Fly with that app!

Are you a frequent traveler? If you are one who travels often, then having a mobile app that enables you to evade the turmoils of last minute plane delays, wrong check-in points or hours of boring inflight entertainment would absolutely make your entire flight experience extremely enjoyable. Flying, a mobile app designed to make flight experience more fun and aims to provide entertaining yet useful information pertaining to all your travels.

The app aims to provide users with interesting features like the tracking of your flight schedule, delays, cancellations as well as gate changes. What is most interesting is how it incorporates social media into the entire user experience. It is now possible to share your flight experience, details and status with your friends. That includes the friends who are waiting for you upon your arrival or those sending you off. With cool graphical interfaces and interactive visual elements, the app boosts a very rich design aesthetic.

“Air travel has become cold and impersonal, and we think it’s really important to bring in something that is not only useful but which also helps better the experience,” co-founder tells Co.Design.

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On top of all the mentioned features, Flying also has it’s own set of unique “stamps” which aims to simulate real stamps that gets chomped on your passport as you travel. A great way to bring the real life experience online. Apart from all the available features, there is however a lack of interpersonal connectivity with strangers. Assuming you could get to know someone on the same flight as you? Could that possibly spark some kind of romance? Wouldn’t it be great to know who is sitting beside you before you board the plane? And possibly start some form of conversation with the person even before flight day? It would be so much more fun and exciting!

Designed by Apple in California

“Designed by Apple in California”. Big deal? That was the question I had for myself towards the end of the commercial when this liner slaps across the screen. There wasn’t any new tech nor content in the commercial. Not even the slightest amusement can I derive from this commercial. It is simply dull.

Apple’s commercial, “Designed by Apple in California” seem to have garner more attention than it expected. But not in a really pleasant manner. The commercial received a low score of 489 out of 900 based on the Ace Metric scale. Apple commercials never used to be boring nor sterile in any fashion. I still remember the Apple vs Microsoft commercials featuring the Mac talking to Windows with lots of quips, barbs, sight gags, and one-liners. The recent commercial has been a flop by many and haven’t been getting a lot of healthy publicity.

In fact one of the reasons attributing to the commercial’s bad reviews was the lack of information as well as the tonality depicted. While Apple remains a tech giant in it’s league, it has given viewers great disappointment by delivering a commercial that focus solely on it’s branding. Recently, Apple has been going under a lot of fire by the general public as well as their fans for the lack of unveiling great technology. People are starting to see a drop in the company’s standards in terms of their products and business operations.

As a solution to the lost of market share, it is natural to adopt an approach to regain consumer confidence by taking up the branding option in your marketing communications. This could be a desperate attempt to revive the spirits of their dying fans. I have to say, too much of these is not going to work. I theme these commercials as ‘fillers’. They aren’t exactly the kind of commercials you want to show to your viewers at this point of time. Your fans want ‘gamechangers’, new tech that would awe them. An arsenal of new equipment to let them stay amazed and keep their faith in the brand. Definitely not some rapport building brand commercials during such dire times.

Strides made by Apple towards their goal of regaining confidence has been futile. I hope to see more amazing work from Apple that would rekindle my love for the brand. Do you like the new Samsung commercials? What do you think of them compared to Apple’s new commercials?

Stop violence

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Creativity can be exercised everywhere on any medium. As a creative, never despair every time you are handed a brief for jobs that are either too small or regarded as “bread & butter” (daily bill paying jobs). You can always turn a mundane brief into one that is creative and effective. A clever use of a medium is how it is strategically placed to convey the message and not solely by interacting or communicating with the audience alone.

Advertising agency, Whybin TBWA NZ has illustrated this example with a job for SHINE (Safer Homes in NZ Everyday) NZ. They recently created this thermochromic ink beer coaster which detects the cold beer that is place on top and reacts to it by changing the image on the coaster of a human into one that is badly bruised. This acts as a reminder as well as a form of encouragement for victims to step up and voice out against domestic violence. While, it might be just a simple coaster design, the idea and thinking behind this execution is very well thought of. I think having your message appear at the right place, at the right time together with clear effective visuals is the winning formula for creating good quality work.

Talking window?

Another cool new innovative media for the world has launched yet again. We are seeing more great work from BBDO Dusseldorf. This time, we have a talking window! Tapping on to the technology of a special transmitter that releases high-frequency oscillations which will be converted into sound inside your brain! Meaning to say, people around you won’t be able to hear it except for you. You do not need any acoustic signals or device on your ears, all you need is to lean your head against the glass and the sound will travel into your brain. The technology is also known as bone conduction. Very cool! Brilliant way of passing information in a distinct and interesting manner!

 

 

Your passport please

Are you proud of being a Canadian? Well, you should be! After seeing this interesting work by advertising agency, Rethink, Canada, it sure does feel good to be a Canadian! What they did was to build a beer fridge filled with Molson Canadian and have it move across Europe. It garner a lot of attention from passer bys and many seek ways to open this fridge. It stood still and tight. Your only key to release your treasure is none other than a Canadian passport. It is not frequent that an opportunity like this come by where you are handed a really interesting product to be marketed using such guerilla tactics. However, whenever possible, as creatives we should aim to always add that surprise element into the work we produce. Guerilla advertising is a really good way to create hype, engagement and social attention with limited marketing budgets. Well, everyone had fun isn’t it?

Thailand’s next big appetite

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Earlier this year, I read an article from bangkokpost.com which features a write up for the sales of smartphones in Thailand. Refer to the article here. It is speculated that smartphones shall potentially make up almost half of all the phone sales in Thailand this year 2013. Sunthat Laicharoen, senior analyst for telecom at GfK Retail and Technology mention that there is an increase in smartphone sales and I was very convince that Thailand would move on ahead as much as it’s neighborhood counties in Asia. Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia has already proven their acceptance to social media by embracing smartphones over feature phones. Based on researches, we already knew there is a huge market in Indonesia for Blackberry previously and was later contended by HTC and Samsung.

The increase in sales for smartphones in Asia generally give rise to more potential opportunities to tap on mobile technology. A recent article on e27 by GfK again revealed statistics on Thailand’s smartphone sales proving the Southeast Asian country with a huge population of 69million people getting themselves all geared up for mobile technology. Their report shows that in the first quarter of 2013, there were 2.87million smartphones being sold. This staggering figure is a good sign for companies looking to expand their operations to Thailand with intentions to leverage on smartphone technology.

There are a lot of very creative works coming out of Thailand every now and then. With the increase in acceptance to smartphones and its mobile usage, we can expect to see newer innovative campaigns coming from Thailand. Smartphones has helped innovate retail shopping, social media as well as creative marketing campaigns. I can’t wait to see excellent work coming out from creative agencies for their clients in Thailand.

 

Technology on food

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Merging technology with the food you eat, could sound rather intimidating you might say. But I assured you it is not. Interestingly, QR codes and it’s applications have been on the rise. This is also a sign that the technology is getting prevalent and as more and more consumers are starting to be tech savvy, they sought to their mobile for advice, tips and solutions. Taking this as an opportunity, Harney Sushi’s chief, Robert Ruiz decides to name each of the sushi with edible QR-codes. The codes store information about the respective sushi. It would provide information with regards to the origins of the fish as well as the other ingredients. Thus, letting the customers be more informed of what they are eating. He describes the process as printing the the sushi with water-based ink on rice wafers with the same inking that is used for birthday cakes. It is evident that we have once again witness another innovative approach on technology and seeing it change our daily routines. Of course, we ask the question again; “Is this approach relevant?” Let me know what you think of this new way to consume sushi.