Huggies Gets All GoPro with Babies—with Heartwarming Results (Video)


Meet the 'Momentcam': A new marketing effort from Huggies Korea that involves two clip-on cameras - one for mom, one for baby - that capture those everyday moments from the perspective of both mother and child. Hard not to love the results.

But this isn't just about video capturing those moments. It's about using those videos to tell the story behind these moments - and associating the brand with something so magical.

How is your brand using technology to connect at an emotional level?

Read more here.



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Mug Shots: This Coffee Mug Produces Pictures When Hot Drinks Are Poured (Video)


And we aren't just talking photos from say, Instagram, here - it could be a message from a friend, a fun quote, a comic strip, today's weather - or really anything at all.

It's a cool concept called a Paulig Muki (by way of Creativity). And it's an experiment from TBWA for Helsinki coffee brand Paulig that uses heat from coffee and a mobile app to produce a picture on the side of the mug.

Making each new cup of Joe a new experience. Which is sure to bring a smile to your mug - or something else entirely - every single morning. 

Read more here.


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'First Sniff': A Parody of 'First Kiss.' With Dogs. (Video)


"First Kiss" has gone from smooch to pooch.

On the heels of word that the video - in which 20 complete strangers are asked to kiss on camera - had gone supernova and hit 11 million views in a matter of hours (it stands at almost 50 million views at last check), the next phase of viral hype cycle began.


First came word that it was really an ad for an up-and-coming fashion brand. Then came the parodies. Jimmy Fallon did his own, with puppies and kittens, called "First Lick."


And then there's "First Sniff" (top), which takes it to a whole new level.

But some extensions have been more heartfelt: Gen Wow Twitter follower Frederick de Wachter in Belgium sent me this video from a television program called Volt, where his team went out and asked TRUE strangers to kiss on camera. It's hard not to be pulled right in.


But what's your view?

Is "First Kiss" the most overhyped (and most ripe for parody) online video sensation ever? Or is it truly as sweet as it aims to be? (And would you participate if asked to kiss a stranger?)

And which is better? The spoofs and spinoffs, or the real thing?

Pucker up and give us your input - or go ahead and give us the kiss off.

But please, just don't videotape it.



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3D Printing Clothes & Furniture: Designs, Not Products, As Brands


A couple of PSFK stories this past week have me wondering about what constitutes a "brand" in categories seen for so long now as immune to digital media disruption: Fashion and furniture. 

First up, news that a company called Electroloom hopes to launch ready-to-wear clothes that you could print from your 3D printer at home. And second, a look at what happens when this technology eventually results in home 3D printers (or even "bays") capable of printing out furniture (see YouTube video above).

Set aside the implications for retailers like The Gap or Ikea - which are immense - what happens when Ralph Lauren, for instance, no longer sells physical clothes, just creates the designs for them, and sells them 100% online - for instant print out in exactly the right size?

Granted - this is a giant "if" and a considerable "when." But the fact that this kind of technology is being rolled out so quickly, product brands of all should be gearing up for an age when books aren't the only things disrupted by the digital+physical connection, now that 3D printing is more than just an idea.


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Rick Mathieson Talks Super Bowl, 2014 Digital Marketing Trends on Blasingame Show/Forbes Radio (Pt 2)

2014 marketing trends jpegIn part two of my guest appearance on the Jim Blasingame Show the other day, we get to the part where we discuss some of the digital innovation brands are bringing to this year's Super Bowl "Ad Bowl."


As I'm usually more involved with larger brands, Jim - whose latest book The Age of the Customer: Prepare for The Moment of Relevance is just out - likes to have me on from time to time to talk about what's happening in digital marketing overall, and what SMBs can learn from their big brand brethren. (You can hear part one of the interview here.)


In this second segment, we talk about Doritos' latest "Crash The Super Bowl" consumer-created ad contest, and Pepsi's new augmented reality Super Bowl "Selfie" app.


And on the heels of news today that H&M is allowing consumers to vote on whether David Beckham bares it all for his Super Bowl Bodywear spots, you'll hear about how the popular retail brand is also enabling viewers to place a purchase for the clothing via television remote control during the game.

I'll post the conclusion of the interview over the next few days.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: Rick Mathieson on Blasingame: 2014 Digital Marketing Trends & Super Bowl Ad Innovation (Part 2)

(Approx 6:04)


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On 10th Anniversary of 'Campaign for Real Beauty,' Dove Scores Again with 'Selfie' (Video)


I share a lot of behind-the-scenes secrets on Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND. Now in its 10th year, the campaign has a new hit with the short film, "Selfie."

