The tumultuous 24 months of presidential campaigning feels like an eternity. It has been bound by digital interactivity that has played an unprecedented role intensifying voices and votes and will continue to redefine American politics and democracy. That is a bipartisan victory for all the people.
At the MIT Media Lab, the Tangible Media Group believes the future of computing is tactile. Unveiled today, the inFORM is MIT's new scrying pool for imagining the interfaces of tomorrow. Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that's only the beginning.
Coca-Cola China's TV ad for the Hong Kong market invited viewers to use their smartphones to "chok" bottle caps flying across their TV screens. The new wrinkle is that gaming can be embedded in ads — perhaps the only hope of engaging some people's interest long enough to get a message across.
Hoping to give visitors their own platform for curation, the Cleveland Museum of Art has launched its Artlens app, which can be used by patrons to create their own path through the collection.
Travel is an experience people like to discuss with their friends as they share the details of where they’re going and how they’ll get there. Hertz knew customers’ social activity and conversations were impacting purchase decisions but the company didn’t know how much until now.
McDonald’s UK has launched a new social media-integrated content portal that offers a different approach to sharing and listening to its consumers called 'What Makes McDonald's?'
With the recent software available to allow easy creation of interactive books and with the race to bring these products to market, there seems to be a more and more dilution of quality and a loss for the meaning of interactivity. When publishers create new eBook titles or convert a traditional printed book to a digital interactive eBook, they often miss the added value this new medium can provide.
Design company QA Graphics has created an interactive digital kiosk for a McDonald’s franchise in Richardson, Texas, that provides customers with nutritional information about the menu items and lets them make an informed choice about their meal.
Establishing consumer relationships through mobile marketing, as with any successful, productive relationship, inherently requires a mutual exchange of value. Whether consumers are opting-in for brand communications via SMS or engaging with the brand in a single instance through scanning a QR code, the onus is on the brand to deliver value in return for customers’ valuable time and information. Without the perception that value has been exchanged for value, the relationship becomes essentially one-sided and unrequited attempts at interaction on the part of the consumer will spell the end of the relationship – perhaps permanently.
“Active fiction” publisher Coliloquy launched this week with four young adult ebooks that create a rich, interactive experience for the reader. This development in customizable fiction takes advantage of the digital format to push expectations of “choose-your-own-adventure” stories to new levels. The four new titles from Coliloquy are Heidi R. Kling’s Witch’s Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County), Kira Snyder’s Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail), Liz Maverick’s Arcania, Trial by Fire #1 (Arcania), and Tawna Fenske’s Getting Dumped. These series, available exclusively in the Amazon Kindle store, reinvent the way authors and their readers interact with books. Coliloquy’s new publishing format enables multiple storylines, serial and episodic story-telling, personalized content, and in-book engagement mechanics, which create a more immersive experience.
Cisco Systems has a new machine it thinks belongs on every kitchen table or home office. To get consumers excited about it, though, the technology company will have to do a lot more than run new TV ads featuring quirky actress Ellen Page.
Airports have traditionally been a prime target for advertisers (captive audience: check), but recent marketing efforts are turning airport real estate into a venue for a variety of more interactive customer experiences.
I have a theory about why some "traditional" agencies aren't evolving as quickly, or effectively, as they need to: because their creative directors aren't admitting that they're stupid. Now, hang on a minute. Before you take a four-iron to my knee caps, let me explain what I mean. In my pre-creative-director career as a copywriter (you know, back when ads were written in Triceratops blood on cave walls) I never had to worry about writing for a small thing we now call the internet. Back then, an "integrated campaign" meant it had TV, print and radio. The definition of "interactive" was doing a print ad that required someone to turn the page. My colleagues and I never had to think of any solution beyond it.
Nike’s Write The Future campaign is taking an innovative approach by merging social media and World Cup activities to forge a truly interactive experience. Fans can submit a 57-character inspirational message through Facebook, Twitter, Mxitt (a South African social network), and QQ (a Chinese social network) and choose an accompanying picture of their favorite soccer player to have it headlined on the Life Center, one of Johannesburg’s largest skyscrapers.
Ah, digital. By now, we've supposedly all embraced it -- that vast frontier of untapped potential to interact in new, ever-more creative ways with the consumerscape. And yet, as I walked up to the entrance to my first Interactive One Show, I couldn't help viewing my agency-paid ticket as much of an obligation as I viewed the digital medium itself.
