The Ancient Mayans predicted the world will end today and last night we had a big party hosted by our Singapore CD Mr Naidu to celebrate his birthday. By the looks of some of the faces in the office (and the absence of one notable other) it probably does feel like the world has ended. That aside Johnnie Walker have launched a tactical campaign in China by BBH and Ogilvy One. The ‘See you tomorrow’ ad and online activity questions the doom-mongering about the 21st December being the end of the world. It’s a good fit with the brand’s Keep Walking positioning. On the Johnnie Walker Weibo site visitors are invited to speak the words ‘see you tomorrow’ and upload a video of themselves.
When it comes to the social space it’s always worth having some kind of moderation in place. By the looks of the image below Starbucks is a fan of transparency and freedom of speech. Many in the UK would disagree with the transparency point as SB along with a number of other multi-nationals have been avoiding paying corporation tax in Britain. Despite Starbucks coughing up 10 million GBP recently (a surprisingly small amount – we might add) the blogosphere has hijacked their Twitter tag #spreadthecheer to give the Starbucks Exec some Christmas advice. The image below is a snap of a screen in a Starbucks shop according to and tweeted by ktalbot21 . Is it a real image or a Photoshop comp? Looking at the #spreadthecheer tag there’s lots of tax chatter taking place. What do you think? How would you respond if you were Starbucks? Money to charity for Xmas perhaps?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can channel Urgent Genius into my own personal passions. I left university to go work at the only company in America that required you to play soccer at lunchtime – the United States Soccer Federation. So how can I help football-related entertainment brands create real-time topical content that connects better with brands?
Well, first I can take notes from ESPN. They’ve executed what we call “Planned Spontaneity” perfectly. They looked at their content calendar and realised that January is all about the transfer window.
So they built TransferCenter. They describe it as “a responsively-built digital destination designed to offer fans a real-time catalogue and multi-media connection to the stories, rumours, updates and player transfer news in leagues worldwide during the run-up to, and throughout, the winter transfer window.”
Now, here’s the Genius bit: Their partnership with EA SPORTS. As players complete transfers, the app will produce images and simulations of that player in their new club kit, based on FIFA ’13 game engine and graphics.
I’ve helped brands capitalise on the transfer window before, but this impresses upon me the urgent need for creative partnerships to surprise and delight. I hate it when my Panini sticker collections have players in the wrong kit due to a last-minute transfer. Well done, ESPN and EA for solving this problem in real-time for fans. If you’re into football, you’ll realise that this is a simple but very nice touch that makes you feel like ESPN and EA are walking in the same world of “I want it right here, right now” as their millions of fans globally.
What other football-related bits of Urgent Genius have you seen?
Source: Reading 7 Dec issue of Broadcast magazine (yep, a totally analogue paper copy) as well as a link from Mobile Entertainment
The Swedish Post Office have created another large scale interactive installation for the festive season. Last year they had the live Christmas Card Xmas on wheels with a model railway and smart personalisation. This year they’ve taken the classic pairs game on to a gigantic scale with 400 real green parcels in a 240m Sq space. If you match two presents you win them both. It’s great branding exercise for the Post Office’s green boxes, it uses simple game play, it has a real-time element that rewards people instantly and it’s a good use of tech to update a classic. It launched on the 3rd december and finished 30 hours later with all the prizes claimed. After all it’s the season of giving.
Virgin Mobile in the U.S. has stirred up the blogosphere with what they probably thought was a cheeky online ad. Richard Branson has already publicy stated that it was “ill-judged”. The Guardian reported on it last night and it’s clear that Virgin(Branson) doesn’t own the U.S. company. Virgin Mobile U.S. moved quickly to remove the ad which has been accused of making light of rape. The offending ad showed what looks like a stock image of a man holding a gift while holding his hand over his wife’s eyes. The headline reads : “The gift of Christmas surprise. Necklace? Or chloroform?”.
Image from Twitter.com via The Guardian
It’s the first example of an Urgent Fail this Holiday Season that we’ve come across. Have you seen any others? Or on a more positive note any Xmas Genius?