Mobile Martha

FRESH IDEA:  That Martha Stewart sure is crafty, right?!  Well she’s also techy from the likes of her recent campaigns.  Martha Stewart Living magazine and The Martha Stewart Show are both conducting their own, tech-driven promotional programs.  Put down that flower arrangement you were working on and check these out…

Mobile Living – An ad spread in the April 2010 issue of “Living” features “Snap Tags” for various advertisers (eight in total).  The reader is instructed to take a camera phone and snap photos of these block like codes shown (see image of a Snap Tag).  And then send to a URL or a phone number (choice of).  Each of the advertisers offers the “snapper” a different value-add for snapping.  From coupons to free recipes, to tips and being able to watch a preview of a cable series.  As well as the chance to win in a sweeps (that’s the one I snapped and sent – a sweeps to win a GE Monogram Pro Range).  You’re also entered to win a $500 “prize package” (items included not specified, not even in the rules).  Interesting means of engaging a reader in the content and “interacting” with advertisers — makes a magazine more tech.  And it was easy.

Valpak Instant Win – And only days after receiving the issue of Living with the codes noted above, my USPS mail box had a Valpak of coupons with that Martha on it again.  This time, it was for her show and a chance to “Win Big in 3D.”  The outside of the co-op coupon envelope has a big M as a code.  Instructions tell you to grab the envelope, go to a specific URL, register, click “Enter and Play,” and then hold up the code to your web cam.  A message is supposed to appear, indicating whether or not you have won a copy of Martha’s newest book — an instant win game.  I haven’t had a chance to play, but it sounds AR’ish (augmented reality) given the “3D” in the program theme.  And that sweeps is in addition to a watch and win sweeps, also noted on the envelope.  Watch the show, share the name of the day’s guest on a website, and get entered to win a VIP trip to see Martha’s show in-person.  Seemingly low tech — or at least old school, right?! Again, interesting means of taking a flat, traditional piece and adding a layer of actual hands-on engagement with new technology.

Even if I don’t win the snap sweeps, sharing with you has been completely fulfilling for me.  OK…did you buy that?!  Pah-lease.  This girl would LOVE to win a big ol’ stainless, high-end stove!  Luck be a lady named Martha!  Hey, hope you have a snappy, luck-filled weekend.  TASTY TREND:  Experiential Traditional

Sneak-AR

FRESH IDEA:  I have mini trend this week of fashion-meets-technology.  Today’s installment is another usage of Augmented Reality (yes, AR, you’re right).  Adidas is about to launch a sneaker that when you hold its tongue up to a webcam, lets you play a game and interact on screen.  The sneakers actually act as the controller for the games. Three games for the AR footwear (footwe-AR?!) will be released.  Games include:  a skateboard game, where the sneaker acts as the controller to navigate a virtual city’s alleys, a Star Wars-like game, and a music-based game.  And the shoes are expected to cost between $65 and $95.

Now, as my loyal readers know…AR enhanced objects have been appearing in the form of greeting cards, ads, baseball cards, etc.  So it is getting quite “mainstream,” if you will.  But when you combine it with a brand like Adidas, it really gets cool!  Here’s the teaser video from their YouTube channel so you can get what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsTxpouPCMc

Did you catch the subject line:  “Sneak-AR”?!  Of course you did, you’re so clever.  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential

C-AR-D Tricks

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  Just when you thought Augmented Reality was “so 2009” (AR, for those who, like a pair of capris, prefer shortened), it’s back in the news thanks to Hallmark.  And honestly, it’s usage makes a lot of sense, in an effort to give “bells, whistles, voice, and sound” to traditional cards.  While also giving consumers a reason to shop and buy Hallmark versus other options (e-greetings, cheaper cards, etc.).  Roses are red.  Violets are blue.  Read on.  Won’t you?

Just in time to express your Valentine’s Day feelings, and also celebrating Hallmark’s 100th birthday year, Hallmark has launched a line of AR greeting cards.  Buy it, give it, and the recipient can enjoy the 3D-web-cam-activated action on their computer screen when they go to a special Hallmark site.  Given that AR may be new to lots of folks, the Hallmark site also provides:  a video with a crystal clear explanation of what to do and how it works;  a printable piece so even if you don’t have a card you can give AR a hands-on try (see image in the post); and although they use the words Augmented Reality, they call it an “Online Surprise.”

As a Hallmark target consumer, personally, I would absolutely consider sending an AR card.  Especially to my nieces and nephew who LOVE the surprise and delight of tech-driven tricks.  And as a marketer, wouldn’t this make a great takeaway piece (not Hallmark branded, but your brand specific) tipped in an ad, or at an event as a handout, or as part of a tear pad.  So very inspirational.

