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Branded Content Done Well #makeitcount

I’m off to talk about the ideas within the above video later on this afternoon. But, I think this is an awesome example of branded content done right.

I want to be entertained - nike entertained me.

Nike realise that consumers don’t want to be ‘forced’ commercial messages. Rather, commercial messages should add value to the audience. Building a human connection with the audience being the ultimate end goal. 



Wake up and smell the coffee

Love this brilliant fusion of creativity and technology in Seoul for Dunkin Donuts. Coffee atomisers that release the smell of coffee when a DD ad airs on radio? TOTALLY RAD via @adverblog



Brand Bowl

There’s been tons of coverage on Superbowl ads and lots of cool buzz across the web and beyond. Here’s some of the best in my opinion:

Twitter’s excellent Ad Scrimmage which allows you to watch all the commercials again and vote for your favourite. You know #dayoff gets my vote.  Not a bad idea if just under half the US tv audience rewatch the ads, as this infographic suggests. 

Real time analysis from brandbowl2012 pits Doritos as the favourite ad, looking at the volume of tweets, and sentiment. Wins too for H&M & VW. The picture doesn’t look quite so good for, a regular SuperBowl spender.

People weren’t just tweeting about the ads or the football though, MIA’s half time ‘flipping of the bird’ (in order to save that hard earned street-cred) sent the twittersphere into overdrive, making Madonna’s half-time show the 3rd most tweeted event in Twitter’s history. Can you imagine if the infamous Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction' had happened in the Twitter era?!  



Not quite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2 - but good all the same.  I love SuperBowl ads.




Coca-Cola To Go Beyond The Big SuperBowl Spot

The Coca-Cola Co.s polar bears will make an appearance for Super Bowl XLVI, but not just in the traditional big game TV commercial.

SuperBowl ad fever is amongst us once again, and with the ads aired during the game as much of an event as the game itself, this year is set to be no different.

Coca-cola have decided to bring back their animated polar bears for the sixth consecutive year and will show an execution based on whoever is winning up to that point in the game.

It’s great to see Coke thinking about how digital can really add to their TV spot and engage people on a deeper level - and most importantly, adding something to the experience. This year, the spot activity will be augmented with social media and a live digital stream on  

Coke will use proprietary technology to bring the bears to life through live animation (a massive feat for any big media event). Fans will be able to witness the bears reactions to plays that happen in the game itself, along with the half-time show and TV ads.

The bears will also be taking to twitter, using the official @cocacola handle for the day, with fans being able to tweet and interact with the bears on twitter. Naturally, there’s a hashtag #GameDayPolarBears.  The beverage giant will also enable fans to share selected moments from the live stream on social media channels.

It’s great to see Coca-Cola innovating and thinking about how they can go beyond that massive spot to drive fan engagement in a meaningful way.  Of all the big social SuperBowl ads this year, I think Coke have nailed it as they’ve potentially created something that really adds to the user experience. The proof will be on game day!




A first foray into the world of Connected TV

A week ago, I took the plunge and leaped head first into the world of ‘SocialTV’ (or connected TVs as they are also known). They’ve been all the rage at this year’s CES.  TV manufacturers have been keen to get in on the act, with a plethora of connectedTV’s from all the big names being showcased.  Samsung, Sony and LG all previewed new TVs running on the latest GoogleTV platform. Even MySpace has joined in, refocusing (again) to get in on the act, announcing a partnership with Panasonic to bring MySpaceTV to Panasonic connected TVs.

I seem to know a fair few people with connectedTVs, they seem to be everywhere. Nevertheless, I have my doubts as to how many people actually use the connected functionality within them. I suspect most people are buying connected TVs to future-proof their investment as opposed to feeling a strong need for a connected screen at the heart of their living room.  Recent research would indicate it’s the former, with some data suggesting that 25 million US households have internet connected TVs – but only around half are actually connected.

Having had a connectedTV for a week, I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. TV is transformed; apps undoubtedly bring a whole new dimension to traditional TV, interaction, connections and a shed load more content. It seems eons ago when all we had was four terrestrial channels. 

With an increasing number of production companies focusing on integrating social platforms such as twitter and facebook into the fabric of their shows (much like Endemol’s excellent Million Pound Drop), the desire to ‘check-in’ to our entertainment preferences, engage and share over thoughts over a program using #hashtags will only grow and grow.  

However, the internet experience via a TV is very different when compared to a desktop or tablet. Firstly, actually typing on a TV remote is ridiculously difficult, even for the most nimble of texters.  My TV allows viewers to watch a show and have their twitter feed appear on the right hand side of the screen, simultaneously - perfect for all those media stacker’s out there.  However, by the time I’d managed to tweet in relation to something happening in the show, the conversation had moved on significantly.

Improving the user interface and data input into connected TVs will be a challenge, but with rumours of a voice controlled Apple TV on the way, it looks like connected TVs are here to stay.  Social TV & associated 2Screen apps like getGlue and Zeebox (in whom Sky has just bought a 10% share – shrewd move) have the ability to significantly disrupt the TV market – and most likely the ad market too. 



Nike ahead of the game on hyper personalisation

Nike Sportwear & Hipstamatic Partner to deliver extra options for Hipstamatic users

I’m a huge fan of Instagram and Hipstamatic and find them both more engaging than facebook - finding it easy to spend ages on both platforms, discovering content as well as creating and posting my own. Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Hipstamatic - they’re all riding the wave of hyper-personalisation which is set to be huge in 2012.

Smart brands are not only aware of hyper personalisation but are getting in on the act. Not surprisingly, Nike - who saw the trend for hyper personalisation yonks ago with NikeID - are there already. Nike’s partnership with Hipstamatic, an app that makes pics you take on your iPhone look ‘old’ but great, is just the sort of partnership that stands out.

Nike & Hipstamatic recently created two new B+W films, a lens and a camera case (available as a FreePak download to all hipstamatic app users) and re-released the pack again last month.  Both films are fab and really add value to the experience. Hats off to Nike for an exciting brand integration that really delivers something of value to users.

A lot of the newer social sites like tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram have yet to establish their commercial models - which means partnering and integrating with them will take both patience and perseverance, but the rewards for those brands that are willing to try, are potentially great. I wonder how long until we see brands working with Instagram?