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Bringing an April fool’s joke to life


First, a brief history…namely because I was interested in learning the origins of April Fool’s Day.

The modern custom may have originated in France when the Gregorian calendar, which moved New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1, was adopted in 1582. Those who continued to celebrate the end of New Year Week on April 1 were referred to as fools.         – Encyclopedia Britannica

Fantastic.  Now that we’re all caught up…

One of my favorite April Fool’s jokes of 2011 was Gmail Motion – ‘control Gmail with your body’.

Gmail Motion (click image to enlarge)

In response, a couple of people at MxR lab, within the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, decided to bring Gmail Motion to life.  Check it out!


 

 

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Filed under: Business, Random, Tech, , ,

Jimmy Fallon, putting QR codes on the (USA) map


I first started reading about QR codes in early 2008.  Turns out they were invented by a Japanese company named Denso Wave in 1994. So even though I thought I was in the loop, I apparently had arrived late to the party by about 14 years..

So what are QR codes?  Well QR stands for “Quick Response”, as the intended use was to decode information quickly.  How is this relevant to you?  In order to scan the code, you need to download a (free) QR reader app to your phone.  Immediately after you scan the code, you are linked to whatever is embedded in the code.

Around the same time I first read about QR codes, Polo Ralph Lauren launched their mobile initiative, and introduced us to QR codes by putting them in their print advertising.  While it was a great initiative, I think America wasn’t ready for that type of technology.

I was in Japan in January, and literally saw QR codes EVERYWHERE – from descriptions on plaques of holy shrines, to bus passes, to random advertising on the streets.  Japan is overflowing with QR codes.  America, not so much. But on February 16th, Jimmy Fallon brought QR codes front and center.

Fallon had Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats of Odd Future on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday. Before the performance, Fallon held up an LP-size QR code that, when viewed with the proper app, led viewers to oddfuture.com, which features a video of Tyler The Creator’s “Yonkers.”

I hope that Jimmy Fallon’s awesome initiative brings America up-to-speed on QR codes and other new technology.

As a test, I have created my own QR code (see below).  Go ahead people, download the app, join the movement.

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, World, , , , , , , , , ,

Morgan Spurlock, redefining product placement at TED2011


Morgan Spurlock, of Super Size Me fame, will be talking about branding at this year’s TED Conference in Long Beach, CA.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with TED (stands for Technology, Entertainment & Design):

The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

In an interesting move, one that exemplifies branding in a whole new way, Spurlock has decided to sell the naming rights to his talk.

“If you are the highest bidder, then during my talk I will make reference to your company, reflect positively on your placement and share the process of how you got involved.”

When I checked his eBay listing the other day, the bid stood at around $525.  Surprisingly, the highest bid is now $2,550.

I admire the clever, out-of-the box thinking, but think that just name dropping is not enough.  People remember things better when the read rather than hear…Spurlock should also wear a t-shirt with the winning bidders’ logo/name.  Just a thought.

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , ,

Hollywood actors, doing their part to make more money


You can’t blame them, can you?  Because at the end of the day, everyone wants to find new ways to make money.

What am I talking about?

Ad.ly. It’s an advertising agency that utilizes Twitter & famous people to advertise products to the masses.

Since its launch in September 2009, it has crafted more than 20,000 endorsements for more than 150 brands, including Sony (SNE), Best Buy (BBY), and Old Navy.

So how many of these celebs are in on this?

…more than 5,000 other personalities ranging from A-list to D-list.

How much do you think they’re being paid?  Friendly reminder, each “tweet” is limited to 140 characters.

The celebs earn a flat fee per tweet that ranges “from $1,000 to mid-five figures,” says Gullov-Singh [Ad.ly’s CEO]. With more than 5.6 million followers, reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian collects “in the ball park” of $10,000 per tweet, he adds, “but her price keeps going up.

Not sure if you caught that..$10K per 140 characters.

I think this is a brilliant example of social media gone awry.

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , , , , ,

Advertising of the future, brought to you by BMW Germany


Forget print, banner/Internet or mobile advertising… BMW is taking the advertising to a whole new level.

BMW Germany is literally getting into consumers’ heads, by burning its logo onto the insides of their eyes.

I know, that sounds sort of freaky, but it’s actually quite ingenious.

Using pioneering new “flash projection” technology, BMW is testing a cinema spot in Germany that does not feature a visible logo. Instead, a bright photo flash occurs during the ad, and a few moments later the audience is asked to close its eyes.

At this point, the audience sees an after-image of the brand that has been created by the flash. The letters “BMW” appear before them, in the same way that you might see a bright spot if you had been looking at the sun and then closed your eyes.

Check out the spot in the YouTube video below.  Obviously, you won’t get the same effect, but you’ll learn how BMW Germany put the commercial together, and see real-time reactions of the audience.

Who knows, this may be a glimpse into the advertising of the future…

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Random, Tech, World, , , , , , ,

Do not track me, at a click of a button


In response to the FTC’s call for regulation of tracking (by way of cookies), and in effort to cater to its users, Microsoft has announced that

IE9, set to debut sometime next year, will offer Tracking Protection Lists, a feature similar to current popup blockers, that can stop specified websites from tracking users’ online behavior through cookies or other methods.

Thank you Microsoft.  Looking forward to this feature.

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , , , ,

Face, face, face, face (am I going to get in trouble now?)


You’ve probably already heard about this by now… the US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to let Facebook trademark the word face. Specifically in these instances:

“Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.” 

For all those who thought I was going a little overboard when I’ve previously compared Facebook to Big Brother… who looks like the crazy one now?

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , ,

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