Archive for category Trends

Cash-in to bring home the bacon

Just one of the many products cashing in on bacon's incredible popularity on social media.

Social media marketing usually works like this. You have a product and you promote it online through various means as part of your overall advertising strategy. If you’re creative and lucky enough, your efforts will go viral and your product will achieve instant fame and then others will seek to imitate or hang off your success.

But there’s one product that continues to go viral without any organised marketing campaign. Look in your twitter stream, especially on weekends and you’ll find a host of fond tweets about bacon. No one is sure why, apart from being easy to cook and pretty damn delicious, bacon is so appreciated online. Perhaps taste, affordability and its association with the morning after a big night make it a hit with the stereotypical social media demographic.

This mass appreciation for popular cured meat has seen an increase in people using the internet to search for bacon recipes. This isn’t a new phenomenon. In 2009 the LA Times reported that it “posted ‘1001 things to do with bacon’ in December, and it was the most e-mailed link on the site for a few days.

Bacon’s cult following has spawned a host of viral sensations that were unashamedly created to cash in on our love for “swine at nine”. One of most successful Bacon Explosion – a gut-busting 5000 calorie pork loaf that increases your LDL cholesterol level by 30 per cent just by looking at it! This culinary time bomb was invented by a couple of enterprising barbecue chefs, Jason Day and Aaron Chronister, to get traffic to their website BBQAddicts.com. It worked, receiving 400,000 views in it’s first month.

The success of the Bacon Explosion shows how social media can be manipulated to gain exposure for your product or organisation. All it takes is knowledge of what’s hot online, engaging content and a willingness to embrace the notion that no idea is too crazy.

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Transform your home again and again

Hong Kong architect Gary Change has transformed his tiny high-rise tenement into an apartment with 24-different “rooms”. The secret is replacing walls with sliding panels, meaning all the space is in the room you’re using.

As you’ll see in the video, the “Domestic Transformer” is a wonderful example of innovative architecture.

It’s hard to believe this kind of living space isn’t a more popular inner-city option around the world, especially for people who live alone. After all you can only be in one room at a time.

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The colour of money

I recently noticed that a lot of the digital media apps on my phone have blue icons – think Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Whitepages, WordPress, Foursquare etc.

This preference for azure tones is no coincidence. The internet is dominated by blue brands followed by red.

Take a quick look at the above image and you generally find that, of the icon brands, blue is the choice of IT and new media, while red is popular with news and entertainment sites.

This can be easily explained by psychology and the meaning of colours in design.

Blue portrays creativity, wisdom, gentleness, calmness, trust, loyalty, intelligence, devotion, confidence, comfort, ideas, harmony, friendship, patience etc.

A business can use blue to represent loyalty, confidence and trustworthiness. Most businesses use blue to build customer loyalty and brand reliability.

Red on the other hand shows energy, strength, love, passion, romance, warmth, excitement, blood, desire, enthusiasm, danger, joyousness, speed, courage, prominence, intensity etc. For businesses red can be used for portraying passion, excitement, and attention. Red can bring enthusiasm to your brand.

However, any colour can positively portray what a company wants its brand to represent. So what’s the attraction to blue and red if colours like Yellow, Orange, Purple and Green also bestow traits such as confidence, attraction, vibrancy and passion?

Faced with choosing a brand colour new startups are more likely to imitate successful brands they’re trying to emulate. So it’s no coincidence that they happen to choose the same hues as the dominant players. Some of these probably did the same during their embryonic stages. Others might have totally different reasons for choosing a colour. Mark Zuckerberg was once asked why Facebook was so blue and explained that because of his colour blindness meant blue was the only colour he could see. How many have followed in his wake?

Emulating successful brands has been happening in the corporate world for decades as a way for new companies to be associated with success. It is by no means a key ingredient in the recipe for success especially if the product is sour.

After all the two biggest kids on the online block, Google and MSN have multi coloured logos.

