Real world convergence with the interconnected web is a big thing these days: Look to location based services like Foursquare and data services like the Weather Network for just a glimpse. It’s easier than ever to keep your finger to the pulseƒ or, as Twitter says, “What’s happening right now.”
Taking the wired world into the wild, Bear 71 is an interactive story by Canada’s National Film Board that follows the life of a female grizzly bear monitored by conservation officers from 2001 – 2009 in the Rocky Mountains. Bear 71′s movements are tracked by GPS, motion sensors, live streaming web cams, and with traditional science: footprints, fur samples, scat.
Looking back on the week’s highlights in the online and social realm, from a creative standpoint.
What does the sound of freedom sound like to you? As part of their “Break The Law of Silence” campaign, Amnesty International France worked with singer-songwriter Yael Naim to compose a song, where each electronic signature the campaign received added a new musical note to the song. Partnering with Shazam, a service that listens to your surroundings and identifies what song is currently playing, helped grow awareness of the campaign and more importantly, the stories behind it.
While some brands such as Old Navy have used Shazam to drive users to in-store specials when their theme song plays, we really like the approach taken by Amnesty International. Whenever the service was unable to identify a song, it drove users to hear a story from a victim of human rights abuse. Users could then electronically add their signature to the support list Amnesty was creating, adding a note to the Yael Naim song and helping to break the law of silence.
With increasing access to social-friendly video channels and digital tools comes inevitable online clutter. More than ever, it is important to recognize the value of creating strong content to make an impact within this realm – and taking into consideration the potential relevance for any target audiences.
To promote HBO’s popular television series, Boardwalk Empire, the Emmy award-winning team at Brainstorm Digital recently stitched together ‘before and after’ shots from Season 2. This content (posted on video platforms such as Vimeo) now allow fans to discover how certain visual effects were created – and in turn, share these videos across their own channels. Because these particular videos provide interesting and unique behind-the-scenes content, they also encourage fans to re-watch older episodes of the show; not to mention, bring in new fans who may have been on the fence up until this point. In the case of Boardwalk Empire’s promotional efforts this season, this is just one small example of a larger campaign to increase viewership and reward existing fans.
To celebrate the launch of Dance Central 2, Microsoft has released their Dance*Cam app so gamers can show off their dance moves to the world. The new app allows people to record themselves dancing for 10 seconds to one of seven popular songs. Once people have recorded their dance moves, their recently recorded footage is turned into a slick music video (complete with product shots from the new game). Facebook users can also challenge their friends to a dance-off where footage from the dance combatants is combined and friends are asked to vote on who has best moves.
Although the app is a simple idea, the potential Share Value is huge. Users capture video footage of themselves, the app splices in game footage, and then people share it out on Facebook for all of their friends to see. It’s fun, engaging, and the barrier to entry is extremely low. Making an accompanying mobile app for new console games is an emerging trend, but rarely does it add as much to the overall experience as Dance*Cam.
The US Congress is considering two bills, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, which, if enacted, would fundamentally change how the Internet works. These bills would give the US government and Internet Service Providers the right to unilaterally censor foreign websites and make it a felony to post even parts of copyrighted content, something that was previously allowed under “fair use.”
Some implications of this include:
* Stifling user generated creativity, by removing the fair use of copyrighted content.
* Even as an advertiser, your website could be blocked and made unsearchable by ISPs for sharing offending content, without due process, even if it’s about you.
* US online advertising networks (ie. Google) and payment processors (ie. Paypal) being required the end to doing business with foreign (ie. Canadian) websites accused of infringing US copyright.
Nothing says “I love you” like sparky bling. Right?
Not so fast. Tiffany & Co. think YOU can summon your inner romantic pretty well too, so they’ve launched their What Makes Love True campaign just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Last year, Dutch airline KLM explored the idea of profile-based social seat placements on their planes; allowing passengers to choose what kind of travelers they sit next to while booking their flight – essentially, allowing them to pair up with potential networking opportunities or even blind dates while up in the air.
More recently, Scandinavian Airlines has introduced Couple Up to Buckle Up – a two for one incentive program that targets couples and friends booking flights together. Like air mile programs, this rewards-based campaign allows passengers to build up points by scanning a customized CQ code which then syncs their phone to their partner’s. Both partners must complete simple and fun-filled tasks as designated by the QR codes in order to receive a lowered price for their tickets. Just in time for couples booking Valentine’s Day trips together.