Apple and Google to Implement Ad Blocker in Web Browsers

On Monday, Apple at its developer conference that it will start blocking autoplay videos on its Safari web browser and will add a feature that stops ad tracking technology from using a user’s web behavior to target ads to them.

Google also reportedly will officially move ahead with its Chrome ad blocker sometime next year and will block any site which hosts ad units that don’t adhere to a set of third-party standards — basically, most sites on the Internet. The Financial Times also reported that Google is creating a feature that will allow publishers to charge users who use ad-blockers on a page-per-view basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why It’s Hot:

Safari (10%) and Chrome (51%) make up most of the desktop search market in the U.S., according to comScore, and over 68% of mobile traffic in the U.S., which means that their efforts to curb ads that damage user experience will have a significant impact on the marketplace. These changes will force publishers to develop new advertising techniques.

Immediately following the announcement by Apple, ad retargeting firm Criteo’s stocks tumbled. Earlier this year, Terry Kawaja, Founder and CEO of media and technology firm LUMA Partners, said consolidation in the ad tech space (mostly driven by policy changes and user demands) will cause 90% of the companies to go out of business.

Apple launches new reality show with uninspired title, like, 5 years too late

Apple has wrangled up some A-listers, plus Gary Vaynerchuck, for a Shark Tank-meets-The Voice reality show. It’s a chance for developers to give their best elevator pitch to a panel of 4 judges who will swipe left or right and give app developers an opportunity to be funded so that “they can take the next step to creating one of the great apps of all time.”

Story on The Verge

Is it Hot or Not?
Seems like the best apps might not make the cut if the pitch isn’t good enough. Do we really want to bring app development to the lowest common denominator?

Remixed Remix

The right remix makes a old song feel new. And makes a new song feel even newer. Which is why trip hop duo Massive Attack has released a “sensory music player” app with its new EP.

The app is called Fantom, and it remixes and reforms music on iPhones based off environmental factors like a person’s location, movement, and heartbeat fed by Apple Watch sensors and HealthKit data. Each factor affects the music in a different way. Heart rate, for instance, changes the song cadence, while location affects harmonization.

Fantom is not a partnership– one of the Massive Attack band members was part of the team that developed the app.

Why it’s hot: remix albums have been around for awhile, and offer the same remix to every person. Why not algorithmically personalize it if you can? Screen-Shot-2016-01-21-at-11.52.12

source: http://mashable.com/2016/01/21/massive-attack-iphone-app/#rnvkkvkkksq3

Apple’s First App for Android is Here!

No, hell didn’t just freeze over.  You probably won’t be seeing an iTunes app in the Google Play store anytime soon, either.

Apple has released an app called Move to iOS which helps eternally frustrated Android users (like me) make a smoother transition from Android to Apple. It seamlessly transfers your pics, messages, email accounts, contacts and bookmarks from your ire-inducing Samsung phone to your shiny new iPhone 6s.

MovetoIOS copy

 

Story on Engadget

Why It’s Hot

It is hot because while this seems like a really small reason to switch from Android to Apple, upgrading to a new phone of any kind usually means you lose some of your stuff. Apple seems to be looking at the minor pain points and addressing them in a really smart way.

Apple.com Gets a Redesign

According to Techcrunch, Apple.com removed the separate Store tab and integrated the shopping button with product information. They’ve also integrated more editorial-like features like the Accessories page.

Why It’s Hot: The industry opinion seems to be that the redesign was motivated by mobile experiences. Aesthetically, the site went through a small change, but it feels relatively huge for the retailer, not just in design, but in narrative. The initial website spoke to a focus on the product, and the redesign speaks to a shopping experience. It’s interesting that a big retailer like Apple is finally evolving to a more obvious mobile-friendly design, but it also feels like the end of a product-obsessed Steve Jobs era.