Share with the women and girls in your life. Kudos to all involved.


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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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3 Secrets to Powerhouse 'Prankvertising' (Video)

So-called “real time marketing” may get all the hype these days, but a bona fide sleeper trend of has got to be Prankvertising – physical world stunts with digital world elements that surprise, excite and, with luck and a lot of promotion, go wildly viral. As a new entry into our annual GEN WOW Awards, our list of Top 10 Marketing Pranks for 2013 was so popular with our readers, we thought we'd share some insights on how to prank consumers right. 


A growing number of brands are finding that it can pay big to pull pranks on your customers so other people can laugh at them.

Just look at Sony Pictures, which faked this telekinetic rampage inside a local coffee shop - captured in the video above - complete with patrons pushed up the side of the wall, furniture and books blown about – to promote the new remake of the horror classic, “Carrie.”

Or LG. In an effort to show off the lifelike picture on its next-generation IPS video monitors, the consumer electronics giant scared the crud out of people in elevators by making it appear as if the floor is falling away – with the instant fear captured with eye-level cameras.

Or even candy brand Tic-Tac, which combined a flash mob with a giant digital sign – all in the service of creating a hugely embarrassing scene by making unsuspecting passersby believe they have astonishingly bad breath.

Dubbed “prankvertising,” the technique combines real-world antics with digital-age magic to astonish those who see it live, and to delight the many (many) more who will view videos of the shenanigans online.

And it’s catching on – because it costs a fraction of the money of network television spots to produce, and promises a viral multiplier effect as consumers spread the mischief via social media.

But with the potential risks so high, the possible backlash to brands so profound, how do you punk your customers for fun and profit?

Very carefully. And always keep these three all-important secrets to successful prankvertising in mind.

1. No Method, Pure Madness

It’s critical that you understand what your objectives are for your stunt. In the “Carrie” example above, patrons would be forgiven for not knowing what the promotion is all about. There may have been a big reveal that told them it was all a promotion for the movie. But we don’t see it in the video, so it’s left unclear whether they ever knew what hit them.

Ditto for a recent stunt from insurance carrier Europe Assistance IT, which involves a submarine that seems to have crashed through the streets of Milan.

The stunt was so amazing, it garnered widespread coverage from outlets ranging from Huffington Post to NBC News. Which, to be clear, was surely part of the plan.

But aside from car door signage and a hashtag motif on clothing and the sub itself, without a climatic reveal, it’s unclear to me how passersby (or even many casual viewers of the video) ever figured out what company, if any, was behind this gobstopping display.

Contrast that with this street promo from cable network TV channel TNT, where cause (a conspicuous button invitation to “push to add drama”) equals epic effect on a quiet Flemish square. No one present – or viewing vicariously – missed the point, which is beautifully tied to TNT’s entire brand proposition.

2. Catch & Release

As the examples above demonstrate, the stunt itself is just the cost of entry. The entire point is to garner unpaid press coverage and, more importantly, extend considerable reach and frequency via online video and social media. This has the benefit of enabling the brand to make sure the video drives home the marketing message just the way they want. Capture your prankees’ reactions, then release the video of your escapades to the world.


Exhibit A: This recent promotion from Paramount to promote the DVD release of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which even takes us behind the curtain to see how they pulled it all off. The only thing better would have been to have one of the kids beam back as Leonard Nimoy.

Or this prank from Pepsi Max, which captures delighted passersby as they marvel at celebrity magician Dynamo as he levitates up the side of a London bus as a way of communicating the magical lightness of this low-cal soda brand.

Hundreds may see the live stunt. Thousands, even millions will see it online – provided you package it up in a compelling video experience. Sending the video to key media outlets and buying ad space on YouTube or elsewhere never hurts, either. You’d be surprised how many “viral” hits start that way.

3. The Crueler, The Better – But Kindness Trumps All

Some might find Tic Tac’s “Bad Breath” a little mean spirited. And Nivea's "Stress Test" prank - where airline travelers are singled out as wanted criminals – is in a category all its own. But most viewers likely think these are a hoot. Ditto for LG’s schadenfreude in the elevator shaft (not to mention its stage-fright-in-the-mens-room antics).

But in general, smaller-scale stunts like Sony’s “Carrie” promo are a bit more on target, as is a prank Benjamin Moore Paint pulled just before Halloween.

