Branded Mobile Apps

•July 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This week we are going to have a look at a couple of branded apps that deliver an engaging mobile experience.

According to new statistics from analytics firm Flurry, the average mobile user now spends 81 minutes per day on mobile apps compared to 74 minutes spent surfing the Web (both desktop and mobile). This is the first time that mobile apps usage overtakes surfing according to the source.

So with mobile apps becoming a more and more important part of our daily lives, many brands are now trying to profit from this opportunity of engaging consumers.

The Lynx Stream

Lynx have recently launched a mobile app that allows users to track all their mobile activity on a big night out. The app acts as an aggregator by compiling tweets, Facebook posts, photos, videos, texts and check-ins onto the stream, giving users the option to generate a cool video at the end. The idea behind the app is innovative and by allowing users to re-live unforgettable nights out, the brand successfully generates an engaging and unique experience.

Pringles: The Crunch Band

Another great example of a truly innovative mobile app comes from Pringles. Their Crunch Band app allows users to play a selection of different instruments and works by using the accelerometer to make different sounds. The app allows users to plug it in to packets of Pringles that then act as a loud speaker. In addition, there are added bonuses for scanning the bar code of Pringle packs to unlock new features and badges inside the app.  The app is a really smart way of engaging with consumers and linking the Pringles brand with the music festival season this year.


The NikeID Store app allows consumers to customise shoes on the go. The app is very clever and has a bunch of cool features such as point-n-shoot which allows users to take photos and use the selected colour palettes from photos to customise sets of shoes.  The app also allows the sharing of designs with friends via social networks, and consumers can purchase their custom made shoes straight from the app. Singles Finder, Argentina’s top dating website, has recently released the Singles Finders mobile app. The app aims to assist single people with finding the perfect date by telling users the exact amount of single people in different locations. This is an innovative and engaging app that will certainly create some buzz.

Pizza Express

The final app this week comes from Pizza Express. Their recently launched app offers a world first, by giving customers the option to pay their bill automatically through PayPal in restaurants around the UK. In addition, the app also enables customers to find and book a restaurant table, view menus, and store special offer codes and receipts. This is certainly a great and innovative mobile app that simplifies the paying process in Pizza Express restaurants.

Have a great Friday!



Facebook Connect Functional and Digital Engagement

•June 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This week we’re going to look at digital consumer engagement and how brands are engaging more and more with the consumer using Facebook connect.

With social media strategies becoming more complex we are seeing more and more customised videos which you can share with your friends and personalised apps using  Facebook connect functionality. There are queries about Facebook privacy but seeing yourself and your friends feature in ads is always appealing

Trip your face experience from

This new campaign from is really fun and quirky. They’ve created this rich customisable content experience called ‘Trip Your Face‘ (  Using the Elf yourself concept they’ve created 3 of ‘The Hangover’ type scenario where you wake up in hotel room in either New York, Las Vegas or Paris and have to play a video to see what you got up to last night. (

Mini Maps

Mini France has just launched a Social / Google Maps mash-up advergame called ‘Mini Maps‘ ( . It’s a Facebook app that lets you customise a virtual MINI and then challenge Facebook friends to time trials around the world through a Google Maps mash-up, which basically has you racing your friends over satellite images of your favourite locations.


Nike and Graffiti challenge

This is a really nice campaign Nike Amsterdam created, to help youngsters get back into running. They launched the Nike+ mobile app in conjunction with a very cool Facebook app. But they also wanted people to connect offline and created the Nike run club and carried out Guerrilla and experiential marketing.

After identifying that youngsters think running is boring, Nike set out to make it a little more fun and socially rewarding. So they created a campaign called Nike Take Mokum, (  a social challenge that lets runners draw creative running routes over satellite maps through a Facebook app, before sending out challenges to friends to help complete them in the real world, through the Nike+ running app.


True Blood immortalise yourself

HBO have launched their latest digital campaign for season 4 of True Blood, creating a Facebook app called “Immortalize Yourself” (  that plays out a unique, customised video featuring you and your friends… You can choose who features in it, or let it pick randomly from your profile…

Although the Facebook connect functionality used here isn’t new it’s pretty well executed in this app.

Desperado Youtube take over

This final one I’ve included as I thought it was one of the best Youtube takeovers I’ve seen in a while, but also because fitting with the theme of this weeks post, integrates Facebook connect functionality as part of the experience.

The Youtube takeover for beer brand Desperados  ( is different to most. It allows you to interact with the story with the slider but also socialises the whole of the expereince as brings your Facebook friends into the party by pulling photos in

Experience the take over (

Happy Friday!



