#EscapeTheClown: BK is Using AR to Troll Mickey D's And We Are There for 'It'


Just when you think Burger King can't top the crowning glory of last year's Whopper Detour campaign promoting its mobile app, it pulls off a battle royal from within its chief rival's own stores. 

Last year, BK won countless awards for geo-targeting offers for a 1-cent Whopper to customers who come within 800 feet of a McDonald's (see the success story below). But BK Germany may have upped the ante—again. 

In a cross promotion celebrating the release of "It Chapter Two," Burger King is using advertising on Facebook and Twitter to invite consumers to download its mobile app and scan a review of "It" within a movie magazine McDonald's distributes in-store.

According to The Drum, when consumers download the app, they're able to play an augmented reality-enabled mobile game that displays a "flee and run" route to the nearest BK. If they make it there within a certain amount of time, they're able to buy a Whopper for just one cent. 

It's just the latest in the kind of inventive campaigns that helped BK clean up at this year's Cannes Lions Advertising Festival—and at the cash register. And in truth, BK's unorthodox philosophy about marketing has been on display as far back as its work with CPB Group.

With this brilliantly devious cross-promotion, the QSR might just win "Creative Brand of the Year" for a second year in a row. 



💥 2019 Cannes Lions Grand Prix Winners, Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report & More

Internet Trends ReportInside Mary Meeker's 2019 Internet Trends Report. Grand Prix Winners from this year's Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Miller Light turns a beer into a game controller. Plus, all the coolest Funko toys headed to San Diego Comic-Con, and a whole lot more.


🕷    'Spider-Man: Far from Home' arrives just in time (at :48 sec)

🦇    Poll about best Caped Crusader leaves out Adam West, fans go batshit (at 1:26)

🍻    Miller Lite turns a beer can into a game controller, and we'll drink to that (at 3:39)

👍🏻      Who's a better Internet role model: Keanu Reeves or Mark Hamill?  (at 6:20)

🤡      Chuckles, Krusty, or Pennywise? Funko's funky Comic-Con line up (at 8:32)

📱      Key insights from Mary Meeker's 2019 Internet Trends Report (at 10:20)

🏆      Grand Prix winners at the 2019 Cannes Lions Advertising Festival (at 19:08)

⭐️     Holy Hollywood icons: Look who's getting a star on the Walk of Fame (at 22:03)

🦁     2019 Cannes Lions' Buzzword Bingo (at 22:40)

🦸🏻‍♂️    More special edition toys coming to San Diego Comic-Con (at 24:04)

Approx. 27 min.

(For US audiences. Be sure to review privacy and cookie policies for SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify and all other streaming services.)   

Author Rick Mathieson on Blasingame Show: Email Marketing Secrets (Concl)

Email_marketing_image1I recently read a joke somewhere that when it comes to email marketing, you want to be a puppy dog in a room full of llamas. Because hey, everyone loves puppies and who wants to get spit at by a llama?

In the conclusion of my recent conversation on the Jim Blasingame Show, we talk about striving for relevance and relationship-nurturing in your email marketing.

We also discuss the importance of sending content your customer is interested in, instead of always and exclusively pushing for a sale—or what Jim calls "contribute first, contact second."

Along the way, we have a few laughs about one my current favorite email marketers, weekend clothing brand Chubbies.


(Approx. 4 min 37 sec)

Plus: Be sure to catch Part One and Part Two, here and here.






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2015 Mobile Marketing Predictions—from 2005: The Internet of Everything


Let's just say I was into the "Internet of Things" before it was much of "a thing" at all.

Never mind that a survey this year finds 87% of consumers say they've never heard the term. In my 2005 book BRANDING UNBOUND, I wrote extensively about the Internet of Things (or, IoT), and such coming innovations as "smart clothes" that would one day routinely monitor heart patients and alert doctors of impending heart attacks.

And intelligent homes, buildings and stores that will react to, and even predict, your every command—setting temperatures and lighting to your liking, and offering up goods and services based on your personal preferences.

