Pepsi Max: Augmented Reality Bus Shelter Ad 

Very cool.  A interested take on blending digital with physical while standing around waiting for a bus.  Something to do other than read CNN, check social feeds, and email while standing around.

Pepsi Max: Augmented Reality Bus Shelter Ad | Digital Buzz Blog.


consumer play! the ultimate brand engagement – connecting physical and virtual product experiences

Consumer Play! The ultimate in brand engagement?
Let consumers use their hands to play with a product, at least virtually with a mobile device 

Blending old school and modern media to engage digitally-savvy consumers has been done in several marketing campaigns, but often the execution is a gimmick that few consumers try, even though the overall experience may be powerful.  Several car manufacturers, including Volvo and their X-Ray iPad App, have done impressive augmented reality trials which allow prospects using a mobile device to explore car features. How cool is that!

Along comes a more practical application, and perhaps more broadly appealing use of tying digital media to the physical.  Recently the Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun in conjunction with Dentsu advertising agency, introduced an app that enables children to use smartphones to reveal more kid-friendly versions of articles.

Parents can encourage kid to use the AR app by placing their smartphones over those articles, revealing animated characters and graphics, pop-up headlines and explanations about the topics being discussed. Additionally, articles written with Kanji characters are replaced with the simplified Hiragana alphabet, making the stories easier to understand for those still learning to read. The campaign aims to increase readership by enabling parents to enjoy reading the news with their children, as well as helping to educate young people and engage them in current affairs. [Excerpt from Springwise].

The challenge for brands?  Creating broad target appeal, not a niche buzz.  This is possible if one consciously crafts the experience around the consumers’  beliefs, not just product benefits.  The power of the Tokyo Shimbun example is that it connects with the emotional experience of a parent-child relationship and while creating content appealing to children.

mobile in the middle

No longer should we be thinking of mobile as a channel, we should be thinking of mobile as an enabling tool – a central utility to our life. It has become a node between our digital and physical life. 

This is a take on how brands should view the role of mobile in effecting consumer behavior… Below is are some thoughts I put together for a recent speech.

If one mention’s mobile, then one should mention the grand-daddy of it all. This picture is of Matrin Cooper, the inventor. Lore has it that this is the phone he made the first public call on in 1973 – which was, by the way, to his competitor at another company. No wonder he’s smiling.

The potential of mobile? We’ve all heard it  -“This is the year for mobile.” Whether or not it was last year, this year, or next, there is no question that it’s part of the mainstream and the associated consumer behavior has huge implications to marketers and brands.

The crux for marketers: Mobile is in the Middle. No longer should we be thinking of mobile as a channel, we should be thinking of mobile as an enabling tool – a central utility to our life. It has become a node between our digital and physical life. 

What do I mean by mobile in the middle? Mobile devices are ubiquitous tools that connects many parts of our life – not just a communication and media consumption vehicle.

The smartphone is less a phone as it is a love object! My best friend is a supercomputer in my pocket! …A friend with 4 of the 5 senses. A speaker to talk, a mic to hear, a touch screen to feel, and a camera to see. It is embraced emotionally.

So food for thought… marketers who think of mobile devices as part of a consumer journey, as a partner in the day-in-the life, will win. A creative brief and strategy written with this emotional perspective will create a very different approach than a brief with stats about usage and marketing engagement points.