Starbucks Touch is a Smartphone Case to Pay for Drinks with a Tap

Starbucks in Japan has teamed with the a Japanese-based clothing company called Uniform Experiment to create a case for the iPhone 6 that can make mobile payments by nothing more than a tap. The program is called Starbucks Touch.

iPhone-toting loyalists first purchase their Starbucks Touch case (really, it’s not free?). Then they install an accompanying mobile app. After entering their payment information, the case is ready to complete mobile payment at specially designed in-cafe kiosks.

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Cases come in two designs:

  1. The primary, meant to look like the iconic Starbucks cup and sleeve
  2. The secondary, a colorful tiled mosaic

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No word on if/when the case will make it to more countries (or devices).

Why It’s Hot

With Starbucks Touch, the company has found a way to monetize its brand loyalists even further. First, they’re charging for the case itself. Next, each case is emblazoned with the Starbucks logo… free advertisement that reinforces the brand to loyalists and promotes to those around. And finally, there’s the word-of-mouth effect that will likely ensue from explaining to others what this Starbucks phone case is really all about.

If Starbucks wants to reach a wider audience, perhaps they forgo the charge for a case and instead give it away for essentially the free advertising and proximity to customers. In a grander scheme, Starbucks Touch is away to reach a niche group of customers, and reinforce the brand with them in an even more intimate way. If Starbucks has figured out a way to make even more money off of them, more power to ’em.

Via DesignTaxi

Apple Will Allow Users To Block Ads on iPad and iPhone

Apple has announced support for Ad Blocking Extensions for its Safari Web browser on iOS 9. All developers of such ad block extensions have to do is to hand over a JSON File with the requisite instructions for blocking ads, pop-up ads and more, and Safari converts it into bytecode, blocking ads without letting publishers know. This is likely in favor of handing over more control to users and avoid longer page load times on mobile devices like iPad and iPhone.

Here’s how the iOS9 developer documents describe the new feature:

The new Safari release brings Content Blocking Safari Extensions to iOS. Content Blocking gives your extensions a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content.

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(source: thenextweb)

Why It’s Hot:

What was once only available as a desktop feature will now move to mobile devices and will certainly be unwelcomed by media publishers. As audiences continue to shift online and away from print, publishers must squeeze as much as they can out of their growing mobile traffic. A report from 2014 found that ad-block software usage was up 70% year over year, with over 140 million people blocking ads worldwide, including 41% of 18-29 year olds. You can see why this is worrisome for publishers who sell these ads.

IKEA Will Help You Convert Your Furniture to Enable Wireless Charging

Furniture giant IKEA has made a commitment to enabling future wireless technologies in some of its new product lines. But rather than reinvent the wheel on its massive product line entirely, IKEA turned the problem on its head.

For $5, IKEA will sell you a specially formed drill to turn most IKEA furniture into wireless charging stations. The drill creates a perfectly formed hole to mount its Jyssen wireless charger ($30) that will go on sale later this spring. IKEA will also begin selling wireless charging cases to support the stations.

Like the IKEA brand, the solution is simple, cheap and elegant:

Why It’s Hot

New consumer technologies can be difficult to make ubiquitous. By enabling customers to easily make wireless DIY, IKEA can make smarter product line decisions while delivering more for customers who want the latest technologies. And by breaking those barriers (a $35 investment, not a $350 one for all new furniture), IKEA is helping this technology grow organically by consumer demand.

Source: Gizmodo

Doximity Launching HIPAA-compliant Apple Watch App

When patients transfer hospitals, physicians change shifts, or doctors don’t know a new patient’s full history, fatal mistakes can happen. Up to 440,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors, making them the nation’s third-leading cause of death. And by some estimates, better communication among staff could prevent as many as one-third of those mistakes.

That’s what the people behind a new Apple Watch app, Doximity, are banking on. They think the Apple Watch can enable medical professionals to share information easily, securely, and quickly — and perhaps most importantly, hands-free.

