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October 22, 2014

Lexi B

Androidify.com lets you take the little green Android alien / mascot / thing.. and create yourself.. so many variations. I opted for Ski-Me.

SO MONDAY

May 12, 2014

 

‘Netflix Roulette’ For When You Don’t Know What to Watch

Like social media, television too has seen a shift towards digestibility with the advent of DVRs such as TiVo and Sky+ and the rise of Netflix & Blinkbox with a catalogue of backdated series and films. Yet, people still constantly moan about having hundreds of channels and nothing to watch, and the ability to find the stuff you want using the site’s own algorithms aren’t always on the money. Enter Netflix Roulette, a new app by Code USA’s Andrew Sampson. Spin the wheel, and find results and suggestions of what to watch. You can filter results by limiting genres, or search the library in its entirety.

Facebook in review: Q1 2014

Facebook has announced its figures for the first quarter of this year. The platform now has 1.28 billion monthly active users and 802 million daily active users, up from 1.23 billion and 757 million in the last quarter of 2013.

Facebook Active Users

Facebook Active Users

A large proportion of new users came from mobile. Over 1 billion people now access Facebook via mobile at least once a month, compared with 945 million in the previous quarter. Mobile-only users have grown from 296 million to 341 million in the same period.

Facebook FAN

Later this week, at its annual F8 conference, Facebook is expected to launch Facebook Audience Network (FAN). Facebook Audience Network is a way for the platform to massively extend its advertising inventory, specifically beyond just the Facebook platform into other mobile apps. FAN is further proof that Facebook is expanding its reach into a portfolio of directly owned, or aggregated, mobile destinations, to become the world’s most powerful mobile media network.

Facebook revealed that over 1 billion app installs had been driven through Facebook, and over $3 billion in payments managed, whilst pointing out that their own apps represent more than 20% of the total time spent by users on their phones.

Advertisers will be able to buy advertising across a number of new mobile media platforms, using two different types of ad format. A standard drop-down mobile banner, that layers Facebook audience data into the targeting system, and a custom-built unit that is completely tailored to the environment that it’s placed in, and is likely to use a lot more of the contextual data that Facebook holds, such as location data, and interest-based data.

Video ads are coming to Instagram

Instagram is soon to introduce video advertising, according to AdWeek.

Tumblr better for social TV than Twitter?

Tumblr has argued that it hosts more conversation about television than its rival, Twitter. In a study published last week, the platform accepts that more live mentions happen on Twitter, but only marginally so – and the figure is easily made up for in the following days on Tumblr.

Tumblr

Tumblr Vs Twitter

Peugeot races against Twitter followers

Peugeot is offering Twitter followers a chance to win a driving experience for two in Germany, in order to promote its new model, the RCZ R. Entrants have to complete a 140-character tweet more quickly than the car can accelerate from 0-90mph on a track.

Live Video Conversations With Your Friends On Snapchat

Snapchat launched new features on Thursday that will allow users to send text messages and video chat live with friends. “Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence,” Snapchat said on its blog.

Snapchat users can enter a chat conversation with friends by swiping right on their name on the inbox screen. If both users are chatting simultaneously, a blue circle will appear notifying one another they are both online, at which point users can have a live video conversation.

You can find out more about the update here.

#AmazonCart

Filling your Amazon shopping cart just got easier now that the online retailer has launched Amazon Cart, which allows consumers to add products to their list of purchases via Twitter. Now, shoppers simply need to tag a link to a product link on Amazon with the hashtag #AmazonCart and they’ll be added immediately. This is seems to be another example of Twitter looking to find and build out new revenue streams, but whether this is enough to attract new Twitter users remains to be seen.

Facebook launches new video metrics

Facebook is launching new ways for admins to measure the effectiveness of their video campaigns. Currently, page admins can only see information such as the number of views a video has received. With the new video metrics — rolled out over the coming weeks — marketers can see the average duration of video viewed and the amount of time that a person watched 95 percent of the video

Video Views

  • A view of 3 seconds or more of a video. You can also see the portion of your video views driven by paid advertising.

Unique Video Views

  • The number of people who viewed your video for 3 seconds or more.
  • You can also see the portion of your unique views driven by paid advertising.

Average Duration of Video Viewed

  • The average amount of time people spent viewing your video

#WeWereThere Spotify partnership at Coachella

The novelty of the share everything social media ethos is well and truly dying for Millennials. In 2009 the social network Chat Roulette gained notoriety for its ability to anonymously pair two random people over video chat. Now in 2014, social media anonymity is pertinent once again but, rather than web cam gimmicks, this time it’s the results of emerging concerns about online privacy and the need for transparency.

