About Amanda Sajecki

Strategist. Passionate about psychology, music, and drinking coffee.

Maintain Your Privacy by Wearing this New Accessory

With each new technology seems to come new concerns about privacy. New “privacy glasses” by software firm AVG seek to minimize worries over facial recognition on social media.

The glasses use infrared LEDs surrounding your eyes and nose to essentially “mess with” smartphone cameras when taking pictures. By distorting the light around one’s eyes and nose, it prevents facial recognition technology that is built into most social media platforms from identifying people.

Read more about the privacy glasses on Engadget.

Why It’s Hot | While the glasses are only in prototyping phase, and still just look like a novelty party accessory, it’s not surprising that companies are finding ways to prevent facial recognition technology. With each new innovation comes more worries about “big brother” watching over us, and these glasses are just a step in the direction of privacy over convenience. It’ll be interesting to watch which end of that struggle wins out over time.

New IKEA Furniture Will Charge Your Phone Wirelessly

The trend furniture retailer is at it again! Ikea is launching a new line of high-tech furniture that will be able to charge phones and tablets. As if that’s not enticing enough, the furniture will charge devices wirelessly.

The new line will feature bedside tables and lamps, but it doesn’t seem likely that Ikea will stop there. The retailer that has become so popular with their stylish solutions to organization and decluttering hopes to continue to help people cut down on their clutter – in this case, cable clutter.

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And don’t worry. For those of you who don’t want to replace your Ikea furniture, but do want your furniture to charge your devices, Ikea is also selling “charging pads” that blend into some of their most popular furniture pieces.

Read more about Ikea’s latest furniture innovation on CNN Money.

Why It’s Hot | Whenever we discuss “smart home technology,” it’s typically about computers handling utility tasks for us (i.e. turn on the lights, lock the door, turn off the over, moderate the temperature). It’s interesting that furniture chargers didn’t come about earlier with all the innovations in home, but now that they’re here, there’s no doubt they’ll catch on quickly.

Interactive Toys Can Now Collect Data on Children

New toys are equipped with WiFi or bluetooth technology to remember past conversations with children. The technology functions much like Siri on an iPhone – it collects information from conversations and play, and then feeds that information back to the user in order to create more interaction.

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See more about interactive Barbie on NBC News and Engadget.

Why It’s Hot | As NBC News points out, data collection isn’t always a good thing, especially when it involves children. Once the information is saved, it opens the door for hackers to spy on children. Additionally, as with most new technology in toys, there are worries of lessening children’s capacity for imagination when so much of their play is dictated. Despite those concerns, these interactive dolls could create more engaging, realistic play with children, and help them to develop conversational skills at a younger age.

WWE Opens the Door for Sports TV Moving to a Subscription Model

The recently-declared success of the WWE Network is a great case study showcasing how an over-the-top subscription network can help dramatically increase revenue for an organization that was thought to otherwise be losing money at the time.

Many critics said WWE‘s OTT network would further drive WWE company revenue down, as it cuts into the pay-per-view subscriptions every month. PPVs could cost as much as $50 when ordered from the cable company, or included in the $9.99 monthly network fee. Much the shock of critics and financial analysts, the network gained over 1 million subscribers in its first year, helping the company to recover previous financial losses.

Read more on Forbes.

Why It’s Hot | Taking WWE over-the-top gives viewers fresh content beyond the two weekly shows they air on cable networks (Raw on USA Network, and SmackDown on SyFy). WWE could be credited with starting a trend in sports content OTT, seeing as the NFL recently introduced NFL Now, which offers behind-the-scenes content beyond the major network games and interviews. Though industry analysts believe people will keep PayTV for live sports events, bringing sports entertainment over the top could be just the first step to a sports-via-OTT world.

Use AR To Make Your Next Ski Trip More Fun

The technology of Google Glass combined with the fun of the ski slopes is a recipe for success. RideOn, new Israeli crowdfunding campaign, claims to be the first augmented reality ski goggles.

The ski goggles enable wearers to see projected ski paths via AR on their goggles, as if the paths are being projected on the snow 15 feet in front of them. Wearers can also play games and challenges with friends, and make phone calls and video messages.

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The technology uses sensors, a video camera, and an Internet connection (all built into the goggles) to make the experience happen. But the goggles also still include the anti-scratch and anti-fog features of most ski goggles. In addition, there will be a free mobile app which wearers can use to track their progress, interact with other nearby users and friends, and instantly upload videos of their skiing.

