Future Case

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Posts Tagged ‘advertising

Apple Staff: Keepers Of The A.P.P.L.E. Code – PSFK

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They come equipped with blue shirts with Apple logos, white and grey ID tags, and an iPhone or iPad. Who are they? They are “Keepers of the Code,” the A.P.P.L.E. code that is. This is one of the key factors that makes Apple the successful $12 billion plus empire that it is today. Most of us thought that the Apple was just a logo that identifies all their devices. However, it also stands for basic in-store guidelines for the staff to facilitate consistent customer interactions:

* A pproach customers with a personalized warm welcome.

* P robe politely to understand all the customer’s needs.

* P resent a solution for the customer to take home today.

* L isten for and resolve any issues or concerns.

* E nd with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

Some other A.P.P.L.E. codes include:

* Listen and Limit your responses to simple reassurances that you are doing so. ‘Uh-huh’ ‘I understand,’ etc.

* Any employee who is 10 minutes late three times in six months is as good as gone. (Probably a good rule of thumb for anyone working in today’s world where jobs are scarce).

* Your job is to understand all of your customers’ needs — some of which they may not even realize they have.

* Employees can’t correct mispronunciations of Apple products. (It’s considered condescending to correct a customer if they, for example, call iPod Touches “iTouches.” Just let them say it however they please).

* Apple staff do not have sales quotas, but are encouraged to sell Apple Care. (Seeing as how Apple Care has benefits like Genius Bar walk-ins, it shouldn’t be too difficult a task).

With Steve Jobs still heavily involved in the thought process and design behind all things Apple, consumers can expect to have the same user and design-friendly experience that they see in all Apple products.

via Apple Staff: Keepers Of The A.P.P.L.E. Code – PSFK.

Mobile Disco: How Phones Make Music Inescapable – PSFK

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It’s a summer afternoon, and a park in north London is teeming. Scattered randomly across the grass, relaxed Brits of all generations and backgrounds laze on rugs, read papers, and tend disposable barbecues and small children. More active groups play keepy-uppy or show off their capoeira skills. And there’s a soundtrack, one you wouldn’t have heard even 10 years ago: the buzzing treble of music coming off people’s mobile phones. Whether it’s Lady Gaga’s Poker Face emerging from a gaggle of new parents, or the sharply-attired twentysomethings wearing their choice of Donaeo’s funky house anthem Party Hard as ostentatiously as their sunglasses, most groups are playing music off their phones. The revolving mobile jukebox in my group takes us from Johnny Cash to the Knife to Guido. None of these quite work without the bass, but that’s OK: it’s just nice to have a bit of music playing, right?

Not for everyone. Playing music aloud on mobile phones has become a divisive phenomenon in city life, given its own name by those who resent it: sodcasting. The name, some say, originated in Pascal Wyse’s Wyse Words column in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine back in 2007: “Sodcast [noun]: Music, on a crowded bus, coming from the speaker on a mobile phone. Sodcasters are terrified of not being noticed, so they spray their audio wee around the place like tomcats.”

Read more via Mobile Disco: How Phones Make Music Inescapable – PSFK.

The Future Of Mobile Advertising: Less Annoying, More Useful

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As mobile phones evolve, mobile advertising is evolving, too.

Already, we’ve seen a shift from tiny text and banner ads to more sophisticated efforts. Some are trying to captivate you with mini-games, interactive widgets, and contests. Others serve up a specific deal based on your location.

And while today’s mobile ads aren’t doing too poorly — 60% of mobile users click on mobile ads at least one a week, according to a recent report – there’s still a lot of room for advancements as the industry matures. (Especially considering that a lot of those “clicks” are probably by accident.)

These are the trends we expect to see in mobile advertising over the next several years. We hope the result for users will be a less annoying, more useful ad experience.

1) More interactivity and “apps as ads.”

You use your phone for different things than your laptop and your TV. So ads should be different, taking advantage of unique things you can do on your phone — like touching its screen, moving it around, accessing its camera, and using it anywhere.

