray Bans.
It looks like the fashion world is accepting wearable technologies though. At Diane von Furstenberg’s New York and London Fashion Week shows, all the models came down the catwalk wearing Google’s Glass(es).
July 20, 2012 2 Comments
The Guatemalan shoe store, Meat Pack have created a (with their agency Saatchi and Saatchi) clever app to drive footfall (no pun intended). The concept was delivered as an update to their existing and well-used app. Using GPS it would send an alert when the user was near a trainer brand store. The alert would offer a timed discount, starting at 99% off and slowing ticking down until the customer raced to the Meat Pack store . The campaign saw over 600 people ‘hijacked’ from brand stores and the fastest to get there managed to receive an 89% discount.
June 2, 2012 1 Comment
Another great example from Brazil. Evidence that the country seems to be leading the way in digital creative advertising. This time it’s for the less than exciting world of car insurance. A clever use of the tablet’s swipe navigation makes for a creating, engaging ad around the theme of ‘the unexpected’.
May 28, 2012 4 Comments
As one of the first retailers to create a more virtual shopping experience in Korea, Tesco have been ahead of the curve. They have just launched an F&F pop-up shop for the Jubilee in London’s Covent Garden, which will be open until the end of the Jubilee weekend. Users can try on clothes in the store, but can’t take them home there and then. That’s because the shop has no tills. Instead, users scan a QR code and pay through their online site for collection the following day from the nearby Tescos or home delivery in 2-3 days. Alternatively, there are iPad pay points, which customers can to make their purchases.
February 14, 2012 Leave a comment
The Marks and Spencer Valentine’s day Aurasma campaign seems to have had mixed reactions. Using an outdoor poster in Waterloo Station, users are invited to download the Aursama app and view their range of lingerie. The concept is clever and is the best executed Aurasma campaign to date. Ostensibly aimed at men who are short of a Valentine’s gift (although it is likely to appeal to women as well), the advert uses the tagline ‘Love stuck’. The approach makes sense. We know from QR codes that men are more likely to scan than women and the location of the poster in Waterloo ensures sufficient dwell time to interact with it. Using the Aurasma app, the poster almost literally comes to life as models show off the underwear range.
There have been some, arguably prudish, reactions against an app that has women prancing around in their underwear. On a practical level though, users have had problems scanning the poster. Aurasma doesn’t seem to work as well as the other popular IR app, Blippar. The high position of the poster in Waterloo also makes the scanning even harder. The problem with mobile is that users won’t tolerate poor experiences before branding it as a fail.
Similar in concept to Net A Porter’s Window Shop, a campaign like this only reaches a limited audience. But it’s not about reach. These are essentially PR exercises and perhaps a test of the potential of consumer engagement of the technology. To date M&S have taken a more classic, but very successful approach to mobile, focussing on SMS and mobile web. It’s good to see them experimenting a bit.
If you want to see it in action, then scan the image below, or you can read more about their campaign here.
February 7, 2012 Leave a comment
Unsure if you should be celebrating Valentines this year? Frankie Midnight Private Investigator may be able to help. Using a film-noir style, the online detective checks your Facebook page and delivers a report based on interactions with your ‘loved’ one.
The innovative campaign from Isobar Mobile and out of home agency, Posterscope makes clever use of outdoor, QR codes, HTML5 and Facebook’s api to create an engaging mobile-based experience. With the posters appearing in over 300 sites around the UK, it is a great demonstration of how mobile can bring together different media to create one engaging campaign. You can either find Frankie PI by scanning the code on the posters, via Twitter #Frankiepi_14, or alternatively simply point your mobile browser to doesheluv.me or doessheluv.me .