Read more about the AR ski goggles on No Camels.

Why It’s Hot | Augmented reality is increasingly in popularity, but many brands are struggling with ways to use it in a sensible way, beyond being a novelty. This usage enhances a sport that many already enjoy, by increasing its competitiveness (via the built-in games), safety (via the projected ski paths), and shareability (via the video creation and upload feature). It will be interesting to see if, in the future, AR is more accepted in targeted, niche environments, as opposed to broad everyday uses.

 

Are Connected Cars a Timely Novelty or Really the Future of Auto?

It seems that every week we are discussing new technology in the automotive industry – ranging from better GPS systems and windshield displays to driverless cars. But it’s yet to be seen if all this effort put into improving the convenience of virtually everything while driving is a timely novelty or actually the way transportation will be in the future.

Statista recently released statistics on connected cars, or cars embedded with Internet access. In 2013, there were already approximately 23 million connected vehicles around the world, with technology to help drivers with engine controls, automatic crash notifications and safety alerts, remote engine start and door locking, etc. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 152 million connected vehicles.

Infographic: Connected Cars By The Numbers | Statista

Read more about connected vehicles on Statista.

Why It’s Hot | Of the uses for connected vehicles, Statista shows driver assistance and safety to be among the top currently and in the future. While this is better than having entertainment be the main focus (aka distraction), it does show that as a society we are moving further in the direction of physically doing less. Though Google’s driverless cars seemed like something out of Wall-E, they might not be as far into the future as we expect.

YouTube to Produce its Own Super Bowl Halftime Show

As part of a broad initiative to promote advertisements on YouTube, YouTube will be holding a halftime show during the Super Bowl with its top stars. The program will be just like the “real” halftime show, with musical guests, stunt, and commercials. It might seem like a stretch for YouTube to compete with the SuperBowl, but more than 60 million people subscribe to the channels of the stars participating in the program. Some of those stars are even featured on billboards in major U.S. cities.

Aside from raising interest in YouTube stars and also giving YouTube fans what they want, the program aims to demonstrate value of advertising on YouTube to top brands. As Freddie Wong, popular YouTube star, puts it. ““YouTube is the place where people go to consume advertisements willingly.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about YouTube’s halftime show on Bloomberg.

Why It’s Hot | As we move further away from paid TV and more consumers adopt OTT services, it will be interesting to watch what happens to viewership and second-screen engagement during live events. Many analysts agree that live events are a big part of what keeps people subscribed to paid TV, so while YouTube might be trying to acknowledge changing viewing behaviors, perhaps the largest live event of the year isn’t the best time to test a new program. That being said, many watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials, and since YouTube is the place to go to view those commercials, it could be a winning situation to capture and engage that influx in traffic.

 

Time Inc. Tries to Join Millennial Culture with The Snug

Time Inc. is re-imagining the way we curate and deliver content for this highly coveted audience” of millennials, says Evelyn Webster, exec VP of Time Inc.

content + digital + DIY = a hopeful recipe for success for engaging millennials

Many say 2015 is the year of content marketing, and at a time when the media industry is undergoing such a transformation in the way content is distributed, Time Inc. realized it was time to make a change. It’s time to focus on digital.

As part of Time Inc.’s new strategy to publish digital-only sites that aggregate content from across the web, The Snug is a new website that pulls in DIY content from a variety of sources, in an effort to resonate with millennials.

The Snug.

Per Ad Age, here is how it works:

Snug staff repackage articles from other Time Inc. titles to better appeal to young readers. There is, for example, a post on The Snug that includes several pictures of Lauren Conrad‘s home. The Snug headline is “go inside lauren conrad’s apartment (without getting arrested)” — all lower case. The pictures are from an InStyle slideshow that carried the headline “Inside Lauren Conrad’s Beverly Hills Penthouse.”

Why It’s Hot | This new effort by Time Inc. is a great example of understanding the target, and ensuring that we are not requiring a change in behavior in order to access our product. Millennials are always on, super connected to social, and highly mobile. Additionally, they are avid app-users, downloading dozens of apps that pull together feeds from all over the Internet into a one-stop-shop. It makes sense that Time Inc. would essentially create the same thing for audiences, from their own content. Regarding the content being pulled in, as we tell so many of our clients, solutions don’t always have to be entirely new platforms and content. Sometimes we can use pre-existing assets, but share them in a way that is more convenient and enticing for new audiences. Overall, this seems to be a smart move by Time Inc. – even if it is a bit of a late arrival to the game.