That’s the basis for interactive mobile ads, or the concept of building ads like mini applications. Apple’s iAds are perhaps the most famous interactive ads — letting you explore a tiny virtual world inside the ad, watch video, enter contests, play games, etc. — but they’re far from the only ones. Other companies like Medialets and Crisp Wireless offer similar tools to app makers and ad agencies.

We expect to see more of these interactive “apps as ads” as brands and agencies discover all the things they can do with mobile ads. The key is figuring out a way to make these ads useful and engaging, not just annoying pitches.

One big question is whether people will care enough to bother playing with these ads, or if they’ll ignore them. Another is whether they’ll actually buy stuff.

For an example, here’s a screenshot of one of Apple’s early iAds, where you could goof around with the way this kid looks.

The Switch iAd

2) Deals and rewards, not just empty pitches.

One of the coolest mobile ad models we’ve ever seen is from a new startup called Kiip. Their ads — rewards and coupons — show up in mobile games when people reach certain points in the game. For example, if you beat a level, you might be rewarded with a free cup of coffee or a discount on new shoes.

We’re also intrigued with real-time local offers like the new Groupon Now service from Groupon.

The idea is that you can get a short-term deal on something right now – like a sandwich or a haircut — which encourages you to do something right away. This is the sort of thing that could be expanded into an ad product for other apps over time, if Groupon wants.

The big idea is to give people a reward or save them money for using these ads. That seems more worthwhile than just sticking ads in someone’s face.

Here’s how Kiip works:

3) Companies using cool mobile products to reach consumers directly, instead of ads.

New distribution tools like the iPhone App Store are giving brands unprecedented direct access to consumers, without the need to necessarily buy actual ads to reach people.

Take Nike for example. Sure, it can buy online and mobile ads. But thanks to Apple’s iPhone and the App Store, it can make cool mobile apps — like the Nike+ GPS app for tracking your runs and bike rides — that may generate as much goodwill and purchase intent as a banner ad.

That’s not to say that Nike won’t buy any ads anymore — of course it will — but it’s getting new, direct routes to potential customers via mobile devices, which it didn’t have before.

In some cases, brands may find that it’s more effective to spend money on marketing products instead of just buying mobile ads from media companies and ad networks.

Nike GPS app

4) Ads helping save you money on mobile gadgets or services themselves.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you can get a discount on mobile service, or even on the price of your gadgets, if you agree to spend some time with ads?

Amazon is leading the way here with its new Kindle with special offers, which is priced $25 cheaper than its ad-free Kindle models, with the requirement that you see some ads instead of its typical screensavers. Since its launch, it has been the best-selling Kindle that Amazon offers.

This may be the future of how gadgets are sold. If companies like Amazon, Google, mobile carriers, and others figure out that they can earn a certain amount of advertising revenue per customer, per year, they may subsidize your device or service.

5) Mobile ads linking up with mobile payments to “close the loop.”

Mobile ads have information about you that other types of ads don’t, including your location and the apps and music on your phone (Apple’s iAds). But in most cases, they still can’t tell the ad buyer that you’ve purchased something after seeing the advertisement.

But now that companies are trying to turn your phone into a mobile wallet, the opportunity to “close the loop” is growing. Companies may be able to know that you’ve made a purchase after seeing an ad, even if you’re buying something in person at a local business — not just an online shop.

Beyond giving everyone a better idea of which ads are working, one useful byproduct might be figuring out how to show you better ads or offers, which actually get you to buy stuff based on seeing them.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/future-of-mobile-advertising-2011-6?utm_source=alerts#ixzz1OiK367UN

Written by Kees Winkel

June 8, 2011 at 21:27

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How Much Big Corporations Spend On Ads

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Hewlett-Packard spent $1 billion on advertising, 2010 Revenue: $126 billion

Percentage of revenue spent on advertising: 0.7%

With the tagline “Let’s do amazing,” HP featured a campaign of 30-second spots with Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby talking to celebrities and professionals, like rap artist Dr. Dre and photographer Annie Leibovitz, who use HP software to create or promote their businesses.

