Monday, August 31, 2009

The future of creativity

As we are all focused on Thinking Fresh about the future. I have noticed two recent businesses that are reinventing the value of creativity (as we traditionally deal with it in the marketing business).
A B&T article covered the launch which is a site where creative agencies can sell ideas, that their current clients didn't run, to others. Sort of like the Trading Post of creative ideas. I assume there would be a cost advantage to buying someone else's second hand ideas?

There are other things apart from ideas available, including research & music.
As it only launched today it will be interesting to see how big the market is for this type of service.

On the flip side, in the US clients are doing away with the creative agencies all together.

Unilever goes crowdsourcing to spice up Peperami's TV ads "Food giant drops ad agency Lowe after 16 years and puts up a $10,000 prize for creative marketing ideas".

Consumer created ads are nothing new. Doritos (who did it for $12.79) , Southwest Airlines, and Saucony are just a very few examples.

The interesting thing about Unilever's decision is their attitude.
  • They have broken a 16 year relationship: " Unilever said it has no plans to retain a full-time ad agency for the Peperami account in future."

  • And taken Lowe's idea with them: "the (winning) ad has to feature the cheeky Peperami character Animal, created by Lowe London."
The website that consumers are to submit their Peperami work has cracked many other briefs, though mainly charity clients.

Both and will no doubt open some debate on the ownership of ideas, as well as the value placed on creative ideas & relationships.

Augmented Reality goes mobile

Following up from Jacquie's post on augmented reality there is more (overseas) news on this technology;

The Wall Has Fallen: 3 Augmented Reality Apps Now Live in iPhone App Store

Lifting this technology from the fixed desk and taking it to the streets does feel like a step forward for uses & uptake in this technology.

Closer to home, well close enough for us to claim it (like Pavlova & Pharlap), a NZ company used AR for their Valentine’s Day activity.
Nothing says "I love you" like some Augmented Reality
Here is link to a video & more information
(hat tip to The Newspaper Works for the link)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OMD's future gallery opens up in Melbourne

what better way to see out the end of a Monday than a champagne toast to interesting-ness.

In the last few days our ideation room, AKA The White Room turned into OMD's Future Gallery space and we've invited all our friends and colleagues to come step inside and time travel over the next 2 weeks.
As you can see it was rousing affair full of air kissing and inspiration....

What's going on there:
-There's the Timeline wall (2010 to 2040)showcasing what ideas are becoming extinct and what is about to evolve.
-A bunch of inspiring case studies to warm the cockles and make you wish 'you'd done that'
-Classic quotes to steal and throw into your 'future' presentations
-A video corner to get yourself up to speed on stats, facts, social media, techy comms and case studies
-A digital radio to plough through and check out fly by night stations like Pink Radio (yes, pink the singer)

It's a living breathing space to enjoy, write thoughts down or share a few opinions on the walls.

Come get it whilst it's hot!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seeing the after before

ThinnerView is a new tool that digitally enhances photos of people to show them at their goal weight.

All you need to do is send in your photo and a digital 'artist' will create a custom made image of you at your goal weight. The idea behind it is that you're more likely to lose weight by being able to visualise your goal.

The tool supposedly creates your after photo based on bone structure and build. And as they say all for less than the price of a single dinner out...well its actually $14.99US (about $18 Aussie).

Do you want fries with that? You can also whiten your teeth and have wrinkles and blemishes in your photo removed!

I thought it was pretty handy if you plan to lose weight but don't want to wait to upload your slimmer self on Facebook.
Some gyms in the US are reportedly using the tool as a way to sign more people up for memberships, or are giving it away for free to premium members.

A simple way to sign up people who want to see the 'after' before!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exploiting me exploiting chaos

This is a brilliant example of how to live and breathe the message.

Those clever clogs at Trendhunter have come up with a super community driven marketing idea for their Chief Trend Hunter - Jeremy Gutsche's new book - EXPLOITING CHAOS.

Firstly I'll need to tell you about the clever clogs marketing idea as this will help explain where I fit in...
If you are anything like me, you subscribe to lots of interesting newsletters and yet don't read them very often. Just so happens, I received my regular Trendhunter weekly read and opened this one to discover something a bit intriguing.

There was reference to a soon to be released book EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change and the chance to get hold of the first chapter by becoming part of their 'revolution'. hmmm... what does heck that mean? I aint no revolutionary...

In simple terms, I discovered it meant 2 really easy to do things:

By registering your twitter or blog account with Trendhunter, they would:

1. Send you a special link to share the 1st chapter with your readers (friend get friend idea)
2. Distribute 100,000 views to their launch partner friends based on how many times visitors click on their custom EXPLOITING CHAOS URL… (inspire loads of proactivity from their base)

So, I unashamedly joined up... hey, I wanted to read the first chapter and here's our super special custom link for readers of this blog:

Anyway, I have read the first chapter... a little cynical given the title didn't sound remarkably different from a few recent books I have stumbled across but honestly... this sneak peak was refreshingly inspiring and I am keen to get my grubby mitts on this book when it comes out in all good bookshops.

The book, (well first chapter I read) is littered with gems, historical case studies, quotes and definitions and an Exploiting Chaos Framework.

What I also like is their recognition of changing reading habits so this is a book that addresses this well and can be read in 2 ways:
-The traditional way... cover to cover
-The Exploiting Chaos way... read the headlines and use them to tell the quick and digestible story version.

