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.


Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pepsi Vending Machine accepts Likes instead of Cash

A typical sampling  effort usually involves street teams in branded outfits handing out free samples. To move beyond the traditional, Pepsi Belgium created ‘The Like Machine’, a vending machine that would dispense free Pepsi in exchange for a ‘like’ on Facebook.

People with smartphones simply have to like the Pepsi Facebook page to receive their free drink: the vending machine uses the phone’s location settings to make sure that only those in the vicinity receive a free sample for their ‘like’.

Those without smartphones can use the 42” built-in touchscreen to log into Facebook to receive a free drink. Once the sample was given, a timer ensured  everyone was logged out of their accounts.

This provides real-time feedback on who has liked, tasted and enjoyed the beverage, as well as building buzz and incentivizing sharing.


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


Increasingly brands are offering rewards for specified consumer actions such as Tweeting, or Liking. Adding novelty to the value exchange can prompt consumers to re-evaluate the brand in a or make their encounter more memorable.

Enhanced by Zemanta