New Necklace Helps Women in Emergency Situations

A new jewelry pendant called Stiletto can help women in scary situations. Equipped with a microphone, GPS, and memory to store one’s profile, the pendant can immediately communicate with law enforcement or loved ones. Women set up a profile with their personal info – height, hair color, eye color, photo – and a list of emergency contacts. When a woman presses the button on her pendant, 911 or her contacts are alerted. If she is unable to speak in the situation she’s in, the microphone and GPS is turned on, so that her situation is communicated to the necessary people.

Read more about Stiletto and other new self-defense products on Cosmopolitan.

Why It’s Hot | When Undercover Colors (a nailpolish that changed colors when dipped into a drink laced with date-rape drugs) came out, it received both praise and criticism. There is a fine line in women’s safety tools between helping women in scary situations and forcing women to be accountable for the actions of others. Some feel the time and energy spent making these tools would be better spent teaching better behavior to offenders. What’s different about Stiletto is that it doesn’t force a woman to be her own detective; rather, it merely acts as a communication device to alert others in the event that she is in danger.

Etsy Now Leading in Social Commerce

Popular e-retailer Etsy is now leading the way to grow social commerce. Through Zantler‘s social commerce platform, Etsy is enabling sellers to list products in a way similar to how they would on their own Etsy shop. According to Zantler, this is great for social commerce because it enables sellers to list items “right where their customers spend a lot of their time being influenced about what to buy.” (per Lively, president of Zantler)

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The in-social listings include up-to-date information on product availability, and pricing from the seller’s Etsy page. By clicking the “Buy” button on the post, consumers are immediately led to the seller’s Etsy shopping cart for checkout.

Read more on Mobile Commerce Daily.

Why It’s Hot | Over the past year, we’ve seen many brands dabble in social commerce, but no efforts have seemed to catch on or stay in market for long. Etsy has become a worldwide phenomenon with their success, leading the space for artisan marketplaces, and it will be interesting to see if they can leverage that popularity to open the door for brands to engage in social commerce as a more mainstream media.

Get Liam Neeson to Endorse Your “Particular Set of Skills”

For the upcoming movie Taken 3, starring Liam Neeson, the movie studies are embracing LinkedIn to lead a contest which will result in one lucky person winning a video endorsement by Liam Neeson that will speak to their skills and live on their LinkedIn page.

Apparently in the first Taken movie, Liam Neeson delivered a memorable line about his “particular set of skills,” which has become a catchphrase for the series. Given this, it seemed sensible to partner with LinkedIn to have Liam Neeson brag about someone else’s particular set of skills to generate buzz for the movie and engagement.

Read more about Taken 3’s social media effort on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | Movies focusing on social media promotions leading up to their release is completely normal and expected nowadays. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and tumblr have all had their fair share of campaigns for hot new releases. What’s not expected is a movie using LinkedIn for a social media campaign. This is a great example of  media utilizing the organic popularity their movie gains – fans love the “particular set of skills” line, so the movie focused on just that for their big social media integration. That being said, it’s yet to be seen if the movie’s fans are active on LinkedIn and will engage with this effort.

Twitter Tracks Your Apps to Better Personalize Your Experience

As Twitter strives to provide an even more personalized experience for their users, the social media platform recently announced they will be tracking what apps mobile users have downloaded. With this new capability, Twitter can promise better targeting within their advertising as well. They can now enable advertisers to target based on whether users have installed their app, registered after downloading, etc.

For those of us that don’t want personal information given to advertisers for advertisements and Twitter recommendations that are that relevant, these privacy settings are adjustable. Users can opt-out of Twitter’s tracking capability. Read more via VentureBeat, and adjust your settings in the Twitter app.

Why It’s Hot | With the world of social media increasing the amount of personal data available online, the privacy discussion is more popular than ever. Beyond just using the information users give, now apps are including tracking mechanisms that track your mobile behavior. While research shows that (in general) Millennials don’t mind tracking if it means their experience will be more personalized or help them to find products more easily (eMarketer), Millennials are not the only mobile consumers. And so the privacy vs. personalization debate continues…

USPS Generates Holiday Buzz with New AR Experience

USPS’ new mobile app features an AR experience that enables users to enhance the real world via their smartphones. By using the app to scan any of the 156,000 blue collection boxes throughout the country, users receive a “magical mailbox” holiday message.