Spotify partnered up with Coachella to offered festival goers a new interactive experience (#WeWereThere) through embedding every Coachella wristband (essentially your festival ticket) with an RFID tag giving it the ability for Coachella attendees to “connect, collect and share” their festival experience. This wristband was able to track your every step and dance move, Check-in all over the Coachella ground from concert stages to the art installations, and collect yours favourite songs along the way.

 

Coachella and Spotify Partnership

#WeWereThere

At the end of the festival, #WeWereThere creates an all-encompassing review of your Coachella experience from distance travelled in footsteps, number of artists seen, playlists collected, and more. This is great example of how a brand has been transparent about using your data and offering a valuable personalised reward in return for your participation, allowing users to relive the weekend, share their “Coachella Story” with friends and ultimately strengthen the relationship they have with Spotify.

SO MONDAY

October 14, 2013

85 year old Insta-Grampa

Recorded as the oldest Instagrammer in the UK, Rex Redstone has been helped to go online through Barclay’s Initiative called Digital Eagles. ‘”The Digital Eagles programme is all about going above and beyond to help our older customers get the most out of being online. We want everyone, regardless of age, to reap some of the benefits of being online, whether that’s saving money, keeping on top of finances or staying in touch with family and friends.’ The programme will see over 3,500 helpers in UK Barclays branches assist ‘first-time or novice internet users to understand how the internet and using the latest apps can enhance their daily lives’.

Rex Redston

Rex Redstone (Source: Telegraph)

Rex has amassed an impressive 4,388 followers and has been sharing photos on his Instagram account ‘from as far back as the 1920s’. Rex reportedly wanted to be helped with his online presence due to family members living in Australia. This is a really great initiative by Barclays bank which is attempting to help older members of the public get online.

A smartphone home screen that can earn you money!

Locket is an android app that was created that ‘delivers ads on your lock screening and pays you for unlocking your phone’. The creators wanted to offer a different format in which to advertise on smartphones delivering ‘high-definition full screen ads’ that can target by location, demographic, age, time and type of device.

It is yet to be seen how effective this new format is, however a number of brands have already signed up. It could work really well for FMCG brands, targeting their audience who are in store with coupons or offers which could be saved to the app.

Twitter’s new bird

A new Twitter experiment called “Event Parrot” will send you breaking news from around the world, via direct message.

1 in 4 sales predicted to be on mobile this Christmas

recent report has shown that the number of sales made on mobile devices has steadily increased from August 2013 into September 2013. ‘The data reveals that mobile traffic is currently converting at 3.42%, which is again an increase from the 2.98% recorded in August’.

The shows that retailers need to be ‘mobile ready’ by Christmas otherwise they will miss out on sales.

Breaking Bad sets Twitter record in US

The series finale of Breaking Bad broke US Twitter records this week as 1.24 million tweets were sent during the much-anticipated final episode, which delivered a series-record 10.3 million viewers.

Breaking Bad Cast

Breaking Bad Cast

500,000 Twitter users used the hashtag #GoodbyeBreakingBad, while tweets from the two main actors themselves, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, generated more than 100,000 retweets combined.

Worldwide and United States trending topics on Twitter related to the show included #GoodbyeBreakingBad, #AMC, #BreakingBad, #BreakingBadFinale, #Heisenberg, #HelloGretchen and #GoodbyeLydia

New GoPro ad goes viral with the help of a kitten

The latest campaign video from GoPro, which features a fireman with a HD HERO3® mounted on his helmet saving an unconscious kitten in a smoke-filled burning building. The video on YouTube has racked up nearly 18 million views.

 

SO MONDAY

August 5, 2013

British Gas launches ME the Mobile Energy app 

British Gas App

The Smart ME app is tailored for young renters who want to be able to control their energy costs. The iOS and Android app allows its customers to predict bills and split them between housemates. It also has a built in torch so customers can check their meter and submit their readings. British Gas has perfectly catered for their customers who are renting as users can also switch their address when they move house. The app is still in beta and is available to any of its customers, allowing users to be in control even when they are not at home. This is a brilliant step for the energy supplier, making their service user friendly for the technophiles out there.

The future of wearable festival tech?

