Sunday, 27 November 2011

Facial recognition technology in advertising

The New York Times article here reckons that Minority Report type tech will be on our high streets very soon. Which will be cool, I guess, as long as a) it works and b) it doesn't just become another way to spam  people i.e personalised spam.

I would definitely like it if a billboard recognised my face, looked at my hobbies & interests in my profile, then pinged me with a nearby sale on the stuff I liked. I can see how this would be extremely powerful for brands - a combination of personalisation, location and impulse buying. Plus, it would be extremely measurable.

Or, could it freak people out massively as an invasion of privacy? Probably, but if it's made to be opt in through Facebook Connect or Google's Direct Connect, then many of the privacy objections will be overcome. Making the system opt-in would hopefully stop spamming - people would soon opt out if they got pinged with loads of crap.

I guess we'll find out soon enough. With any new technology, one brand will do it really well and set the standard for best practice and another will do it really badly - both of which we'll learn from.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Cool American Airlines Kevin Spacey campaign

Just wanted to give a big hand to my colleagues in McCann NYC and London who made this cool 60 sec film starring Kevin Spacey for American Airlines.

It's the central point of an integrated TV, social and digital campaign, launching during the England match on Saturday November 12th. he 60-second ad ‘The Individual’ breaks on UK television on 12th November and is part of an integrated digital, social and TV campaign. Kevin Spacey appears as a slick designer type, a creative screen writer and a Malibu family guy and finally as himself in the series of ads. 

Director Chris Palmer of Gorgeous who’s previous work included the Skoda ‘Baking Of....’ and the Budweiser ‘Lyrics’ ad, worked closely with Kevin Spacey in developing and bringing to life the three characters who reflect the broad American Airlines premium flyer. All the characters are united at the end of the film in their appreciation of American Airlines understanding ‘what makes me, me, whoever I happen to be’.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Chime In - a quick review

Just when you thought you had all things social covered, some bugger goes and launches another one.
Its called 'Chime In'

It's billed a a cross between Facebook, twitter and Quora.
The main things to note are:
  • It's an 'interest network' I.e conversations revolve around interest areas and topics allowing you to talk to experts on subjects. The founder, internet entrepreneur Bill Gross describes it as an ‘interest graph’ like the social graph of Facebook, but this is interest not people.
  •  It's funded by ad rev, but, here's the cunning part, the users get a share of the ad revenue from your contributions. If you create  Community  and serve ads to it, you get all the cash. Which is nice. 

Sections are My Chimes, My Interests, My Communities and Popular. You can have a normal stream of Chimes, a bit like tweets, Communities are like Facebook Groups or LinkedIn. You upload your Chimes and tag them to topics. You can save Chimes and review them later. 

IMHO its not as frivolous as Twitter, not really about your friends [Facebook] and not really about pimping yourself out [LinkedIn]. It reminds me a bit of Google Knol, [if anyone remembers that].  Its owned by UberMedia, the company that bought Mixx and closed it down. Initial impressions are that Chime In is Mixx reborn.

Its early days, but I think it will be a good place to people to learn things.
From a brands POV, it good be a good place to engage with experts for influencer relations campaigns.

Brands can have a Page and run ads on their content rich Page. The brands get the revenue from those ads, motivating the brand to make their Page really compelling, and not just full of marketing puff.

I'm have more of a play over the next few weeks and let you know anything interesting.