Archive for month: May, 2011

Google announce “Google Wallet”

Google announced last week its new mobile payment system, Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet.  Google Wallet employs near field communication (NFC) to store and communicate credit card, loyalty card, coupon and gift card details on your phone.  
Using the app, tap your NFC-enabled phone to the Google Wallet retail at the shop to simplify your transactions.

Microsoft demoing their Windows 8 Tablet

Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will demo a Windows 8 tablet PC this week.  Earlier reports were that the tablet wouldn’t make an appearance until 2012.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer boasted that there would be lots of Windows 7 tablets in emerging in 2010 which never came to fruition.


All the best stuff’s kept here

The Guardian featured an article this week called “Barack Obama was right: Guinness really does taste better in Ireland.” While President Obama’s quote will hopefully work wonders for our national tourism, it may not bode well for Guinness sales abroad.

The requisite pint has been a mainstay of state visits in Ireland. In 1984, President Reagan took a sip from a pint of Smithwicks.  In 1995, President Clinton enjoyed a pint of Murphy’s and on the recent visit from Queen Elizabeth II she was offered, but politely refused her pint of Guinness.

Guinness reportedly received an estimated €23m worth of free global publicity for the brand but it remains to be seen if this will help slumping sales of the iconic brand globally or merely just give a shot in the arm to tourism.

Starbucks partners with Lady Gaga for 2-week scavenger hunt

Starbucks has partnered with Lady Gaga in a two-week long scavenger hunt in an effort to connect its store to Starbucks Digital Network and to build better relationships with its most engaged customers.

The scavenger hunt initiative is called “SRCH by Starbucks featuring Lady Gaga”, and with just an in-store QR code scan, it will take customers through a series of digital and cerebral clues. As part of the hunt, participants will be asked to visit specific blogs and Starbucks digital properties and decode cryptic messages. The clues will be split up into rounds, with the first round taking place today, which also happens to be the release date for Lady Gaga’s new album release. While a partnership with Lady Gaga may seem like an odd choice for Starbucks, both parties will, without a doubt, benefit mutually from the joint scavenger hunt and Gaga’s album release.


World’s First Brand Visualisation Tool

A new company called Brand Toys is making it easier and faster to compare brands across multiple levels. Brand Toys takes market research and public opinion and creates visual representations about that brand in the form of a toy. So far, over 3,000 brands have been transformed into a virtual toy.

Each toy is created using exactly the same design rules, and specific characters of a brand affect the way the toy will look. For example, the presence and potential of a brand affects the body silhouette, and the charisma affects the size of the eyes. Because these toys all have the same design rule, one can make comparisons between brands by just looking at them, and even see how the perceptions of brands across different countries. What would your brand look like?


Dulux puts more colour into our lives

Hats off to Dulux for the Let’s Colour Project.  It’s a smart way to gain presence and attention for the brand. In Ireland alone, there’s been a lot of coverage from the preparations for Barack Obama in Moneygall and it’s hard to drive down the quays in Dublin without noticing St. Mary’s pre-school.   I think we’ll be seeing a lot more brands getting involved in community projects over the next few months as we retrench back to community as an outcome of these recessionary times.

BMW opens retail store on eBay

BMW will soon become the first auto manufacturer to open an eBay store. By launching an eBay store, BMW is offering an alternative to those customers who don’t want to go all the way to an official dealership just for car care products. There is a growing demand for purchasing genuine parts online in the UK, and BMW is trying to satisfy this demand by tapping into one of the largest categories on the site, which has more than 96 million worldwide users. For those customers who do choose to purchase products from the eBay store, there will be no extra shipping fees, as all items will have free postage and packaging.


Topshop taps into the future of retailing

International retailer TopShop has taken virtual fitting rooms from the web and mobile apps, to the floors of their flagship store in Moscow last week. The virtual fitting room uses Microsoft Kinect and augmented reality to allow shoppers to try on clothes without waiting in a long line for the actual fitting room. The Microsoft Kinect technology includes a built-in camera that recognizes a human body and superimposes a 3D model of an item of clothing. In addition, by using simple gestures, users can switch clothes, so they can try on multiple outfits in just a matter of minutes. While some may find this new technology a bit awkward, it may very well represent what shopping for clothes will be like in the future.

Coca-Cola Pilots Experimental Mood Bar in Paris

Coca-Cola has taken the notion of “in-store experience” to a new level. As part of their 125th anniversary, Coca-Cola France has teamed up with French design shop W&Cie to create and launch a pop-up bar and restaurant named “la Bulle”, which means “the bubble”, on the Champs Élysées in Paris. The pop-up exhibit was created to imagine the way people will buy and consume beverages in the year 2020 by using digital and interactive technologies. This pop-up space is part of Coca Cola’s long-term goal of engaging customers in a “disruptive, magical, and relevant” fashion. It allows customers to interact with the space, communicate with the brand, and enjoy an interactive and exclusive experience. This exhibit will be around until June 26th and will then be moved to other locations.


5 Branded YouTube Channels That Get it Right

By now, pretty much every major brand has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but the latter is definitely more of an afterthought.A surprisingly high number of branded YouTube channels — like Amazon’s and UPS’s — are sparingly updated and have few followers. Meanwhile a handful of brands — including Visa, Oracle and ExxonMobil, don’t appear to have branded YouTube channels at all.The following brands demonstrate why Amazon et al. are missing out on a big opportunity. As these examples show, a YouTube channel doesn’t have to merely be a vehicle for new commercials. It can house games, behind-the-scenes stories and, best of all, a new, visual way to interact with your fan base.

View the other 4 videos here.


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