A Cat Jumps Into a Box

FRESH IDEA:  “And then the cat jumps into the box to determine what prize you win…”  I love a fresh new idea.  Especially when you can giggle about the marketing team level conversations had around the idea.  Where I found this lol cat of sorts was in today’s PSFK email newsletter.  It shared a sweeps for retailer Uniqlo who is opening up a new store in San Francisco, has a pop-up location, too, and is using the program to drive engagement and store traffic.  Now…none of that is funny.  How it comes to life, now that’s worth a chuckle:

Big in Japan — A Japanese cat named Maru has enjoyed fame on YouTube.  There are a series of videos featuring the cat; each has gotten anywhere from over 1 million to over 8 million views!  Apparently the one where Maru gets in and out of boxes caught the attention of the Uniqlo creative team.

Inside the box — So how it works…using a Uniqlo Facebook app, consumers can share their info and then have Maru choose a prize box.  The catch is that you’ll have to claim it at the new retail or pop-up locations (drive to retail).  Now…if you’re outside of San Fran and still want to play, you get a mystery prize.  Mine was a free recipe download from chef Danny Bowien.  Apparently, he is a known icon in San Fran. Which…to be strategically on target…is what Uniqlo intended, using local stars and a YouTube “sensation” rather than big celebs or models.

It’s a fun piece with a really good user experience — and it’s just different, which is what I really liked about it.  Go ahead, you can try it out here: http://www.uniqlo.com/luckycube/

The recipe is for Rice Porridge with Dungeness Crab, Chicken and Soft-Cooked Egg, yummy! (That was sarcastic, sorry…*bleck*).  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Shopper Marketing Finds

Real Time Marketing

FRESH IDEA:  If you weren’t paying attention to the marketing world this week, then you missed a really cool, incredibly unique social campaign.  So late Wednesday, one of my Creative Directors asked me if I had seen what Old Spice was doing and just how brilliant the thinking.  And sure enough, the next morning, the press was buzzing about it.  And by Thursday afternoon, it was all over.  In case you blinked or you were just really busy and missed it, here’s what happened…

  • P&G’s Old Spice campaign spokesperson Isaiha Mustafa (aka the smooth, shirtless guy in the towel from the ads) turned tweets into real time, YouTube video responses.
  • 100+ videos were shot, addressing everyone from celebs to brands to regular peeps, all whom had tweeted something to him or about him on Twitter.  The responses were custom created in direct response to the specific @address.
  • Wieden + Kennedy was responsible for the fleeting spots;  Fast Company has an insider’s look interview with the creative team:  http://www.fastcompany.com/1670314/old-spice-youtube-videos-wieden

If you go to YouTube and look for Old Spice’s channel, you can watch all of the responses — they’re funny and well written and maintain the tone of the campaign:  http://www.youtube.com/user/oldspice?v=uLTIowBF0kE&feature=pyv&ad=5066079497&kw=old%20spice&gclid=CKnEhN7R8KICFRecnAodMxFHmw#p/c/484F058C3EAF7FA6

So very real time, so very powerful, so very clever.  Well done, P&G!  Hope your weekend finds you inspired.  Or maybe feeling as smooth as Isaiah.  TASTY TREND:  Real Time – Here and Now Marketing; Socially Acceptable

Share Your Food

FRESH IDEA:  It seems that today’s technology and social spaces bring out passions of all sorts.  Food, of course, among these passions.  And so when I read in New York magazine (5/10/10 issue) about a social site dedicated to snapping-sharing-reviewing restaurants, I wasn’t terribly surprised.  The site is called twiddish.

Essentially, you grab the iPhone app and snap a shot of your food right before you eat it at a restaurant.  It then gets posted – along with your rating/comments – on twiddish.

According to the founders — one who is just about to graduate, I might add! (youngin’s)  — twiddish has been based on the three principles:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • Foodies crave dishes above all else
  • Diners trust the opinions of their peers

You can search within the site, if you’re looking for something specific.  And like Twitter, you can follow and/or stream what others are saying.  Microbloggers as restaurant reviewers = true word of mouth (but wait until you’re done chewing, for heavens sake!).  Me, I’d be afraid of getting shmotz on my phone, so I’ll probably pass.  No need for you to see my greek yogurt and fruit from home, really (bor-ing).  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Care to Share

GPS LOL

FRESH IDEA:  As a Star Wars fan, I thought saying “May the Fourth” was just hilarious yesterday.  And then my LOL-fest continued as I read this morning about TomTom’s partnership with LucasFilm and Voiceskins.com.  TomTom now has an agreement to use voices from the “Star Wars” universe — including Darth Vader, C3PO, Yoda, and Han Solo — in its navigation systems.  Brilliant!  And if that wasn’t good enough for a Star Wars geek, you have got to check out the video developed as a “behind the scenes look” at Darth Vader recording the voice for the GPS.  Hysterical!  Great usage of a partnership to create product differentiation.  As well as online video for support and word of mouth/social spread.  And yes…May the Force be with you….always.  TASTY TREND: Traditional Experiential; Socially Acceptable

