Archive for July 2005

Photo Tipps from Sony

A nice microsite from Sony for their k750 mobile phone cam focuses on the cam and the art of taking pictures. Just like the TV spot which you can also watch there. Amazing. Anything related to the phone, phone features, etc remains in the background.

what I do like, however, are the tips they offer for hobby photographers just like myself. Especially since I also have a new camera, the features and possibilities of which I am still exploring.
I don’t have that phone, but when I try one of these tricks, I will probably think of Sony nevertheless. Just wondering, if I will actually remember the product name. k750? Well, anyway. Nice site.

Unilever tests Webisodes

According to the NY Times (found here and here) Unilever is trying webisodes for it’s “I can’t believe it’s not butter” spray.
It is done in the style of old-fashioned soap operas, with all the clichees, etc. (I am relying on the judgement of the sources above, as I am not too much into soap operas.) It looks rather cheesy to me, with the product information (“Low calories, low …”) lamely intertwined into the story.

The target group are women, and as more and more women using the internet, Unilever is now testing this channel. A Quote from the NY Times article:

“Classical advertising is not as effective and efficient as it has been in the past,” said Javier Martin, who manages the brand at Unilever United States in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., “so we’re looking for more innovative ways to reach our consumers.”

The site is, like most of these kind of campaigns, relying on word-to-mouth. But I already read about some doubts people have. We shall see. I personally welcome the fact that more and more of the heavy TV spenders are testing the internet – my favourite channel.

Just one question remains, particularly as I am not from the US: a spray? Why a spray? And what do you do with butter you spray, where do you spray it? Onto a slice of bread?

The rise of sponsored links within the content area

I have seen these before, but only once (and that was a special promotion for one product). Then I forgot about them again until I saw this today:

The link opens a “popup” with advertisement. We’re all used to sponsored links in the left- or righthand navigation. But they’re kept separate from any editorial content, even if they are directly relating to it (as for Google Adsense).
Now they’re directly within the content. They might redirect you from the article to another site.
I just wonder how and why editors agreed with their sales people to do it this way?

Even though I am an adperson, I really wonder where else advertising will invade space where you last expect them.

It’s the first site like this in Germany (or network of sites, for it seems to be something that all of Tomorrow Focus AG sites have), that I know of. Does anyone know of other sites around the globe that have this kind of sponsored links?

The voyeurism of “Watchme change”

Watch me change of “The Gap” is a site with good ambitions and it just plays on the voyeuristic mind of everybody, doesn’t it?

You first select your avatar (male / female), then you choose body and face features, then you choose what clothes they should change into, and then: watch them dance and strip to the music.

Of course, as a girl, you could choose a girl, personalise your own features, select your favourite clothes, etc. But in reality? No doubt: Guys will form girls avatars to their own taste and then watch them strip – same for the girls forming guy avatars.

Nice app, because you spend several minutes with the brand “Gap”, but this thing is too flat, in my opinion. I wonder if this really has the power of viral, ie if it is inspiring enough, so that people send this link on to their friends…

10 trends from Rubel.

Steve Rubel has an interesting post about 10 main trends he considers relevant in the near future:

[Quote]

1. The Long Tail – small players can collectively make up a market that rivals the giants. As Seth says, small is the new big. This applies equally for journalism as well as for marketers.

2. The Read Write Web/Web 2.0 – technologies like Ajax will make the web more dynamic, turning it into a full-fledged platform. Wither the desktop.

3. Timeshifting – consumers will increasingly want to devour media on their own time, on the mobile device of their choice and without commercials

4. Collaborative Categorization – consumers, using technology, will create their own taxonomies that make it easier to find information. This is sometimes called tagging, social search or folksonomies. However, this is just the beginning.

5. Citizen Marketing – consumers will organize – either on their own or with the help of companies – to evangelize products they love and vilify those they don’t

6. The Daily Me – it’s finally here; RSS, AI and personal search tools will make it easier for people to seek out only the news they care about and tune out all else

7. It’s All a Conversation – as journalism becomes a conversation, so will marketing – just like Cluetrain said.

8. What’s Inside is Outside – mobile devices and consumer generated media mean that whatever a single eye beholds so can the world.

9. Trust Marketing – people will increasingly use social networking technology to tune in messages from individuals they trust (including citizen journalists) and tune out everyone else

10. Decentralized Communication – armies of individual employees will use technology to become the voice of every company; like it or not. The solo singer is dead. Long live the chorus.

[unQuote]
(via here and here)

In general, it doesn’t seem like technology has changed the way we tick. We have always networked, relied on personal recommendation, we have always spread our message to everyone who would listen, we have always tried to organize the information we take in (TV guides, subscriptions).
But only now, the individual user is empowered to put a bigger lever on in- and outgoing information.

What I find most fascinating is Nr. 8.
I like to look at old photos, books, notes, etc. I have had many discussions with my grandparents, for example, in which they wanted to give me a “feel” for their youth by showing me pictures connected to the stories they told me. Yet, they couldn’t show me that many. Nevermind videos. There just aren’t any.
They way I use my digicam, the blogs and other digital devices, I’ll be able to show my grandchildren proof of almost every week (at least from the last couple of years onwards). And this goes for many people out there.

In the middle of the last century (ie 1950 onwards) big events (politics, sports, economy, etc.) became better covered than anytime before.
Since a few years small individual incidents became better covered than anytime before. Future generations will have such masses of information to retrieve and evaluate, god knows how they will cope.

Monty Pythons Nestea Ice Sitelet

OK, Monty Python is probably not responsible for this site, but they could have been nevertheless regarding all the design, animation and sounds of this campaign site of Nestea-Ice.

What I particularly like about this site:
- just a gadget, but hey: wheneverthe app is downloading something, the scale doesn’t count from 0 to 100%, but down from 100° down to 0° – because Nestea Ice is cold, isn’t it?
- in the start up screen, before you enter the site, you get a mini-game, in which you can freeze little sheep by dropping Nestea Ice on to them from high above.
- there is a section with videos and man, they seem to be some of the cheapest production – they used marionettes for this. Shows how a simple idea can be realised without huge costs (even though this site will already have cost some good money).

Somehow I wasn’t able to enter the contest, so I have no idea what this is about, but hey, the rest is already quite entertaining.

Crashing Trailers…

For the new movie, wedding crashers, there is a really neat microsite up now.
Whoever did this site (please let me know) has taken the idea further and let’s users crash the trailer. Kudos to the technical team – they have actually made it possible for people to paste their face into this trailer so that it becomes part of the film. You can take up the role of, for example, Owen Wilson and whenever he appears in the trailer, he carries your face instead of his own.
I guess there will be two things in the future:

  1. This could be a lot of fun, if you paste images of people you don’t like onto one of the most stupidist characters in the movie – and send it around the office, for example.
  2. The movie industry will leverage this technology to let users produce full feature films with their face in it. Imagine being Luke Skywalker, Frodo, Dirty Harry, etc… Sort of like a Karaoke but as a film, not only a song.

I think this is great and I am sure we’ll see more of this kind of stuff in the future…

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