The app is meant to compel more business from direct-mail marketers by showcasing innovations they can use in their own direct mail pieces via the USPS.

Read more on The Washington Post.

Why It’s Hot | What sets augmented reality apart from other mobile ad units is its ability to compel users to engage in a more meaningful way. It can be used to provide information about a user’s surroundings, or provide video extensions to print ads. As the world is becoming more mobile, innovation that integrates direct mail with the digital world is helping to bridge the gap between traditional channels and new audiences.

Kate Spade Makes Boring the New Fun in this Shoppable Holiday Ad

Kate Spade’s new holiday spot features actress Anna Kendrick making the most of an afternoon locked out of her apartment. Though her wit and charm are what makes the video entertaining, it’s Kendrick’s modeling of her new Kate Spade purchases to her dog that propel the video to holiday hit status.

It’s interactive! As Kendrick tries on her Kate Spade items, viewers can click on the products to learn more about them, and then check out the looks on KateSpade.com right from the video embed.

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Read more and interact with the video on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | We’ve seen interactive ads from brands like Target and Victoria’s Secret – but Target’s execution was a one-off event, and efforts from Victoria’s Secret focus on AR associated with the print catalogue. This execution is one of the quickest and most seamless, making it even simpler for viewers to explore new Kate Spade items – anywhere. It will be interesting to watch what other retailers help shoppers explore on-the-go in new and fun ways this holiday season.

Delta Hops on the Boring Airline Bandwagon

Last month, Virgin America tried getting people excited about their brand by showcasing just how boring flying can actually be. Now, Delta Airlines is joining the trend with their purposely super-boring game Cloudgazer. In an effort to showcase Delta Studio – their new in-flight entertainment options – Delta had this boring game created to award someone with (wait for it) the most unboring flight (which in actuality is just a free roundtrip flight of the winner’s choice).

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The way the game works is users gaze at clouds (on their computer screen because, well, going outdoors? Ew?!) and the person who clicks on the most clouds before the close of the contest wins the flight. Read more about this scintillating game on Digiday.

Why It’s Hot | Missing the connection here? You’re not alone. To remind the lucky window seat-holders just how boring it is when an airline doesn’t have in-flight entertainment, Delta made a game. It’s a little silly, but this emerging trend of airlines embracing how boring flying can actually be is quite humorous. What opportunities are there for brands in other industries to embrace their failing customer experiences?

Vending Machine Accepts Instagram Posts as Payment

We’ve seen social influence and sharing used as payment before, but iHeartRadio‘s latest campaign shows that the brand truly understands their target audience. Focusing on millennials likely away from home at college, iHeartRadio is currently touring the country with a vending machine of t-shirts and sunglasses that only accepts Instagram photos as payment.

Here’s how it works, according to Adweek:

At each university, the iHeartRadio team sets up a vending machine that swaps Instagram photos for free merchandise. Passers-by first touch the screen, which then displays a unique four-digit code. Then, consumers take an Instagram picture and tag it with the hashtag #iHeartRadio followed by the code. The uploaded photo triggers the vending machine to spit out a T-shirt or a pair of sunglasses.

In its first week, the marketing effort got 5.7 million impressions through likes, shares, and views. That being said, the number of photos shared was not announced.

Why It’s Hot | This is a great example of a campaign that keeps the target audience in mind. As iHeartRadio’s SVP of Programming explains in Adweek, this campaign is “a little more novel than throwing up a pop-up tent and having a street team handing out iHeartRadio fans or something silly like that.” Additionally, the innovative aspect of the campaign and integration (more like reliance) with social makes it interesting enough to create buzz, which only gets more people talking about the brand.

 

As NFL Makes News for Domestic Violence Assaults, Some Players Take a Positive Stand

Last week, NoMore.org, a movement to raise awareness for domestic violence, completed their first partnership effort with the NFL – a PSA shoot with NFL players who stepped forward to take part in the #NoMore movement.

