Screaming for help, just went high-tech

Every year, there are 44,000 accidents causing injuries and in only 10% of cases do the emergency services reach the scene in time. This lateness or non-arrival of first aid leads to 14,000 deaths annually.

So life insurance brand AIA decided to harness the country’s 35 million smartphone devices to enable people to get help faster. Open Aiya, created my Happiness FCB Saigon, is a mobile app that allows people to alert their contacts about an accident even if they can’t reach their phone.

When a user says, ‘Hey Siri, Open AIYA’ the voice activated panic system automatically sends an SMS to family, friends and the emergency services. The message contains the person’s precise GPS location so they are easier to assist.

Why It’s Hot:

-Yet another example of brands finding a pain point that aligns with their business model, and solving it through innovative tech….and develop a first of it’s kind, at that (the first voice-activated panic system)

Doctors media preferences…Social? Maybe. Print and email? Yes!

When  it comes to digital adoption, it seems a no-brainer; isn’t everyone engaged? No. A notable exception are medical professionals. Doctors and nurses (NP/PA’s) tend to lean towards the conservative — not only politically, but in terms of their digital adoption. A recent study by HealthLink Dimensions, an email list and Big Data firm, produced a study on their information-gathering preferences among 700 medical professionals.

Email may seems so…yesterday. Yet, 75% of NPs and PAs and 66% of MDs prefer email for communication regarding the following:

• Industry news

• Product updates

• Research opportunities

What device is favored for reading email? Specifically, almost 52% of NPs/PAs and 46% of MDs utilize mobile devices; while almost 53% of NPs/PAs and 51% of MDs use desktop computers to comb through their emails.

Social Media? They love their closed, private peer-to-peer communities, such as SERMO (600K doctors)

Per the survey, 66% of NPs/PAs and 63% of MDs don’t use social media to communicate with patients. Instead, only one-third of these medical professionals are active on social media – mainly Twitter, LinkedIn, SERMO and Doximity – primarily for networking with their colleagues and peers

Last is print: 50% of NPs/PAs and 46% of MDs frequently use printed materials provided to their practices

Why is this hot? As with all customers we strategically serve, their content consumption habits have a major impact upon our planning. Knowing this, we must always realize to be customer-centric is to not fall in love with a shiny media object or a cool platform…

  • Time is a critical factor for HCP’s which drive what they consume and how; with an average of less than 15 minutes per patient, you know when it is a mobile device, they are on the move, doing rounds, trying to solve problems in real-time; your content and experience should embrace that. So, snippets of content are smart when you want them to be consumed at POC (Point-of-Care); conversely, HCP’s often have to consume intense medical journals, clinical studies and dense scientific content, which requires a desktop or laptop
  • Using Performance/Analytics to see how your clients’ content is consumed by time and device provides an invaluable insight into content strategy; if you want it to be useful in the NOW, then snippets, mobile-first; if you want to provide deeper content, then plan for desktop, but always offer email/download functions to account for mobile



Monkeys in Magenta

After seven years, the digital band, Gorillaz, are releasing a new album, and as part of their promotion, a new app is encouraging people to find the color magenta to unlock unique content.

Deutsche Telekom has created the Lenz app that will unlock new content for users whenever they hover it over something magenta — the brand’s corporate color.

The brand has teamed up with the virtual band, Gorillaz, to launch the Lenz app, which was created by Saatchi & Saatchi for the Deutsche Telekom music and lifestyle platform, Electronic Beats. With the new app, when a user finds something magenta (it could be a t-shirt, a flower or anyting that matches the Pantone range), they can hold their phone over it, to reveal new content from Gorillaz, including the first ever “live” interview with the band using motion capture and composition technology, and exclusive clips from the band’s new album “Humanz,” dropping on April 28. The app uses Chroma Keying technology to use the color to unlock the content. 

