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14 posts from November 2012

30 November 2012

A new meaning to window shopping

By Mike Cavers, Lateral Group

We’ve all been there, trying something on in store, asking friends what they think and taking photos to show off our latest purchase. Now Adidas has taken this experience one step further as the latest big brand that has adapted its stores to tap into the opportunities offered by the ‘smartphone generation’.

Following Burberry’s till-less flagship store and the Sainsbury’s app that allows customers to shop using QR codes, Adidas’ store in the German city of Nuremberg is experimenting with an interactive storefront that allows customers to drag and drop items onto a virtual mannequin as well as make purchases directly from their smartphones.

Continue reading "A new meaning to window shopping" »

28 November 2012

Social media: to like or unlike?

By Madison Byrne, iD Experiential

Facebook has become a phenomenon since its launch in 2005, followed closely by the explosion of Twitter to the social scene in 2007. The majority of us now seem to be captivated by the need to share our every movement with the rest of the world (in a 140 characters or less). After all - you are not really single or married unless your Facebook status says so. In a nutshell word of mouth and networking have never been so fundamental to our everyday lives.

Continue reading "Social media: to like or unlike?" »

26 November 2012

Why Movember is a ‘mo’ving initiative

Movember is well underway: a worldwide initiative in November when the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces is encouraged in order to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

This year, Gillette has sponsored the Movember movement in order to promote its Fusion Proglide Styler. What is interesting is that the brand has launched the eMO’gency Styler Tour which will tour cities globally, ‘mo’tivating people to partake in Movember.

Continue reading "Why Movember is a ‘mo’ving initiative" »

Mutual Core

By Mike Woods, Framestore

You can always count on the ever reliable Bjork to do great things with the tired pop promo format. Director to watch Andrew Thomas Huang creates something truly striking for "Mutual Core" 



20 November 2012

How do brands choose a design for sustainable living?

By Ian Birkett, Corporate Culture 

The likes of Unilever and Marks & Spencer are amongst the ranks of blue-chip brands looking to bring sustainability firmly into the centre of their long-term business plans.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan and Marks & Spencer’s Plan A set out their visions for helping consumers live more sustainable lives. Furthermore, these blueprints highlight how they are more responsibly using vital resources such as water and energy in their manufacturing processes.

Continue reading "How do brands choose a design for sustainable living?" »

19 November 2012

A ‘not so merry’ Christmas for Apple

By Jason Cross, Incentivated

It looks like size does matter as tablet sales are set to rise dramatically this Christmas. Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have all released tablets in the last couple of months; models that are smaller, cheaper and catching up to Apple in the features, services and content ecosystems they provide.

Reviews for the Google Nexus 10 praise its design and hardware, suggesting that Apple ‘finds itself with serious competition at last.’ Kindle Fire, the first Amazon tablet available in the UK, has been praised for its 1200x800 HD display – ‘it’s a corker’ - and its ‘tempting price.’

So, how does the new iPad mini stack up? It’s still good, but in areas such as display quality, it ‘falls short of Android rivals’ Google and Amazon. Windows Surface’s ease of use is a big plus, with one reviewer arguing that ‘No other tablet makes it as easy to get to work straight out of the box. No other tablet has its broad compatibility with a range of peripherals.’

Jason Cross blog post

The big question of course is how does this translate to tablet sales? iPad 4 and mini still currently dominate with a reported 3 million sold (globally, it should be noted) on opening weekend, although from there it gets a bit confusing. Apple have yet to announce how many of these units are iPad 4 units and how many are iPad mini, or even whether this figure may include iPad and iPad 2 tablets, leading some to question just how successful the smaller product’s launch had been. The much shorter Apple store queues post-launch were also noticed.

The Kindle Fire has also reported record sales, not on its own launch date, but on the day after the iPad mini’s launch event. So it seems buyers waited to see what Apple had in store, and that the price was a deal-breaker, giving us a large clue about the contents are most likely to be for the boxes inside the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

Google and Samsung Galaxy devices are Apple’s biggest competitor, with sales causing Apple to drop to 50% of market dominance in the US already. Nexus 7 is probably the biggest competitor and when comparing iPad mini directly to other 7 inch tablets, it has better specs, a lower price, gorgeous displays, and can be used one handed.

The success of the Windows Surface debut is less obvious, as Microsoft refuse to reveal sales figures. What is clear however is the company’s decision to adopt the same strategy as Apple – with a 53% higher profit margin than Apple makes on the iPad. This is opposed to Amazon and Google’s 13% and 16% margins respectively, effectively selling at cost with the aim of making money in the long run through sales of apps and content. The fact that these companies have been able to release sales figures more quickly and in a clearer fashion would suggest that this is the approach winning over customers in the current economic climate.

Increased competition means that Apple’s approach will need to change if they want the iPad to remain the dominant tablet in the market – the difference between tablets and MP3 players is that the competitors this time around are selling not just the plastic but the content environment to go with the device. Dominating a marketplace with the more expensive device will be a much harder ask than it was for the iPod, as competitor’s have learnt Apple’s lesson well.

