Fast Photos

130102040713-snapchat-story-topCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  What if you could snap a photo on your cell phone, send it to  friend, and then have it disappear in seconds — on purpose?  That’s what mobile app Snapchat enables.  As of January 1st this year, 50 million photos were being sent like this every day through Snapchat, with over one billion sent in total.  Snapchat lets you take a photo or video, add in a caption, and then choose how long you wish for the viewer to be able to see this photo or vid, up to 10 seconds, before it self destructs. The recipient can certainly take a screen shot of what they received — so keeping true to the internet, nothing sent is completely private nor deleted, necessarily.  Which leads to certainly the words “sexting” and “risque” and “parental concerns” come up when you read about Snapchat.  But this post isn’t about that…rather, it’s about how marketers are seeing interesting executions with this app. Quick!  Read on as this blog post will self destruct in 10-9-8-just kidding.

Snap, share & save — Earlier this year, frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles used Snapchat to deliver a surprise offer.  It worked like this: snap a shot using Snapchat of you and your friends enjoying 16 Handles fro yo.  Send your shot to 16 Handles’ Snapchat account.  In exchange, receive a surprise discount from 16 to 100% off of your next purchase at 16 Handles.  The recipient had 10 seconds to let the cashier scan the photo/offer before it destructed.  Now, my inner pragmatic promotions person says “Eek!  What if the cashier doesn’t know what to do…what if it disappears too quickly…” etc. etc.  But, I will say that this was a small scale program, testing out the waters of an app used by the brand’s target audience.  So good for 16 Handles.  Now, keeping that open mind, there are other ideas for using Snapchat among brands.

clickZ  — Just last week, clickZ ran an article by Andrew Solmssen. It shared his ideas on how brands can use Snapchat.  Everything from scavenger hunts to events to insider access to contests.  Now…again,..I have to let my “yes but…” execution voice hush and let this man speak.  At the very least, it shows that the platform has interesting extensions and can be a good brainstorm idea piece for your future thoughts.  Again, I think it would work best if the redemption and participation parameters were kept nice and tight and controlled.  Here is the article: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2240363/marketing-with-snapchat-its-not-just-for-the-kids?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email&utm_term=&utm_content=Marketing%20With%20Snapchat%3A%20It%27s%20Not%20Just%20for%20the%20Kids&utm_campaign=01%2F31%2F13%20-%20Mobile&utm_source=ClickZ%20Media&utm_medium=Email

One last note about this app is it just goes to show how immediate today’s audiences are about their content and its consumption.  What’s new now, can be gone in 10 seconds.  Oh and as always, I think the best way to really see what something is all about is to try it.  So do go ahead and download the app, find a friend, snap away, and then look quickly!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Here and Now #snapchat #marketingideas #photos #mobile

Holiday Playlist

Screen shot 2012-12-14 at 11.55.28 AMFRESH FACTS:  I love a good infographic, I do.  I pulled this one from Nielsen.  It’s fun — sharing insights on what consumers listen-to during the holiday season.  All good to know if you’re updating your Holiday playlist, right?!  And really, where are those Chipmunks these days?!  (“Al-VIN!”). That’s all…quick, lil’ nibbley nibble for your day, enjoy!

TASTY TRENDS:  Tech Talk

The Gif that Gives

Screen shot 2012-12-03 at 2.20.41 PM

FRESH IDEA: Just recently, I was in a brainstorm where a woman was mentioning that she and her Husband like to pass around gifs (they’re both cool, tech savvy types).  Gif, I should mention, is short for “graphics interchange format.” According to Mashable (article here with lots of examples: http://mashable.com/2012/10/19/animated-gif-history/), gifs have been around since the late 80’s — providing a little flash and fun on websites before the days of videos that didn’t require tons of time to buffer and download.  They’ve since taken on a humor bent, delivering quick, funny situations with animation that are easily passed around and posted.  And now they’ve landed as a promotional piece as delivered by retailer Uniqlo.