"TV meets Web. Web meets TV." This is the tagline that Internet giant Google has given to its new software-based television platform called Google TV, described as the blending of the best of both TV and Web experiences. Realizing that TV still has the majority of the consumer eyeballs, Google is trying something new by extending its reach in cross-platform content--in this case, bringing Web, gaming, online video, and social media to the set top box and/or television set. According to Google, millions of "channels" of entertainment will now be easily maneuverable, seamless and searchable--in one device. Google has also challenged Web developers to start creating new apps using the Android open-source platform.
Google opened up an entirely new store of inventory for advertisers today with Google TV, an interactive platform that collapses the wall between TV and internet in the living room. The service, created with hardware partners Sony, Logitech and Intel, will launch this fall on TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.
How can businesses engage interactively with their customers in a way that will cement brand affinity and drive behavior, such as changing how a brand is experienced, shifting existing customer perceptions, or engaging new audiences? In the design industry, "interactive" is often a misnomer for "digital" or "Web," but the most fundamental interactive experience is a dialog.
Those of us who've been in the interactive biz for a while have grown accustomed to all the grumbling about Google. You've heard all these grumbles and perhaps grumbled yourself that Google is too big, its ad systems are too opaque, it's just a one-trick pony, it's arrogant, monopolistic, bent on dominating the world, crushing Madison Avenue, sucking all the profit out of e-tailing, etc. (Did I miss anything? Feel free to add your grumble to the comment area below).
We’ve got to hand it to Ralph Lauren, they’ve certainly been keeping their game fresh. While other fashion houses languish behind in the new media world, Lauren have been pioneers. There have been “Make Your Own” designs, QR code exploration, and many other ventures which have made simply designing an iPhone app seem pedestrian. That’s why it came as no surprise when it was brought to PSFK’s attention that Lauren by Ralph Lauren would be hosting their first ever online fashion show on their site today. On the runway, models will be sporting the Spring 2010 collection while viewers at home can literally “shop” by selecting and purchasing the styles directly as the models walk the runway.
Even as major marketers once again threaten to pull back on TV spending -- a new survey indicates they will allocate only 41% of their budgets to the medium this year -- the TV networks are gearing up for an "upfront" ad-sales market they expect will be more robust than in the recent past. In a new Forrester and Association of National Advertisers survey of 104 U.S. advertisers that collectively spend almost $14 billion in measured media, more than half of them -- 62% -- said that TV advertising is less effective than it used to be.
This year the NFL wants you to “Tag the Super Bowl #SB44″ so that it can collect and aggregate tweets and Flickr photos from fans around the world. The NFL is highlighting the user-tagged Super Bowl content on its new Tag the Super Bowl site, which offers a visually stimulating and unfiltered interactive view of tweets and images that football fans are sharing on Twitter and Flickr with the #SB44 hashtag.
Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are promoting the idea of advanced digital signs in stores that aren't just for shoppers to look at. These look back. The two technology giants said Monday that they will collaborate to help companies create and use new forms of digital signs. By exploiting Intel chips and Microsoft software, the companies hope to bring more interactivity to such devices and help retailers customized marketing offers to consumers.
"Augmented reality" may sound like indecipherable technobabble, but the concept behind this technology is familiar to anyone who has seen any of the "Terminator" movies. In the sci-fi films, a cyborg is able to scan its surrounding area and superimpose data on what it sees, which allows it to get background information on humans. Now, after years of use in academic and industrial circles -- not to mention science fiction -- augmented reality is coming to consumers, who can expect to see it in their everyday lives in 2010.
Some advertisers, including some of our clients, have started to reallocate branding funds from offline marketing efforts to paid search. Why search?
Augmented Reality, or "AR," is one of the ideas buzzing around the advertising world these days. The premise is that consumers don't want to look at static ads any longer, so there are various ways to augment them with technology that makes them move, speak, or appear in 3-D. Unlike passive advertising, AR embeds interactivity that lets people engage with marketing content. Cool. Only that's not AR. It's just a fancy name for creating ads for the sake of creating ads. The industry would do well to avoid pursuing the sham.