Guerrilla Marketing

•June 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

For this week’s post we’re going to take a tour through some of the best and most original guerrilla marketing campaigns of the past few years.

Guerrilla Marketing was invented as a way of promoting products and services without the need for big budgets or fancy equipment. All you need is a vivid imagination and a bit of time on your hands.  The aim is to provoke thought within the consumer, which in turn generates a buzz and excitement surrounding the brand in question.

The campaigns are usually positioned in locations to catch people by surprise, so at the train station or in the park. The idea is that when you’re not expecting an advert you’ll be more likely to enjoy it and process the message.

Here are some examples that you may find interesting…

True Blood Billboards

The TV series ‘True Blood’ set up these clever but quite chilling ads in New Zealand. Fans of the show will know that wooden stakes serve as the only weapon to successfully kill vampires; so the missing stakes are slightly unsettling!

Nivea ‘Goodbye Cellulite’ Sofa

These sofas were positioned around the ‘Miami Fashion Week’ event to promote Nivea’s ‘Goodbye Cellulite’ product. Using an everyday object to represent a skin issue has worked well in this case, especially the comparative aspect.

Caribou Coffee’s life sized oven

Caribou Coffee in Minneapolis designed bus shelters resembling ovens, to promote their ‘Hot n Wholesome’ menu range. The great thing is, these shelters also doubled up as commuter heaters – perfect for those cold winter months!

Honda Civic – Cereal Freebie

This imaginative campaign for Honda Civic in Canada was executed earlier in the year. It plays on the excitement we all had as children to find a free toy in our cereal packet. I’m pretty sure they’re not planning to give Hondas away, but the execution is great and it’s an eye catching and original idea.


Have a break, have a sit on a Kit Kat bench

Not a good place to sit if you’re feeling hungry! This Nestle Kit Kat bench shows the simple use of an everyday  object which fits the product perfectly.  With Kit Kat’s famous slogan ‘Have a break …have a Kit Kat’, what could be more appropriate than a bench?

Bus Stop Scales

The Dutch city of Rotterdam saw these rather humiliating bus shelters appear in 2009. If travellers wanted to sit down to wait for their bus they would be weighed by the hidden scales and their weight would appear on the screen for all to see. Yes, this may motivate people to join a gym, but humiliating people into joining your gym? I’m not sure if I’d want to give Fitness First my money after that…

Need a new BBQ?

These two are perhaps the simplest idea we’ve seen so far. At first glance these look exactly like barbeques. Once you realise they’re drains it prompts an element of disgust at the idea of grilling your food on a waste disposal area. This in turn might make you question whether your barbeque is in good shape. All in all, this is a really good example of minimal budget creating maximum impact in a campaign.


Unicef Dirty Water campaign

Guerrilla marketing can be used for a good cause as well; Unicef created a huge buzz, raised awareness and funds for their ‘Tap Project’ by setting up this dirty water machine in New York.  Check out the video here:

What do you think of these examples? Reckon they’d make you like a brand, or would you be more influenced by a big budget TV ad?

Happy Friday!


Location Based Services

•May 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This week’s topic of conversation is location-based services. The examples below range from the simple and cost effective, to the more technical, including a rather sinister use of the data collected from such services…

Location-based services were seen to be the up-and-coming trend of 2010 with many brands picking up on the popularity of operators such as FourSquare and Facebook Places. However, these aren’t the only location based services available as Visa is also dipping its toes into the water via it’s debit cards, as well as Everything Everywhere – the parent company of mobile operators T-Mobile and Orange – and Barclaycard which are forming an alliance in order to offer an NFC (near field communication) based service to customers.

Murphy USA Gas Discounts

This is a very basic example of a location-based service but in tough economic times it’s probably quite welcome by most. Murphy USA, a US based petrol station, is offering customers who check in on FourSquare $2 off a $20 purchase of petrol as well as a packet of Stride gum – a small amount of effort for a 10% discount!

Cheryl Cole Billboard

This is another fairly simple use of a location based service but this time with Facebook Places. I think any billboard that features Cheryl Cole is likely to turn most people’s heads and hence a prime position to feature a ‘check in’ in order to enter a prize draw to win tickets to an X-Factor show.

Visa and Gap Real Time Location Based Discounts

Straying away from the slightly more well-known location-based services, Visa is trying to employ a new kind of location-based customer experience. When a customer meets a certain criteria, such as shopping at a retailer within a particular area, or spending a specific amount within a given time-frame, they will be sent an SMS containing details of an offer they are entitled to. Currently, Visa only has one partner, Gap, and at present there doesn’t appear to be any further plans to expand on this. However, it is interesting to see other location-based techniques being utilised.