Of course, some may suspect the Moore prank was faked – how many painters can you line up after-hours in a remote location? But if true, this is a nice, harmless way to trick and treat you way to a successful promo.

Still, as fun as it can be to reach out and freak someone, kindness wins every time.

Witness Coca-Cola’s Happiness Pop-up Park, which is just the latest in a long line of small stunts – a Happiness Truck, a Happiness Vending Machine, a Happiness Drive-in Theater and many more – that take people by surprise and inspire instant brand love.

And just try to keep tears from being jerked when you view Honda’s recent wedding day prank, which is part of its “Start something special” campaign.


The bride-to-be’s family owns a number of Hondas, and even asked a local dealership for three CRVs to help with the wedding festivities. As Adweek puts it, they got a lot more than they expected - to the point that the brand may have upstaged the nuptials.

But as a stunt, this one drives home an emotional bond between consumers and their favorite brands.  

What's your view? Is this a brand disaster waiting to happen? Do consumers really enjoy being punked?

What rules or examples would you add to this list? And how can your brand score big by pulling a fast one on your customers?


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Watch All 5 Finalists in Doritos' 'Crash the Super Bowl 2014' Consumer-Created Ad Contest

FinalistsDoritos has revealed the five finalists in its annual "Crash the Super Bowl" consumer-created ad contest.

At stake: The chance to have your ad shown during the Super Bowl, $1 million in cash and the opportunity to work on the set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

From January 4 through 29, consumers can vote on which spots should make the Super Bowl, at

The five finalists, in alphabetical order by creator's last name:

Doritos Time Machine by Ryan Andersen, Scottsdale, Arizona


"Office Thief" by Chris Capel, Valencia, California


 "The Cowboy Kid" by Amber Gill, Ladera Ranch, California


"Breakroom Ostrich" by Eric Haviv, Atlanta, Georgia


"Finger Cleaner" by Thomas Noakes, Sydney, Australia


It is worth pointing out that this year marks the first time Doritos has opened the competition to the entire world, instead of just the United States. That makes Noakes the first non-US citizen to vie for the chance to have his spot shown during what is by far America's #1 sporting event.

But what's your verdict? Which would get your vote?

And what the hell is "Ultron"?

Read more here.


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Top 10 Best Social Media Campaigns 2013 (Video)


GenWowAwards-2013Coke was feeling pretty happy this year - not to mention very sociable.

We're always surprised how often Coca-Cola shows up in our annual Top 10 lists. But this year, the brand accounts for 20% of our list of top social media initiatives on its own.

Indeed, the Coke innovation machine made the most of social media in 2013 (well, make that ever medium). But other brands weren't exactly slackers, either.

Oh, and one social platform in particular stood out for us this year. Yes, the one with the hoopla around its highly successful IPO.

What initiatives made your list? Share it - and let's discuss the social year that was.

10. Burger King: Whopper Sellout

This recent initiative makes our list if for nothing else, its sheer cockiness. In the year's most daring brand stunt, Burger King Norway offered McDonald's Big Macs to go away and not be friends anymore. In fact, takers would be banned from the BK Facebook page henceforth. According to this case study video from DIST Creative (by way of AdAge), out of 38,000 total Facebook fans, a full 30,000 of them took the offer - leaving just 8,000 true, loyal fans (...or else very infrequent Facebook users...). And BK says it couldn't be happier, saying these fans are much more engaged and interact with the brand in a more positive manner.

9. Wendy’s: #PretzelLoveStories

This year, Wendy's had its social success with a side of hashtag. While Burger King US's social campaign for its Satisfries lower-fat French fries was seen by some as a royal fiasco, Wendy' #PretzelLoveStories earned serious buzz over an absurdist video soap opera series where actors use real, user-generated tweets as dialogue to hilarious effect. As Forbes puts it, the series relies on the one factor that reliably gets social media users engaged: "Unbelievably dumb stuff that's blow-milk-out-your-nose funny."

8. Heineken’s: ‘Departure Roulette's' Walk the Tweet

Be careful what you tweet for. It might literally send you packing. You have to love this latest installment of W+K's 'Departure Roulette' initiative for Heineken. If you missed the original, Heineken recently placed a billboard in airports to daring people to press the button to drop everything and go on free trip to whatever random location appears. As you can imagine, more than a few people took to Twitter to say they'd love to try this, had they seen it in an airport. Well now, the billboard has come to them, daring them to walk the talk - or the tweet, as the case may be.  As you'll see, most are game - but not all are jazzed about the outcome.