Get the whole story right here: How Much Big Corporations Spend On Ads.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 6, 2011 at 21:54

What is a Digital City? – PSFK

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The unveiling of NYC’s Digital Plan by Mayor Bloomberg and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne has given risen to a broader question being asked by city officials and local citizens across the globe – what makes a city digital?

Below is our vision of the top ten features that are instrumental in the making of a “digital city”:

Great digital infrastructure by way of broadband and wi-fi access. This feature in particular signals a shift from “moving people to work” thinking to “moving work to people.”

Well integrated set of online tools that provide information to the public via multiple digital channels such as a regularly updated website, social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and a live stream of key meetings enabling greater public participating etc. It should be noted that a social presence is less about using the newest cool, shiny tools and more about connecting with city residents on whatever platforms they use the most. A great example is the use of NYCDigital’s Tumblr account to share Beyonce’s surprise appearance at a Harlem school workout.

Using digital technology to provide better services, such as transit networks to residents. For example Paris, Barcelona, Montreal, Denver and now New York City have introduced popular bike sharing systems but it still remains to be seen how they will harness digital to take these systems to the next level. A critical ingredient will be making these services self-paying instead of being funded by tax dollars.

Open 311 capability to allow for collaborative location-based issue-tracking.

Making real-time transit data accessible to city residents and visitors through apps and other mobile systems.

Critical to using social media is ensuring a well-thought out social media policy for employees that will encourage their engagement with local residents within acceptable norms of communication. While this may not preclude gaffes like the one made by a Secret Service employee on Twitter, it should help minimize them.

via What is a Digital City? – PSFK.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 3, 2011 at 19:37

Online Ad Revenues Hit New Record in the US | Mobile Marketing Watch

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According to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Internet advertising revenues in the US topped $7 billion for the first quarter of 2011.

All told, that’s a substantial 23% increase over the same period in 2010.

This marks the highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry and a significant increase over last year’s first-quarter revenue level, which had been the highest on record to date.

The latest report was compiled by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“The consistent and considerable year-over-year growth we’re seeing demonstrates that digital media is an increasingly popular destination for ad dollars, and for good reason,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “As Americans spend more time online for information and entertainment purposes, digital advertising and marketing has emerged as one of the most effective tools businesses have to attract and retain customers.”

“The year-on-year 23 percent increase in first quarter revenues is not just impressive in its own right, but especially so when you take into account the fact that 2010 was a record-breaking year itself for Internet advertising revenue,” said David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “These numbers indicate that the interactive advertising field hasn’t simply bounced back since the recession; it’s growing with dynamic energy.”

via Online Ad Revenues Hit New Record in the US | Mobile Marketing Watch.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 27, 2011 at 15:26

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Why advertising can’t change consumer behavior (at least according to Dick Swaab).

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I don’t usually hang out in casinos, let alone, on Thursday evenings but the twentieth of January I was invited to come listen to a talk about the brain by Dr. Dick Swaab, accordingly one of the most prominent neurobiologists in the world. The call was by the Esprix[i] organization; the exemplary advertising prize in the Netherlands, presided by Peter Paul Blommers, Ogilvy Amsterdam’s vivid CEO. Professor Swaab wrote a cash hitting page-turner called ‘We are our brain, from womb to Alzheimer[ii]&[iii]. The chosen venue was, as I mentioned the Holland Casino[iv] near Leidseplein in Amsterdam. And what a venue it was. But before entering the catacombs of one of man’s most devastating addictions, let me write a bit on Professor Swaab’s explicit believe that advertising cannot change consumer behavior.

The book – selling some two hundred and twenty thousand copies to date – is about how the brain functions from the moment of conception until we die. A number of issues are elaborated: homosexuality, Alzheimer, schizophrenic behavior, Parkinson. According to the neurobiologist and MD all of these issues can be explained by brain research. At moments, Swaab addresses controversial or peccary certain issues e.g. if pregnant women would not smoke, thirty percent babies would not get born prematurely, saving Dutch society an odd twenty six million Euro’s of health care.