Clinicians who belong to Doximity’s nationwide network can share information with one another by dictating, sending, and receiving brief, encrypted messages — even if they don’t work for the same hospital, or don’t have an Apple Watch.

doximity-applewatch-fax-300x365 doximity-applewatch-inbox-300x359

Why It’s Hot

This new app could change that way physicians communicate with one another, saving them valuable time throughout the day while maintaining HIPAA-compliant standards to protect patient privacy. If the Apple Watch finds success in hospitals and healthcare centers, this app could be the start of a wide range of hands-free tools for doctors.

Source

Apple Watch Reviews Are In

The press finally tested the new Apple Watch and provided some extensive reviews. The hardware has generally received mixed-to-positive response.

The pros:
– Design
– Apple Pay
– Less reliance on phone

The cons:
– UX (takes a few days to learn the technology)
– Notifications (need to customize extensively)
– Lack of customization

Why It’s Hot: The jury’s still out on the product, but many enthusiasts believe that the Apple Watch will become the new iPod or iPhone, which will imply big industry changes. From hardware to software, there will be new business opportunities for its every element if the watch proves to be a success.

Apple introducing ethnically diverse emojis

Apple is reportedly developing a series of ethnically diverse emojis for iOS operating systems.  The emojis hands and faces will come in 6 different skin tones.  Supposedly, if you press on any individual emoji, a choice of the 6 skin tones will pop up and you can choose one.  There are a reported 300 different emojis being developed.

No release date has been announced, and Apple won’t confirm if the new emojis will be released as part of the next official software releases for iPad, iPhone and Mac.

Emojis have long been used for self expresson.  According to CBS News, science guru Bill Nye used emojis to teach evolution, emojis replaced Beyoncé in a version of her hit single “Drunk in Love” and an emoji translation of Hermann Melville’s masterpiece was created — aptly titled “Emoji Dick.”

Apple Just Showed Off Its New, Diverse Emoji for the First Time

Why It’s Hot

Diverse emojis are a reflection of the populations that use them andd there has been a brewing controversy over the lack of diversity.  Apple is now taking initiative to acknowledge the people and markets it serves.  You might ask, What took so long?

Apple to launch Spotify-like Streaming Service

Apple has plans to leverage Beats to build a Spotify competitor, according to 9to5Mac.The paid streaming music service will use Beats’ content and technology but get a new name and a fresh Apple design, according to anonymous Apple sources. The service’s target price will be $7.99 per month. In contrast, Spotify Premium comes in at $9.99 a month; Google Play Music does too, though it originally launched for $7.99.

The technology relies on cloud-based streaming, and there’s a search feature that will let you instantly look for songs in your iTunes library but also search for streaming music. Users will be able to select specific tracks to store on their iOS devices and/or computers, or keep all songs solely in the cloud. Apple will also deeply integrate Beats Music’s Playlists, Activities, and Mixes features into the new service, letting users access a vast array of pre-made, human-curated playlists to fit various activities.

Apple reportedly plans to launch the service sometime this year, possibly at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

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Why It’s Hot

According to anonymous Apple sources, this service will be “deeply integrated” into iOS, iTunes, Apple TV and will even be available as an Android app. Our clients have seen success advertising to “music enthusiasts” on Pandora and Spotify so this is something we should keep an eye on to explore potential advertising opportunities in the future.

Source

Apple’s Fastest Growing Product: eCommerce

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner

$4.1 billion in Q1 2014– up 20% and rising fast. Very quietly, Apple is maneuvering for real innovation in ecommerce/mobile commerce. Volume alone isnt enough– but Touch ID, ibeacon and ApplePay are connecting the dots between retail and mobile at the individual user level.

http://www.businessinsider.in/Apple-Is-Already-Building-Its-Next-Massive-Business-And-No-One-Seems-To-Have-Noticed/articleshow/30815227.cms

Why It’s Hot

As they roll out iBeacon, Apple will be able to track individual retail behaviors on mobile, in-store and transactions. Apple has the platform, the connectivity and the security to enable commerce and tracking as few can manage.