7. Samsung Galaxy: Skip Ahead via Twitter

As an Apple devotee, it pains me to say that Samsung's marketing in the mobile wars is increasingly impressive (and scathing) - especially the ads mocking iPhone fans waiting in long lines for the next iPhone.
And now, this new effort from BBDO New Zealand raises the bar. Galaxy fans could skip ahead by tweeting. Brilliant. And you won't believe the results. Of course, none of it stopped the iPhone 5S from selling out in one day (sorry, had to get that in).

6. Budweiser: Buddy Cup

I'll drink to that. As I write in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, we've reached a point now where brands should no longer view social media as a cool new way to connect with consumers. We must now view social media as a means by which we as brands can enable consumers not just to connect with us, but to each other. And not just in some virtual space, but in the physical world as well. This initiative can help break the ice in a social setting - as well as continue the conversation (and/or flirtation) after that beer (or the many, many beers, as the case may be) is gone. Cheers to Bud for the bold idea.

5. Pepsi 'Like' Machine Won’t Accept Cash - Only Facebook Likes

Who says Coke should have all the fun? This new machine from Pepsi doesn't take cash. It dispenses with a free soda for every Facebook 'Like' it receives.  Which is one way to boost your Like counts - and a pretty tasty one, at that.

4. Coca-Cola: Wearable Movie

Yet another reason Coca-Cola was named Creative Marketer of the Year at Cannes this year. 

This "Wearable Movie" concept, from Ogilvy and Psyop, is so simple and yet so true to the nature of the brand. What I like about it is that it follows a concept that I talk about in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, called "Accentuating the P.O.S.-itive - making brand experiences Personalizable, Ownable and Sharable. Here, users participate in the creation of a short film featuring a beloved brand - and become the viral engine by which it is spread. It's enough for any brand - and its army of fans – to smile.

3. Intel/Toshiba: 'The Beauty Inside'

Talk about one beauty of a campaign. Pereira O'Dell's social film for the Intel Toshiba partnership was awarded the Film/Branded Content & Cyber Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The six-week series, called "The Beauty Inside," stars Topher Grace as Alex, who wakes up every day in a different body - each new body played by a cast of consumers who auditioned via Facebook for their roles. The strange adventure, which Alex chronicles on his Intel-powered Toshiba laptop (naturally), gets problematic when the body-switching character falls in love. According to Ad Age, the judges praised the quality of the production and story, which "represented a move forward in filmic and online storytelling," as the pub puts it.  As tenuous as the connection to the Intel-based Toshiba product may be (based on this first episode - see YouTube window above – one could be forgiven for wondering whether it really matters which notebook the character uses) the effort lives up to a central tenet of THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, which is to move marketing away from using the web as merely a channel for message distribution, toward content based on real-time participation, creation, collaboration and exhibition. Here, consumers could watch the video on Facebook or via a special site, "Like" it to hear about the next installment, and, as mentioned, audition to play Alex. The nice interspersing webcam snippets enable many to play the role from the comfort of home. One could argue that this is less product integration than mere product placement (I'm not sure I'd notice the product brand if I didn't know who was behind this). But it is a compelling way to make the product the central mechanism a provocative and entertaining narrative.

2. Oreo: Real Time Marketing

First there was that tweet during the Super Bowl - "You can still dunk in the dark." Then, during last night's Grammys, Oreo scores again with a visual tweet about Justin Timberlake's "return" to pop music. (I hadn't realized he'd left; then again, during the time he was bringing "sexy back," I hadn't realized that had gone anywhere, either). As PR Newser put it, it's unclear if this visual was crafted on the fly - Timberlake was wearing a bow tie - but either way, Oreo delivered the goods, again.

1. Coke ‘Small World Machines’ Share Moments within Nations at Odds

There has long been a belief that popular culture breaks down barriers - the idea that engagement always trumps disengagement. That was true when it came to the Soviet Union. That's true when it comes to China. And to the extent than popular culture includes consumer products (it includes music, movies and fashion, so why not CPG?), Coca-Cola has always been at the forefront of cashing in on any peace dividend it could help create. Just look at the "I'd Like to Buy The World A Coke" spot from the 60s. And look at the YouTube video above. This fantastic outdoor-cum-live-social-media effort from Coca-Cola provides a live communications portal between people in two nations who have long had antagonisms - India and Pakistan – and gets them to complete some engaging task, like touching hands, or drawing symbols for happiness, peace and love together. I dare you not to get choked up.





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