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It’s A Kinda Magic

Nokia Connectors - Dynamo from whybrow on Vimeo.

Another highly “Contagious” campaign from Nokia:
  • Cool viral video, properly seeded of course
  • Tie-in to a simple effective microsite
  • 250 Connectors buzzing their stuff over the summer
  • Downloadable mobile card tricks from a slick hot mobile shop
  • An obligatory Facebook page
It’s A Kinda Magic
Contagious Magazine
This week, Nokia is trying to entice us into buying its latest range of handsets using a little magic. Thankfully, they've steered clear of David 'what God complex?' Blaine in favour of yoof street act Dynamo. This nifty magician was last seen working wonders for our favourite three-striped German brand and is now using mobiles to get the marketing message across.

With a little help from seeding maestro's Unruly Media, a couple of virals are working their way around the web - the clips finish with a clever little card trick to pull people to the homepage Dynamo flicks through a pack of cards, asking you to remember one, and then promises he will guess your card when he greets you at, which he mind-blowingly does; just like David Blaine did in that Peugeot commercial all those years ago oops (not that the teens of today will be old enough to remember luckily!).

The really fun part of the campaign is going on in the background. Through a Facebook recruitment drive, Nokia has rounded up 250 students to promote the new handsets. Nokia’s UK Head of Communications Anna Shipley told Contagious ‘this summer, Nokia is launching ‘Nokia Connectors’ sending teams of student brand ambassadors onto the UK's streets, parks, beaches and parties, to help the public unlock the magic in their phones. Based all over the UK in 18 key cities and armed with Nokia’s new 6220 phone and some amazing mobile magic tricks, the aim is for the Nokia Connectors to engage, entertain and connect with potential consumers.’

This engaging grass roots initiative is a sterling example of how to pull potential customers closer to your corporate bosom, creating an experience to remember and hopefully a dollop of brand loyalty with the existing Nokia crowd. This is how the matey matey approach should be done; walk up, entertain your consumers with a bit of illusion, talk to them on their level, and give them something back. Don’t just stride up, put your arm round their neck and share their jokes, forcing your opinions and bullshit on their friends – you’ll just up the Saturday night drunkard who ends up in everyone’s photos but no one actually spoke to. Or will remember
There's a small write-up on NMA as well.

Simple. Engaging. Fun. Viral.

Friday, August 15, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     2  comments

Trading places

To say that I am looking forward to getting outta here is the understatement of the year. Here's the current situation:

Here's what's coming:

"Calgon, take me away!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Olympic "Footprints" Faked

File under: Too good to be true.

When I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing, I was amazed. And I still am. The show was incredible, and London certainly has its work cut out for it in 2012.

The "firework footprints" countdown, however, looked a bit odd, and it turns out it was because they were faked.

As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square.

What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.

Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.
See articles in the Telegraph, and Daily Mail.

Bit of a shame, really.

Monday, August 11, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Maps, Mobile and Lost Characters

Timing is everything.

Here’s a nice piece of research from comscore on mobile.

It tracks the growing popularity of mobile, and in particular highlights mapping as a key growth area. “According to comScore, 73 percent of mobile subscribers accessing maps are doing so via the browser in the U.S., and in Europe, 57 percent.”

Then, as if almost by fate, Nokia released “Lost Characters” … a new campaign all about Nokia Maps.

The intro features in-video annotation (like that lovely Instinct campaign by Samsung) that let you jump in and out and around the videos to learn more and link to other interesting bits of relevant content.

The Lost Characters include a blue alien tourist who wants to find the pub his alien mate recommended; the pirates who are lost in a rental car looking for where X marks the spot; and the Pac Man who uses Sports Tracker to monitor his training performance and share his route with ghost ‘friends’.

I found this over on Contagious. The campaign is from Work Club a new agency lead by former Agency Republic planning director Patrick Griffith, creative director Andy Sandoz and former chief executive of the Zulu network Martin Brooks.

Funny thing, though, is trying to figure out what Work Club did themselves. Here's the post about the campaign on their blog, where they write:
Massive thanks go to all the directors and producers who helped us bring it to life, especially Ben Whitehouse at Joy@RSA for the How To film, Austen Humphries at Rattling Stick for Run/Cycle/Walk/Drive and Richard Ayoade at Kog Industries for the super8 loveliness of the Goth, Pirates et al. And Fat Man Collective for producing the whole Maps site.
So, did they come up with the concept and hire other folks to do all the work?

Don't get me wrong, it is a lovely campaign.

Love it, but I'm just a bit confused.

Friday, August 08, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     1  comments

Top Ten Caddy Comebacks

Golfer: "I Think I'm going to drown myself in the lake."
Caddy: "Do you think you can keep your head down that long?"

Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."

Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?"
Caddy: "Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now."

Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"
Caddy: "Eventually."

Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world."
Caddy: "I don't think so sir. That would be too much of a coincidence."

Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
Caddy: "It's not a watch - it's a compass."

Golfer: "How do you like my game?"
Caddy: "Very good sir, but personally, I prefer golf."

Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?
Caddy: "The way you play, sir, it's a sin on any day."

Golfer: "This is the worst course I've ever played on."
Caddy: "This isn't the golf course. We left that an hour ago."

. . . and the #1 Caddy Comeback:

Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's too old."
Caddy: "It's been a long time since we teed off, sir."

Thursday, August 07, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Jajah cures Chinglish

This is very cool.

No, not Scarlett's butt ... JAJAH.Babel.

JAJAH.Babel is as close to a universal translator that I've ever seen and is designed to work in person ... In other words, you say something into your phone and then hand your phone to the other person so they can hear the translation. Would obviously work well on a speaker phone as well.

In what may signal and end to Chinglish, JAJAH.Babel translates from English to Chinese and back.