The number of smaller, cheaper alternatives is increasing and will prove the more attractive purchase in the run-up to Christmas. As the capabilities between tablets become increasingly narrow, customer focus will become less about the hardware itself and more about the individual services, apps and convenience that they can provide.

ComScore and OFCOM have shown that tablets were owned by about 11% of the UK population in the middle of this year. It is entirely likely that this will break through the 20% barrier by January 1st – assuming the various manufacturers can maintain supplies in the next few weeks. To a degree that may well depend upon how many markets these various devices are currently available in. Which again, may play into the smaller, Android devices hands which have a more concentrated geographical spread relative to Apple this year.

13 November 2012

Red Bull number one in the top 100 social video chart

Red Bull has been awarded the number one spot as the best global brand in social video strategy in Goviral’s new report: ‘The Global Social Video Equity Top 100’. The report measures brands on their effectiveness in branded content within the social media space.

Goviral blog post

The Red Bull Stratos campaign won huge media coverage and became a viral phenomenon with its video of the highest ever skydive by daredevil Felix Baumgartner who broke the speed of sound with the stunt. Clearly, Baumgartner had the world’s eyes on him, and with it, helped Red Bull pull off one of the biggest global marketing stunts ever.

The top ten social video brands, according to Goviral’s report are: 

1. Red Bull
2. Google
3. Disney
4. Nike
5. Samsung
6. Old Spice
7. Prada
8. Coca Cola
9. Nintendo
10. Adidas

Click on each brand name to see the case study and creative on Cream. To unlock up to four other case studies on Cream, register for a free trial.

‘Social Television’ will become the norm

By Stephanie Shkolnik (Digitaria, part of SoDA)

Decades ago, television was a delicate, communally appreciated experience predominantly used to broadcast mass market entertainment and important messages about current events.

Fast forward. It’s 2012 and social media has influenced the way people communicate and even consume television content.

According to EMarketer, 1.43 billion people will use social media in 2012, while 38.4% of the world's population will purchase smartphones. Discussion will spring up outside of the plot, diving into character traits, on-screen chemistry and feelings, shared in real time by the masses as if millions are people are in the same living room.

And that’s just the beginning of social television. Broadcasting can be extended on mobile devices, tablets and computers, as networks look to meet the ever-evolving SoLoMo consumer (social, local and mobile) at every touch point.

Networks are in the game

Networks that understand the value of real-time interaction are using the social graph to gauge effectiveness of their marketing dollars and understand audience behavior and interests. Shows such as American Idol have integrated pre-defined hashtags on television sets in the form of light watermarks, serving as call-to-actions for viewers to become a part of the discussion.

Stephanie Shkolnik blog post

TV personalities are leveraging social to generate compelling user generated content. Jimmy Fallon features a ‘Late Night Hashtags’ segment related to current events to garner viewer participation – bringing ordinary people the opportunity to be mentioned on television. Fallon’s summer hashtag #WorstFamilyTrip resonated so well it trended worldwide in just 10 minutes.

Advertisers have also leveraged commercials to drive viewers to their social presence for awareness and promotional activities - often to publish user-generated content or participate in social experiences. According to Nielsen’s State of the Media in Sports (2011), brand recall was 33% higher for Super Bowl ads with a social media tag directing viewers to social channels.

TV specific social networks are on the rise

GetGlue allows people to check-in to television shows, movies, books and music to see what friends are watching and doing. Participants are rewarded in the form of both virtual and physical stickers, a gamificiation element that is integrated across screens, providing users with recommendations based on their interests to create the most relevant compelling experiences.

Leading up to the U.S. Game of Thrones premiere, 90,000 people checked into GetGlue, while 50,000 checked in during the actual premiere. As check-ins cross-populated to Twitter, social TV analytics provider BlueFins reported 60,000 comments were generated during the premier alone - signifying a direct correlation between viewership and social media engagement.

It doesn't stop at the TV screen

To maintain high levels of engagement when primetime television seasons conclude, networks are developing new ways to retain fan relationships through extensions of television. Gamificaiton is driving fan loyalty by rewarding social media interaction, as brands like CBS launch Fan Award programs online. Social enables viewer voting for their favorite categories such as "Best Use of Corpse,” where fans can simply participate through Facebook or Twitter hashtags to simplify the entry process.

Social television buzz is trackable

Alexander Daas, a luxury eyewear brand, went to market in Q4 of 2011, launching in conjunction with the American Music Awards. TV personality Jenny McCarthy wore the brand's eyeglasses on stage and within minutes sparked hundreds of conversations about her eyewear. By monitoring these discussions, the Alexander Daas team answered consumer and media questions leading to the introduction of the brand through social, generating nationwide awareness, sales and stronger partner relationships all tracked through traffic, sentiment and discussions.

Specialised services such as Social Guide provide comprehensive analysis of social television activity to extract insights and make them actionable - creating truly data driven opportunities based on fan interests.

Social television is increasingly becoming the norm.

About this blog

  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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