Everything, Everywhere partners with Barclaycard

The newly formed partnership between Everything Everywhere and Barclaycard is set to bring the UK’s first commercial contactless mobile payments service into action by using NFC, this will reduce the need for credit cards and cash and could be available as soon as July this year. However, although this is currently only geared towards making payment easier and faster, with time I’m sure the use of NFC will expand to encapsulate where consumers are and what they are buying in order to target them with relevant promotions and deals.


Another slightly more advanced location-based service which could prove very useful is Geoloqi. Geoloqi is a real-time mobile and web platform used for securely sharing location data. Some of the helpful tools that Geoloqi enables customers to use include:

–          Leaving yourself a note which you’ll get next time you’re at the grocery store.

–          Receiving an SMS when you’re near apartments that match your Craigslist search criteria.

–          Automatically checking in to your favourite places on Foursquare if you’re there more than 10 minutes.

–          Turning on the lights when you get home and turning them off when you leave.

If I die…

Now, I’m not going to say much on this one apart from the fact that it may make you cautious as to how much information you share with location-based services in the future..!

Happy Friday!

May 13th – Freebies

•May 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

With the deluge of long weekends firmly in the past, most of us have probably spent the week coming to terms with the reality of working 5 consecutive days again. So we thought we’d lighten the mood by talking about something everyone loves – freebies.

This week is all about innovative ways to give out interesting, handy, or just downright awesome stuff. Enjoy.

Budweiser gives you free beer (via mobile couponing):

Beautiful sunshine, scorching hot temperatures, ice cold beer? Budweiser have got it covered. They’ve developed an app which gives out vouchers for a free pint of beer at your nearest participating venue as soon as the temperature hits 20oC or more.

GranataPet gives you a free bowl of dog food (via an interactive billboard):

This is a great use of geolocation technology for instant gratification. Dog walkers who checked in to foursquare at an interactive billboard were rewarded on the spot with a free bowl of dog food for their furry friends.

Tropicana discovers free electricity (using a lot of oranges):

With the core of their product at the heart of this installation, Tropicana show us why oranges have far more uses beyond a glass of juice at breakfast.

Pringles gives you a free speaker, and a nifty way to recycle your can:

To all the Pringles-loving-yet-environmentally-conscious folks out there, finally the eternal dilemma has been resolved. Pringles are giving away a free mini speaker, which fits neatly into the top of your empty can, so no more bin fodder. (article is from the US, but here’s the link to the UK campaign).

Coke gives you more happiness, via a free pop-up cinema:

The Happiness Factory strikes again, this time in Colombian traffic jams, with the launch of Coke Minis. Going beyond the simple sampling mechanic to get the product into the hands of consumers, they turned it into a full on cinema experience – complete with big screen, corresponding radio channel (to tune into whilst you’re in the car) as well as models handing out hot dogs, nachos and other snacks, all for free. Suddenly traffic jams aren’t so bad.

And finally… (totally unrelated to this week’s theme, but we thought you’d like it…)
What if Sky was a toy?

Happy Friday!

Team Sky @ Elvis x


•April 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to our first Friday blog!

For your first insightful offering, I thought I’d kick things off with the use of RFID.

So what exactly is it?

RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification which in layman’s terms refers to a small electronic device that consists of a small chip and an antenna. It essentially works the same as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card, providing a unique identifier for that object which has to be scanned in order to retrieve the information.

The first example of RFID I found involves something that most of us carry around in our pocket everyday – the ever handy Oyster card! The Chromaroma app allows users to enter a game whenever they check in on the London transport system – tracking the number of swipes, places, modes of transport and even the number of passengers passed.

RFID can also be used to generate social media buzz around an event. Young teenagers attending the Coca Cola Village in Israel last summer were given RFID brackets enabling them to digitally like the facilities they were using. Perhaps even more impressive, if they were snapped by a photographer during the day, the photo would automatically tag them and post the photo on their wall.

Renault has also tried to engage consumers by allowing them to share their offline experience with their online friends at an automotive exhibition in the Netherlands.

Now for a slightly more ingenious use of RFID. By simply placing the RFID enabled object into a small ring of light, the object automatically displays information relating to that object. One of the examples shows a set of household keys which magically displays an overview of the home from the amount of water used, to the weather and everyday tasks that need to be completed that day.

Apple has also secured their piece of the RFID action by obtaining a patent for a RFID tag reader for their screens.

And finally, probably one of the most unlikely places you’d expect to find an RFID tag…

Happy Thursday and enjoy the Royal Wedding!