Gif Box Promotion — I saw this on Facebook, but I also received it in an email, and it lives on their home page.  Clothing retailer Uniqlo is offering you the chance to win one of seven, fun holiday gifs that you can share/post/embed as you wish, as well as savings offers up to “100% off” to be awarded as a $500 gift card (that’s gift, not gif card).  (Note, for my promotion purists: savings are not really prizes, FYI, because it requires purchase.  So the gifs are really the prizes, and the up to $500 helps, too).  Simply go to their site, enter your email and up pops your prize.  For me, it was a gif that I could share immediately of an igloo.  They also followed-up with a coupon and the gif again, in case I needed it.  What I like about this program is that it’s taking what is already being shared — gifs — giving it a holiday spin — gif box — and turning it into promotional currency, i.e., something you want to win and share — while also collecting data for a retailer that’s hip and trendy. Pretty cool stuff.  Find it here: http://www.uniqlo.com/gifbox/

Kudos to Jess for coming up with this idea even before seeing it.  And for Uniqlo for actually executing it!  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable

Traveling Tablets

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I had the opportunity to travel recently to Italy.  And among my souvenirs, I picked up a crunchy nugget (I wonder how you say that in Italian?!).  When in Rome (and Florence and Venice)…Use a tablet. Everywhere.  A very common site among the other tourists was the heavy usage of iPads.  Travelers used their iPads to: take pictures (first and foremost I saw this as the most frequent usage), listen to tours/guides, and browse on the go.  I personally had never seen a tablet get that sort of public usage — particularly for photo snapping.  Now, smartphone photography and cameras were more common, yes.  But truly, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised given that tablet sales worldwide will more than triple between the end of 2011 and 2013, when sales will reach more than 200 million (according to eMarketer and a IHS iSuppli study).  But then again…it seems most media habit studies focus more on social and browsing and purchase behaviors versus the out-and-about usage of tablets — so my surprise is also founded in my own crunchy nugget digging.  Well, nevertheless it was quite interesting, and could present an opportunity for brands that play in the travel space, i.e., do you develop an app, do you make sure you’re tablet friendly, etc. As they say in Italy: si and grazie!  TASTY TREND: Go Mobile; Here and Now

Good Gaming

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  235 million.  That’s how many people play games on Facebook each month.  So it seems like a natural place to house a game.  Particularly coming from a brand.  And that’s exactly what Home Depot is doing with their Zombie Mulch game.  Certainly, it looks an awful lot like Plants vs. Zombies…but is that such a bad thing?!  A banner invited me to play, just recently, bringing me to a Facebook app.  Accept the app and drive an orange Home Depot truck to avoid zombies and other obstacles in order to earn “mulch.”  The more mulch earned, the higher a coupon you can receive from Home Depot’s Garden Club.  Sign-up for the club and you’ll double your score as you play.

From a user experience, the game is fun and easy — drive like a crazy person on the sidewalk, hit zombies by accident.  But from the “um, what did I earn?” and “what do I do” keeping it simple perspective, I must say that it isn’t terribly clear.  You have to click your way around to figure out what’s what.  And a leader board?  Really?  I’m not sure if this crowd really cares about a score versus scoring a coupon!  But anyway…that’s just my two cents.  I will give Home Depot credit, however, for: Using banners to push to the app — otherwise who would see but fans?  Linking game play to couponing and a drive to store.  And lastly, providing a means to build their database.  Lots of freebie bloggers mention this game, by the way.

You can find the game here: https://apps.facebook.com/zombiemulch/  TASTY TREND: Go Game; Socially Acceptable: Retailers Rule

Moms, UX, Pups & Pumpkin

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  A little bitta this…a little bitta that.  Throughout my week I typically hold aside interesting tid bits for the nuggets.  This week I have a bunch to share, so hang in there as today’s post swerves from topic to topic.  Let’s start with moms and mobile….

Moms are SoMo: So huh?!  SoMo = social and mobile  According to a new study released by eMarketer, Moms are among the fastest adopting groups to access social networks on smartphones.  According to their data: 40%, and as high as 60%, of all Moms in the US will be accessing social networks through mobile devices by the end of this year.  What this means for brand-types and marketing folks is this:  cross-platform development.  If you put it on Facebook, you gotta make sure a Mom can access it on her mobile or a tablet.  I just saw a great example of this level of execution in a Facebook post for Boden USA Clothing.  They have a sweeps that calls out how to enter right on FB (in an app) or through a mobile alternative.  OK, so that’s that…onto what I posted in the image…

Social shopping share:  While browsing potential dresses for an upcoming wedding I am attending, I was on Macy’s website.  As I was poking around a piece popped-up for me, offering to share my pictures in a poll that I could post onto Facebook.  So if I wished to, I could share my picks with friends and let them vote on which dress they like best.  Now, what I like about this feature is that it organically shares a retailer’s offerings.  My inner brand person was excited by the thought of passing along great brands, interesting styles, and the net takeaway of “Macy’s is a good place to shop for what I need…”  Particularly for retailers who need to widen their circle of shoppers.  Really good user experience piece, in my opinion.  OK, next…woof.

