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July 27, 2009
Digital Leaps and Bounds

We have used several anecdotes and stories to highlight the current state of consumed media. Media is ubiquitous, fragmented and complex. But, there is still an elephant in the room that we are failing to acknowledge. That elephant can be aliased as the long tail of media, or the basic fact that media can be created, by them or by you. Let me elucidate the point further; in spite of knowing the potential that current state of media possesses, we constantly take it for granted. At least, most of us do.

Despite the creative independence and abundance of resources available to us, we are still latching on to the traditional methods of communication. More often than not, we forget our international counterparts. We look for inspiration in an industry that is o/ding on social media. It is about time, we take the digital leaps that will feed into the continual evolution of the communications industry.

Slowly but surely, the light bulbs are going off for advertisers and marketers across the world about the limitless possibilities that the technological platforms behold. Let’s go over a few such experiences created by the risk-averse and the truly innovative.

Create the future you want | Singapore
Recently, Aviva insurance with the help of ubiq’window, generated great involvement from the Singaporean audience with their ‘Create the future you want” campaign. Asia is home to marketers who strive to create seamless and exuberant brand experiences. This non-traditional outdoor campaign lets visitors design their ideal life, which is displayed in real time in front of a popular building located in the hub of Singapore, Vivo City building, which attracts a lot of tourists and locals.

Cameras inside the interactive motion-sensor display kiosks record users’ real-time interaction and then project the information on larger screens in the building.

Watch the video

QR Codes to Promote Pathe’s movie: ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’ | UK

To support the launch of ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’ in UK, Arena BLM (Part of the Havas group), ran a QR (Quick Response) code campaign. The QR code was used on outdoor and print advertising, enabling the user to scan the code through a cell phone. The idea travels further when the user has a phone with a QR code reader installed, which enables the handset to recognize a URL embedded in the code, linking directly to a dedicated mobile internet site. The site allows fans to watch the trailer directly on their handsets and download wallpapers and other value added content, including a link to a ‘create your own comic strip’ viral, allowing the user to mash-up individual scenes from the first five minutes of the film and the original Manga version. The campaign is planned as a part of a wider marketing initiative including TV and Facebook. The QR code campaign fits perfectly for the Manga fans who are tech savvy and have been part of such campaigns before.

President Obama uses MXit | Ghana
US President Barack Obama, during his first official visit to the African continent, recently devised a plan to engage African youths through social network and instant messenger MXit, which boasts of more than 14 million users. (via ITnews Africa)

MXit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MXit) users were asked to send a question or comment to Obama within twenty-four hours of the start of the campaign. Obama then sent a message back to the MXit user base after the campaign closed. President Obama is known for his inclusive communication strategies wherein he has always connected with the audience at various levels. He has challenged the traditional rules and integrated unique ways of communication.

MXit has over 14 million users in 254 countries and delivers over 35 000 messages per second, making it one of the largest and most popular global mobile social networks. It is especially popular in Africa, where it offers users a means to engage with family and friends through chat rooms that offer communication at a fraction of the cost of mobile SMS or voice calls.

Obama’s use MXit, has already made the youth of Africa relate to him and helped them connect with him more than they connect with their own leaders.

Drinkspiration by ABSOLUT | Denmark

When you go to a bar, considering you drink, do you always order the familiar to avoid the strain of having a difficult conversation in a noisy environment? What if, a company made your bar experience better?

ABSOLUT created a smartphone application ‘Drinkspiration’ which is free and is built for iphone. Drinkspiration provides the audience with a valuable tool. The application serves as people’s best friend in the bar, recommending drinks based on contexts such as a person’s location, what’s popular, taste, color, time it takes to prepare the drink and so on. One can also make a decision based on what drinks are being ordered around the world in “real time”.

With this application, ABSOLUT takes customized service to a whole new level. It also reinforces the brand’s overall story. The application uses GPS and social media to offer real time results.


Amnesty International | Germany

Amnesty International used an eye-tracker technology to display world’s first electronic billboard that reacts when people look at it. The strategy behind the idea was to communicate how domestic violence is hidden from view. This interactive bus-shelter billboard raises awareness about action against domestic violence. If you are looking directly at it, you see a happy couple staring back at you but as you look away, the image of violence appears with a line that says “It happens when nobody is watching.” (http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2009/06/domesticvio.jpg)

“With electronic billboards, processing power, cameras and other sensors becoming ever cheaper, it's become possible to manufacture products that allow web-like targeting in the real world.

For example, a system developed by Singapore's research agency lets advertising screens detect the genders of passers-by: it will soon be able to tell how old they are, too. IBM has worked on systems that can scan a crowd and estimate numbers, demographics, and where people are looking.

Computer vision is sophisticated and cheap enough to make it possible to spot the logos on your drinks cup or shopping bags, and serve up ads in response – whether to reinforce your choice or promote a competitor.” Via News Scientist

Are we just waiting for someone to initiate innovation or are we shortsighted? Are we ready to take media to the next level or are we the preservers of the old? Really, what are we waiting for?

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Mansi Trivedi works as a digital strategist at Modea. She is a communications strategy graduate from the VCU Brandcenter. Born and raised in the maximum city of Mumbai, she thrives among crowds and is constantly intrigued by the interplay of various cultures. 

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