Then there was the personalized content streamed direct to your car. Designer clothes that tell the washing machine, "don't wash me, I'm dry clean only." Medicines that warn users of dangerous interactions. Cars that get "upgrades" remotely via mobile software. And frozen dinners that tell the microwave oven how to cook them to perfection.

Nest, Tesla, Pandora, Proteus Digital Health's "smart pill," the Apple Watch and the Polo Tech Shirt notwithstanding, this world of pervasively interconnected services and solutions remains in its earliest stages. And yet, as far as the brand experience goes for these companies and others, it is beginning to create meaningful differentiation that is shaping consumer expectations with each new day.


When Tesla recently faced a recall nearly 30,000 Model S cars because of overheating issues with their wall chargers, the company was able to fix the issue by simply update the software in each care remotely, eliminating the problem without owners needing to go to their dealerships. What have other car brands have to compete with that?

While not quite proactively ordering new supplies, Amazon's Dash devices, WalMart's Hiku roll out this week, and Red Tomato Pizza's refrigerator magnets mean all you have to do is push a button or swipe an empty container to have laundry detergent, groceries (or piping hot Pepperoni Pizza) heading your way, without ever having to take out your mobile phone, activate an app and enter an order.

Netflix even recently released DIY instructions for building a push button that dims your lights, orders food, silences the phone and fires up Netflix queue.

Factor in product innovations—such as the Nike+ Running System (which runners found so compelling that the brand's already enviable share of the running shoe category skyrocketed from 48% to 61% in its first 36 months); Prada's continuing refinement of retail technologies (which identify what garments you pick up and instantly showcase runway video and accessories on the nearest store display); or new Johnnie Walker bottles that let you create personalized gifting experiences, and interact with brand promotions, using your mobile phone—and it's easy to see that brands that leverage IoT technologies stand to benefit mightily while those that don't may fall evermore behind.

At stake—a slice of a market expected to top $1.7 trillion dollars in value by 2020, according to IDC.

Yet even big winners will need to tread carefully.


Even back in 2005, I warned that interconnected everything means you can run, but never truly hide.

Or, as techno-anthropologist Howard Rheingold tells me in the book, "A world in which you are connected infinitely is a world in which you are surveilled infinitely."

Yes, online ads and street side billboards that call out to you on a first name basis, offering exactly what you're looking for—even before you realize you're looking for it—will have their place. Much of this will seem quite magical—at rightly so. But brands and media partners must be careful to resist the temptation to personalize pitches to the point of creeping consumers out.

Or putting them in danger.

One need not look beyond recent news reports on automobile software systems being hacked from afar to understand personal information is not the only thing put at potential risk in this interconnected world.

As I write in the book, as marketers (and as consumers), you and I will face decisions our predecessors could never imagine about what is acceptable—perhaps even moral—when anything and everything is possible.

As brands we exist to serve our customers and their needs, not the other way around.

Ultimately, that may mean recognizing that consumers should be able to control how "smart" they want their "smart products"—and advertising aimed at selling them those products—to be.

Perhaps they even need control over deciding which "Things" (and the associated data) that they want to be part of this "Internet of" —to better serve them, in the ways they want to be served—even if that sometimes means less, instead of more, of what we hope to sell to them. Even while making what we do sell them more profitable.

The brands that get this balance just right will not only attract consumers. They'll gain their loyalty and their trust.

Perhaps that's where the true power of the IoT is waiting to be found.






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Farewell Q&A with NY Times Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott (Concl): Uncertainty Certain

Can someone who has never worked in advertising really cover it?

Or is it even better that way?

In the conclusion of my recent "exit interview" with legendary New York Times ad industry columnist Stuart Elliott, we discuss what it was like to cover such a idiosyncratic industry without much first-hand experience in the business. 

How did being one step removed hinder - or help?

As Elliott says goodbye to the Times, we'll get his views on that topic.

And we'll try one last time to get his predictions for what's next in the world of advertising. His response is worth noting even for those of us who do work in this crazy, wonderful industry.