 

Apple Debuts New Holiday Ad

Apple once again shows it can do touching holiday ads with the best of them in this beautifully understated spot created out of TBWA/Media Arts Lab and directed by Park Pictures’ Lance Acord. It’s all about a girl creating a gift for her grandmother, using Apple technology to turn an old tune, “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” into a duet. As her grandmother listens to the song at the breakfast table on an iPad Mini while looking at the old photographs her granddaughter has collected, it’s difficult to stay dry-eyed.

Why It’s Hot 

The spot was released on Sunday and has already garnered attention from trades like Adage and Adweek. In my opinion, ads are always more impactful when they can touch people’s emotions, especially during the gift gifting season. While it’s different from Apple’s traditional ads that are very product focused, I hope that they continues on this trend because it creates a more positive “brand personality” for the company and can continue to set them apart from their competitors.

US Trademark Office Allows iPhones to have cat-like reflexes

Caught your eye?

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/apple-patent-would-give-iphones-cat-like-reflexes/

Ever notice how falling cats somehow always land on their feet, and dropped toast will invariably hit the floor buttered-side down? Well what if you could harness that voodoo and install it in your gadgets? In the near future, this may very well become possible. If the technology described in a recent patent filed by Apple ever makes it past the conceptual phase, the next generation of iPhones could potentially be able to control how they hit the ground.

Patent No. 20130257582, otherwise known as “protecting an electronic device,” is basically a broad set of schemes that Apple has devised to keep your phone from landing on its screen or other vulnerable areas. The document outlines a number of different methods that could ostensibly be used to make this happen.

Why It’s Hot

Technology is just ridiculous.  This could save people a lot of money on dropped devices.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/apple-patent-would-give-iphones-cat-like-reflexes/#ixzz3KysAFcfK

Microsoft’s Band: The Perfect Rival for the Apple Watch

I need to start this post by saying that I am a Mac guy. One hundred percent!

My first computer was a Mac, back in the days where laptops didn’t exist. In fact, the Dell they gave me at my current job, it’s the first PC I have ever had; and I’m still struggling with it! I just don’t get it…

That being said, I love the fact that Microsoft products have always (well, almost always) been cross-platform (think Microsoft Office and Windows Operating System, for example).

Now Microsoft does it again with the new Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band.

Microsoft Band

If Microsoft wanted to grab a slice of the impending Apple Watch audience, it couldn’t have crafted a better plan than with its just-released, cross-platform Microsoft Band. The company’s first wearable piggybacks off of the style and functions we’re already familiar with in today’s activity trackers. But with nifty features, a more affordable price tag, and a broader potential audience, Microsoft is taking a different approach than Apple and other wearable makers:

  • First and foremost, the Microsoft Band is cross-platform. This is huge as it’s something Apple can’t, and will not, do. Microsoft Health, the Band’s corresponding software platform, is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone making the tracker itself cross-platform, too. This opens the Band up to a huge audience (virtually all smartphone owners) rather than, in Apple’s case, limiting the product to devotees of its insular ecosystem.
  • microsoftband-315x258Unlike the Apple Watch, Microsoft’s wristband is not a watch replacement. It’s designed to be worn 24-hours a day on your less dominant hand. It can track your activity and sleep patterns, and if you have a favorite watch, it wouldn’t be weird to wear it on your other wrist.
  • Microsoft Band is not just functional, but also good looking enough to wear every day. It comes in an incredible number of colors, types of bands and textures. It’s a fashion item.

Why It’s Hot  |  We’ve been talking and hearing about the importance of putting consumers at the center. Microsoft has done just that. This is about user’s wellbeing, whether we are Mac lovers, Android fans, or PC enthusiasts. Run, Microsoft. Run!

