NFC Tech Makes McDonald’s Happy Tables Interactive

McDonald’s has launched an NFC (Near Field Communication) effort in Singapore that turns dining tables into interactive racing tracks. NFC stickers have been placed underneath tables across the restaurant. After downloading the McParty Run App, diners can hold their NFC-equipped Android smartphones over the tables to play an interactive racing game.

NFC Tech Makes McDonald’s Happy Tables Interactive

NFC sticker tags under the tables act like sections of a slot-car racetrack. When kids hover their smartphones over the tables, the tables magically turn into McDonaldLand and their phones become go-karts.

Junior diners can zip around tables to collect burgers, harvest apple pies and fight bad guys like Hamburglar and Captain Crook. “All to help Ronald organise a party for the folks of McDonaldLand.”

So far, the “Happy Table” initiative is currently running in just one location as a pilot, but we can expect to see many more such initiatives.


Near Field Communication is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 cm distance. Communication can be between enabled phone handsets or unpowered NFC chips, called “tags”.


With the growth of always-on ubiquitous internet access, and digitization – our actual and virtual lives are blending in to one.


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Airbnb Crowdsources Movie Made up of 6-Second Vines

Many marketers are now using Twitter’s Vine app, which allows its 40 million users to create and share 6 second looping gif-format videos. The latest and most noteworthy instance is Airbnb’s “Hollywood and Vines”. The online room rental platform that connects hosts and travelers across the globe is stitching together a crowdsourced short film six seconds at a time.

Airbnb  Crowdsources Movie Made up of 6-Second Vines

Instructions were released on Twitter and promoted via the Sundance Channel, Facebook and Google +. A 48 hour window for submissions listed 40 shots based around the theme of Adventure and Travel, each with their own hashtag.

Judging is to be based on creativity, compliance and video quality. The resulting edited film will be aired on the Sundance Channel in the US on September 13th. Those whose Vines appear in the film get a $100 Airbnb credit. Airbnb are already known for content marketing and have to be admired for leveraging Vine in a relevant and engaging way.


Many brands are starting to  facilitate and leverage user-generated content (UGC). These brands understand the power of co-creating their brand together with consumers and tapping into the creativity of their fans.

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Honda Campaigns to Save the Drive-In Movie

There are 368 drive-in movie theaters left in America. These have outlasted VHS tapes, DVDs and downloads, but they may not survive the transition to digital-only movies. By the end of 2013, Hollywood will stop shipping out celluloid film reels – so to stay in business, drive-ins will have to buy digital projectors at a cost of $75,000 or more. Not many can afford this cost and may have to close.

Honda Campaigns to Save the Drive-In Movie

Honda’s new socially-fueled multimedia “Project Drive-In” campaign aims to give these outdoor venues a second chance. Says a Honda spokesman: “Cars and drive-in theaters go hand-in-hand, and it’s our mission to save this decades-old slice of Americana … We’re committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters flourish with the move to digital projection.”

Honda will donate digital projectors to five theaters based on web and social voting; further donations will depend on the results of an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. This is a great, credible example of a brand getting behind a relevant cause and igniting a social movement.


This generally involves the cooperative efforts of a for profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. These efforts must have an organic alignment to the sponsor brand, as today’s consumers recognize authenticity, and can spot campaigns that don’t have it.

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NYC Free Art Society Project Combines Street Art & Tech

This week, New York’s Free Art Society launched an interactive art project in which mysterious yet beautiful hand-painted murals turned the City’s East Village into a giant, virtual and actual scavenger hunt.

NYC Free Art Society Project Combines Street Art &  Tech

The so-called 13 Portals project combines street art, technology, urban space and community. The incorporation of embedded QR codes in each mural adds a virtual dimension to the usually static experience that goes beyond the street and painted artwork.

Each mural QR code leads the player to a clue or adventure that needs to be completed in order to pass through to the next portal. Once passed, the winning keys will unlock the doorway to an experiential ‘theatrical happening’ event.

The use of mobile technology to change or enhance outdoor  installations is a recent development, but one that holds a potential for art and commerce alike.


Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and consumers and solve problems.

It can be used to improve user and consumer engagement and ROI and for consumer insight.

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Kate Spade Brings “Window Shopping” to Life in NYC

Kate Spade has collaborated with online retail site Ebay to launch touch screen e-commerce window shops at four locations across New York City. These play on the age old concept of ‘window shopping’.

Kate Spade Brings “Window Shopping” to Life in NYC

Shoppers can browse the 30-piece ”Saturday”  collection then make a purchase via Paypal (online payment site) on the giant touch-screen window. They can do this any time of the day or night.  After picking the items they want, shoppers receive a text message to their phone asking where and when they want their pieces delivered. It can be as quickly as an hour, the next day, week – whenever they want.