Why It’s Hot

This is a really cool activation. It is great positioning for Deutsche Telekom because it’s not overly intrusive or brand-heavy. And Gorillaz of course gain additional buzz around their upcoming album. I think this is a great example of a brand involving itself in a moment without trying to take it over.

bye bye brick & mortar banks

When’s the last time you opened up a bank account? Whether it was applying online or in-person at a bank retail, the process involved ton of paperwork and ID authentications via your driver license, passport, social security card, etc. Most often, we had to visit our nearest bank to get faster services – instead of waiting on the phone with a customer service representative, speaking to my bank rep always expedited my checks and debit cards. But now that most service features are automated by our apps, will we still need brick and mortar banks?

Banking startups don’t think so. The new era of banking is mobile-first/mobile-only – Starling Bank UK launched without a single brick and mortar location. You still have to apply online but upon approval of your account, which involves things like photographing your passport or driving license via the app, you are issued a Starling Bank MasterCard debit card that can be used in the U.K. and abroad.

Why it’s hot:

The banks allows you to :

  • view your current account activity in real time, something most legacy banks fail or fall over trying to do. This takes the form of push notifications and the “Starling Pulse,” a real-time feed that displays all your account activity.
  • secure the app using biometric identification.  In addition to being asked to provide a 6-10 digit passcode, you are asked to record a short video message of you reading out a specific phrase. If you find your fat thumb making passcode mistakes and locking you out, you can voice open the bank app.

Phone-Attached UV Camera Monitors Skin Health

Originally a niche brand for smartphone fingerprint recognition, Nurugo is branching out with a new product in the beauty market. They developed an app called SmartUV to help users be more aware of their skin type. To use the app a special UV camera sold by Nurugo has to be attached to the bottom of the smartphone.

By emitting UV light the camera is able to show skin problems that normally people don’t notice, or let users know of developing issues like sun spots or melanoma so they can treat them before it becomes life-threatening. It also allows users to see how effective their sunscreen is.

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

Another “our bodies” approach — connecting technology and intelligence about our state of being.

Misty Water Colored Memories of the Way We Used to Call

The Mobile World Congress, running from February 27th until March 2nd is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. And this year, we’re seeing some Technology Nostalgia popping up. Take the Nokia 3310, a staple of the early naughts.

The brick, known for its durability and incredibly long battery life has made a comeback.  The Nokia 3310, which will be available for €49 ($52) in the second quarter of the year, is not meant to compete with modern smartphones. The handset is designed to appeal to people who can’t afford smartphones. It could also be an attractive first phone for kids, a second phone to use while traveling, or a temporaryburner” phone.

For those of you willing to go back in time, fret not, the new version comes with Snake!

Why it’s hot: 

  1. Not everyone has a smartphone, not everyone wants a smartphone this low-cost option is good for them. Nokia is banking on the model’s reputation for a comeback.
  2. Nokia’s timing for release is great, smartphones have not innovated as much in the last three years (the Galaxy S8 would have stolen it’s thunder) so this debut gained traction.

Cellphones as a literal lifeline

Many refugees consider smartphones instrumental in their journey to safety. Google Maps helps them navigate across the sea. Translation apps provide a rudimentary understanding of the language in new lands. WhatsApp and Viber allow them to chat with loved ones back home.

And almost everyone carries photos of the family and friends left behind.

Photojournalist Grey Hutton photographed dozens of refugees and their phones at a refugee center in Berlin for VICE Germany. The idea for the project came to him after reading complaints about refugees carrying smartphones.

Refugee Selfie

Why It’s Hot
In our current political and cultural environment where debate about refugees and illegal immigrants rages, it’s great to see technology used as both a tool to help people in need and one that humanize those in need to create greater empathy.

Bridging the CX Understanding Gap


As customer experience (CX) continues to drive business transformation, we are met with a general lack of understanding around what and how to move forward. Forrester research revealed more than 60% of decision makers are still holding on innovation related to the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is CX. People expect connectivity; people expect effortless data integration that improves the way they move through the world. This is nothing to delay and “assess.” The CX winners lean in hard early. They experiment. They fail. They pick themselves back up and try again.  People more than welcome that now, they expect it.