Sources: Wired.com, Microsoft.com

Apple Pay to Launch Monday

Apple (AAPL, Tech30) CEO Tim Cook announced Thursday that the company’s highly anticipated smartphone-based payment system will debut Oct. 20.

Apple Pay works by sending payment information via short-range radio waves. The message goes from a special chip inside the iPhone 6 to the register. It’s called NFC, short for Near Field Communication.

Video and article found here.

Why It’s Hot

It’s a safe way to pay for things- safer than credit cards, with all of the big box store hacks happening these days.  For those with iPhone6s,  its a great alternative to carrying a wallet.

Siri, the battle for her voice & tech

Siri

The voice we have all come to love and adore with our useless, yet relevant questions may be changing hands quietly in the background.  Voice recognition and language interpretation is the key to Siri’s success on Apple devices compared to other devices such as Samsung.  Nuance, the company which developed the technology and has worked on Siri is gearing up to be sold.  Apple is liquid enough to buy, but it will take a significant chunk, as Nuance’s market cap is $4.8 billion.  The slight hick-up is that Nuance would come with significant other work, such as a large health care and imaging department.  This would increase Apple’s operation expense and be considered a distraction by the Board, since Apple currently has no intention of entering that type of market in healthcare.

Is Apple about to lose Siri to Samsung?

Why It’s Hot

If Samsung would acquire Nuance, it would be beyond embarrassing for Apple and would only fuel the fire of Samsung antagonizing Apple.  Apple would lose part of their brand identity with the lack of Siri’s voice capability, and would be forced to grab Kasisto, a SRI developed voice assistant that is poised to be better than Siri one day, as it integrates into individual apps/media.  The consequences of all this on user experience? It means for digital media that Kasisto/Siri will one day fuel online purchases and increase the interaction of corporations with consumers.

iPhone 6 Snafus?

Even though Apples iPhone 6 and 6 plus have broken records, selling more than 10 million in just the first weekend of sales. Reports from upset customers suggest that the iPhone 6 plus can bend after being carried in pocket for extended periods of time.

A hashtag has even started around it, #BendGate, with Apple insisting that the reports are not true or isolated to just a few customers.

Why It’s Hot

This release is considered to make or break Tim Cook’s legacy. Apple has seen exceedingly greater and greater challenges from Samsung and Amazon for smartphone and tablet market share.

 

 

The Brands of #Bendgate

Recently the Internets have been a-buzz the past few days over the purported #Bendgate phenomenon, where consumers’ new iPhone 6 Plus phones have developed bends after being sat on for extended periods of time. An aside, we really didn’t go with #Bendghazi instead?

While Apple has come out to acknowledge bending has occurred among a small set of users, that hasn’t stopped brands from shamelessly trying to jump on the trending bandwagon.

Some were good, like Kit Kat who incorporated the bend into their product while subtly reinforcing their co-marketing alliance with Google.

 

kitkat

Papa John’s gave a more overt, but solid effort.

papa johns

Coca-Cola tried to be witty, but instead came out a bit cheesy.

coca cola

 

Then we have LG, who is trying way too hard to push their curved products:

LG

And let’s not forget Dockers, whose awkward model pose makes you wonder why they even bothered.

dockers

Why It’s Hot

As with anything Apple, #Bendgate news is everything right now.  Brands have jumped at the chance to demonstrate their “relevance” with consumers, but clearly some have done it far better than others. The best social posts combine relevance and humor with shared beliefs held by their communities. They don’t try too hard to be cool, they are effortless and natural. If consumers can see the effort you put into writing that post, then chances are it isn’t good marketing.

What Bigger iPhone Screens Mean for App Developers

With the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus by Apple, developers are now in a mad dash to optimize their apps for the devices new larger screens. Apple’s ubiquity means that the trends follow their design cues first, even if Android competitors have long offered larger screens (sorry Samsung). So what do these new devices mean for the next era in apps?