Try this:
  • Call +1.718.513.2969
  • Say what you want to have translated and press #
  • If you want, the system will confirm what you have said
  • Presto, Chinese translation
  • Repeat as necessary, or in reverse from the other person
The plan is to roll this out in other languages, but it is clear that they're taking advantage of the buzz surrounding the Olympics to launch this now. Doing English-Chinese also gives them a lot of kudos, given how difficult the two languages are.

Is this the end of Chinglsh?

From TechCrunch:
Jajah, a popular VoIP service provider, has released a new English/Chinese translation service called JAJAH.Babel just in time for the Olympic Games. The service, which was developed in conjunction with IBM, allows users to call a free number to get a near-instant translation of spoken sentences. The service isn’t meant for voice calls abroad - instead, it’s a handheld translator. After speaking your message into the phone, you hand it to the person you’re speaking with, and the phone spits out the translated message.
There's more on Mashable and on Saunderslog, who adds:
In related news, JAJAH also unveiled a partnership with MOBIVOX — the JAJAH Concierge: Call your personal local access number from any phone - it's always a local call. Say the name of the person you wish to call. JAJAH.Concierge will connect you instantly. Nothing to download. No installations. Works from any phone.
Two in one day. Nice.

Thursday, August 07, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

Ruby Tuesday to self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...

From Brandweek, AdFreak and AgencySpy and
Unlike some of its casual-dining brethren, Ruby Tuesday figures it's better to burn out than fade away. With that in mind, the chain is planning to destroy one of its restaurants next Tuesday in a glorious, self-defeating explosion that will be broadcast live on its Web site. Technically, the stunt, coordinated by ad agency BooneOakley, is meant to usher in a new beginning for the chain, with an ad campaign tagged “It’s a brand new Tuesday.”
Here's a trailer/teaser for the event on YouTube. And another.


Monday, August 04, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

The trouble with Bulmers

I've got a big problem with the Bulmers campaign, and I've decided to rant about it.

Maybe it is because I'm a yank here in England, but I don't get it. Their ads are all about "The English Summer" and cooling down when it gets so hot outside ... This one is called "Our Summer":

Here's the text to 'Our Summer' which was directed by Alistair Cook and Rob Davis and features a voiceover by actor Stephen Tompkinson:

Here's to the great British summer,
Music festivaling,
Mixed mud wrestling,
14 degrees,
Knobbly knees,
Catching the rays,
The big squeeze,
Traffic jams,
Hand held fans,
The hottest day since records began,
yes, we'll complain it's too hot,
we'll moan when there's showers,
but it's glorious, lovable, eccentric, magnificent and ours!

Who the hell is complaining that is is too hot in the UK?

Today, like most days, was awful. It was cold and raining. All day. This is one of the worst summers I've ever seen. The temperature rarely goes above 70 degrees. We've had to use the heat several nights when the temperature dipped into the 40s ... in July! Since April, I'd say we've had 3 good weeks.

WTF is so glorious, lovable, eccentric, and magnificent about that?

Here's another:

"Funny how we wait all year for it to get hot ... Just so as we can cool down again."

Keep waiting folks. Keep waiting.

We went to Cornwall a few weeks ago to see Jack Johnson perform on the coast at Newquay. It is one of the UK's best surf spots. Except, unlike most places where you surf in the Summer, it was freezing. And it poured the entire time. And the high winds forced them to cancel the show.

Glorious, indeed.

Unless you've been brainwashed since birth that 65 degrees is hot , this is a joke and so is their campaign. Actually, I suspect many young impressionable Brits may indeed have been convinced by their parents at a young age that 58 degrees is a warm day. What else would explain the Bermuda-shorts wearing, flip-flop shuffling, t-shirt toting masses you see all over London as soon as you don't have to scrape frost from the windshields?

Seriously, I'm outside wearing a wool sweater having a gluehwein and the guy next to me is in a Speedo drinking Pimms.

Go figure.

On Talking Retail, I found this gem: Graeme Mckenzie, Marketing Manager for Bulmers at Scottish & Newcastle UK, said, “The campaign is built around the proposition that the unpredictable nature of the British summer brings out the resourceful and optimistic side of our character and the new 30-second film captures the uniquely British approach to the unpredictable weather perfectly.


It isn't unpredictable. Here's my prediction: It is going to rain. Often. And it will not be hot. The temperature will never ever go over 85 degrees and there will be an 80% chance of rain any given day.

So, the Bulmers web site is ok. At least they make a point of showing some rain clouds. And they're at a few festivals. Ok, and they're sampling all over the place. And, they've invented this thing called POETS day ... Push Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday. And they've even got a Facebook group.

Ok, and so what if I joined it? That doesn't mean I'm a fan. And just because I was sunbathing in the rain today doesn't mean I like it.

I'm just trying to fit in.

Monday, August 04, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     7  comments

Campaign of the week: Follow your instinct

This is a fab new campaign for the Instinct by Samsung Canada Films, and the only way to see it properly is on YouTube:

As far as I can tell, it is the first commercial usage of YouTube's annotations which allows you to embed links into videos. So, the story takes place across several different videos, and you get to choose where you want the story to go. If you want to see the set, they're here.

Very nice.

There's a campaign web site as well, but to be honest I didn't bother with it much. Looks nice, though. Adverblog rates the funny product placement program, which encourages people to place the phone in home movies. That's cute, but nowhere near as cool as the videos.

Given that Annotations are barely a month old, I imagine most people will really enjoy this new way of interacting with YouTube. If properly seeded, I expect this campaign to do very well. You've gotta give 'em credit for acting on this so quickly.

The work is by Toronto-based shop Fjord Interactive Marketing + Technology.

Top stuff.

Friday, August 01, 2008   permalink to archived copy   DiggIt     0  comments

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