Archive for category Fun Stuff

Online romance

Social Media Saves Valentine’s Day shows how the internet saves a guy from a potential Valentine’s Day disaster.

Reminiscent of the highly successful Nativity in the Digital Age, it cleverly shows the many ways romance is carried, nurtured and fuelled online – even if the protagonist is a bit of a jerk.

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Nike holds court

I’m not the world’s biggest basketball fan, but I am a huge admirer of everything Nike does in the multimedia sphere. I spend hours on YouTube watching various Nike ads wishing that one day such production values can be brought to cricket and the AFL.

I share the same awe of what Nike does online, not least with it’s Nike Basketball website – I mean who else sells clothes with the help of Kobe Bryant and Bruce Willis?

The site currently revolves around it’s new Black Mamba campaign featuring Robert Rodriguez-directed cinematic trailers featuring Bryant and Willis – I’m not really sure what the point of them are, but they look fantastic.

Then there’s news articles, videos and of course the merchandise, but what I really like about Nike Basketball is the permanent features such training videos showing how to do the signature moves of star players. It would be great to see this kind of content on league and team websites to engage young fans and encourage them emulate their favourite starts while getting a sense of being up close and personal with them.

Another handy feature is the player profiles of all NBA players that you can search by team, position, college and even birthplace.

The clever thing about this site, and Nike for that matter, is what is primarily an eCommerce site is packed with entertainment and information, ensuring that it’s bookmarked by basketball fans around the world.

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Monster or mouse?!

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Sony’s new-ish Facebook app – Media Monster Wars (first hit attention August last year). And with Justin Timberlake headlining the experience, naturally I was intrigued.

It’s a really neat example of an integrated social media game that generates a monster from analysing your own Facebook content. Which means the more active you are (the more likes, photos, comments, shares and interaction you have) the more powerful your monster will be. Then off you go to share the app and battle your friends. And if you’re powerful enough, then why not challenge JT himself.

Or so the promo video shows.

Here’s where I insert a #fail. I’ve tried a couple of times now to make a monster. One both occasions the “generating and optimising media monster” part of the process took well over 8-10 minutes, only to stop and start the process again. From the start….

Which leads me to my belief: there’s one key element to developing a great Facebook apps: keep it simple.

Sure there is room to dazzle people with a fabulous user experience, but don’t risk a botched attempt at brand interaction by doing too much; crashing apps only result in one thing – irritation. Not good for any brand.

Especially not in this case for Sony, who no doubt is paying significantly for JT’s appearance. If users can’t get the opportunity to challenge him with our monsters, then where’s the ROI?!


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Super-sized thinking

As the world gets smaller, we all get to share more big thinking.

It doesn’t get any bigger than the American Museum of Natural History’s launch of Dinosaurs :IPad.

Released to coincide with the holiday season, the app is something of a new media experiential coup. Extending, as it does, the thrill of discovering the Museum’s collection to a global audience.

Featuring over 1,000 high-res images, the app not only delivers to subscribers fast access to all the facts. It also enables real-time chats with other dinosaur lovers at home or even on an exploratory dig.

The really great thing is, this app doubles as a stunning advertising & PR device for the Museum’s forthcoming “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs” exhibition. Imaginatively created, to focus on a group of dinosaurs that lived for over 140 million years.

Given the popularity of the baby elephants at the Melbourne Zoo, a Jumbo app could be a timely addition in the very near future.

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New Year High Resolution Sports

Sponsor Me has just launched the world’s first action-sports social media site The website aims to connect potential young sporting champions of tomorrow with today’s top sponsors.

It appears to be a Win-Win. Adrenalin-junkies are also getting to see the hottest action –sports events live in HD across lots of different viewing platforms. iPad, iPhone, Droid Pad, Samsung Galaxy Pad and Google Pad are all in Sponsor Me’s sights.

Endorsed by stars such as Sunny Garcia and Bruce Irons, live webcasts will cover high profile professional and amateur evenings including surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and motocross.

It’s all going off, with the Premier Online Action-Sports Competition offering $100,00 cash for the best video posting.

Best put turbocharging my Rossignols on my things-to-do list pronto.

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Ken Block’s viral epidemic

One of the genuine stars of YouTube is rally car and stunt driver extraordinaire Ken Block, who is known for his “Gymkhana” driving, which involves skilfully manoeuvring cars around obstacle-rich environments such as airfields and shipping ports.

Block is also a partner in DC-Shoes and has helped it grow from a boutique skate shoe company to a major sportswear brand through his stunt videos and rally driving. The DC-Shoes logo appears at the start Gymkhana Three, Part 2 which sees Block throw his suped-up Ford Fiesta around the Linas at l’Autodrome de Linas racing circuit in Montlhéry, just south of Paris. Block negotiates (meaning he pulls doughnuts on) banks as steep as 51 degrees in all directions. It’s pretty hairy stuff; the physics for the stunts performed were totally unknown until they were attempted.

This magnificently shot video has had more than 21.5 million viewers on YouTube. In its first week it broke 7.5 million views, was the most viewed video on YouTube, and topped the Viral Video chart. Most of these viewers would have seen the DC-Shoes Ken Block/Monster Energy merchandise and sponsor credits at the end, not to mention the various signage on the car.

Strap yourself in for an incredible tyre-shredding and brand-promoting seven minutes!

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