Here’s the Hallmark site with the how-to video:  http://www.hallmark.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/article|10001|10051|/HallmarkSite/Cards/AUGMENTED_REALITY

I heart starting the week off with a good nugget, don’t you?!  Did you like the subject line:  “C-AR-D Tricks”?  Of course you did, and I’m sure you totally got the AR part.  You’re so agreeable, you’re just the best!  I’ll have to put you on my Valentine’s list.  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential

B-AR

FRESH IDEA:  Having worked on beer businesses, I thought today’s Fast Company e-newsletter had a cool feature.  It’s about Stella Artois’ new iPhone app “Le Bar Guide.”  The app helps you find the nearest location where Stella is being served — whether you’re in the US or abroad.  And you can get a list of locations, maps of the locations, directions, or even have them literally pointed out to you through a mobile Augmented Reality (AR) capability.  As you can see in the image, the user simply holds up the iPhone cam to the surroundings, and the app not only finds you, but then shows you the locations on screen.  Additionally, you can save your recent finds, read reviews about the Stella-friendly locations, or participate by submitting your own reviews.  And you can also call a taxi, if needed. Awesome!

Yeah but…I’m not a beer brand.  Why should I care, other than helping me find cold, Belgium refreshment?  Oh, look at you all chalice half empty!  As a marketer, you should pay attention and get inspired when others find not just unique and cool app usages.  But also helpful, sales-driving, and loyalty building opportunities.  I have got to believe that the on and off premise locations mentioned in this app are pretty happy about it.  And may consider supporting it, if asked (e.g., coasters, table tents, etc. with iPhone app mention).  That said…Maybe you create and giveaway an app that helps locate retailers or distributors of your product as a premium, as a gift with purchase, or at an event.  Maybe you have a Mom-targeted product and your sponsored app enables her to find healthy, safe, fun places for her and her kids nearest to their location.  Maybe your app is promotional and can be used for a limited time in a scavenger hunt to help find designated hot spots.  And maybe your app also links to a social site, to help spread the word among your loyal customers.  You get the idea.  Somewhere there’s a meaningful connection between your brand, your consumer, and mobile technology.

Here’s the URL for Fast Company’s article.  It includes a video demo which is worth viewing:  http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/todays-vision-tomorrow-augmented-reality-boosted-beer-drinking-stella-artoi?partner=homepage_newsletter.  Cheers!  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential

Augmented Reality Holiday

FRESH IDEA:  I was delighted to find a fresh take on a tried and true tactic in this Sunday’s paper, delivered by Target (LOVE Target for their innovative thinking!).  It uses Augmented Reality to make an online, instant win sweeps fun and more engaging.  For anyone unfamiliar with Augmented Reality, I encourage you to check-out Crunchy Marketing Nuggets’ 8/26 and 9/14 posts.  For my smarty booties who already get it, here’s how it works for Target:

  • The Target circular has a column-sized ad, announcing the “2day Sale Gifttacular Sweepstakes.”
  • Log onto target.com/weeklyad and look for the sweeps.
  • You’re instructed to hold-up your circular to your computer’s web cam.  Specifically, so the cam can read a black and white gift with a Target logo at the bottom of the ad to set the Augmented Reality experience in motion.
  • Click to spin a Target-bullseye shaped wheel and choose a 3-D wrapped gift on the wheel.  The 3-D happens thanks to Augmented Reality.
  • Once you’ve selected a gift, you’re prompted to register your information.
  • The gift opens up and reveals whether or not you’ve won one of thousands of prizes, including Target gift cards — with five, $10,000 gift cards seeded among the goodies.  Woo hoo!
  • You’re also able to share some experience through Facebook Connect.  I opted out of this step, as a message indicating that they can change photos on my profile appeared.  Huh??  I wasn’t comfortable with this application.

As you can see from the image in this post, I gave the wheel a spin and was not so lucky — earning a coupon for a free soda, so sad, no woo hoo here.  I must note for my promotion friends who care about the details, that I “unwrapped” the coupon — I didn’t “win it.”  Which is a really creative way of being legal:  not calling a coupon a prize, not implying that I won a prize.

OK, so what makes this all so nuggety?  This is the first time I’ve seen Augmented Reality used in a national, consumer promotion — not just an ad or magazine cover. And it really works nicely in the context of a sweepstakes, as it adds excitement. You can play once a day up through Thanksgiving Day, getting you to hang onto the Target circular, as a great reminder to potential shoppers.  For whatever tech reason, my web cam would not cooperate, and so visions of 3-D gifts spinning didn’t happen as anticipated.  But, it certainly didn’t stop the sweeps.  And kudos to Target for giving me plenty of options to still play and not use the technology. 