Back in nineteen ninety nine Swaab became a news hit by stating that the biological clock of homosexual men is twice as big as the heterosexual men’s clock. This provoked an outrageous protest. And way back in the sentries, Swaab once was death-threatened by feminist radicals when stating that the brains of women are different from those of men.

Now in ‘We are our brain’ Swaab talks about free will and external influence. So the industry wondered whether we could use some bio neurologic hocus-pocus to have our target audiences marionette us to unprecedented profits. But than we would have to clear the ideas about free will of the crowds. You know, whether this is true or not like in do we – or better our target audiences – have a free will? And if so, how do we get our audiences to do exactly what we tell them to do? Ergo, can we change the behavior of consumers?

In his talk to this crème-de-la-crème of the Dutch advertising industry, Swaab stoically refuted any audience-fetched and professionally embraced argument that advertisement in fact changes consumer behavior. Swaab’s title slide stated ‘Influence of heredity/early environmental impacts on the character and the (im-)possible changes in behavior’[v] already indicated his thoughts on the topic; Swaab states that behavior cannot be influenced. At least, from a neurological point of view.

Of course we can learn things. Approximately 20 % of what and how we are is what we learned, mainly in the earliest years of our being. The other 80% is what we have inherited from our ancestors. Chances that these percentages will change in due time are nil, according to Swaab, unless something really dramatic will occur. And Swaab means something really really dramatic; something that will have an impact on some of us people, meaning people who have been programmed differently from the majority. It is something that will keep that small group of different people alive while the majority will extinct due to the fact that they don’t have a bio-neural coping mechanism. Swaab may be right that such an occurrence is not likely to take place in the next centuries. And people have not experienced major differentiation in brains recently. Swaab thinks human beings are ready. We’re done. No more serious remakes for us. No more darwinistic evolutionary steps. And because we’re done, we will live our lives the way we have been programmed to do because that’s how we cope on this planet. And that is exactly why advertising will never be able to change the behavior of people, accepting that people are consumers.

Now, do we believe this vision of one of the world’s most renowned brain doctors alive? Well, I do! So, let’s cut the crap. Swaab says it won’t work so I could bet my bottom dollar he’s right. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to face the facts and rethink advertising. Advertising will not change human behavior. But then what will?

Well, the first question is if we really want to change human behavior. I am inclined to answer a prompt NO. Why change THEM (mark the emphasis)? Why not change US, the advertising experts, the marketers, salesmen? Ever since we have been dreaming up advertising strategies we have been trying to get a formidable return on investment but who was it again who said that half his advertising dollar was spent effectively but didn’t know which half[vi]? Can we really make people buy stuff? Could it be that we deliver consumers what they really want?

Now, to wrap up, back to the casino. Have you ever been there? For me it was a complete wow. But after having read Swaab’s new book, all the empty faces, mechanically filling slot machines. I recon the marketers at Holland Casino have listened very carefully to their audiences and came up with a Swaabian concept: addiction is in the genes. Nothing we can do about it so you better just give in to it. Or not?

Anyway. Ten years ago I was impressed by an article I read in Fastcompany.com about Procter & Gamble with the title ‘Don’t shout, Listen’[vii]. The mere idea that we, the marketers, would listen to what our audiences say, want, demand, whish, was a new concept. Let us not argue whether all is true what these P&G guys told us but it did make a difference at that time. And as far as I’m concerned, it still does. But if new insights like these can actually change the behavior of consumers, I really wouldn’t know.


[iii] Translation by me.

[v] Translation and picture by me. This means that the translation may be okay but the picture is lousy thanks to my iPhone’s silly camera.

[vi] Oh well, there are a lot of variations tot hat question at http://staff.washington.edu/gray/misc/which-half.html.

Written by Kees Winkel

February 1, 2011 at 18:06

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