Are You Hungry Yet? Taco Bell’s Mobile Strategy


Taco Bell really wants Millennials to consider the fast food chain a legit breakfast option. So the brand has recently upped its mobile targeting strategy to make sure its reaching its audience when breakfast is on their mind.

Taco Bell recently partnered with Aki, a third-party mobile targeting and analytics firm, to help deliver a refined mobile targeting strategy. Aki can identify when the target is searching for breakfast recipes and even what apps they use first thing in the morning to help Taco Bell identify and leverage key moments to advertise to its target. Taco Bell is also using Waze, a direction app, to target its target and even give them step by step directions to their closest location.

Beyond mobile ads, Taco Bell is using the social-poll platform Wishbone to let users vote which new menu item is most appealing to them–ideally making them crave the meal!

Why It’s Hot: Taco Bell’s mobile strategy is a great case study for all brands because it leverages key moments and targets based on age, geography, interests, and cravings.


Rickshaws go Uber, without Uber

Even while Uber has, for the time being, backed out of on-demand rickshaws, New Delhi-based startup Jugnoo confirmed this week that it is closed another round of fundraising to continue to help make India’s ubiquitous auto-rickshaw drivers more efficient while also meeting consumer transportation demands. The service launched in November 2014 and is currently operating in 22 cities and claims 2 million users, around 6,000 drivers and about 30,000 rides per day. The co-founder and CEO of Jugnoo, Samar Singla, told TechCrunch in an interview that he started the service when he realized that auto-rickshaw drivers are just 30 percent utilized. The goal is to drive utilization up to 60 percent.

Top priority for this year is to expand Jugnoo’s presence into an additional 25 cities in India, most of which will be second-tier. untitled

Why It’s Hot

Uber failed at their initial attempt to enter the auto-rickshaw market with UberAUTO. They were unable to localize to the Indian market. India is Uber’s second largest market outside of the US, but it faces significant pressures from rivals such as Ola and Jugnoo.


The Quantified Car


Automatic is a combination adapter and app that interfaces with your car’s on-board computer. The adapter gathers data on fuel efficiency, miles driven, and bad driving habits (jackrabbit accelerations and hard braking). The app can then give drivers insights into their driver profile, their car’s mechanical condition, tell you where you parked, and in an accident, can even notify loved ones and signal for help.  Ever wonder what that check engine light really means? Automatic can tell you the exact error code, what is usually the causing the problem, and connect you to local mechanics.

As a consequence of gathering all this data, Automatic is able to issue yearly “Your Driving Year in Review” reports. Here’s mine. I commute far too much, drive too fast to optimize fuel efficiency, and sadly, when you add up all my driving time, I spend more than two weeks a year behind the wheel.

Why it’s hot:
Newer cars are starting to include these tracking features standard, but for the majority of older vehicles on the road, tools like Automatic can provide actionable data right now. And since driving is one of the most dangerous (and unhealthy) activities we can do in our lives, any data that can optimize the experience will help us make better decisions. Look for car brands (other automotive related brands) to embrace this data, creating better experiences and deeper integrations.


Under Armour– Powered by Watson

Amongst the new partnerships announced at CES is one between Under Armour and IBM, which promises to launch “Cognitive Coaching Powered by IBM Watson,” which both companies call the “world’s first complete health and fitness insights app.”

Activity-Insight-1_640_1136How does it plan to stand out against the typical fitness app consisting of wearable device & smartphone sensor? Using Watson’s smarts. The program will integrate data signals from wearable fitness gear with Under Armour’s Connected Fitness community of users, research studies, and institutions with data from IBM Watson. To help individuals achieve their fitness goals as accurately as possible, the Watson database will compare each user’s fitness data to a cohort of people with similar characteristics and goals– a sort of crowdsourcing in which individuals can see real-time results of others they share commonalities with.

Two other projects in the works: using IBM Watson’s visual recognition capabilities to identify foods and their nutritional value and integrating weather- related and environmental factors as they relate to your health and fitness (powerful, as IBM purchased much of’s digital assets).

Why it’s hot: the Under Armour- IBM Watson partnership is one of the first brand integrations with the IBM Watson system and the first fitness integration of its kind to use consumer data in a way that allows people to compare themselves to others in real time.

