In a new promotion for the 2014 Lexus IS sports sedan, the brand has launched an interactive video campaign where users can press any buttons on the keyboard to create their own version of the video and share it with friends for the chance to win tickets to the 2014 Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival, hotel stay and $2,000 - or a $500 cash prize.
All very cool - especially the fact that this isn't yet another campaign where you have to log onto Facebook to participate.
But, as others have also noted, it's the choice of prizes that seems a little off.
In this outdoor stunt - part of Pepsi Max's #LiveForNow campaign - Dynamo seems to levitate on a London bus as it drives through crowded streets.
Still, it is worth noting that the "#LiveForNow" theme reads a little off. It sounds inspiring when used as an imperative (as in Dynamo is living for the moment). But it sounds threatening when read as a descriptor (as in Dynamo is live...for now).
Be that as it may, Londoners seem to be as thrilled as can be.
At least until that roybal baby finally gets here.
Maybe they'll be passing Pepsi Max around the palace when he or she gets here.
Since the advent of the Internet, accessing video has largely meant viewing a still image and a text link that you had to click and then wait to load before deciding on whether it was all worth the effort.
The brainchild of Internet wunderkind David McIntosh (left), who was recently named one of Business Week's Top 15 Entrepreneurs under 25, Riffsy makes it easy to create "riffs" - which are 10-second looping video previews that give you an idea of what you'll see when you click through - or as CEO Sangita Verma puts it, they're "gifs with benefits."
These riffs click through to the original source content, as a means by which users can share video of interest (which, to be clear, is not the kind of user-generated video you see with Twitter's Vine; instead, we're talking mass media content, captured and shared with an easy-to-use tool).
For users, a riff is sometimes meant to represent a full expression in itself - a kind of video emoticon borrowing from easily recognized pop culture properties.
Which may make Riffsy a desirable new platform for Hollywood studios, TV networks and brand marketers seeking to encourage and inspire fandamonium and brand love in new ways.
Time will tell if it all pays off for Redux - the business model here calls for yet another social network. But the riffs themselves are cool, and the user experience is quite nice on both iPad and iPhone.
I recently sat down with Verma (above) (a past client and longtime friend) to get the inside scoop on Riffsy.
You'll be forgiven for any envy you may feel for having not thought of this little app yourself.
Target has erected its very own college dorm room in downtown Los Angeles, where it's showing off back-to-school goods with the help of five social media celebrities - who are sharing the room for four days - for all to see at bullseyeuniversity.com.
Think MTV's "Real World" or CBS's "Big Brother." Except that here, viewers check out all the action by clicking on various rooms (outfitted with goods they can guy directly from the store), and can interact directly with the stars.
It's content meets content meets crazy ass stunt.
Kudos to my friend Winston Binch and the whole team at Deutsch LA.
Most people don't realize that augmented reality has been around and in use for decades - the ballpark ads behind home plate in baseball, or the yellow line showing first down in football, are just common examples.
But that doesn't mean you can't get excited about how advertisers might use it as it becomes more mainstream.
Just look at how AR ads dazzle to ping pong in the video above. And just imagine the way brand sponsors could use it to spectacular effect to thrill player and fans alike.
However much you may hate the idea of the NSA spying on you, this game drives home how Big Data is enabling the surveillance economy's real Big Brother.
Namely, Big Business.
As the New York Times reports, a group of developers in Austria has launched an online game called Data Dealer that aims to make the business of consumer profiling more transparent - hopefully opening up a lot of eyes in the process.
The idea: amass and sell fictional profiles with personal details from names and social security numbers, to dietary habits and sexual orientation, and then sell it all to the highest bidders. As the game puts it, "Privacy? Screw that!"
The developers are even raising money on Kickstarter to finance a new
version that lets users play against each other - and hack each other's
database to steal their trove of profiles. Or, in the vernacular of the game: "Legal? Illegal? Whatever."
In my book, THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, I argue that while technology increasingly enables us to market down to granular levels of consumer profiling - even to the proverbial "niche of one" - society at large has a responsibility to make the decision to use the technology very carefully, as do we as marketers.
As is clear in recent headlines, this is not a philosophical debate about speculative scenarios. It's here, it's now, and it's happening today.
Okay, maybe not as new as it sounds, but it could still send shock waves all its own.
I first wrote about (and yes, poked some fun at) "targeted audio" - sound that's transmitted so it vibrates off the bones in your skull to make it seem as if it's coming from inside your head - in the pages of ADWEEK a decade ago, and more recently in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND.
The affect can be amazing - you hear a song, a newscast or yes, an advertisement, in astonishing surround sound, and the person sitting or standing next you doesn't hear a thing.
What's new here is using glass as the conduit - which promises, among other things, the ability to transmit ads to people who lean their heads against train windows.
It does have the upside of putting the consumer in control - if it bugs, he or she just um, stops leaning against the window. Which is a plus when you're preventing exhausted commuters in the window seat from getting any rest, though making a small audience even smaller.
But interesting tech nonetheless.
How might you use vibrating windows?
And wouldn't it be for something a lot more fun than ad?