This partnership came about when, a few weeks ago, NoMore.org aired their first PSA during Thursday Night Football. Immediately after airing, the response was tremendous. Twitter lit up, and some NFL players began reaching out to the organization, interested in getting involved – because they’d experienced domestic violence themselves, or they just cared enough to make a difference. The NFL PSA effort began with Eli Manning and Mark Herzlick of the NY Giants, and NFL executive (and former defensive back) Troy Vincent.

The new NFL PSA spots premiered on Thursday Night Football, October 23, and in Times Square on Viacom’s screens. Read more details via USA TodayThe Joyful Heart Foundation, and Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | We often discuss the mishaps and backlash to campaigns, but we don’t often see successful responses. What’s especially great about this case is that the effort didn’t begin with the NFL’s PR team. It began with athletes who understood their negative reputation by association, along with their power and influence, and wanted to do something positive to promote change. And it’s also a fantastic way to end October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

tumblr Focuses on TV Shows to Compel Marketing Dollars

With Yahoo’s investors still questioning the success of their tumblr acquisition, Yahoo is hoping that tumblr’s partnerships with popular TV shows such as “The Voice” will help drive its growth. Yahoo is apparently struggling to get return on its investment of tumblr, as the social platform is not a priority for brands spending marketing dollars.

To combat that, tumblr is focusing its efforts where it can make the biggest impact. Seeing as tumblr has a highly engaged and creative audience, who not only blogs about TV content, but also continues to create new posts about the TV content after its showing, the social platform is partnering with popular TV shows to capitalize on that audience tendency.

As the New York Times explains,

David Karp, Tumblr’s founder and chief executive, says that in an era when people watch television on demand or binge-watch on streaming services like Netflix, Tumblr makes a logical partner for the TV networks. “They have a tremendous reach,” Mr. Karp said of the broadcasters, “but they are limited to the 60-minute spot and then the show goes dark. That is a bummer. This is an opportunity for them to bring their remarkable content to their fans 24/7.”

An examples of one of these successful partnerships was mentioned in Hot Sauce previously: AMC Drama to Become First Show Ever to Premiere on tumblr

Why It’s Hot | Going beyond social media marketing, tumblr is thinking of the future by focusing on partnerships with TV shows. Their particularly intense and time-committed users and fans will be an advantage as audiences increasingly watch TV programs on their own schedules and via OTT services. Furthermore, tumblr understands that marketing is not just about impressions and awareness. It’s about engagement. Through their focus on partners with whose content their audience will most engage, it seems tumblr is creating an opportunity to truly showcase their worth for Yahoo’s investors.

Virgin America’s New Video Asks: If You Can’t Watch the Film, Why Do This in Real Life?

Virgin America has released a new online campaign centering around a six-hour pre-roll video. No, that wasn’t a typo. It wasn’t supposed to say “six-minute.” That’s six hours.

The six hour video is meant to depict – in “real time” – the experience of flying on a typical competitor airline for a 5 hour and 45 minute flight from Newark to San Francisco. Here, that airline is called BLAH Airlines (a fake airline with a real website!), but we can all imagine at least one or two actual airlines they’re referring to. The seats are cramped, the lighting is harsh, there’s no great entertainment, and no real food.

Read more on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | Many of our clients fear being ‘too negative’ or focusing too much on their competition. Virgin takes an interesting approach to avoiding both of things, by still actually doing them. The “real time” look into a BLAH Airlines experience doesn’t actually talk badly about Virgin competitors, but the message is obvious enough to anyone who has flied recently.

It’s also interesting because here, they’re using a typically short and easily-digestible channel (YouTube video, pre-roll specifically), in a completely new (and quite frankly, bonkers) way. But the ridiculous and “ineffective” use of the short-form video placement actually hammers home the message it’s meant to –  “Just trying to watch the video is downright painful—and that’s the point. If you wouldn’t sit through the entire film, why would you pay money to experience it in real life?”

Hotel Deals for Social Media Influencers Only

Forget about spending hours on travel deal sites searching for the best bargain. Now all you have to do to get a great hotel rate is up your social media friend count.

New travel site Hotelied rewards visitors with discounts on hotels based on the amount of followers they have on social media. It prioritizes servicing those with a lot of social media clout in hopes that those influencers will share “free publicity” – details about their positive experiences traveling with their vast networks. According to Telegraph,

The website explains: “Based on its specific business needs, a hotel may be targeting small groups, guests who work in specific industries such as fashion, entertainment, business, or education, frequent travellers, loyal travellers, and more. In addition, a hotel may want to increase their social media interaction with guests, thus searching for guests with high social influence and a strong digital following.”