(Approx: 3:29)

Listen to Part One here: What I Saw at the Revolution

Listen to Part Two here: The Rise & Risks of Content Marketing

Listen to Part Three here: Change is (On) the Air


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Evian's Real-Time, Real-World Approach to Social Media (Video)


I just realized I'd posted about this on the GEN-WOW LinkedIn Group and Facebook Page, but not here.

You have to love this Twitter campaign from Evian - and the stats it generated, including:

• An 11X increase in Twitter followers compared to the same month last year

• 3.5X more daily mentions for the brand during the promotional period

• 2.8 million impressions and 75,000 engagements via Twitter

This is a brand with a history of creating very powerful real-world/digital experiences - representing the vanguard of what I view as one of the most important trends in social media. Social is not an end unto itself - it is a means that, when combined with physical world experiences – is far more than the sum of its parts.

Ask yourself "How is my brand capitalizing on SoLoMo (social + local + mobile)?" – before your competition starts asking the same thing.

Read more about the promotion here.



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SimpleDeal Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign to 'Save the Restaurant Industry' (Video)


SimpleDeal wants to make a deal - right now.

GEN WOW readers may recall my recent interview with James McKinney, CEO of SimpleDeal - which looks to be a promising new hyper-local mobile app that connects restaurants with customers at the point of maximum interest.

Gw_james_mckinney_simpledealUnlike apps for setting reservations, receiving daily deals, pre-ordering meals and so on, SimpleDeal acts as a kind of digital wingman, enabling passersby to point their mobile phones at a restaurant and see the menu, find out about its offerings, review any special deals and make a dining decision.

What sets SimpleDeal apart is that it's run for the restaurant. There are no Yelp-style reviews. The restaurant gets the stage, and they can use it to sell you on coming in and having a great meal - right now.

When McKinney and I spoke, SimpleApp had launched in Long Beach, CA - and he started to lay out expansion plans into Orange County. And now, the company is launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the effort. And he's framing the story as something very much in the interest of the restaurant industry - and as a kind of counterattack against the daily deals industry.

Watch the video above and take a look at the Indiegogo page. And listen the my interview with McKinney, which I'm re-posting here.

If you're like me, you'll find yourself rooting for SimpleDeal's success.

But what's your view? A tasty new app that finally puts digital technology in the hands of restaurants? 

Or so ambitious, it's biting off more than it can chew?

SimpleIf it's the former - here's your chance to get in on the ground floor - and help save the restaurant industry while you're at it.


CLICK TO LISTEN TO Q&A: James McKinney, CEO, SimpleDeal (Pt 1)

(Approx 6 min, 22 sec)

CLICK TO LISTEN: Q&A: James McKinney, CEO of SimpleDeal (Pt 2)

(Approx 7 min, 25 sec)


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Have a Coke and a 'Shhhh': Coke Inserts You into Films to Squash Noise (Video)

Now if Coke could just get theaters to find something less loud to munch on than popcorn. A nice reminder to kindly shut up.

Read more, here.


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A Restaurateur's Best Friend: Q&A with James McKinney, CEO of SimpleDeal (Pt 2)

Gw_james_mckinney_simpledealIn part one of my interview with SimpleDeal CEO James McKinney, we heard about how this new app connects passersby with restaurants right at the point of maximum interest.

Simpledeal logo

In part two, we'll hear more about what it means to restaurants - including how they might be able to turn a trove of data into a gold mine.

CLICK TO LISTEN: Q&A: James McKinney, CEO of SimpleDeal (Pt 2)

(Approx 7 min, 25 sec)


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Q&A: Tom Nicholson: 'Social Retailing' Advice for Marketers

OD_Tom_Nicholson In Part 1 and Part 2 of we learned about social retailing pilots for Nanette Lepore and Bloomingdales that resulted in a 3x increase in sales.

In  Part 3 we learned about how social media can get shoppers into stores - and keep them there.

And in the conclusion of this exclusive source interview for my book, THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, we get advice on how to start implementing social retailing ourselves.

Click Here to Listen To: Social Retailing (Conclusion): Advice for Marketers


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