The Kate Spade “Saturday” collection is the ‘younger, cooler sister’ of  its origin brand Kate Spade New York. Its launch combines  high street browsing with an innovative e-commerce function – arguably exactly what retailers need to do in order to leverage the new world of so-called “Omnichannel”.


With the advent of always-on and ubiquitous internet access, and ever-increasing digitization – our actual and virtual lives are starting to blend in to one. Brands and designers are increasingly creating physical assets that enhance or embody the virtual digital lifestyle so consumers can enjoy a tactile and tangible object alongside the digital.

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Jay-Z’s new album given away free to 1 million Samsung owners

On July 4th, Jay-Z’s new album Magna Carta Holy Grail was made available for download for free and in advance to one million Samsung owners, through an official Samsung-created app. Samsung paid $5 for each download.

Jay-Z’s new album given away free to 1 million Samsung owners

Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4 owners were able to download the app and sign in through Twitter or Facebook. The album could then be played either through the app or downloaded in MP3 format directly to hard drives.

The album’s official release date was July 8th, giving a four day window of exclusivity to Samsung owners.

The effort, of course, generated massive buzz and was generally agreed to be a great concept. That said, there was also a great deal of criticism, about the poor functionality of the app, and accusations of spyware … which goes to show that without great execution even the best ideas can be compromised.


Rather than just interrupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.

For the same budget and energy expended on traditional advertising, many brands are instead creating things that are more tangible, useful and reusable, and that play a more integral part in the consumer’s life.

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P&G Hosts Massive “Everyday Effect” Giveaway in NYC

This month, Procter and Gamble decided to take over the biggest media city in the world – New York – in what they call “the largest consumer event in the company’s 175 year history”.  NYC was blitzed on June 19th by 25 brands as part of P&G’s “Everyday Effect” campaign.

P&G Hosts Massive “Everyday Effect” Giveaway in NYC

Throughout the city, more than 40,000 products were distributed at strategically timed moments. For example, free Scope mouthwash samples were offered to coffee drinkers, Febreze car vent clips to taxi drivers, and Iams dog treats to people walking their dogs.

Activities included free barber, salon, make-up and nail services and free pedicab rides. P&G’s New York saturation campaign reached far beyond the city, and was also supported by a dedicated website, Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign added value to the lives of New Yorkers and at the same time demonstrated how P&G’s brands improve everyday life in small yet meaningful ways.


Rather than just interrupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.

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Nike projects laser-beam Football pitches on to City streets

Finding somewhere to kick a ball around in the city can be a challenge – which is why Nike decided to make things easier for soccer players around the world using a laser-projected pitch.

Using an app, soccer players with nowhere to play in the city in question can request a visit from the company’s laser-equipped van. The van’s crane is then raised above an open area, and the digital soccer field is projected onto the urban landscape.

Nike Laser Football

A pair of small nets are then unloaded to complete the venue, turning an initially barren urban area into a lively game of soccer. Not only is the idea fun, but it gives kids and teenagers without access to the right facilities a chance to hone their skills wherever they can find the space to play.

This is also a great example of a brand offering genuine value to consumer in line with its “Play” brand promise, and  generating positive word of mouth.


Rather than just inter-rupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.

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Jeep offers free GPS App to help drivers “Get Lost”

The Jeep is an iconic automobile. Freedom, discovery and adventure are just a few of the keywords that marketers seek to associate with the brand.

Jeep Get Lost

The marque is very popular in Argentina, but ironically most of the 4×4 vehicles never cross the city limits, and Jeep drivers rarely experience any kind of freedom, discovery or adventure – in their cars at least.

To help out Argentinians lacking the inspiration to get out of town, Jeep has created a free-to-download GPS add-on app that will get you “God knows where”, to discover 28 lost off-road spots in the country. Just push the button and start following the instructions.

On the one hand, this is a great brand utility initiative, that reaches out to existing customers – in itself quite rare, in a sector obsessed with acquisition.  On the other it really “walks (or drives) the talk” of the brand communication and delivers a strong reinforcement of what the Jeep stands for.


Rather than just inter-rupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.

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IBM creates Ads with a Purpose to promote Smarter Cities

By 2050, it is anticipated that a full 75% of the world’s population will be living in cities. To this end, technology company IBM is investing heavily in systems and algorithms to help city leaders make urban areas function more effectively.

IBM Smarter Cities

Central to this is the belief that city planning and design should have its citizens in mind. The Smarter Cities project aims to encourage ‘smarter thinking’ by involving the people who live in the cities in question.

Rather than just creating the usual suite of interruptive advertising units, IBM launched a series of outdoor installations that also function as useful surfaces people can sit on, take cover under or push their stroller over – a perfect way of demonstrating the brand’s purpose.

The ads also encourage people to share their ideas on how they can improve their neighborhood, by signing up to a virtual community and sharing ideas, photos and video.


Rather than just inter-rupting consumers’ lives, brands are increasingly looking to provide useful services or applications that give people something they actually need – without demanding an immediate return.

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