Category Archives: Uncategorized

Digital Gum Ball Machine

Razorfish Germany have found a charming way to sell and distribute digital content to NFC enabled phones. Check out how an old gum ball vending machine became a virtual goodie box.
Digital Gum Goods

 

I like the “juicing up old tech” approach with the vending machine (reminds me of being a kid) and that the whole project was realized in a quick 2 day prototyping session.
In terms of hardware, they used a Samsung Galaxy Tab, an NFC shield, a simple reed switch and two Arduino microcontrollers – all nicely fitted into an original Gum Machine metal base.

The future of Nokia in Microsoft’s hands..

Remember when everybody had Nokia’s? Times have changed and the future of Nokia is dependent on convincing customers to switch from Google’s Android and Apple iPhones to Microsoft. Last year, Nokia posted a global net loss of $1.5 billion as it failed to enter the smartphone market.

Last month Martin Place in Sydney a very interesting interactive advertisement for their phone – Lumia. The ad was integrated with touchscreen capabilities that allowed the user to use it like you would a mobile phone. You work through the advertisement like you would a phone (only a thousand times the size). The campaign seemed to give a new feel to the brand. The initial launch for the campaign was late March in five locations. The weeks after the campaign launched it was said to grow, using outdoor, TV and digital, with each sector grabbing about 30% of the marketing budget.

Check out the campaign below and see what you think but I guess the question is – Can their be three mobile phone operating systems in the market?

The magic of communication

With so much technology at our fingertips, the ease in which we communicate is something that many of us take for granted. Our worlds are thrown into chaos and we realise just how dependent we are on technology when our email is down or a mobile phone is lost. Imagine if, until recently, you were unable to communicate freely or effectively. Imagine what social media sites like Facebook and Twitter would mean to you if you were deaf or unable to speak. The new ways in which we communicate are giving people a voice that, until recently, they did not have. We think that’s pretty magical!

Now, more than ever, government organisations and businesses, need to look at how their target audience communicates and ask themselves “is our message being heard? or is it falling on deaf ears?”

Yours in effective communication,
Andrea.

Awesome work spaces

Employer branding is the ‘promise of an experience’. It’s about creating an image of your business as a great place to work and, in turn, attracting the right people to the business. When a business employs the right people it succeeds. And when employees enjoy coming to work they succeed…and stay. Research has also found that that having fun at at work greatly improves productivity. Google are well known for their well designed and interactive offices. Their Sydney office includes a bean bag meeting room, cubby houses, a games room, masseuse and free cafeteria. Here are some other awesome examples of engaging and inspiring work spaces.

Google Offices eating area with slippery dip
Google breakout area pods
Google
Redbull office cricket pitch
Redbull office basketball court
Redbull
HOK, London office picnic lunch area
HOK, London
Thinkgarden office space
Thinkgarden office space with desks amongst trees
Thinkgarden

We can’t all have slippery dips in our office…but we can dream! When it comes to employer branding, even small investments can provide great financial benefits to employers.

Yours in office envy,
Andrea.

Social Media to the rescue

With so many of us now connected to multiple social media platforms, we are all aware what a powerful marketing tool social media can be. We are now also beginning to realise ways in which we can harness its power to help people.

Social media was a primary source of communication following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In disaster situations, after survival, there is a human need to connect. Conventional telephone lines often go down, or are overwhelmed, whilst internet connections are still active and usable. Thus people found they could use networks like twitter or facebook to send warnings, relay and receive information and news updates, ask for help and let friends and family know they were safe.

As a result, many international organisations are now implementing social strategies into emergency management plans. A great example is American Red Cross who have recently partnered with Dell to build a Digital Operations Center. During emergency and disaster situations, the center will analyse and use social conversation to make decisions and organise relief efforts.

One of social media’s greatest strengths is in the ease and speed that information can be disseminated. There is great potential for Government, council and humanitarian organisations to use it to connect with and build resilient communities.

Yours in realising potential,
Andrea

CMO’s Guide to Social Media Sites

The social-media landscape has grown since last year with an additional 5 more communities/platforms added and a quite a few of  them are already booming. So, which social media tools and channels will work best for your business?

