US President Barack Obama’s administration has incorporated social media into a number of their communications efforts — including regular addresses through YouTube and live online discussions (such as the recent Twitter Town Hall – where Obama took questions around the economy and job market). Office Hours is another new Twitter-based initiative, designed to encourage dialogue around the debt ceiling and deficit reduction negotiations. According to Mashable, National Economic Council members Brian Deese and Jason Furman will be engaging and answering questions through the White House Twitter account this week, as part of Office Hours.
While addressing issues around fiscal policy yesterday, Deese received a public-facing message from a participant named David Wiggs. Wiggs’ passive tweet read, “This WH correspondence briefing isn’t nearly as entertaining as yesterday’s” (source). Although he hadn’t included an @ reply to the White House’s Twitter account in the post, it appeared in the discussion through his use of the pre-established hashtag.
Earlier this year, Red Bull launched Street Art View. The collaborative online project features a collection of Google’s Street View locations showcasing street art. In addition to the original international collection pulled by Red Bull, users from around the world have been invited to curate and add submissions by tagging their favorite public street art through Street View.
Targeting a similar audience, the new Banksy-Locations app now allows street art fans to navigate through the popular artist’s work with their mobile devices. Through the app’s interface, users are able to browse Banksy’s work based on geography, name, and/or chronology. This is especially exciting for mobile users in London, as this is where the large majority of his work can be found. The app also ensures that fans without immediate access to Banksy pieces are still able to view photographs and commentary around his work.
Great Wolf Lodge runs one of North America’s largest groups of indoor water park resorts. Instead of traditional keys or swipe cards, guests are given RFID wristbands – which also serve as in-house charge accounts. The RFID (radio frequently identification) technology allows guests to wander the premises without having to carry credit cards and/or room keys. Earlier this summer, the resort also introduced Facebook photo integration to these wristbands, ensuring that guests no longer have to carry around a camera anymore, either.
The new RFID feature has been launched at the chain’s property in Grand Mound, Washington — where guests may now register their wristbands to their Facebook accounts. They may share photos in real time, by simply scanning activated wristbands at numerous camera equipped posts across the water park. These posts – Paw Posts – are situated to capture popular locations.
Intel and Toshiba have teamed with actress Emmy Rossum and director D.J. Caruso (of Disturbia fame), to create The Inside Experience. The dark social film experience debuted today, and follows the story of Christina – played by Rossum – who wakes up in an unidentified location. To escape, she must rely on her limited resources — including a Toshiba Satellite P775 laptop powered by a second-generation Intel chip. With minimal access to the internet, Christina turns to various social networking sites to not only reach out for help, but to also try and identify where she is and how she got there.
The gritty film looks to create a real-time experience with the audience by incorporating their clues, advice, and tips for Christina into the actual film as it unfolds online. Various channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been stitched into the process — and until last week, users were able to provide direct suggestions and audition tapes to the website as well. For those who find their submissions included in the project, they will receive screen credit as official writers and/or contributors.
AR Lungs is a free app that uses augmented reality to depict what potential lung damage looks like for smokers.
Users are required to access an AR Tag through the website, by entering in key details such as age and smoking habits. With their AR Tag held up to a webcam or smartphone camera, the user is then superimposed with a digital set of lungs overlaying their body.
Six years ago, Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar created We Feel Fine — a digital project that explores shared human emotions online. Over the years, it has provided interesting insights (e.g. on Valentine’s Day, more people express their feelings using the words ‘love’ and ‘lonely’ than any other day in the year). Users can sort through the posts through various search parameters that include geography, gender, and mood.
On a similar note comes JELL-O’s Pudding Face campaign. The online mood meter assesses real time posts on Twitter, gauging America’s mood by following the number of sad faces and happy faces used in the text-based posts. If the number of sad faces on Twitter outnumber happy faces, the company is giving away pudding to limited numbers of select fans as an incentive to cheer up. The creative concept behind the program encourages fans to get their pudding face on — insinuating that anybody eating JELL-O’s pudding could only have a smile on their face.
To raise awareness around its ongoing environmental protection efforts, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched a PR-driven green initiative in Hungary. The environmentally friendly project involved one printed leaflet and no traditional media spend.
Two volunteers were sent to a local shopping mall, both dressed as the iconic WWF panda. They each stood at one level of the mall’s escalators, rotating the single leaflet between individuals riding the escalator. Video footage of this simple stunt was then uploaded to YouTube, where it reached over 285,000 views in two weeks. The stunt and the video content was pitched to journalists, bloggers and key influencers — who in turn shared it across their social channels based on the content’s share value. It is a simple creative concept that drives home key messaging around environmentally friend behavior; instead of multiple leaflets going straight into the trash, they were recycled in a fun and very memorable manner. With the video hosted on YouTube, users were able to find, share, embed, and forward on to their networks in an organic manner.
Following Toyota’s Window to the World concept (for a refresher, see below) comes ToyToyota’s Backseat Driver — an iPhone app that allows users to simulate driving in real time, through a virtual vehicle.
Using the iPhone’s GPS functionality, the gaming experience ensures that users can steer their virtual vehicle across roads and digital landscapes that mirror any route of the real car that the player is in. As it is geared to children, the game includes educational information around nearby landmarks, shops, and facilities pulled around the car’s actual location. It also allows them to customize their virtual vehicle and collect points by completing various route-specific tasks.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force has created a YouTube experience that incorporates traditional scale-model technology with sophisticated gaming elements. The interactive experience is hosted as a customized YouTube banner, and allows users to fly a virtual helicopter across a battle field mapped out with real world scaling. The users are required to use their keyboards to navigate the helicopter and face several unexpected challenges as they embark on realistic scenarios such as dropping off supplies.
Because this simulation takes place in real time, the advergame is accessible to a limited number of users at any given time. In addition to the live experience, users may also save and post their personal experience directly to YouTube.
To emphasize its messaging as an alternative energy source, VitaminWater introduced bus shelter ads that allow commuters to recharge their electronic devices through a 5-volt battery powered USB port. The ads feature the brand’s trademark creative approach – clean and colorful – and can be found in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.
The utility based offering goes a step beyond the Got Milk? initiative in 2009 (where San Francisco bus shelters were rigged to smell like cookies), because it reaches commuters in an unobtrusive manner and provides a practical service that many will find helpful. With mobile technology use increasing in popularity, we are seeing more of a need for users to charge their phones throughout the day – and this campaign reaches that qualified audience without losing the brand’s messaging.