Constantly switching your smartphone on and off to preserve every last drop of power to ensure you can ring your friends when you’ve lost them, or capture the amazing Mumford & Sons set is a dilemma all festival-goers face. This year, Vodafone has developed Smart Fabric technology to keep our gadgets charged at festivals just through using your body heat and movement.

vodafone

Called the Power Shorts and Recharge Sleeping Bag, the two gadgets were developed in time for this year’s Isle of Wight festival in June. The technology is able to harvest kinetic and thermal energy to recharge devices while you are out dancing, walking or even while you sleep. At the moment, one day’s walking in the Power Shorts can return up to four hours’ battery life. The sleeping bag is much more impressive, adding 11 hours to your smartphone’s battery.

The gadgets will be appearing at other Vodafone-sponsored festivals this year and Vodafone will be trialling the products throughout the UK festival season so keep an eye out!

‘Watch Dogs WeAreData’

This is a really awesome website that ‘allows users to explore London, Paris and Berlin’s digital output in real time’.  The clever website displays live Twitter, Flickr and Instagram posts in real time so you can see what people are posting in that area as it happens. Users can click on certain areas in the cities and discover other really interesting stats such as the average salary per month in the area, unemployment rate and crime rates. It also has marked out points of interest such as public bicycles, Traffic lights and CCTV.

Instagram for Doctors

Imagine visiting your GP and at the touch of a button, they could tap into a community that stores an immense image database that they can use to assist them when diagnosing conditions or potential health risks?

Fig1

The Figure 1 app has been created exactly for this purpose; the iOS app aimed at healthcare professionals provides the backdrop for the community to safely share medical images that also protects their patients identity through built in blur tools alongside a consent form for patients. This app really harnesses the capabilities of tech today that can help assist professionals in their day to day jobs.

Chromecast: For Bigger Fun

Google’s Chromecast is a device which plugs into your television, allowing users to stream content like web video and music wirelessly from a mobile device or laptop.

chromecast

The dongle was released last week at an aggressive price of $35 (£23), but its limited initial app support and total reliance on mobile devices keep it well behind the Apple TV and Roku (at least for now). Currently there are no dedicated apps for many major services such as Spotify so users can only stream Netflix, YouTube, and a couple of Google services; so $35 feels about right for the product and at the moment it’s best suited for people deep in the Google media ecosystem looking for a living room solution. The Chromecast is not currently available outside of the US but it won’t be long before it hits the UK.

On Sunday 4th August, London made history by hosting the largest ever inaugural mass participation event in the world, The Prudential Ride London Cycling Sportive. Before the sun had even risen, lycra clad cyclists began to appear from homes & hotels across the capital, congregating at the Olympic Park in Stratford. It felt like an accidental flash mob as the closer you got to reaching the start line, cyclist began emerging from every direction on the deserted Sunday morning streets until 16,500 had gathered to cycle 100 miles on closed London streets completely free from traffic.

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Boris Johnson opened the race and the cycling community embarked on the 100 mile challenge. It was an eerie feeling at times cycling down deserted dual carriageways, not having to stop for red lights and hurtling downhill at terrifying speeds on the wrong side of the road.

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The 100 mile route meandered its way across the capital ticking off distinguished landmarks until we emerged into the Surrey Hills, before the home straight down the Mall for a sprint finish.

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It was an amazing day of two-wheeled fun. The sun was shining, the crowds formed street parties along the route; supporting us with deafening cheers (not angry shouts of the closed roads stranding them in the middle of nowhere) which helped to boost our morale as we mentally ticked off each mile.

The waving policeman who made headlines for their efforts at the Olympics were back and waving proudly they were.

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The thousands of bananas that volunteers patiently cut in half lined the tables at each hub to refuel our aching legs. I didn’t realise how many bananas I could eat in one day until now.

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For everyone that participated (both cyclists and volunteers), well done for your efforts and being part of the Olympic legacy. I hope you had as much fun as I did and hope that you’ll be entering the ballot come Monday 12th August! Next year I hope to beat my time and get sub 6 hours. Better start training..

 

Last month I and a fellow colleague / school friend / mate decided to enter the Guardian Young Lions competition. It was probably the best experience of my career to date and I urge all of you to take part for both the highs and lows.

So here is my experience and I hope it inspires you to enter in 2014.

Client: Save the Children.

Media Brief: Make the case for aid.

Create a news and PR media plan that we can use as part of a wider campaign to convince the tabloids and right wing press that aid works, and that they need to support our campaign to enshrine the 0.7% aid budget in legislation”.

Oh. And do it in 24 hours.

Stressful? Yes, but also exhilarating!

In reality, we are very rarely expected to turn around briefs in such a small timescale but sometimes it does happen, especially if you are working on pitches which can inevitably become highly pressurised situations so having the skill to remain calm and think with clarity is incredibly valuable.