Check it out... here It won't take long long to plough through it and I'd be surprised if you didn't get one nifty learning from the experience!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reach out & touch me

The keyboard may well become redundant in the face of the growing use of touchscreens within personal computers, according to a new survey by market researcher NPD’s DisplaySearch.
The report estimates that the touchscreen market will almost triple by 2015, from $3.6bn to $9bn.

Touch screen penetration has been rapidly increasing in mobile phones, portable navigation devices, gaming and other applications. Over the next several years, touch screens will undergo strong growth in large-size applications, such as retail, ticketing, point of information and education/training.

Touch screen PC's are available now , but techie bloggers are hanging for the Apple tablet.

The next Windows release - Windows 7 will offer a lot for touchscreen users & help drive uptake.

Will this spell the end of the keyboard and possiblying even typing?

Friday, August 14, 2009

when music meets technology and soft porn

Check out this crazy is a collaboration between Calvin Harris, Sony Music Entertainment, and a bunch called Bare who have invented conductive body ink. In essence you turn humans into circuit board...

If you can speak tech talk... you'll know what this all means:

“Ink-human circuitry” was painted onto the models while two Arduinos were used to provide an analog-to-digital connection with a computer. From there, patching environment Max/MSP translates data to MIDI where the models can then perform by closing circuits with their hands or feet.

Calvin Harris is calling it the Humanthesizer - geddit!

Bare suggest this technology can be used for 'dance, music, computer interfaces, communication and medical devices'

Like the fact this is technology bringing flesh and blood back together... let's face it, mostly technology enables us to do most things whilst avoiding 'face time'

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is augmented reality old news already?

Given the topic “The Future is Now” is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, I was searching for some examples of what’s going on with augmented reality in other markets…(building on Alex’s May AR blog post). I was a tad disappointed to discover that all the examples I found were either a) from other markets or b) been and gone, done and dusted. Did we miss the boat on this one? Or has the boat not arrived yet?

In America, Doritos released a "late night" range of chips, where snackers could experience(via webcam) a 3D "live" performance by artists such as Blink-182. All you had to do was visit and hold up the symbol on the back of the chip bag to your webcam. You then select your favourite artist, and they magically appear right in front of your eyes. It’s great to see marketers thinking “outside the bag” if you know what I mean. It seems the promotion is no longer active, so here's a link to a consumer posted YouTube video (a tad long, but you get the picture)

Again, in America, at selected Lego stores, shoppers can see their future creations by holding up lego boxes in front of an interactive kiosk, where via augmented reality a computer screen reflects back the image of that shopper holding up the finished product. It’s a great way to literally get the product in consumers hands –seeing is believing! This has been on the cards for Lego since 2007.

In December 2008 MINI created a print ad that when viewed though a web cam produces a virtual 3D model of their MINI Cabrio convertible on screen. The ad was featured in German automotive magazines.

So what's next and how can we take advantage of all this amazing new technology?

Did you know?

Following on from Rob post about predicting the future I found this video that illustrates the pace of change we are now dealing with.
Did you know?
- There are more text messages sent each day than there are people on the planet.
- The top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 did not even exist in 2004.
- There are 540,000 word in the English language, 5 x as many as in Shakespeare's day.

Watch it, before the pace change makes the data out of date.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is predicting the future easy?

Last night I watched a film called Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage. It's about him getting hold of a list of predictions of all the natural and man made disasters that are going to happen. It starts off as an OK film but half way through it turns out he has to save the world from a huge solar flair. Anyway, don't watch it as it's rubbish.

But it got me thinking about predicting the future, which is timely as our Think Fresh 09 event features 6 futurists and future shapers, from companies such as Microsoft, Google and MCN.

Is predicting the future getting harder or easier? As the pace of technological change quickens, you'd have to think it gets harder to see what will happen. But on the other hand, predicting the future seems to be almost single-mindedly about technology these days which is probably easier to predict than if we were trying to predict turns in international politics. And we have more info and modeling at our fingertips to predict than ever before.

Imagine being alive in 1065 AD and trying to predict the would not have anywhere near enough information, and the pace of technological change would be so slow as to be almost invisible (or at least that's the way we'd see it if we were transported back, but I'm sure there people back then lamenting the introduction of bows and arrows and the decline of jousting as a key skill). The future would be an unknowable blend of religion, politics and intrigue, and the information and power would be in the hands of just a few people. At this time change would have come in quick bursts and then long pauses, e.g. William the Conquerer's invasion in 1066 would probably have been followed by a long period of stability in every day life.

So anyway, change these days is more pervasive and affects all of us more equally, it is brought about by more people, it is probably more knowable as it's more democratic and we certainly have much much more information to base our predictions on.

That's why I reckon predicing the future just might be a bit easier every year!

The children are our future

A great night of useful programming on the ABC this Thursday night.
8pm sees the next episode of Whatever! The Science of Teens.
This week is about teen moods. Other episodes have covered teen risk, binge drinking & sex (able on the ABC website link above or ABC iView). Whatever
Making it an even better night to get an insight into the brains of up & coming consumers, it will be followed by Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood
"Consuming Kids traces the evolution and impact of childhood comericalisation, exposing the youth marketing industry's controversial tactics, and exploring the effect of hyper-consumerism on the actual lived experience of children."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A very 'fresh' approach to poster advertising

Just a quick one as the video speaks for itself.
Not only is it a 'fresh' way of doing a street poster it also (importantly) is a perfect fit for the brand & message.