Rihanna’s AntiDiary Mobile Experience


In true Rihanna fashion, she’s releasing her latest album in the coolest way possible. With a collaboration between Samsung and some seriously creative film directors, I’ll break it all down for you.

Go to on your smartphone (intentionally a mobile experience, it does not work on desktop). You’ll be welcomed into a mysterious world of different rooms that you must unlock clues within.

First you’re sent into “R1,” a panoramic view of what looks like a child’s bedroom, where, by shifting the angle of your phone around, you can “look” around the room. Certain items scan, taking you into various clues – from video content to sound bites to images.


As you continue through the experience into different rooms, from ‘Studio’ to ‘Closet’ to ‘Tattoo Parlor’, you are prompted to continue unlocking content and keep on your exploratory, engaging journey.


Because I’m a lowly iPhone user, I couldn’t unlock or fully experience the mystery of it all. That’s the branded catch, of course. Galaxy Samsung users get access to more rooms, and therefore are capable of solving the big mystery.


Bad girl RiRi has done it again. This mobile experience definitely got me thinking about Samsung as an innovation leader that pertains to my real  life (i.e. cool experiences with my favorite artists), which is something many technology companies struggle with when touting innovation. Why do I as a consumer really care? Well, because – Rihanna.

AOL-Owned Millennial Pairs With Rentrak To Offer TV Ad Retargeting

TVtoMobile After an initial wave of integration, Millennial Media, the mobile ad platform AOL acquired in September for $240 million, rolled out its first ad product under new ownership – TV Commercial Retargeting.
The new ad product is backed by a partnership with Rentrak, which aggregates set-top box data across 25 million households, tapping into data sets from various cable and satellite providers.

Millennial Media will be able to link Rentrak’s TV commercial viewership data with its own mobile user data anonymously through Millennial’s data management platform to surface a mobile video ad. Advertisers can then add a rich media element, such as click-to-purchase an ecommerce item or locate a nearby store.

Why It’s Hot

While TV commercial retargeting isn’t a brand new idea (we’re already running a similar program with Latuda), it’s interesting because of Millennial and AOL’s access to Verizon’s mobile data. This could allow Verizon to utilize its customer data in a way that could rival Facebook and Google’s powerful deterministic audience data.


Swipe Right for the Next President of the United States

Spending so much time on Tinder that you haven’t had the chance to read up on the presidential hopefuls for the next elections? Addicted to swiping? Want a fun, easy, quick way to expand your political knowledge? Voter might be the app for you.

The iOS app uses Tinder’s familiar swiping mechanism to help you learn more about presidential candidates and parties that match your views. The app currently has various levels of questions. In Level 1, you’ll be swiping about your views on basic, core social, environmental and economic issues, like legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage, abortions, the death penalty, and increasing or decreasing the minimum wage and military spending. Unsure about an issue? Click the picture for a quick cheatsheet on the facts behind the issues, and a few bullet points from supporters and opponents.

You can also select how important each question is to you (a la matching questions on dating website OkCupid).

Level 2 goes more in depth: you’ll swipe about a fence at the border, increasing spending on education, term limits for congress, taxing the wealthy, financial aid for other nations and more. Once you’ve swiped your opinions, you get matched with potential political parties and candidates.

You’ll be able to view your political matches sorted by percentage, with a neat breakdown of the issues you agree or disagree on, and the ability to contact the party or donate. For candidate matches, you’ll also get a few quotes and a short bio, as well as a breakdown of top campaign contributors by name and industry for the more established candidates.

voter-app-1-psfk voter-app-psfk.png

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

It’s important for young people to understand their political environment, and we haven’t seen a lot of evidence that politics is adapting to Millennials. An app like this takes a key demographic and insights about their behavior and makes politics accessible and even entertaining.



