Burger King Trolls McDonalds, Gets 1 Million App Downloads.

The Art of the Troll. #Petty

Burger King got national attention this week for offering 1-cent Whoppers to those who drove up to a McDonald’s location (and then, presumably, drove away to redeem their BK coupons). Key to the stunt was the brand’s smartphone app, which unlocked the offer when it detected users approaching within 600 feet of a McDonald’s.

The “Whopper Detour” sent customers to a rival’s doorstep, and it worked, in terms of both publicity and app downloads.

Burger King today said its app was downloaded more than 1 million times since Whopper Detour launched on Tuesday, and the app is currently No. 1 among free software in the Apple App Store. That puts Burger King’s app, for now at least, above app giants like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Amazon.

(The McDonald’s app, in case you’re curious, is currently at No. 42.)

Why It’s Hot:

Brands trolling other brands has become a sure fire way to go viral, this uses brand trolling in conjunction with location based apps to drive people to a competitor and it worked to drive sales and app downloads.

 

Source: AdWeek https://www.adweek.com/creativity/after-trolling-mcdonalds-burger-kings-app-was-downloaded-1-million-times-and-hit-no-1/ 

The new home security outfit: Drones

The home security industry is about to be disrupted by drones. Startup Sunflower Labs has developed a personal home surveillance drone aimed at a med- to low- density target market (think: Suburban America). The idea is that with a drone monitoring your property 24/7 will serve as more of a deterrent to potential threats/intruders/etc than a traditional home security system that has no real deterrent function.

Here’s how it works, from The Verge: “Part of the Sunflower system involves the Sunflowers, the small, roughly 1.5-meter bulbs filled with sensors that are disguised as garden lights. “The sensors can detect people, pets, and cars. Vibration sensors detect footsteps, car engines… even if you’re running a coffee maker.” The Sunflowers are placed around the home to help create a map and triangulate people and other objects within the space. But the real draw of the Sunflower system is the drone that flies itself. The drone is called the Bee, and its base station is called the Hive.”

WHY IT’S HOT:

Sunflower Labs represents a new type of drone company – they specialize less in the physical hardware or camera technology, and have more of a focus on the application of the technology.  They are exploring the possibilities of what this technology provides to a consumer to solve for a specific need. As they develop both consumer and commercial business models (they already have investment from Stanley Black & Decker) Sunflower is “taking advantage of the fast-maturing drone market to sell the promise of aerial video surveillance to both the home consumer and the security industry at large.”

SOURCE: https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/7/18129308/sunflower-labs-system-drone-surveillance-bee-hive-home-security-startup

 

Know how Organic, Non-GMO, Sustainable Your Tech Is

Much like we look for labels to help guide our food choices, we will now be able to know how much data your connected device is sharing. How are you supposed to know which smart lightbulb you can trust?

Enter the Trustable Technology Mark. It’s like being certified organic, but for the Internet of Things. Supported by the Mozilla Foundation, NYU Law, the University of Dundee, and other institutions, the trustmark–a phrase for a logo that signifies a certification of some kind–aims to recognize companies building connected devices that have stellar data and privacy practices, are transparent and secure, and have some guarantee of longevity.

In a world awash with sketchy technology that doesn’t communicate how personal data is being used, the Trustable Tech Mark is a way to give kudos to companies that are actually operating responsibly. Right now, there’s no way for consumers to know which products won’t put their data at risk–nor for companies to prove that they’re trustworthy.

Why Its Hot: Visibility into tech could perhaps hasten adoption amongst the last tech holdouts.

Source: FastCo

Facebook Testing Ability to Let Users Block Certain Words

Facebook looks to be testing a new option that would give users more control over the content which appears, or can appear, on their personal profiles, with a new keyword blocking feature that would eliminate comments which include specific terms from your stream.

Spotted by Facebook code hacker Jane Manchun Wong, who regularly discovers upcoming social network additions, the new option, as you can see here, would enable users to choose whatever keyword/s they didn’t want to appear within the comment streams on their personal posts. Those comments would still be visible to the poster and their connections, but not to anyone outside of that, which is similar to how comment hiding works.

The option is much the same as personal comment filtering tools available on both Instagram and Twitter and would help to provide an extra level of reassurance to those who are having trouble with trolls and/or harassment – or who simply don’t want to see particular comments.

Already on Facebook, Page admins can block chosen keywords from appearing in post comments, while you can also mute certain keywords for a selected period of time to avoid seeing any updates about a chosen topic.

Facebook hasn’t officially announced this new feature as yet, but as noted, Wong regularly uncovers new additions well ahead of launch time.

3 Online Holiday Shopping Predictions

Online Holiday Shopping Will Hit New Heights
Consumers will spend $124.1 billion online this holiday season in the U.S., which accounts for nearly $1 of $6 spent shopping overall during the November-December period, ADI forecasts. That’s 14.8% YoY growth.