1. Controls move to the bottom of the screen: Because of the added screen height, users would need to strain their thumbs to reach controls that were historically placed in the upper corner of apps.

2. Gestures replace buttons: Developers are now looking at gesture-based controls rather than static buttons, which offers designs that scale to screens of all sizes. Swipes and pulls may be more and more important going forward.

3. Split-screen apps proliferate: Traditionally smartphone apps display content in a single pane, while larger devices like tablets display content in two. With the added screen real estate, app developers are expected to begin incorporating more two-pane views within apps on smartphones.

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Why It’s Hot

We often think of Apple as trailblazers with their devices, but it’s just as important to consider the implications for developers and businesses that create third-party devices when launching product changes. Apple’s success has come through cultivating a vibrant community of developers and third-party suppliers who re-engineer their products to stay in line with Apple’s latest trends. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer new opportunities to the smartphone app market and a lot of potential for shifting how we think of mobile experiences going forward.

Source: FastCompany

Apple offers a way to ‘return’ that free U2 album

At the end of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch announcement last week, the company trotted out the rock supergroup to announce a major marketing collaboration.

According to the New York Times, Apple spent ~$100 million on the U2 campaign.

The campaign consisted of Apple giving away U2’s first new album in 5 years, “Songs of Innocence,” to 500 million iTunes customers. For free. The objective was to get more people to sign up for iTunes.

But Apple didn’t just offer the album, it went ahead and dropped the album in all 500 million active iCloud accounts across 119 countries. The files would then make their way to the computers and mobile devices of users set up to automatically synch purchases.

This lead to many complaints of invasiveness and tone-deafness. Especially since the timing was shortly after iCloud’s security was scrutinized for its part in celebrity photo hacks.

One week after giving away a new U2 album to most iTunes users, Apple has announced a way for customers to get rid of it, reported CNN.

Why It’s Hot

Even the most visionary marketers can stumble, especially if they don’t keep the customer–their needs, their boundaries–front and center.

Apple Stands Up For Privacy

In the wake of government snooping and hackers with an affinity for nude celebrities, Apple is trying to combat criticism that Apple doesn’t adequately protect user privacy, announcing that its iOS 8 update will be impervious to snoopers and thieves. How? Apple won’t have access to your device’s information, so neither will anybody else. As long as the Iphone user doesn’t share information to Apple’s cloud, the information on the device is fully protected by the passcode. In addition, Apple updated it’s privacy policy, clarifying what information Apple does and doesn’t collect, and why. They’ve also included transparency reports, which break down how, when and why it handles requests from law enforcement or government agencies seeking information about customers. They even advise users on how to make their phone even more secure, like two-step verification.

deanjshaw.com

Timothy Cook, Apple’s CEO, issued a statement defending Apple and distinguishing it from other companies that profit from collecting and share customer information with third parties such as advertisers and the government.

Why It’s Hot? We’ve been discussing how the internet and technology has altered the way we value privacy and threatened property rights. In the midst of all this, companies like Apple realize that consumers still value their privacy and should protect their customer’s information from third parties, especially illegal ones. While such companies might miss out from advertising revenue and get harassed or intimidated by the government, such companies will undoubtedly earn the trust and loyalty of their customers.

Apple Pay: Tech Meets Finance

Apple has finally jumped into the financial world, namely,the $15 trillion payment-transaction market. Apple’s “Apple Pay” mobile/watch payment system, uses wireless technology that can securely send card information to a retailer via a special reader. Apply pay launches in October. Apple is the latest company among others like Square, Google, Verizon and AT&T, and even Bitcoin taking a crack at the “digital wallet.” So far everyone has failed. Apple has partnered with major banks like Chase, Citi, and Bank of America, as well as credit card networks such as American Express and Mastercard. However, the challenges in the “digital wallet” war are many. In order to succeed, Apple has to win over customers — and retailers. For customers, Apple has to make it more convenient than a credit card swipe, as reliable as a credit card, more secure than a credit card, and more private than a credit card. For retailers, Apple has to convince them that it is profitable to upgrade their payment systems to include a special reader for Apple Pay. In short, Apple must make paying with the iPhone 6 or the Smart watch, better, simpler and more rewarding than swiping a card.