Immersive Mobile Ads on Facebook

“The ads take advantage of recent calls for vertical video and image capability. When users click on an ad on Facebook on their smartphone, they are taken to an immersive slideshow of images.”-  Carianne King

Read more:

Read this too:

Why It’s Hot

The concept and idea for the ad was built out of the conversations held at the Cannes Lions Festival this year. I love how this ad is extremely interactive and will keep users more engaged for longer on mobile. Considering that social users are preferring mobile to desktop, this ad will be a great area for many brands to explore!

More People Have Died Taking Selfies Than from Shark Attacks

Prompted by the recent death of a Japanese tourist, a lot of attention has been center around the senseless, stupid and preventable deaths by those who were performing risky or short-sighted behavior in the pursuit of the selfie.

The rising epidemic has prompted efforts to stem the shocking trend, such as government-sponsored public service campaigns to educate folks on taking safe selfies.

But what’s the data actually look like?


According to Mashable, in 2015 twelve people have died taking selfies while just eight have lost their lives by sharks.

Why It’s Hot

The numbers may not be huge, but the implications may reflect a change in culture as consumer technologies continue to expand. In response to these cases, groups have pushed to restrict the use of selfie sticks in public spaces like parks and zoos, where large groups of people may be. If people are paranoid about sharks, then maybe they should instead fear the death trap in their hands… whether from selfies, texting, distracted driving or otherwise.

Via Yahoo

Ad blocker pulled citing harmful impacts to publishers

The most popular ad blocker app has been pulled by its developer citing concerns it would hurt Web businesses and publishers. Marco Arment, a Tumblr co-founder and developer of the “Peace” app, said he didn’t feel it was his responsibility to determine what content should be blocked. “Adblockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit,” Arment wrote (as reported by the NY Times, 9/19/15).

The app was released September 16, 2015, once the new version of the iPhone’s operating system became available. Arment claimed the $2.99 Peace app was the best-selling app over two days. And according to Apptopia Inc, a Boston-based company that tracks app store downloads and revenue, the Peace app generated $113,521 in gross proceeds in the 36 hours it was live.

According to the NY Times, ad-blocking tools are designed to help Web pages load much faster by stripping out so-called scripts and trackers that are used to serve the ads. However, many feel these tools hurt publishers, particularly smaller ones, by forcing them to develop dedicated iPhone apps, rather than relying on mobile-friendly websites.

Why It’s Hot

Studies reported by e-Marketer and others have consistently shown that people do not like mobile ads, which slow page loading times and interfere with customer experience. But Arment has advocated on the side of publishers in seeing the benefit of such ad blockers. Despite the end of Peace, blockers will continue to be popular and will put further pressure on publishers to create ad-related user experiences that complement page viewing rather than hinder it.

Twitter Expands Custom Ad Emojis

Twitter introduced custom emojis during the VMAs this year, and they seem to be expanding the efforts with a new Share a Coke ad.

Share a Coke on Twitter

They also launched custom Star Wars emojis previously.

Users would need to use the ascribed hashtags in their tweets to generate the custom emojis.

Why It’s Hot: Twitter seems to have developed a paid product that provides a very clear value exchange for the consumers and brands. By customizing a product (something of a collectible) that’s attuned and relevant to present mobile behaviors, it’s likely that ad purchases and usage will increase on Twitter.

Tinder meets Presidential election

voter app1

“Siri, who should I vote for?”

Now there’s an app that brings the swipe right/swipe left match-making into the presidential election. It’s the Voter App.

This new app lets you work through your position on all the major issues– repealing Obamacare, legalizing marijuana, increasing the minimum wage… then you are matched up with the party and ranked list of candidates to see who lines up with your views (and who is furthest from them). There are different levels of questions depending on the amount of effort you want to make. Now you can make the same rash decisions about the leader of the free world that you do on dating.

voter app2 voter app3 voter app4 voter app5

Business Insider Article

Washington Post article

App on itunes

Why It’s Hot

Aside from the frightening observation that you can avoid deep understanding of candidates positions… it shows how quickly we adopt certain structures and behaviors when the Tinder experience is now a standard digital experience.

How CBS is experimenting with (free) live streaming for football fans

CBS is increasing the amount of college and pro football it plans to stream across digital platforms for the upcoming season.