So where did we start?

Firstly we did a lot of desk research, both of us will admit that we were not 100% knowledgeable about the topic of aid spend. Once we had swotted up and started to feel like aid gurus we began brainstorming using some of the techniques my team mate, Helen had learnt on her Google Squared training course. This part actually reduced us into fits of laughter at points with some of the associations we made with certain words and it helps us to categorise our thoughts.

At this point I will admit we were stumped. It was the word ‘PR’ in the brief that kept throwing us. Neither of us have any prior experience of answering PR briefs and we decided to call it a night and to come back bright and early the next morning hopefully feeling slightly refreshed.

When I was home, I did some more browsing online and came across David Cameron’s ‘Golden Thread of Development’ theory. I researched further, but couldn’t quite gain clarity on what his theory exactly was; to me it was just a jumble of political jargon and waffle (and I did politics for A Level!). And that’s when it clicked. If the electorate, the voting public don’t have a clue what he’s on about, how are they going to rally together to lobby Cameron to legislate the aid budget? I knew we had to somehow humanise Cameron’s Golden Thread of Development Theory and going back to the office at 7am on Saturday I was feeling a lot more confident that we may actually be able to produce a response to this brief!

Our strategy was to ‘unleash a transparency revolution’ due to our insight that in today’s digital world transparency is an inherent and expected reality. From the words of Mahatma Ghandi, “truth never damages a cause that is just”.

transparency revolution

We wanted to create a visual representation of how overseas aid is spent and the positive results it achieves allowing the voting public to see that it is cost effective; it does and has done good so we must maintain our commitment, to ensure that we leave a legacy of UK aid for generations to come.

Our Idea:

Create an interactive map which uses real time data to visualise overseas aid investment donated from the UK.

Send thread

By clicking the golden button users will follow the real journey of £1 spent on foreign aid through a dynamic video with Google Maps, Street View and composite motion graphics depicted by a single golden thread. When the golden thread reaches the aid beneficiary, users will be presented with real life success stories through videos, images and live feeds. After interacting with this content, users can show their support by clicking the pledge counter, thus joining Save the Children’s online social movement. In order to ensure mass reach we needed to extend the online social movement offline therefore we allowed users to order their golden thread bracelet for a donation of £1 demonstrating a physical visible manifestation of their support.

thread-website

We would then use these donations to cover the cost of our integrated media plan. We submitted our final response with 3 minutes to go and a sigh of relief followed!

Click the link below to see our final submission:

Young Lions 2013 Entry_Lexi Brown & Helen Barber

We then had a month to wait for the result. And then we received this email:

Thank you for entering this year’s UK Young Lions competition – media category. The standard of entries was extremely high and is clear the amount of effort that went in to each presentation. However, I am delighted to let you know that your entry has been shortlisted for the final judging day. There were a total of 60 entries received in this category and 5 have been shortlisted so congratulations!

We were in shock. But at least this time we had approximately 2 weeks to write and prepare our presentation. We had 5 minutes allocated for presentation time and 5 minutes for Q&A and our panel of judges consisted of:

  • Mark Finney, sales director, The Guardian
  • Mia Barnes, client services director, The Guardian
  • Helena Wiltshire, head of PR, Save the Children
  • Rachael Forde, managing director, P&G, Starcom
  • Hamid Habib, managing partner, Havas
  • Stuart Sullivan Martin, Strategy director, MEC

We were pretty nervous to say the least, but we rehearsed and rehearsed, practicing in front of different people in our agency including our MD. Feeling prepared gave me the confidence I needed on the day and we both left the room feeling proud about what we had delivered.

That evening we got the phone call to say that we had narrowly missed out after an intense deliberation between the judges and we were awarded second place. Obviously we were both disappointed not to win and go on to represent the UK in Cannes this June but I wish the winners, from Maxus the best of luck and I hope they come back with a gold, silver or bronze lion!

The boardgame that melts

March 11, 2013

It’s snowing in March and let’s face it, we are all tiring of this freezing weather. As we pine after those wishful summer days, it’s a stark reminder of the realities of climate change.

GEOline, a German science magazine for children wanted its young readers to experience the effects of global warming. So, instead of the stereotypical text book theory they created a real-life gamification mechanic by creating the first board game that melts – MELTDOWN.

geo-meltdown-game-03

The aim of MELTDOWN is to lead a polar bear family safely across the slowly melting ice floes to the mainland. The chunks of ice, which the children can make themselves using an accompanying mould are arranged on a blue polar sea sponge to form a small Arctic.

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