Eddie Cue of Apple describes Apple Pay and some of its partners.Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Why It’s Hot?  Apple is a company that people love and trust. If anyone can break into the payment market, it’s them. In addition, Apple Pay is unique in that you can use your phone and your watch (Smart Watch). It is also interesting to note that the financial world if finally realizing that it needs to upgrade its technology.

Samsung Fires Back at Apple

That didn’t take long. A day after Apple unmasked its new products — two iPhones with larger screens and the Apple Watch — Samsung released a series of spots mocking its rival. Six videos uploaded to the Samsung Mobile YouTube channel on Wednesday night star two men meant to represent Apple’s Genius Bar employees. The series, called “It Doesn’t Take a Genius,” attacks Apple’s new smartphones, its wearable device and even its Tuesday event live-stream (which functioned poorly), all without mentioning Apple by name. Samsung is expected to release new spots for national TV responding to Apple by early next week.

Why It’s Hot

Thanks to the power of social media, we live in a world where brands are able (and even expected) to quickly react to real-time events. It creates a more powerful message if advertisers are able to get their message across to consumers at the right time. By getting these ads out within hours of Apple’s big announcement this week, Samsung is able to capabilities on the buzz Apple created and hopefully win customers over.

Source

Samsung “Wall Huggers” Campaign Extended to Airports

Back in early July, Samsung launched a new Galaxy S5 ad calling iPhone users “Wall Huggers” and mocking the iPhone for having a short battery life while touting the battery-saving capabilities of its own newest flagship phone.

This week, Samsung has expanded the “Wall Huggers” campaign to out-of-home advertisements near electrical outlets at major US airports. The ads promotes Samsung’s power-saving feature, an indirect jab at Apple whose iPhone has been widely criticized for having lackluster battery life.

samsunggalaxywallhuggers

The real power of the marketing message doesn’t just come from that message and its placement near power outlets. The real impact is when consumers are huddled around those outlets in “the wild.”  Not only is Samsung’s message found during a period of active problem solving (finding an outlet), consumers are then tethered to their devices while they charge. This tethering exposes individuals to the marketing messages for much longer periods of time than a traditional advertisement.

samsunggalaxys5ad

Samsung has historically been quite aggressive against Apple.  Prior campaigns have attacked the growing culture of waiting in line for new product releases, what Samsung calls “Screen Envy,” and more.

Why It’s Hot

The “Wall Huggers” campaign is a great example of how aggressive, guerrilla marketing can make a more meaningful impact than traditional tactics. While the campaign is not heavy into digital, Samsung and their creative agency are showing how the right message can come at the right time by innately understanding consumer behavior. Samsung saw their competitor’s weakness and attacked in an interesting, unexpected way. My question is, will we now begin to see more advertisement opportunities around non-traditional locations/fixtures, such as power outlets, water fountains, and restrooms?

Source: MacRumors

ABC News App Channel on Apple TV Shows Enormous Potential for Content Publishers

About six weeks ago, ABC News launched a new Apple TV channel offering a wide range of live and on-demand content from both national and select local feeds. As a follow-up to this release, ABC News published this infographic that shows how viewers are using the channel compared to other devices.

The insight ABC News has uncovered is quite telling.  For instance:

  • Live programming accounts for 20% of all channel view time, and yet…
  • Live viewing on Apple TV is over 50% higher than views on PC and mobile combined
  • Apple TV viewers spend 65% more time viewing per visit than desktop users
  • 9PM EST measured as peak, most likely for capturing both east/west coast markets

Why It’s Hot

ABC News is showing that live video content isn’t dead, at least to consumers. Though on-demand entertainment continues to be on the rise, this data around news viewership suggests that cable-alternative products like Apple TV or Roku may mean new life for broadcasters. But to make this model a successful business model, content creators and technology companies need to rethink how content agreements are managed. The cable model may be dying, but there is still a desire for that content–just not sold in expensive bundles.