The broadcaster has rights to two marquee sports properties in the U.S.: SEC college football and the NFL. In the coming year, CBS will live stream its entire “SEC on CBS” schedule, which features one game per week, on and the CBS Sports mobile app. For its NFL coverage, the network plans to stream two regular-season games for the first time ever, plus every playoff game it has broadcast rights to — including Super Bowl 50 — on and across its connected TV apps on Apple TV, Xbox One, Chromecast and Roku.

“Our goal is to provide the best viewing experience possible for fans,” said Jeffrey Gerttula, SVP and GM of CBS Sports Digital. “We look at every sport — all of the rights we have — and we make a decision [on how to provide coverage across platforms] based on what’s best for the consumer and best for our business.”

Right now, this means making certain full games available for free across platforms, without requiring users to authenticate — meaning that people who don’t pay for CBS via cable or satellite TV can also watch these games.

But the company’s coverage plans go beyond the live streams.

With its new “SEC Live” portal on and mobile apps, CBS plans to provide additional content and features to augment the live stream. This includes original pregame, halftime and postgame shows for each game, featuring CBS Sports talent like Gary Danielson, Brady Quinn, Teryn Schaefer and Matthew Coca. For the halftime show, CBS Sports has secured sponsorship deals with Sonic (for a segment highlighting fans on both sides of the matchup), Microsoft (for the segment breaking down the stats from the first half) and Dr Pepper (for a segment featuring fans sharing their “one-of-a-kind” traditions).

Other SEC Live features include what CBS calls its “all-22” camera angle to give viewers an overhead view of all 22 players on the football field; game highlights so viewers can relive a big moment or catch up on what they might have missed; quick reactions from CBS talent on the latest; and additional commentary via Twitter.

The decision by CBS to increase its streaming plans for the coming football season can be partially attributed to the fact that people are watching more video content on its digital platforms. According to comScore, had 2.9 million unique desktop viewers and 39.9 million video views in the U.S. in July.

The idea is to build viewership across mobile and connected TV by experimenting with different types of content, including live sports.

Why It’s Hot

This is a huge move for CBS, even though it’s a test.  They are seeing the value in (almost) disregarding the paying cable customers and realizing that there’s tremendous value in providing great content online.  In my mind, this is another step in the direction of cord cutting.  If networks begin to realize that their audience is becoming more valuable outside of just linear TV, they’re going to go where the people are, vs. limiting them on the linear TV space.


Mobile Live Streaming Becomes A Powerful New Medium

Live-streaming services like Meerkat, Periscope, and Facebook offer new marketing opportunities by combining the excitement of live events with the personal engagement of mobile. Live-streaming is nothing new, but these three services have helped push live-streaming into the hands of users on their mobile devices. The ease of point and shoot in addition to 4G networks and the proliferation of WiFi have helped give these services the means to thrive and deliver these streaming services. Just recently, Periscope announced that they have 10 million user accounts. What’s more interesting is the time viewed on the Periscope platform is at about 40 years of video watched per day and steadily growing. In addition to mobile, Periscope is seeing lots of views take place on their web-based destination,

The mobile players are growing fast: Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook, Rhinobord, Yeplive, Ustream, Younow, Hang, and Stringwire. Plus, YouTube already offers the ability to live stream from a desktop – and it’s likely that it will introduce the functionality on its mobile app soon.



(Source: Periscope)

Why It’s Hot:

These mobile services are still in their infancy and live streaming is growing but remains a small percentage of the video we consume on the web. However, they do open the door for brands and users to create inexpensive pieces of communication that can scale quickly. Which means brands and creators can reach new audiences that they maybe were not able to reach before. Simply another way for people to experiment and find new ways to create things that people are interested in. Gets a Redesign

According to Techcrunch, 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.

Facebook’s Beacons to Improve Measurement for Brands


11414351_1448448808784825_1354507790_nDespite all the hype, most marketers and retailers have never actually used beacon technology. But with the launch of Place Tips and Facebook Bluetooth beacons, Facebook hopes to change that.