Sweet Sweet Viral

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I am an Account Planner.  It is my job to ensure that a creative brief is written to connect with the target.  And the creative that is delivered meets the brief.  OK…With that caveat in mind, I ask you:  Have you seen the Juicy Fruit viral serenading unicorn yet?!?!  It’s a unicorn puppet.  Choose a love song — from Michael Bolton, to Culture Club, to Boyz II Men.  Customize for a friend.  And then send to “sweeten his or her day.”  That must of been some brief!

Now…from a viral perspective, it’s funny, therefore stirring up an emotion as the best viral pieces do.  The creators went to the top…So no sock puppets here.  It was done using Jim Henson’s production studios.  And it’s simple.  It does “sweeten” your day…How can you not laugh at just hearing “Do you really want to hurt me?!”

But wow…What a crazy concept!!  I’m sharing this because I’m not quite sure whether to applaud or be appalled at its stupidity.  Yep, it’s got a Facebook fan page.  It’s measurable.  And it breaks through to a younger, much more irreverent audience.  But it’s one of those kooky tactics I wouldn’t know what do with if I was in Customer Marketing (does Walmart care?!).  Hey, for someone who likes to draw conclusions and “bigger picture” linkages, I’m stumped today.  Who knew…a unicorn?!  Seriously — this is the kind of post I’d LOVE to get comments on and help me out here…  Between this and Zappos, maybe the trend is puppets in creative executions?!?!

Here’s the link if you want to check it out:  http://www.serenadingunicorn.com/

Write me, write me!  Just don’t send me this video.  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable

Groundhog Day Prep

CRUNCHY NUGGET:  I know that February 2nd is a few weeks away, but I’m a planner at heart!  That said, last week I heard that you can sign-up to get an official text message regarding Punxsutawney’s shadow/no shadow spotting.  Text “Groundhog” to the SMS short-code 247365 using your cell phone. When Phil ventures out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob the morning of 2/2, you’ll get a text messages stating whether he saw his shadow (bad news…six more weeks of winter, boo hiss) or didn’t see it (good news…early spring, woo hoo!).  As anyone who followed Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, text messaging — although it almost feels, dare I say, old school — can be very effective in spreading the word quickly.  So nice PR play by the folks who support the furry fellow out in PA.

For fun, I tried to find other, higher tech extensions of this event.  But found none.  Nope, quite surprisingly no Punxsutawney Phil Facebook Fan page.  No available apps for smartphones.  And gosh, not even a Twitter account — which, actually, would be a perfect, no-cost, timely fit.  But I guess it’s a small step in a world that, let’s face it, centers around weather-prediction-by-animal-shadow.

I’m guessing he sees his shadow. It’s been pretty darn cold in the Northeast this year, let alone entire nation.  But I’ll just have to wait and see.  Oh, the anticipation of the holiday.  TASTY TREND:  Traditional Experiential

Fab Fiesta

FRESH IDEA:  One of my peeps shared this GREAT article recently published on BusinessWeek.com, and posted originally on HavardBusiness.org.  It was about Ford’s Fiesta Movement program.

Essentially, Ford gave 100 consumers (agents) each a 2011 Ford Fiesta.  And every month, these agents were given a mission to complete in their Fiestas based on a theme.  Themes included:  Travel, Technology, Style/Design, Social Activism, Adventure, and Entertainment.  The missions had to be reported, and documentation was shared through social spaces: YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

OK, so that’s a nice contest with real-time reporting and product usage.  But oh no, no, my dear reader!  What makes this execution so darn crunchy is what the smarty booties at Harvard pointed toward.  The agents selected were already active in social spaces, and hungry to give their readers good content.  So for Ford and these agents, it was a win-win: Ford was able to show their car in cool, unique situations over a nice period of time.  And the agents not only got a car, but a reason to create their own unique content, and publish it for their readers.

So…How it do?  Try:  6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for information about the car.  Note that virtually none of these requests came from people who already had a Ford in their garages. Ford sold 10,000 units in the first six days of sales. And all with a budget that cost less than traditional buys.

Here’s the article’s URL:  http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/jan2010/ca2010018_445530.htm.  It’s worth a few minutes of your time to read it and then check out the Movement online at FiestaMovement.com.

A huge thanks and shout out to Susan S. for being such an EXCELLENT sharer of crunchy goodness (woot woot!).  This is great information and inspiration.  Hey, I hope your weekend drives you toward fun, adventure, and your idea of a “fiesta” (ole! or beep beep!).  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable