Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nike's #LDNR Half Term Takeover

Everyone seems to love the new Nike ad Nothing Beats a Londoner

What's also really clever is how they have created a whole series of events, shown on this map, that people in London can get involved with over half term, using the Nike Plus app.

A map showed events you could sign up for - 3 days in the map has gone and almost all the events are fully booked.

A great idea, brilliantly executed.  Lots of sharing on Instagram too

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Deals in Media & Tech - Jan 2018

Image source
I will be reviewing some of the deals in media and tech every month.  I'm fascinated these deals because one way to analyse the future direction of the big companies is to look at what sort of companies they are buying.  When I write my trends reports, I often look back at these, as proof that certain fields are generating lots of interest.

Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and others are currently very acquisitive.  Each is using their large profits to buy companies that can help them gain competitive advantage in areas like AI, commerce, and delivery, to fill in gaps in their capabilities, and to (maybe) stop others from getting hold of the companies or key employees.

Nothing in January was as high profile as Disney’s deal proposed deal to buy Fox, or Westfield’s sale ot Unibail, or even Apple’s purchase of Shazam, which all happened in December.  However there were still lots of M&A action, and here are some of the more interesting.

Facebook bought, a company that uses biometrics to quickly verify people’s identities.  Real identity is at the core of Facebook’s value - while MySpace let you choose an identity, Facebook knew that real IDs would be far more valuable to other users (& advertisers) - and this will help them verify people better.

Google bought Redux, a flat panel speaker company.  Flat speakers have attracted lots of attention over the years.  NXT, a UK speaker company, was part of the tech stock boom in the late 1990s, as people get very excited by the idea of how much space in devices, cars etc could be saved if speakers could be flat.  My guess would be that Google will use Redux’s tech in its new devices like phones and smart speakers.  Will everything suddenly get flatter?

‘Mobility’ is a big trend at the moment.  Lots of car companies have bought into, or created their own car sharing schemes, and now BMW has bought Parkmobile, the largest mobile parking operator in the US.  As mobility and cities change, parking is likely to become more important - figures estimate that 30% of traffic is caused by people looking for somewhere to park - and so this is a good, if initially surprising buy.

It’s not a full purchase, but by buying 10% of What3Words, Mercedes will strengthen their position in mapping.  In 2015 Mercedes, together with BMW and Audi, bought Nokia’s mapping technology.  Now this deal takes Mercedes further into location, especially into places like Africa that has less developed maps.  Navigation is vital for lots of things like satnav and autonomous vehicles - I wonder if others will also try to buy into W3W.

Finally, two purchases that show that having an app is increasingly important.  Delivery company InstaCart bought Unata to help it get deeper into the ecommerce ecosystem.  Unata is a Canadian service that helps grocery stores easily build their own storefront app.

Meanwhile, Apple bought Buddybuild, a suite of tools that helps developers rapidly build and debug their own apps.  People always say that Apple’s business is all about selling devices, but on top of this they make an estimated $100m a day from the app store.  Again, anything that will make creating apps easier, and give Apple more control over the ecosystem can only be good for them.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ten Trends for 2018

Here is our trends presentation for 2018 - ten things to think about, including the convergence of ecommerce and retail, the rise of 'voice', the growth of shared digital experiences, the coming of the blockchain and more.

I'm conscious that I don't update this blog as much as I used to, or as much as I should.  Part of it is wondering what the focus should be, now that every campaign is digital, but I'll be trying a few new ideas in 2018.  Please keep following!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Crisis's Snow Day

Great timing from Crisis UK - this was tweeted just a few minutes after snow started landing in London (& colleagues started getting excited).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Apple's Smile Codes - Re-inventing the QR code

I spotted these codes at the Amazon UK Black Friday pop-up in Soho.  To buy products on display you need to open the Amazon app, click on the camera icon, then select smilecode scanner. 

Then fit the 'smile' logo into the rectangle in the phone viewer, and it will read the code.

This sort of engagement is commonplace in China, and has been a part of Singles Day for years. 

Can Amazon finally provide the impetus for QR codes to take off?

(NB - Pinterest is trying something similar in the US)

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


It didn't take long for people to find a fun use for the new Apple animated emojis!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fanta: The 13th Floor

A fun 3 minute 360° film for Halloween.  Fanta is, of course, the colour of Halloween...

Best seen on mobile with a headset.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Tilly's Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt

Each new technology seems to throw up its own version of the scavenger hunt - people did it with Foursquare, with Snapchat filters, and now US retailer Tilly's is doing one with YouTuber Shonduras - find the different bits of AR around its stores, and win a discount code:

You can see some of the players here

More info here

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Dell's Spider-Man Game in Times Square

Play along with your phone at the poster side in Times Square, New York.

Great use of a gif in their tweet!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Augmented Reality Videos - Made with AR Kit

Last week marked the ten year anniversary for the iPhone, possibly the most important piece of technology created since the colour television (you can almost compare the mobiles that came before the iPhone to black and while TVs).

Apple continues to innovate, and the next iPhone is likely to be very special, with Augmented Reality at its heart, using Apple's new AR Kit developer technology.

A taster of what is coming can be seen on the AR Kit YouTube and Twitter accounts.

For example



& even

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