Who knew a regular ol’ Sunday morning of coffee and the newspaper would hold such nuggety-goodness?!  I love it!  If you want to check it out and didn’t save the Target flyer, you can print out the same black and white gift code and give the gift wheel a spin –yet another nice way to enable as many consumers play as possible.  Here’s the code’s URL:  https://2daysweepstakes.target.com/pdf/Print_AR_Marker.pdf

And who knows…You may be lucky and win big!  Or an extra bottle of soda like me.  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential;  Socially Acceptable

Get Real

ARexampleCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  So a few weeks back (8/26 post), we chatted about Augmented Reality.  And I was just in a brainstorm last week when it was brought up as a potential tactic.  “What is this ‘augmented reality’ of which you speak?!”  was the response. (Sort of — I’ve dramatized it a bit.  Fancier than saying “Huh?” right?!)   What I found was that augmented reality was much easier and clearer to understand when you get to see it in action, versus trying to explain it.  That said, with a little help from Scott (thank you, SH!), here are four, good examples of AR in action. The last three are links to videos worthy of your time.

Image Shown – P&G’s Always — This was an example mentioned in the 8/26 post.  But the image shows me, holding up the Always ad that I printed from their site, logged onto their special site.  And what appeared on screen when I held the ad up to my web cam.  Lots of “magic” happened with clouds and a bunny and swirly stuff thanks to augmented reality.  Good hands-on example to print out and try for yourself:   http://www.always.com/infinity/always_infinity.jsp#/home

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVcdurnfcPo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7jm-AsY0lU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_7NW_u3VFo&feature=PlayList&p=64584AC6FD1EE047&index=0

These are all traditional media and at-home examples.  As covered in the 8/26 post, don’t forget the mobile applications using smart phone apps, which are really cool, and quite useful.  Go check it out and feel smart the next time someone mentions it.  And perhaps, given the right objectives and brand situation, try tossing it into a brainstorm — who knows, it just may be right!  TASTY TREND:  Traditional experiential;  Socially acceptable

Augmented Reality

augmrealityCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about Augmented Reality.  So in the interest of making us all smarty booties, I’d like to share a little scoop.

To explain it simply, Brandweek describes Augmented Reality (or AR as it’s often referred to) as “marrying the digital and physical worlds by taking complex data and overlaying it with views of the real world via webcam technology and multiple screens.”  OK, now that I’ve used that quote and have read it aloud, I think that’s not terribly simplified, sheesh.  I think examples will make it much clearer.

Social shopping – Zugara is a shopping AR application.  It enables a person to stand in front of  his or her computer’s webcam and see, on screen, his or her own image “dressed” in different outfits.  So it’s taken a real photo/image with webcam technology, and has turned it into an augmented reality on the screen.  As a cute-outfit-hunter/shopper myself, this application makes total sense — it lets you “try on an outfit” in the comfort of your home, and then share a potential keeper, with you in “in it.”  A little fashion show of sorts, e.g., post it to your FB profile with a “Cute? Not cute? Appropriate?  Thoughts?” comment.

Ad magic – P&G just used AR recently, for a fem care product.  Download the ad, print it out, hold it up to your webcam, and then watch as magic tricks happen “in the ad” on your screen for the sake of creating awareness for Always, and how the product “works like magic.”  Mmm!  Who knew marketing fem care could be so cutting edge, right?!  Here’s the URL if you want to give it a try (fem care aside):  http://www.always.com/infinity/always_infinity.jsp#/experience-the-magic

iPhone Apps – My last example is going to put you right on the forefront of being in the know.  Oh, look at you, getting so smart and edgy!  As noted in this morning’s Fast Company e-newsletter, in the next few weeks, Apple is not only releasing a new code version, but they are also allowing AR mobile apps to be sold in the app store.  So take that webcam technology, and bring it on the go.  The image used in today’s post is a subway finder application for Paris.  Hold up an iPhone to capture images of a street, and instantly see the location of the nearest subway station.  Other great example apps include travel usage — hold up an iPhone and get instant info about a tourist destination.  Or face recognition — hold it up to capture a person’s face, and instantly get their profile information.  Here’s the Fast Company newsletter URL if you’d like to read more:  http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/iphone-ar-avalanche-beings-first-real-ar-app-live-app-store?partner=homepage_newsletter

Cool stuff, right?  AR would be terrific technology to create “virtual events.”  Or a great means of “demonstrating a product” with the consumer on screen as part of the demo.  Or an app could make an excellent branded premium.  It seems like a lot of high tech, but wow, there certainly are a lot of make-sense marketing applications.  Now that you’re up to speed, go on out and innovate!  TASTY TRENDS:  Socially acceptable;  Experiential traditional