Pup-Up: Seriously, the concept of experiential pop-up shops for brands has been around for what…ten, fifteen years easily?!  But kudos to Rachel Ray and her new line of premium dog food Nutrish to bring a little fresh twist to it.  As a brand, Nutrish experiences 50% conversion post-sampling efforts, so getting nibbles to dogs and their owners is an important strategy.  RR has taken the idea of a food truck and has dog-ized it for her sampling efforts, with an initial in-market execution in Manhattan.  What caught my marketing eye was: 1. The cleverness of “pup-up.” Cute!  Really great way of using a food truck/mobile effort. 2. The smarts of taking sampling out and about to find lots of pet owners who are also out and about walking their dogs.  And 3. The “well duh”-ness about it.  Simple. Makes sense to point of almost being a “duh” idea.  But in a good way.  Here’s the NY Times article about this effort: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/business/media/rachael-ray-promotes-nutrish-dog-food-with-a-truck.html?ref=media  And lastly, who put pumpkin in my….

Pumpkin Flavah Crave: Do feel like you’re seeing pumpkin-flavored-this and pumpkin-flavored-that a lot lately?!  Well as someone who actually likes pumpkin flavored goodies, I certainly have and there’s good reason.  NY Magazine stated this past week: “Pumpkin is the New Bacon.”  And noting that not only is this year “one of the most active years for seasonal pumpkin menuing,” but also that sales of pumpkin drinks specifically has risen 400% in the past five years.  The list of pumpkin-touched foods and drinks is extensive.  Almost shrimp-ala-Bubba-Gump-like.  But here’s a few: Pop-Tarts, Pringles (yes, the chips in a can have gone pumpkin), ale, martinis, margaritas, bagels, English Muffins, Eggo Waffles, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Jet-Puffed marshmallows, lasagna noodles, and of course…Starbucks lattes.  *Phew!*

I have other nibbles to share, but will keep this nice and nuggety.  Hey, no matter what your plans for the weekend — a little bitta this, little bitta that, hope it’s a good one, enjoy!  TASTY TREND: Here and Now, Go Mobile, Mobile Moms

Lovin’ It

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  It’s Monday. It’s a holiday, but not for our office.  It’s cloudy and gray out.  The AC is on in our building and it’s freezing.  Ah yes.  So many things to frown about today.  But alas…Instead, I’ve decided to post a few things that are making me smile from the marketing world.  Good and crunchy nuggets that I’m loving.  And of course, I need to share the love…

On Target: Have you read about Target’s holiday toy initiative this year?  Target is taking parental insights, specifically: sometimes “santa” can’t shop without the gift recipients present at store; and sometimes when “santa” gets around to fulfilling lists, toys are sold out.  So starting October 14th, Target is putting QR codes by each of their top 20 toys.  Scan the code using your smart phone and it gets ordered, purchased, and shipped to your home.  No worries if the gift recipient is with you as you’re not “buying it” at the register.  And no worries if the shelf has been cleared.  The mobile transaction will find it online (at the North Pole?!).  QR code naysayers state: “but will parents actually do this?”  Well…perhaps the pressures of santa (and other gift purchasing types — my apologies for focusing only on Christmas) will drive the tech behavior.  Think about the crazy stories you’ve heard before of parents going to all lengths to get toys.  This simply requires a little forward tech behavior, easy peasy.  Next up…

I want candy: And I want this in my office:  a JellyBelly jelly bean vending machine. Choose your flavors and your sizes: 2.5-oz. for $2; 5-oz. for $4; and 7-oz. for $6 portions.  Get your cup ready.  And enjoy!  They’ve offered packages before sure.  But this is the mix and match kind of tasty goodness.  And, the machine holds up to 300 pounds of JellyBelly jelly beans, yum!

Infographics are sweet, too: And lastly…you know that I love my infograhics (and if you don’t, now you do).  Here is a link to a nice, juicy piece about mobile and social and how it impacts shopping habits.  Quickie nibble example: Did you know that 60% of active Facebook users said that they’d discuss a product or a service if a discount or deal was offered?  Here’s the rest found on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/10/02/smart-devices-social-media-shopping/

Ah yes.  It’s the little things that warm my heart and my brain.  Now, if only the heat would get cranking in our office, that would be great.  TASTY TREND:  Here and now; Retailer Tech; Go Mobile