Mobile Will Be Key In Influencing And Driving Holiday Revenue  
Fifty-seven percent of retail visits will come from mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), accounting for 37% of total online purchases, ADI predicts. Indeed, Schreiner said, “commerce has moved beyond any storefront and into the hands of consumers.”

Drilling down, ADI predicts nearly half (48%) of all visits to retail websites will come from smartphones. And 27% of all online revenue will come from those smartphone visits. Tablets are on the decline, and will account for 9% and 10%, respectively.

The Hottest Products Will Go Fast
Just 1% of product SKUs will drive 70% of online holiday sales, according to ADI. For comparison purposes, 1% of product SKUs typically drive 54% of online sales on an average day.

Spending Green

Swedish fintech startup Doconomy launched the first of these tools: DO, a credit card that tracks the carbon footprint of everything you buy, with a goal to “future-proof planet earth.”

Each purchase’s environmental impact is logged in the DO app. It includes in terms of how much CO2 and how much cash you should donate to charities to counteract the damage. By that it means it will provide people with the tools they need to make eco-friendly choices as easily as possible.

Why it’s hot

Doconomy removes the need for consumers to rely on brands’ sustainability claims. Instead an algorithm will assess their purchases and the user can decide whether they want to repeat them – becoming more aware and knowledgeable in the process.

Teach safety from disaster

Volkswagen in Australia created fake videos of pranks and stunts going wrong and participants only narrowly missing disastrous injuries as part of a campaign to highlight its cars’ safety features.

In one film, someone sits inside a tyre tube and rolls down a hill, towards a road. The hapless joker looks set to hit an oncoming vehicle but miraculously the car (a VW Polo) brakes in time and calamity is avoided.

The unbranded film was viewed more than 38 million times as well as being featured on US TV show Right This Minute, which airs viral videos.

Volkswagen later posted to its social channels a video revealing that the original film was a hoax to promote the Polo’s emergency city brake feature.

Other films in the Unfail series show a virtual reality demonstration going wrong and a freak water-slide accident.

Why its hot?
Using the psychology of fail videos to promote safety features.
Since, only 4% of young people care about safety and 68% people of general have no idea about safety features of their car, VW tricked people into watching its content through fail videos

 

Light Up Dr. Bear

Despite Children’s Hospital renowned success, they still struggle to bring in donations year after year. So this year, they turned to creative partner SmithGifford to help solve this problem of donor fatigue.

The solution? Light-up bears (the unofficial mascot of Children’s National) are placed strategically around the city where by a simple text donation, anyone can donate $10. The delight is that your texted donation lights up both the bear in front of you and a bear in the room of a child staying at Children’s, completing that necessary feedback element of knowing the impact of a donation.

Why It’s Hot

Rather than tugging at the heart strings (solely) the way many giving campaigns do, this one gives both the donor and patients feedback as the donations are happening. Plus, wouldn’t you pay a small price to see the Dr. Bear light up and know you gave to a worthy cause?

A demographic snapshot of Post-Millennials or Gen Z

New data from the Pew Research Center gives us a demographic breakdown of the newest generation many marketers will be targeting, if they’re not currently targeting them.

The oldest members of this generation have already reached adulthood.

The generations defined

Nearly half of them are non-white, they’re more likely to attend college than previous generations, and their own parents are more likely to be college educated than previous generations as well.

Nearly half of post-Millennials are racial or ethnic minorities

They’re significantly more likely to be Hispanic than previous generations, slightly more Asian, and noticeably less likely to be white.

One-in-four post-Millennials are Hispanic

They’re more likely to have foreign-born parents than millennials are, but slightly less likely to be foreign-born than millennials were in 2002.

Post-Millennials, especially Hispanics, are less likely than Millennials to be foreign born

Why It’s Hot: Gen Zs are a unique generation like any other and understanding them demographically and psychographically will be important as more marketers begin to target them.

Source: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/11/15/early-benchmarks-show-post-millennials-on-track-to-be-most-diverse-best-educated-generation-yet/

A Smart Restaurant

Haidilao, China’s biggest hotpot chain, partnered with Panasonic and equipped a restaurant in Beijing with a fully robot-run kitchen. That means no humans are involved in the food preparation process.

The location has an automated cold room where robots prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables according to the orders placed by customers through an iPad at each table.

The soup base is also prepared by robots with machine-like precision that caters to individual tastes and specific requirements based on special combination of spices, various oil and key ingredients. Each individual combination is automatically documented and uploaded into the cloud.

Why it’s hot: These robots reduce wait time, adds consistency and increases the level of food hygiene.