Currently Hotelied only has hotels in 5 cities: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Portland, and Tel Aviv, and offers deals of up to 50% on hotel rooms. A tester found that the hotel themselves were not offering such steep discounts.

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Read more details on Telegraph.

Why It’s Hot | The concept of “free publicity” via social media is nothing new and exciting, with brands constantly using the platforms for awareness campaigns, contests, coupons, and limited offers tied to sharing. That being said, it is interesting to see a standalone website that offers discounts solely based on one’s social media presence. It’s also quite refreshing to see something relying on social media influence without following the overdone Klout / Kred model. This discount/experience-based-on-following concept is sure to expand in the future with other platforms.

Bra-Cam Begs the Question: Other People are Paying Attention; Shouldn’t You?

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nestle Fitness‘ new campaign brings forth an interesting thought- with so many people paying attention to women’s breasts, perhaps women should pay more attention to their own.

As part of the #CheckYourSelfie campaign, Nestle Fitness equipped one woman’s bra with a hidden camera to capture just how many people couldn’t resist looking at her chest throughout a day. (Yes, it does seem quite obvious that her revealing bright pink bra might have attracted extra attention as well.)

Read more about the “bra-cam” on TIME.

Why It’s Hot | Though a little awkward, the campaign does raise awareness of just how much attention our breasts get from other people, begging women to question why we don’t pay more attention to our own. For years, medical professionals have been urging women to use self-exams to monitor for changes that could be breast cancer. It’s interesting to see how that same message is being shared in new ways throughout the years.

Product Packaging & Social Media: A Match Made in Heaven?

Many brands are integrating their product packaging with social media campaigns, in an effort to increase buzz and engagement. As a sort of “replacement” for guerrilla marketing, this new integration creates a powerful connection through “excellent product packaging design, especially when that design incorporates an interactive social aspect that taps into a larger social media strategy to create campaigns that are tangible and interactive at every level,” as SmartBrief explains.

Coke_Klontz Klontz_Pepsi

Some examples of this new trend include:

  • Coca Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign, which replaces the company logo on it’s super iconic bottles with any one of the 250 most popular first names in the country. It instantly creates a personal connection for customers, who are then motivated to post on social media/share photos of their personalized drink. People can also visit a microsite to check inventory of local stores for drinks with their names on the label, and enter to win prizes using the #ShareACoke hashtag.
  • Dole’s #PeelTheLove campaign on their bananas uses the tiny sticker on a batch of bananas to give a witty one-word suggestion for using or consuming the banana, and a simple QR code provides access to a wealth of recipe ideas online so that customers will always know what to do with their bunches. Despite the use of the ever-disappointing QR code, Dole has come up with a creative way to entice people to interact with the banana provider.
  • Pepsi’s augmented-reality SuperBowl sponsorship uses the app Blippar (QR code 2.0?) to enable customers to visit a microsite to enter sweepstakes to win tickets, and edit themselves into a picture with NFL players to share on social media – all by “blipping” their can. To ensure customers would know how to engage with it, Pepsi made their entire can into an instruction manual, taking users through each step.

Read more detail on SmartBrief’s Smart Blog.

Why It’s Hot | It’s interesting to see how brands are finding new ways to increase engagement, aside from just creating advertising campaigns and social media. What better way to further push consumers to engage with brands and share their interaction with brands than to push them to do it directly on the packaging? Packaging will forever be an ultimate salesman, and aside from helping convince consumers to buy a product, now it’s helping encourage consumers to extend their relationships with brands.

Forget the Clothes; Digital Innovation is Taking the Spotlight at Fashion Week

At London Fashion Week, Burberry is putting forth yet another effort to integrate digital with their show. The first brand to live-steam a fashion show (2010), this year Burberry partnered with social media to introduce an online “Runway Made to Order” service.

For two weeks only, customers can buy Burberry’s trench coats and bags from their Spring 2015 collection. Utilizing the new “Buy” button on Twitter, made to enable in-tweet purchases, Burberry enabled people to immediately buy items from their new line, as soon as they hit the runway, by using that in-tweet button.

Read more about digital innovation at Fashion Week via AdAge.