This years largest growing community is Pintrest, which reached 10 million monthly visitors in less time than Facebook or Twitter did. It’s demographics include mostly women and it is quite popular in the Midwest. The concept behind Pintrest is that members can post images of whatever is of interest to them. From there, followers can then ‘like’, or ‘repin’ those images, which is then pushed out to their followers. Pintrest is a bit different as it offers a way to reach a group that is not usually considered a part of the ‘digerati’ and can be most useful for brand exposure and driving traffic to your site if your material gets ‘pinned’ by others.

This year, Google launched Google+, which offers some unique ways to interact, including Circles and Hangouts (group video chats) which make customer communication a breeze. Unlike Facebook ‘Likes’, positive ratings on Google+ can influence your brand’s search ranking. This channel has become a “must have” for social marketers, as it has more than 90 million users (though, there are questions about how active they are).

Three other communities that have recently been added to the social media pool are  SlideShare, Quora and Instagram.

SlideShare is similar to YouTube for slide shows. It is a great way to promote your brand / products and communicate with customers, however it is pretty much a one way conversation at this stage.

Quora was founded by two former Facebooker’s and is based on questions for community members to answer. It’s an ideal place to share your expertise as it is a perfect addition to your content marketing efforts.

Instagram is an iPhone app that lets you take photo’s of your products or services, apply interesting effects and share them, which can also be pushed out to your Facebook page and Twitter.

Is it time for you to re-evaluate which social media tools could work for you? Gone are the days where having a Facebook page is the only option. There is a continuing amount of other channels that have different capabilities and purpose, and used together can connect with a massive amount of people. For an analysis of which social medial tools are the latest and greatest, CMO have, for the third consecutive year, turned to 97th Floor, an SEO and Social Media Firm for their perspective of the different social media channels and ones that could definitely be worth your time.

You can view 97th Floors take on 10 Social Network Choices on 2012 CMO’s Guide To The Social Landscape.

Yours in Social Media

Angie Rapisarda

Addicted to Pinterest

I admit it, I’m getting addicted to Pinterest. If you feel the same or, better, if you’re trying to take advantage from a marketing POV of people’s addiction to Pinterest, then you should check out this infographic that the guys at Flowtown recently put together.

 

Apple pays dividends, cloning next?

Apple has so much money in fact that they are going to (finally) reward their investors with a $2.65 per share dividend and share buy back plan which will see the company shed $45 billion over the next 3 years.

Personally I think this is such an amazing position for Apple to be in. However I do find it very interesting that this is now happening after Steve Jobs passing and he was not in favour of such things. I don’t think Jobs was greedy at all, I think he just wanted to make sure that the company was financially secure as well as adding to the exclusivity of Apple products. Jobs had never allowed dividends to be paid out to investors, the only time it happened in Apple’s history was when Jobs was not at the helm.

It actually makes me wonder if another business activity by Apple would happen without Jobs being there—Mac Clones. If you are an Apple Mac devotee you would remember that in the 1990’s you could buy cheaper version of an Apple Mac known as a clone. Then shortly after  Jobs returned to Apple the cloning program was stopped. Apple went through a phase where you could only buy an Apple Mac from an Apple store. As wonderful as it may seem to supply such wonderful equipment with such exclusiveness, it was just not viable as a business plan as the demand (at that time) was not high enough. These days though, you can buy Apple products in many different locations and store, but the licensing rules are stringent and enforced which keeps the integrity and credibility of the Apple Mac product family as we see it today. But as I said earlier, I hope that Apple doesn’t go back into old habits just because Jobs is no longer there.

Yours in paying dividends,

Paul.

Emerging local artists

The IMA: Institute of Modern Art is inviting artists who are 6 years out of art school, who have not yet exhibited at IMA and who were born or are living in Queensland to submit their portfolios to be considered for showcasing at the 2012 Fresh Cut exhibit at the IMA. All you need to do is submit your portfolio by 28 March via:
• email [robert@ima.org.au]
• post [IMA, PO Box 2176, Fortitude Valley BC QLD 4006]
• or drop it off at the IMA office [420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley BC QLD 4006]
Note: They will not be returned.

This annual exhibition has been running since 1997 and is a great platform for emerging artists to mingle and share their work and views.

Are you ready to put yourself out there? Hurry as you only have 7 days to enter!

Yours with Art Exhibitions,
Amber van Sloten