Source

Voice Fraud Prevention

Voice is becoming a major interface for consumers to communicate with machines, fueled by the rise of artificial intelligence and the explosion of new voice assistant devices in the space. As a result, a new area of opportunity has emerged for malicious hackers in the area of voice fraud. A security startup called Pindrop is building software to protect our vocal identities. Security Magazine asserts that the rate of voice fraud grew 350% from 2013 to 2017 with no signs of slowing. Voice fraud increased by 47% between 2016 and 2017 alone. As we continue to use phones and voice assistants to do more complex tasks (disable home security systems, open a new credit card), hackers have more opportunities to infiltrate our private info.

Pindrop just raised a $90M Series D to develop voice “fingerprinting” tech that analyzes “1,400 acoustic attributes” to verify a call or a voice command. This platform claims to be able to  identify even the most sophisticated impersonations and hacking attempts. Not only is this going to keep kids from ordering toys and candy from their parents’ Alexas, but more importantly, it will stop hackers from order stuff on Amazon or even commanding your smart home to unlock your front door. The funding is going to help Pindrop expand from customer service scenarios — the vast majority of its business today — into any applications that use voice interfaces; connected car platforms, home security devices, smart offices and smart home speakers. Pindrop works with call centers in eight of the top ten US banks to identify phone scams using unique audio characteristics and signifiers like type of device, carrier, and location to identify repeat callers and repeat scammers.

Why it’s hot: This type of ‘trend adjacent’ technology will ultimately allow us to use our voices instead of passwords and fingerprints (or having to remember your first pet’s name or favorite high school teacher security questions).

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/05/pindrop-raises-90m-to-bring-its-voice-fraud-prevention-to-iot-devices-and-europe/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosprorata&stream=top

 

Drink beer while you pee in a hotel shower

A Scottish brewery named Brewdog has opened a hotel on their premises. The hotel is called The Doghouse and a location just opened in Columbus, OH.

Check it out on their website here.

Why It’s Hot

If you spend a few days a week morning drinking then it’s probably your dream come true. For most of us it’s an interesting experiment hospitality marketing.

Finding the space for brands in the world of voice

HBO has created applications — known as “skills” on the Amazon Echo devices — to promote its shows and characters. This year, it introduced Westworld: The Maze, a choose-your-own-adventure-style game for superfans of “Westworld.” (A dramatic trailer for the game ends with a narrator intoning, “Alexa — open Westworld.”) More recently, it introduced a skill starring characters from its new show from Sesame Workshop, “Esme & Roy,” in which children can use the speaker to answer questions and play along. Both games can be played without the aid of screens.

Unilever has created a recipes skill under its Hellmann’s label, while Procter & Gamble has introduced features from Tide and Oral-B. Those using the Tide application can ask Alexa how to remove juice or grass stains from clothing, while Oral-B’s offers a tooth-brushing timer.

On Google Home, where the term “skills” is replaced by “actions,” Estée Lauder has one for personalized beauty advice and Disney has some games for children.

Marketers have been rushing to figure out where their brands fit in a world populated by voice assistants and smart speakers. While questions remain about privacy and security, data from Comscore in October showed that more than 20 million homes in the United States, or 22 percent of those with Wi-Fi, use the devices. By 2022, more than half of American homes will have a smart speaker, according to Juniper Research.

“We feel like this voice-based interaction is not going away,” Ms. Caluori said. “It’s starting with speakers, but it’ll very quickly be TVs and cars and all these other places.”

The “Esme & Roy” skill, which was created with Sesame Workshop, showed the potential for smart speakers with children and their parents. Amazon has been seeking child-friendly voice applications, particularly now that it sells an Echo device meant for children, Ms. Caluori said. At the same time, she said, young parents such as herself are keen on smart speakers, partly because they’re a screen-free alternative to tablets and phones.

Marketers say the data they are getting back from Amazon and Google has been relatively thin so far. It can include the amount of time people spent engaging with a skill and the number of sessions that were started and completed, Ms. Klaassen of 360i said.

Ms. Reubenstein said her firm typically got basic data on which questions to Alexa were completed or not. But once, in a meeting with Amazon, the firm briefly got a deeper look, seeing snippets of queries for one client’s Alexa skill that showed how customers can still be easily frustrated when navigating a voice application.

“We started seeing a lot of cuss words in the user flow,” said Ms. Reubenstein, who declined to name the client. She said they were able to identify at what point most users were getting frustrated and adjusted the skill to address the issue.

These are still early days for marketing on voice devices. Ms. Reubenstein compared it to when brands began making apps for mobile devices. But over time, she said, voice interactions will begin to replace many of the activities that people are conducting on screens.

WHY IT’S HOT

It is still early for marketing on voice devices – but we’ve seen creative efforts this year from brands who’ve experimented in the space. Gary Vaynerchuk even hosted the first-ever ‘VoiceCon’ focused on the rise of voice and digital audio. With the increasing importance of ‘voice’, it will be exciting to see where it goes in 2019 and how we can utilize this thinking for our clients as we define their customers’ experiences.