The traditional TV ad is losing luster as viewers get savvier about skipping commercials and some advertisers shift to the Internet to save money and target specific audiences. Cable providers have helped undermine the 30-second spot by supplying digital video recorders to their subscribers and offering ad-free video-on-demand services. Now they are promising to help marketers reach TV watchers with new interactive advertising that seeks to engage viewers and borrows techniques from the Internet.
Moving to reinvigorate some aging corners of its domestic theme parks, the Walt Disney Company announced plans over the weekend to modernize its Star Tours rides and greatly expand Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Florida.
According to the New York Times Bits blog, a recent study funded by the US Department of Education found that on the whole, online learning environments actually led to higher tested performance than face-to-face learning environments. “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction,” concluded the report’s authors in their key findings.
Larger ad formats might be in vogue right now, but when it comes to online display advertising, bigger is not always better. Ad effectiveness depends less on size than it does on shape and placement, according to Dynamic Logic.
Championing a future where the dissemination of news is less about distribution deals and more about sharing stories among friends and colleagues, news aggregator The Huffington Post has partnered with Facebook to launch HuffPost Social News. The new platform will allow HuffPo users to interact with their Facebook friends.
Putting ads in digital games or broadcasting standard video spots about major console games is nothing new. But broadcasting an ad made from the fully-interactive code of a major console game is. And that practice, which reached new heights with the release of "Kill Zone 2" earlier this year, signals the rise of a new genre of advertising creativity. This nine-minute program spotlights Loni Peristere, the co-founder of Zoic, the special-effects studio that helped create the groundbreaking broadcast game-engine spot for "Kill Zone" entitled "Bullet Journey."
Launched last month under their Puffin label, We Make Stories is the latest in a long line of digital publishing innovations masterminded by Jeremy Ettinghausen, Penguin’s Digital Publisher. This is the second piece we’ve done in recent months looking at the publishing industry as a whole. Back in May we wrote about the transformational change going on at TMG in the UK (also check out the ever brilliant Nieman Lab for a far deeper examination of journalism in this respect). Why are we so interested in what’s going on here? In short, we’re witnessing a radical re-shaping of an industry we believe we can learn a lot from. An industry which - aside from its sheer cultural importance in the first place - has been experimenting with new creative & organisational solutions for some time now.
One of the most persistent questions about advertising is: How does it work? Almost 20 years ago, John Philip Jones suggested it depended on which side of the pond one was on. His paper "Advertising: Strong Force or Weak Force? Two Views an Ocean Apart" described the typical American view that advertising was "expected to work by conversion: by addressing apathetic prospects and persuading them with powerful arguments." In contrast, "weak force" described the European view: Advertising was a "nudge," acting as a reminder, reinforcing existing brand perceptions and defending the status quo.
I've been thinking a lot recently about the growing popularity and potential of interactive data visualizations as feedback mechanisms on the world around us. Over the past few weeks, I've had the pleasure of talking with two talented designers who are both well-steeped in the information visualization space about why we're starting to see more of them and where they see it all going.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, looking to tout its wide variety of menu items and ingredients, has launched a fresh advertising campaign along with an interactive component called “My Chipotle.” A multimedia blitz in nine major Chipotle regions is at the crux of the campaign, which also includes a microsite, Mychiptole.com, and an invitation for consumers to provide audio and video recordings of their own burrito creations.
The blowback from President Obama's interactive town hall has been intense and widespread. It's all terribly interesting, though not for any of the reasons people think. The incident signifies the end of one, increasingly troubled stage in the courtship between the President and social media, and — we can only hope — the beginning of another, more realistic and mature stage. At this critical juncture I'd like to offer some relationship counseling.
The social-networking phenomenon is running rings around media and advertising companies scrambling to monetize consumers' obsessions. The chasm between where the media establishment is and needs to be comes from its inability to understand and mine evolving interactive social dynamics. Digital consumers are vibrantly making it up as they go; the media status quo is barely connected.
In a hundred ways, we pretend that screen experiences are books — PowerBooks, notebooks, e-books — but even a child knows the difference. Reading books is an operation with paper. Playing games on the Web is something else entirely. I need to admit this to myself, too. I try to believe that reading online is reading-plus, with the text searchable, hyperlinked and accompanied by video, audio, photography and graphics. But maybe it’s just not reading at all. Just as screens aren’t books.
From 'SNL' to Facebook, a look at some of the winners and losers and what it means.