Google goes transmedia with new ARG:: #Ingress

Google have just launched there first ARG (Alternate Reality game) called Ingress to be played on Android Smartphones. You have to request an invite to play. It’s a global mind control battle that pits you against others around the world, all via your smartphone. It’s about mind hacking, something called Niantic. Looks super cool and another example of how Google are leading the way when it comes to creating immersive brand experiences that involve consumers across all screens. An amazing participation branding example showcasing the strengths of the Android platform and I can’t wait to get involved

Adidas NEO collab with Justin Bieber:: #FindmyGoldShoes contest

Proud of this little participation program our team put together for Adidas’ new teen fashion label NEO and their collaboration with Justin Bieber. If you’re a Belieber, then you’re gonna go nuts over the ‘Find my Gold SHoes’ contest here that’s live on Facebook. Big ups to Adi team at Iris Worldwide.

adidas supersounds: music meets rugby

Just in time for todays 2012 Super Rugby kicks off, we’ve just launched our latest campaign for Adidas’ sponsorship of the five Kiwi franchises.

In 2012, Super Rugby in New Zealand is ALL SUPERCHARGED.

We’re launching a nice little idea called SUPERSOUNDS to kick things off (pardon the pun 🙂

It’s based on the insight that music plays a big role in getting the players supercharged for their games.

Ever wondered what some of rugby’s best players listen to on their playlist to get themselves supercharged before a game?

Well, we found out. Over  5 weeks, we’re bringing Israel Dagg (Crusaders), Ali Williams (Blues), Jimmy Cowan (Highlanders), Victor Vito (Hurricanes), Richard Kahui (Chiefs) pregame playlists to life.

If you’re in NZ you can download the tracks for free, otherwise you can just stream them live.

Check out the site here

YouTube: Get more into music

I’ve had the pleasure of working with the guys at YouTubeAustralia (thanks Ernesto, Lucinda) these past few months on a project to showcase the depth and breadth of music available on the YouTube platform. Whatever your music passion, you can ‘get more into’ it on YouTube and we decided to showcase this music content  through the lens of some great artists.

We worked with a handful of Aussie and international artists as they created customised playlists of music on YouTube that’s inspired them – kind of their favourite musical moments on YouTube. Check out the YouTube channel here.

The first ‘Get more into music’ playlist was created by mashup artist Pogo. ‘Get more into mashups’ is an interesting playlist of  other YouTube mashups that have inspired his music. Some weird stuff in here especially the music jeans. Watch the full playlist here

‘Get more into vocals’ with Florence + the Machine

Watch the full playlist here

Get more into Aussie breakthroughs, a playlist created by Papa vs Pretty. Full playlist here

Get more into the Finn Brothers via the lens of Aussie band Oh Mercy. Full playlist here

Get more into Hidden Gems with Blue Juice. Full playlist here

Get more into animated clips with Josh Pyke Full playlist here

More ‘Get more into music’ playlists are in the works

Ten learnings on how #coolyouthbrands behave

I am well aware that writing a post about ‘cool’ is fraught with danger as it is such a subjective topic and is the topic of annual contemplation amongst cool hunters, psychologists and people way cooler than myself (that’s not that hard by the way :). Firstly, I’m no cool hunter, just an interested observer of youth culture and how brands are trying to stay relevant and meaningful in todays social world.

Having said that, I thought I’d put together some observations of brand behaviours I consider ‘cool’ in the youth marketing space. Here are 10 behaviours  in no particular order that brands I think are cool are displaying.  I’m sure there are others I’ve missed 🙂

 

  1. BELIEVE in something bigger than yourself, an ideal young people can belong to

Love her or loathe her, pop princess Lady Gaga is cool. She stands for something bigger than herself and has complete conviction in her beliefs, which young people gravitate towards. Her activism comes through in her lyrics/music videos giving her ‘little monsters’ something to belong to.

  1. Leverage MYTHOLOGY and MYSTIQUE in your brand narrative

One of my favourite Aussie brands is custom motorcycle brand Deus Ex Machina. They do a brilliant job of building an interesting, discoverable story around the brands origins. To me, they feel mysterious and never ever over market themselves. For youth brands, less is more in terms of the storytelling.

  1. Be ORIGINAL,  creating tales and crafted cult

It’s obvious, but originality is and always will be a key pillar of cool. A recent campaign by K Swiss really caught my attention. It’s polarising, but that’s what makes it cool.  To launch their Tubes shoe, they totally took the piss out of the corporate side of sport endorsement. They used Kenny Powers and crafted a highly engaging tale that’s generated a cult following in the US. Check it out here

  1. CREATE and REMIX CULTURE

Indie hipster brand, Converse do a great job of creating culture through their co-opting of hip hop music culture.  An oldie, but a goodie.

  1. Enable STIMULATION junkies to capture and share their lives

Make no mistake, Gen Y and Millenials are stimulation junkies. Boys and girls alike. They are hardwired for risk taking behaviour. So brands like Go Pro, have tapped into this behaviour and been the enabler for self expression. In the world of action sports, Go Pro cameras on your helmet are the must have item. They are becoming mainstream but still remain super cool. They are the perfect compliment to the Red Bull culture.

  1. Give youth genuine OWNERSHIP, appealing to the core and potential fans

 I think it’s such bullshit when people say cool brands have to be scarce. Brands like Modern Warfare 3 are perfect examples of a game which is appealing to both hardcore gamer and novice gamer like myself. Check out their recent epic spot here

  1. EMPOWER youth to do more, be more

 Youth movement,  One Young World is an annual summit where the leaders of tomorrow start leading, bring the best and brightest minds together to talk about stuff that really matters.

  1. Play a genuine role in making a SUBCULTURE better

 Many big brands try and co-opt a culture and piggy back on a trend. This is a major no no. Footlocker with their Sneakerpedia social wiki is genuinely making sneaker culture better by helping peeps keep on top of their sneaker game. Check it out here.

  1. AUTHENTICITY in being real and doing stuff, not preaching

It’s also noting, that I don’t believe ‘cool’ is reserved just for the fringe brands for the super early adopters. Thanks to social media ,cool is now diffused to mainstream so much quicker than say five years ago, so the incubation period for ‘cool’ is alot shorter. I also believe that it has and always will be typically the younger creative class that start cultural cool which brands then often co-opt.

  1. Help young people be more GENEROUS to their friends

In the social economy brands that help me do something of value for a friend are the brands are perceived as cool.

 

Would welcome thoughts on other brand behaviours people think cool brands are displaying.

Mini + Vice – All the Wrong Places does Tokyo

Mini has struck up a great collaboration with youth lifestyle publisher/digital brand VICE.  A great example of a brand that ‘gets’ the need to create cool cultural content for youth.

They’ve created an a web content series called ALL THE WRONG PLACES comprised of 5 mini doco’s showing adventures in culturally cool places around the world. The narratives dip into diverse subcultures, the first being in Tokyo, looking at the Dekotora Trucks subculture. The stories are mission based requiring the help of a Mini and  Co-pilots are being  selected via the Facebook page. Wiht 2.5m FB fans, engagement levels should be high.

I like this idea, I think it definitely taps into Mini’s target audience of ‘ independent free spirited travellers with an appetite for creativity and cultural’.

Episode 1 is pretty cool, great production values although I was kinda hoping for a little more. Will be interesting to see the social media engagement on the Facebook page unfold. Reminds me a bit of the Telstra Sushi Plane idea we created in 2010 whereby we sent 14 Aussie teens/20 somethings to Tokyo on cultural and digital adventure, using Tokyo as a live test environment for the new HTC smartphones.