What are your brand colours saying about you? Was there much thinking behind them?

Colour distribution of icon brands

Designing style guides for brands and websites

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10 Predictions for 2011

The mind-snapping pace of digital innovation makes at least one prediction certain. What the trend -watchers are predicting today, will be totally eclipsed well before this time next year.

Still, here’s our take on the possible shape of the digital, social and experiential landscape in 2011.

1. We’ll see the resolution of the debate over the real impact of 3D TV.

2. Android will bite deeper into Apple’s once impregnable brand fortress.

3. High action games will see no let up. (Call of Duty – Black Ops has already hit $1 Billion in sales since its release late this year.)

4. Too cool for school graphic design will be refined in line with the demand for uncomplicated useability.

5. Analytics will be increasingly used to answer the cynics presently challenging the real brand worth of “Tweets” and Facebook “Likes”.

6. Competing technology will rapidly approach parity; creating the demand for even smarter brand thinking.

7. Smaller closed, or far more selective, social networks will play a far bigger part in the lives of key influencers.

8. Expect far stricter controls and compliance protocols – especially in the mobile area.

9. Twitter will gain an even louder brand voice, as it pursues the dream of reaching Facebook’s figure of 1 Billion users.

10. More brands will create their own social enterprise sites to maintain corporate integrity and confidentiality.

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Media Year.

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2011 – The Year of Analytics?

The pre – New Year stats suggest an ongoing stratospheric rise of New Media.

*Gorillaz has just created the band’s 15-track album “The Fall” on iPad using 20 Apps  -each App under $20.

*Windows Phone 7 Marketplace already tops 5,000 Apps.  Recently adding 1,000 Apps in just over two weeks.

*Latest reports suggest Android already has over 200,000 Apps available.

*Facebook beat Google to the post on Christmas Day in the UK. Claiming 10.5% of all UK social networking internet visits. Google recording 9.77%.

*Facebook’s value leaps by 56% to $41.2 billion- according to securities firm Nyppex. 

Figures apart.

Beyond question is the increasing significance of digital, social, mobile & experiential channels. Answering what the stats really mean in these areas will define the true change makers.

Here are a few thought starters

Does mega quantity equal quality response?

Does a first impression really last? (And for how long?)

How does brand dominance translate into consumer relevance?

How do global figures indicate local impact?

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How many tablets can newspapers swallow?

New research from Telsyte tells us that the Australian tablet market, which includes the iPad and Galaxy, could be worth $1.35 billion by 2014. Much of this growth will come from traditional publishers seeking to capture more readerships through the creation of tablet apps. But will avid newspaper and magazine readers be seen to swallow the tablets as vigorously as predicted?

Can the power of digital quickly topple the readership habits of a lifetime?  Time will tell. If it does, the very fabric of our world will be changed forever.

Gone will be:

  • The tabloid torture of the page-turner on a crowded tram.
  • The ink fingerprints on a long black.
  • The Saturday workout of picking up a slab of junk advertising lift -outs.

But there are downsides to this new age. We can’t see many spies in hotel lobbies hiding behind tablets.  What about swatting a fly with an iPad?

Also our furry friends would be denied displaying their loyalty by carrying home the morning paper. Yet, there would be more trees left to keep them happy in other ways. Which begs the question. Is the future so easy to read?

We think not.

 

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Wrist action

Chester Gould, the creator of the Dick Tracy comic strip, was a rather innovative chap who gave his fictional detective a watch-like two-way wrist radio way back in 1946, when such devices where still the size of house bricks. For some reason, despite advances in technology, wrist radios and phone never took off. If anything the opposite seems to have happened with the phones replacing wrist watches.

However, as the above Trendhunter TV video shows, the carpal bone is making a comeback as a convenient mount for personal technology ranging from a thermo-electric battery to charge your phone, to a device that reminds you about whatever it is you’re forgetting.

My favourite is the the collapsible personal computer that you can wear as a bracelet. What’s yours?

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