Like the need to move consumers away from expecting free digital music and towards paid downloads and premium streaming services, broadcasters now need outside the literal [cable] box to monetize new content consumption patterns.

Source: MacRumors

New Apple TV game brings the ‘Dance Party’ to your living room

Apple’s set-top hobby has come a long way since its major refresh in 2010, thanks largely to a variety of services bringing different content to the platform. When it comes to gaming, however, the Apple TV isn’t exactly a powerhouse, despite being able to support it throughAirPlay features — something similar to what Real Racing has done in the past. Another developer that’s made use of this particular second-screen kind of experience is Rolocule Games, and it just announced a new free title (with in-app purchases) dubbed Dance Party.

The game, which clearly takes a cue from Dance Central, comes in the form of an app and uses an iOS device as a motion controller, allowing players to see their virtual, groovy moves on the bigger screen by way of Apple TV. Dance Party also lets you challenge other people who have the application, even if they’re not in the same location as you.

Why It’s Hot

A lot has been made of streaming gaming services such as Steam and Gaikai (which is now owned by Sony’s Playstation division). Many have also speculated how there is potential for Apple, with it’s Apple TV platform, to begin offering more and more games to users using it’s platform.

The big idea everyone seems to be chasing is a subscription-based model for a catalogue of games – much like a Netflix for games. Given that internet speeds continue to improve across households, this does not seem that distant a reality.

While xbox and Playstation might be focused on ‘hardcore’ gamers, there’s a lot of speculation Apple might revolutionize the casual gamer market like it did with the App Store. This might just be the start of that – over time, we may see a subscription service evolve.

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/24/dance-party-for-apple-tv/

Pity the “Wall Huggers”

Samsung’s latest installment in it’s “The Next Big Thing Is Here” campaign slams iPhone battery life. The spot shows frazzled, unhappy iPhone-carrying travelers sitting on airport floors, hunched around wall outlets, waiting for their handsets to charge making viewers feel as though they should’ve bought the Samsung Galaxy S5 with ultra power-saving mode and interchangeable battery.

Why It’s Hot

Samsung’s anti-Apple strategy seemed a little condescending at first, but then the scrappy approach began to earn some merit as viewers learned to appreciate the subtle knocks at their competitor without stepping over the line; iPhone users were able to laugh at themselves. As the ads continue, is it getting to a point when Samsung is making viewers feel naive for buying another brand’s products? When focusing an ad campaign on taking hits at a competitors weaknesses it’s imperative brands leave viewers thinking about their product, not feeling patronized.

Read more here

Makemove – the creative matchmaking app based on your geolocation

Makemove is a creative & digital peoples “dating app” , if you will, where you can find people with ideas or skillsets, near you. Like Tinder meets Linkedin. Like 4square meets portfolio sites! Like Grindr and … Oh no it’s not like Grindr at all.

It’s on iPhone only right now. The founders are childhood friends from the land of the midnight fun, Sweden, and they set out to make this app after discovering there was a need for matchmaking in the creatives businesses.  Since ad, digital and creative students tend to wander around the world, this is ideal for making new creative friends in far off lands too. Just install the app, sign up, and seek new connections out wherever you are.

“We believe that in order to find that breakthrough innovation or idea, you need people with different backgrounds and mindsets to collaborate with. Hopefully, along the way you will find your next partner and create the next big thing with the world as your playground.”

http://vimeo.com/99457667

Why it’s hot:

It’s an interesting next step for social communities around the world by leveraging  geolocation. While this could be a niche app (focused exclusively on creative folks), this could be the next evolution of social communities – going hyperlocal and speaking to individual passion/love.