Category Archives: Strategy

Consumer review 2.0: it’s all about friends and experiences

Remember the time when people would just ask a friend for advice on where to buy the best pizza in town? Then came along user review sites like Yelp where users could easily rate or find the top rated sushi restaurant, yoga studio, or cocktail lounge in town. While consumer sites like Yelp are valuable and popular, they lack two things: the trusted relationship between users and connections based on specific experiences.   A number of new platforms are hitting the mobile marketplace that help users rate or discover experiences while connecting with friends.

Oink

If Foursquare and Yelp had a baby, it would be Oink. The app takes the best from both platforms to create something entirely unique. Users rate specific items or experiences, rather than places. Say that you’re looking for the best Philly cheese steak nearby. Simply enter an item or experience, and users can see sandwich ratings from fellow Oinkers. Items are tagged and rated on a four point scale: Love, Like, Ho-Hum and Dislike. Some well-liked items so far include The Big Lebowski, BJs’ Pizookie, and the ceiling at the Denver International Airport.

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Facebook Updates: What marketers should pay attention to

Photo courtesy of PowerReviews.com

Facebook announced several new updates and features during its F8 conference last month that, like it or not, opened the door for advertisers and marketers to reach their consumers in a new way. A slew of questions arose among marketers, but the most important and probably most asked is ‘How can my brand benefit from these updates?’ Continue reading

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Facial recognition advertising: New marketing frontier…or Big Brother?

Image Courtesy of Sashakai Digital

If you’ve seen Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Minority Report, you might remember an interactive ad shouting at Tom Cruise’s character after scanning his iris: “John Anderton, you could use a Guinness.” With new technologies from Intel and Microsoft, this sci-fi advertising has entered reality.

The technology works by digitally measuring the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose and the length of the jawline. This information is compared to data within the system to identify the age, gender and race of the passerby.

Facial recognition technology is not a new concept. It has been used by law enforcement for a couple years to find missing persons. Facebook also uses facial recognition to identify the names of the people in uploaded photos to make tagging easier. Now this technology is making its way into the advertising sector to better target a demographic that views the advertisement. For example, if a 35-year-old female were to pass by a facial-recognition advertisement, the products or services that shown might focus around family values.

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DGWB and Hilton Garden Inn featured in NY Times

We love it when our clients get the credit they deserve—even more so when we have the opportunity to be a part of that success. This week, The New York Times ran an article highlighting the success of our airport campaign for Hilton Garden Inn (HGI).  Judy Christa-Cathey, VP for global marketing at HGI, reminds us why this campaign has been so successful; “Hilton Garden Inn is focused on targeting business travelers.”  It’s all about relevance and convenience. Continue reading

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Are food trucks advertisers’ new media “vehicle”?

Pico de GAP | Photo courtesy of NY Times

With about 2.5 billion people eating street food almost every day, the food truck craze has become one of the nation’s fastest growing industries. Moreover, in the world of customer engagement, it is one of the coolest new restaurant trends within major cities. Advertisers are now beginning to jump on this bandwagon by using food trucks as a new media vehicle to reach their brand’s consumers.  GAP, Heinz and the Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe are just a few examples of the unification of non-food brands and food trucks.

GAP’s food truck, or as fans call it, Pico de Gap, has been seen roaming the streets in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. This truck serves up Mexican cuisine while promoting GAP’s new 1969 fall denim collection. Tucked into the food wrappers, customers will find GAP coupons, while those with a GAP 1969 jeans receipt get a free pair of tacos. Continue reading

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Taking care of business (travelers)

SuiteArrival.com

Endless carry-on restrictions, TSA regulations, baggage fees, and smelly neighbors are just a few problems that plague the frequent flier. Business travelers make up about half of all travel and account for an estimated $446 million in the U.S. every year (GBTA 2011). These consumers look to companies and products that help them get the job done without interruption to their every day routine.

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Hey Pudding Face

Photo courtesy of agency spy

Photo courtesy of Agency Spy

This summer Kraft Foods’ Jell-O pudding brand has been on a mission to turn frowns upside down. The social aspect to new campaign produced by CP&B, Pudding Face, will monitor America’s mood in real time via Twitter by the amount of L and J posted among users. If the national average dips below 51% Jell-O will roll out coupons for their pudding to those who recently tweeted a L. Also featured in the SoHo district of New York is an interactive billboard of a face which smiles or frowns based on Twitter emoticons. The billboard is an extension of the Jell-O Pudding Face Mood Meter website where you can see live updates America’s mood. Continue reading

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Google TV teams with Motorola Mobility: Can they bring simplicity, curation, and relevance to Internet TV?

As everyone talks about Android and what will happen with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, this could be viewed as the beginning of an amazing shift for consumers: from basic TV to Internet TV. Fully searchable, curated, and totally consumer controlled. Let’s highlight where IP TV has been so far and where else it can go.

State of Internet TV

Source: YouTube, Netflix, Nielsen, DisplaySearch

Internet TV isn’t anything new. Networks like ABC, Lifetime and the CW already offer full episodes for free to viewers with commercial interruptions. HBO Go offers free high-definition streaming of HBO shows with a subscription, all of which can be viewed from the comfort of your laptop, computer, TV or tablet.

However, no one has really come up with the “gold standard” interface for navigating Internet TV. Through all the clutter and competition, two things are clear: users want simpler tools for discovery, and the options are only increasingly complex. Continue reading

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Consumers have their heads in the cloud when it comes to tuning in

Is the era of downloading music over?  It just might be.  The trend of cloud music access is growing at a feverous pitch.  This wave of cloud music services offers users new ways to not only find or access music, but share with their social networks. The question becomes who will be able to monetize their product while maintaining preference from Jimmy consumer.  Here’s a look at the top players in the field and how they are matching up so far.

Spotify

Spotify Desktop

Spotify is bringing the music revolution it started in Europe to the U.S. Rather than purchasing individual songs, Spotify allows access to millions of songs for free.  Obviously this model has been available for a while via Pandora and such, but Spotify gives the user control—with unrivaled access to the most music content on the Web.  This program is an advertiser’s dream if the consumer will have it. There is also a premium version that allows users to access their playlists from their mobile phone and avoid the advertisements.   The sharing feature may be the most innovative part.  Spotify automatically connects users to their Facebook accounts, enabling users to follow friends’ playlists and share their own. Continue reading

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Top 5 fitness trends of 2011

What sounds more exciting – going to the gym or going out to play? Maybe this year you don’t have to make the choice.  It’s swimsuit season and people actually start using that gym membership that they’ve neglected all year. However, those looking to get into shape are often bored with repetitive workouts. Consumers have found fun fitness options that are both social and cost-friendly, ditching pricey gym memberships and stuffy weight rooms.

1)   Military Inspired

A fearless Tough Mudder | Photo courtesy of Tough Mudder

Those looking to get a total body workout with lots of variety are switching to bootcamp work out programs. Bootcamp-style fitness regimens are among the hottest trends of 2011. These military-like programs combine intense circuit training with Pilates. For those interested in surviving a zombie apocalypse (and who isn’t), the trainers at Zombiefit have developed a program to prepare survivalists to avoid zombies and get in shape at the same time. For extreme fitness fanatics, check out Tough Mudder events, where teams battle through obstacles like mud trenches, low voltage wires, freezing water, and fire.

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