Archive for category innovation

Q&A becomes even more interactive

In years to come the ABC’s Q&A program will be seen as a pioneer of social media interaction. The show’s success rests in no small part with the display of live tweets as the assembled guests debate each other and take questions from the audience and a few pre-recorded videos. While the tweets add to the show’s content they don’t have too much influence on the topics being discussed. So, the show’s producers have turned to crowd sourcing to give social-media-using viewers a chance to have a little say what should be discussed.

Using “Our Say”, and independent project to put the questions that matter to the “people in charge”, they invited anyone to write down a question for next week’s panel and main topic of discussion, which is announced on the main site. Users can then vote for their favourite question and the one with the most votes will be asked on the show alongside audience and viewer-video queries.

This is a clever idea to keep the show topical during the week. You can view questions by most recent or most votes. My only criticism is that many questions will get lost and those that attract early votes will most likely be in the running. Perhaps what they should do is allow a couple of days for questions to be posted, close entries and then allow votes.

Apart from that this is a good example of crowd sourcing at work, something that is yet to catch on in Australian social media circles.

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The more people ‘Like’ the FJ Cruiser, the cheaper it will be

Toyota has taken put a rather welcome twist on crowd sourcing by reducing the price of its new FJ Cruiser by $5 for everyone who Likes its Facebook site as part of a competition.

As the car maker says on its Like My Ride website it is “offering you the chance to buy a Toyota FJ Cruiser at a reduced social price. For every “Like” the price will drop by $5. You’ve got until Monday, 28th March to reduce the price as much as possible. Toyota will even throw extras as the price drops… adding to the bargain. Get sharing!”

As I write this the site has 1156 fans meaning the price of the retro looking four-wheel-drive has already dropped from its retail drive away price of $50,334 to $44,559. Anyone better at maths than me might have already worked out 10,067 Likes would mean a free car. However the small print (and there’s a lot of small print) says that the most the car can be discounted by is $20,000 to rather reasonable $30,334 – meaning 4000 Likes.

Once you Like the page you can fill in a form for a chance to buy the car at the reduced price.

This is an interesting promotion that will probably receive more attention than if Toyota were giving away a car. It also gives them a massive boost in its social media exposure and a database of potential customers.

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Twitter flies high at Gatwick

Twitter’s use as a customer service tool is nothing new. I’ve occasionally tweeted my dissatisfaction with my telco or broadband plan, only for someone from the relevant companies to tweet back and offer to help.

Social media is a great way to gauge what people are saying about your business and to engage with them in return. However, building a social media presence takes time. So what’s a quick way to encourage people to use Twitter to provide real-time feedback?

Gatwick Airport came up with an award-winning answer. London’s second-biggest airport has signs and monitors in its terminals asking patrons “Are you on Twitter? Get in touch with us @gatwick_airport and let us know about your experience at Gatwick today”.

The airport already responds to comments on Twitter, however it claims this takes it one step further by actually integrating social media into the physical space of the airport, allowing feedback to customers when they need it. It’s a brave move considering airports are conducive to anger or stress.

The scheme, which is intended to run 24/7, recently earned a gong at the Econsultancy’s Innovation Awards 2010 in the Innovation in Online Customer Service category. As the judges remarked it’s “a great way of transforming something boring into something interesting”.

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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 sponsorme.com. 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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What’s ancient is new again

In 1900, divers discovered the wreck of an ancient-Greek ship called the Anikythera near the island of Crete. The wreck, believed to have sunk a year before the birth of Christ contained a mechanical computer powered by gears and levers. It’s purpose mystified scientists and it took half a century before researchers realised this complex machine was used to calculate astronomical positions to predict future celestial events such as eclipses.

Incredibly, the “Anikythera Mechanism” was believed to have been built around 100-BC had the mechanical sophistication of a 19th century Swiss clock and was 5000 years ahead of the first astronomical clocks made in the 14th century.

Using x-rays and radiographic images, scientists have been able to build replicas of the machine, including this wonderful effort made from Lego. As the caption says at the end of the video, it’s “Pretty impressive for a bunch of plastic blocks. (Or ancient gears for that matter.)

It just goes to show that any idea, even ancient ones, can be unique again if you put your own special touch to it.



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Closing eyes and opening minds

What is social media? Is it tweeting your brand’s retail offers? Managing your branded Facebook page? Sharing company videos on YouTube?

Sure.

But we think it’s much more than that.

We think it’s about involving an audience in your brand message. Exciting their senses; getting them to feel, think AND do something. Taking the brand message from the advertising channel and into their lives.  That is what the ‘social’ part is all about.

As for the ‘media’ bit, well we don’t believe that it’s necessarily confined to social networking platforms either. Instead, we like to look for socially engaging ways to utilise the most effective media channels for each target market.

That’s why we love this cinema campaign by BMW.

BMW have found an impressive way to engage cinema audiences by using an image projection technique that leaves viewers with the BMW logo on their retinas once they close their eyes.  Truly innovative for a cinema spot.

Not only that, the spot has all the tell tales signs of a BMW piece. It’s highly emotive, beautifully shot and taps into all the BMW brand propositions. Even I, as someone who’s never driven a motorbike, felt the adrenalin pump through my veins…. And the takeout – the logo etched in my mind (literally) was just the icing on the cake.

It’s a wonderful example of innovating in traditional media in a way that takes the brand into the lives (or the body in this case) of the audience.

Now who’s up for a test drive?

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