Why It’s Hot | It takes more than just debuting beautiful designs to keep fashion week relevant and engaging for newer, younger audiences. While Burberry has been on the forefront of incorporating digital into their programs, other brands are also hopping on the trend. Hunter brand (famous for Wellington boots) partnered with a real-time video company to tweet 10-45 second clips from its runway show to followers according to the weather conditions in their location. Topshop also introduced what it called the “Social Catwalk,” streaming its show onto a digital screen in the window of its Oxford Circus flagship store. It’s only a matter of time until the technology becomes the clothing.

The Hottest Line at New York Fashion Week? It’s Bleach!

Hanging around Lincoln Center this time of year, all the buzz is about the most gorgeous new lines from designers at New York Fashion Week. This year, a new brand it’s making its debut in the flurry of fashion. It’s Clorox. Yes, as in Clorox Bleach.

Clorox is using a digital activation to promote a new line of bleach products called Smart Seek Bleach. A digital booth near Lincoln Center will have TV screens (that play branded Clorox videos) and space to shoot new short videos. The idea is that consumers can pose with Clorox models and props in a photobooth-esque environment to create their own fashion show, with the content automatically uploading to Facebook. Consumers can also win prizes such as tickets to Fashion Week events and coupons.

As Adweek further explains, “Clorox has also created 10 Vine videos that loop together to create a virtual fashion show—dubbed Cloey De La Rox—around a line of patterned and colored briefs. Screens inside the Fashion Week booth will play the videos.”

Read more about Clorox at Fashion Week on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | What better place for laundry detergent to be than at Fashion Week! The week’s events typically focus on fashion (obviously), but Clorox was quite clever to include their product in an environment where consumers already have apparel on the mind. Even better, they did so in a way that mirrors other brands participating in Fashion Week – with interactive booths and socially shareable experiences.

More Science, Less Fear: New Campaign Offers Optimism in Otherwise Grim Space

We’ve all seen those commercials that showcase real patients talking about their illnesses and the treatments they’ve received. While those ads help show the reality behind what many medical centers actually do and the human element involved, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center opted for a different approach in their latest campaign.

Abandoning the popular model of hospital advertising, MSK (and agency Pereira & O’Dell New York) introduced a campaign that uses words and bright colors to address the fears surrounding cancer while highlighting advancements in care and research. The tagline also captures that optimism: “More science. Less fear.”

Watch the commercial and read more about the campaign on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | Firstly, it was important for me to share this effort from MSK, as their technology and teams of expert oncologists are directly responsible for saving my mother’s life. Beyond my personal investment in telling others about their incredible services, this campaign is still interesting from a marketing perspective.

Hospital advertising has become much more widespread in the past few years, and in a space where ads can so easily feel offensive or insensitive, most medical centers focus their ads on the patients they care for. Though MSK has become synonymous with leadership in cancer treatment, they still wanted to differentiate themselves in this space.

Focusing on understanding while sharing information about scientific advancements, works together to send messages of hope and optimism to many. As many of our clients also work to help people living with terrible illnesses, perhaps we can be mindful of this approach.

New Nailpolish Helps Women Take Control, But Gets Heat for Sending the Wrong Message

Four college students have developed a nailpolish to detect date rape drugs. Undercover Colors nailpolish changes color when it comes into contact with some of the most unfortunately popular date rape drugs, enabling women to know they’re being targeted just by stirring their drink with a finger.

The nailpolish has made waves in media, and already attracted attention from some investors hoping to make the nailpolish widely available, and quickly.

Read more and watch an extended report via the TODAY Show.

Why It’s Hot | The nailpolish is a revolutionary in that it helps women quickly detect some of the most common (but definitely not all) date rape drugs, without using a device. That being said, many people stress that creating devices and cosmetics that enable women to protect themselves are dealing with a major issue in the wrong way. Rather than furthering the popular school of thought that assigns blame to women when they are victimized (“Well why didn’t she use her date-rape nailpolish?”), perhaps we can donate money to causes that further anti-violence education to bring down the number of attempted attacks. As many women’s advocacy groups and organizations against dating violence have stressed, helping this major issue should be about teaching people not to rape instead of accepting rape will be attempted and teaching people to detect rape drugs.

And as a response to this debate, view this poignant PSA by NoMore.org.