How will it work? Facebook is building Place Tips into its mobile app to help consumers learn about the places they visit, such as their favorite hardware store or that new pizza shop down the block. The feature leverages location-based technology, including Bluetooth and beacons, to determine where people are, and then prompts them to visit a Facebook page.

Putting beacons into stores will give Facebook data it’s never before had on what people are shopping for and advertisers will have the ability to target users based on this intent data.

Why It’s Hot

The most compelling aspect of Facebook’s new initiative is the opportunity for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their advertising dollars on Facebook. For example, Facebook would now be able to determine whether people exposed to an ad went ahead and visited and/or purchased an item from the advertiser’s brick and mortar store. According to Forrester, U.S. marketers will dedicate $9.7 billion to social media in 2015 and nearly double that by 2019 so this type of measurement could be a game changer for the entire advertising industry.


They Came, They Saw but Did They Shop?

Costco shoppers spend 149% more per visit than at the average retailer, and dollar store shoppers are around 30% more likely to make a purchase than when visiting other retailers. The data is based on a new attribution- measurement offering from mobile-location firm Placed.

Its media agency partners and their restaurant and retail brand clients will use the metrics to standardize the way they gauge their online and brick-and-mortar sales, and to better show the impact of mobile ads on offline consumer behavior.

“Clients have asked us “Can you figure out, did [consumers] buy something and how much did they spend?'” said David Shim, Placed CEO, noting that agency clients want physical store metrics that match digital ones, such as cost per store visit and average order size.

Placed recently began tracking the purchase rate and average spend of consumers its system spots at retail outlets, restaurants and other businesses. The company specializes in location data gathered through opt-in relationships with a panel of around 500,000 app users it traces through GPS and wi-fi data, pinpointing their locations multiple times throughout a given period of time to ensure they are actually present at a specific place of business.

“Placed’s new offering will allow us to further validate performance,” said Sarah Bachman, VP of mobile strategy at Horizon Media, an early tester of the new measurement product. “It helps us answer a question we always ask when evaluating performance of our location efforts: ‘We drove consumers to the store, but did they make a purchase?'”

The revenue metrics are an extension of Placed’s attribution measure, which gauges the impact of mobile-ad exposures on store visits. While the revenue metrics can be connected to that attribution metric, the idea behind measuring revenue, said Mr. Shim, is that “it shows you where you stand in terms of the ecosystem.”

How Do they Know How much People Spent?

Placed supplements the information with data from surveys sent via mobile notifications to members about whether they made a purchase at store where they were spotted, and how much they spent. Consumers cough up their data and answer surveys in exchange for contest entries and premium app services, and Placed rewards survey respondents with the same level of prizes no matter how they respond.

The company asks a percentage of its panelists about their purchase activity when it spots them in business locations, whether or not the business is a client of Placed or its agency partners; this gives the company a broader view of what’s happening across the retail landscape. In the past two months, the location tracker gathered survey responses to measure purchase rates and average spending.

For instance, Placed determined that people are more apt to buy when price points are low, or when visiting shopping meccas selling an array of food and home products. The company reported that people who visited dollar stores including 99 Cents Only, Dollar Tree and Dollar General are at least 30% more likely to buy something than at the average retailer. One-stop stores with a wide variety of goods such as Meijer (29%), BJ’s Wholesale Club (28%) and Costco (27%) also topped the rankings.

Those big box stores also made the top 20 according to average spend. People spent 149% more at Costco than at other retailers. Best Buy (140%), BJs (137%) and Sam’s Club (136%) also ranked high.

Placed ingests more than 80 latitude and longitude locations outside and inside retail shops, eateries and other stores over several minutes to ensure it has pinpointed a user at a particular place of business, rather than merely capturing their location as they drive or walk by.

Earlier this year Placed signed deals with media agencies agreeing to use its attribution system for measuring the effect of mobile ads on store visits, including Essence, Digitas, Horizon, Southwest Media Group, Crossmedia, and IPG Mediabrands.