 

Tumblr Figures Out Your Favorite Brands to Help Those Brands Speak to You

Tumblr seems to be the first major online entity to attempt to analyze visual content for data. Every day, Tumblr users post about 130 million photos to the platform, and starting this week, those photos will be analyzed.

Tumblr recently made a deal with Ditto Labs, a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm that has analyzed photos posted on social media for brand-related data, in order to analyze all user photos to measure brand affinity by the platform’s users.

That being said, Tumblr claims they don’t plan on using the information to sell advertising space; however, if a brand approaches Tumblr wanting to understand the social buzz around their brand, Tumblr will share the information analyzed from the photos.

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Read more on Mashable.

Why It’s Hot | It’s only a matter of time before this analysis informs ad-spend on Tumblr, and we begin seeing ads relevant to the products in our photos. Twitter, Facebook, and Google all do this with text already, so it’s almost expected that visual platforms Tumblr and Pinterest will follow.  It seems likely that a debate on personal privacy will follow, but luckily research shows that Millennials (the bulk of Tumblr’s users) don’t mind giving away personal information if it means their experience will be mo re tailored to their interests.

HP Makes TV Ad Entirely from Vines

HP recently released a new 30-second commercial spot for their Pavilion x360 – a notebook that turns into a tablet – that was made completely from Vines. The ad is a strung-together montage of short videos made by high-profile Viners such as Robby Ayala, who has 2.8 million followers on the platform.

According to WSJ, ” the idea, says Rob Le Bras-Brown, HP’s senior vice president of marketing in its printing and personal systems unit, was to “find creative people in social media, particularly ‘vine-ographers,’ and give them the machine and invite them to be creative with it in six seconds.” ”

Several other brands have already embraced using Vine content for their ads, keeping in-line with the trend to connect TV and digital audiences. The effect that HP’s new ad will have on interest and sales remains to be seen.

Read the full story on the Wall Street Journal’s blog.

Why It’s Hot | Crowdsourced-content-for-advertising that has become so trendy lately, and what’s even more popular is hiring social media superstars to create content. Despite the fact that they’re still hired talent, social media superstars do seem more relatable to many consumers, and more interesting.

 

NFL is Crowdsourcing for a Touchdown

For the second season in a row, the NFL is inviting millions of fans to share their stories explaining why they love the game. Kicking off Sunday night, the “Together We Make Football” campaign highlights fans’ inspirational stories about football, in order to promote the NFL’s huge contest – awarding Super Bowl XLIX tickets to one individual and one group.

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According to Adweek, the campaign will drive to a central microsite, which goes live Sunday, where fans can share their stories and view others. The campaign also integrates with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to make uploading content easier. (Fans must log in through Facebook to enter, and the hashtag #TWMF will be used on Twitter to create buzz.)

The goal of “Together We Make Football” is to “create the NFL’s biggest ‘community-generated’ campaign,” where users will contribute their own content, and choose the winning content.

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View the NFL’s 2014 “Together We Make Football” video here on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | The NFL’s contest and accompanying campaign will push fans to think about their love for the NFL and then create and share content explaining why they love it. This not only increases engagement of fans contributing content; it expands reach of NFL-related content to fans’ networks.

Crowd-sourcing for content isn’t new news: Coke used user-generated content at the World Cup and Mercedes Benz created a community by using user-generated content. As we’ve previously discussed, crowd-sourcing enhances buzz about brands, and also increases engagement with a brand, which can only help with loyalty.

The Fashion Industry Makes Wearables Wearable

There is a lot of buzz about consumers abandoning their wearable devices soon after the devices are purchased, which has led to a slew of more fashion-forward devices popping up (for example: Ringly, the ring that shows your phone notifications). It’s no surprise that now high-end fashion designers are entering the wearables market too.

Tory Burch has now released jewelry applications for fitness tracking device company FitBit. The bracelet designs channel Tory Burch‘s classic look and feel, making the wearables look less awkward and tech-y, yet more stylish and sophisticated. The new designs can help consumers to make the wearable devices a part of their everyday jewelry routine.

Read more about fashion and tech partnerships via Mobile Marketer.

Why It’s Hot | Over the past few months, we have seen dozens of new renditions of wearable devices, with each trying to be more user-friendly than the last. With fashion designers now venturing into the wearable space, hopefully consumer abandonment will decline; however, only time will tell if the regular wearing of the devices enhances engagement and truly transforms people’s lives, as FitBit intends.