Why It’s Hot

This type of study is an invaluable resource for retailers, restaurants, and anyone with a brick and mortar store.  It’s not a perfect system, because it requires people to input purchase information, but it’s a step in the right direction.

There’s No Crying in Baseball

Social media and broadband technologies coupled with how people use them for news and conversing has changed the way information is disseminated in society. As an example, during this Thursday’s Mets-Padres baseball telecast, it was widely reported over online and social media that Wilmer Flores, the Mets’ shortstop who had been in the Mets system since he was 16 years old, had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for former Met, outfielder Carlos Gomez. ESPN, the New York Post, the Milwaukee Journal, all reported it as a done deal. Even Carlos Gomez’ teammates tweeted out a picture of Carlos and his team on a team plane, wishing him good luck in NYC.

Problem is, there was no deal completed. It was in the works, but had fallen through. Even the Mets manager, Terry Collins, didn’t know about it. Flores found out about it when he came to bat in the 7th inning to a stand ovation from the fans in NY and had no idea why he was getting the accolades until he returned to the dugout and checked online. Social media fanned the flames of this “telephone game” gone awry. Flores, still thinking he was traded, was sent out to play the field while literally crying. He had to be removed from the game in the 9th for emotional reasons.

Why It’s Hot

The Wilmer Flores-Carlos Gomez debacle shows how powerful (and dangerous) social media can be. Think about all the fans in the stands, most of whom are not listening to radios or watching remote TVs. No information was posted on the stadium boards about the trade. All of those fans that gave Flores a standing ovation heard about the non-trade through social media and then disseminated it via WOM or through their own social engagement. It is quite a sociological experiment on the diffusion of information, even false information, thanks to the impact of social media.


Equinox’s Gold Card Challenge

Luxury fitness provider Equinox debuted a Gold Card challenge to promote its gyms. The Gold Card membership is exclusive to 5 of its members, and they will have to look through “tough-to-reach spots that people will have to demonstrate their athletic prowess to reach.” Those who find the card will receive a yearlong membership, 24 personal training sessions, 12 massages, $1,000 in Equinox swag, $500 in juice and more.


The first challenge is for contestants to dive through a pond in Montauk.



Equinox Gold Card

Why It’s Hot: As a fitness provider, Equinox has created a Willy Wonka-like set of challenges that are specifically skewed to the athletic, which fit their overall brand campaign. On browsers and mobile devices, you can see the approximate locations of the cards and pursue them. They’ve also enlisted their celebrity clients like Neil Patrick Harris to participate in the challenges as well to create further buzz.

YouTube’s Mobile Redesign Aims to Boost Watch Time Even More

YouTube has three top priorities: “mobile, mobile and mobile,” according to its boss Susan Wojcicki.

On Thursday, the longtime Google exec took the stage at VidCon in Anaheim, Calif. — think Comic-Con for the digital video crowd — to unveil a new look for YouTube’s mobile site and apps. In place of the existing single-screen design that features a curated feed of videos based on what people have watched as well as what channels they subscribe to, the redesign adopts a three-paned look that’s supposed to make it easier for people to find new videos to watch — and add to the time they spend watching YouTube, which is already up 60% year-over-year.

Now when people visit YouTube’s site or open its Android app — and soon on iPhone — they’ll see a new home screen that curates videos based on what people have watched, including organizing recommendations into playlists. A second screen will show the latest videos from the channels that people subscribe to, though if people really don’t want to miss a channel’s latest uploads they can now sign up to receive notifications when a new video is posted. And a third screen will house the playlists a person has created, videos they’ve watched before and the videos they’ve uploaded.

Additionally, the updated apps and mobile site will support vertical videos, potentially a big boon to the Snapchat-led trend that has agency execs describing it as the first mobile-native video format.

Why It’s Hot

Benefits for Consumers: The new layout is bringing the content that people already like, like subscriptions, to the forefront.  Reco’d videos will have strong visibility as well.  It’s also easy to access videos they’ve posted on their account.

Benefits for Brands: For brands that have channels, this new layout will allow users that have subscribed easier access to reaching the channel, which could lead to higher channel traffic.