Adidas Mi

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Being able to own a pair of decent Adidas sneakers might not mean anything significant for you and me, but the idea of customising your own pair of sneakers with your very own Instagram picture is something worth thinking about. As much as other sneaker brands have done the concept before, this time round Adidas is actually bringing the excitement a notch higher by letting users print their actual photos onto a pair of ZX Flux shoes from their original line. Rather than the use of just color palettes or materials to simulate the look, they now literally print photos on it. Check out the cool video from Adidas. This is another amazing idea from the sports giant, one that is highly engaging and effective. They are planning to implement this idea in August through the upcoming Mi Adidas app which is available for download on iOS and Android.

The power of people.

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“You are more powerful than you think.”

For any brand, those were the exact words they would say to any of their customers perplexed by the huge array of brands out there in the digital jungle. The fact that people must understand that they possess the power to determine their own brand experience is one less practiced these days. With so many options and misleading advantages, one would might easily fell for the snake oil advice. However, strong branding resonating with consumers can easily deterred itself away from less mainstream ploys. Apple in this case, has done a fantastic job. This new ad for the iPhone 5S features people. Yes, people. Again, the brand is so human centric that whatever it features, almost relates itself back to how it adds value to people, enriching their lives. Such is the get-go of the brand, earning it’s well deserved popularity and followers. Another magnificent commercial from Apple. Check it out.

Nearby friends

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An article from Mashable, reported Facebook releasing their apps with newer functions. This time round, they added a nearby friends function which is similar to WeChat’s. What could have taken Facebook this long to implement this function? In Asia, Facebook penetration is massive and a function like this might serve its purpose but yet attract adverse effects. I have heard of couples banning one another from Facebook. I guess you probably could visualize what the reasons might possibly be. Nonetheless, I think this is still an innovative addition to the repertoire of tools on Facebook, plus it also aids in further enhancing consumer experience. Now, I shall not go into details how the new function would work, but you can read more of the article here to understand the ‘Nearby Friends’ experience.

Game of Thrones

Brilliant. What a marvelous way of showing war between social media giants. We see the territories of Westeros and Essos being cleverly animated in the likes of Facebook, Google as well as Twitter. Check out the Game of Thrones opening featuring the noble houses being decorated by famous social media tech logos. Great work there by HootSuite, one of the good social media management tool. Entertaining. Oh, and in case you need it, that is, the original spun:

 

KFC China

KFC

 

This is definitely one of the most insightful article with regards to China, a fast and growing market.AdAge reports the recent campaign by KFC in China on how they are adopting the cliche but sure-win approach of celebrity endorsements. This campaign by Ogilvy, takes celebrity endorsements onto another level. What interests me is how receptive the market in China is from their reaction to many stale marketing tactics. Using a group of five influential celebrities, the campaign aims to go for the kill through not only a collective celebrity power, but also tapping on the celebrities’ social fan base. Taking into consideration that one of the actors has a staggering 72 million followers on Weibo, it is potentially a lethal marketing cannon.

As much I believe, China is quickly becoming a very digitally savvy nation. Ogilvy Shanghai, fully aware of this rising trend, leverages on it with their digital campaign for KFC. They immediately focus on using these celebrities to advertise on engaging social media activities. One for instance, aims to motivate fans to compete against one another over the amount of “likes” for their favorite celebrities. Another very fruitful insight from AdAge talks about the fact that KFC has been one of the biggest and most successful food chain with the longest history in China, since its penetration 27 years ago. A whopping 2,600 outlets in China alone is seriously no joke. A bigger market equity than McDonalds by itself is an amazing feat.

However, as the the brand suffers a decline in operations, branding and sales due to the avian flu outbreak and health inspections, it was devoid of a good strategy to fight back. Now with more marketing campaigns and excellent strategic brand initiatives, the brand is taking back its helm.

What I believe to be extremely essential is an extract from Adage‘s article:

“Celebrities are often used as a quick and easy way to sell products in China,” acknowledged Graham Fink, Ogilvy & Mather‘s chief creative officer for greater China. He pointed out that the same celebrities are often tapped by many brands.

“I think that more and more people are beginning to see through this ‘cheap’ tactic, and the brand will ultimately suffer as a result,” he said. But if the celeb seems “genuinely involved in the message they become more believable, and this is what we are trying to do with KFC.”

Another one:

A top national executive for KFC’s parent company, Yum!, noted that China is the world’s biggest digital society (with 618 million people online) and that Chinese consumers are “moving at the speed of a bullet train.”
The brand is seeking to revamp its menu and offerings every 12 months and I believe this would constantly refresh their image and presence in the eyes of the consumer. When done effectively, shall be a very deciding factor when it comes to triumphing strict competition between competitors on an industry level.
More:
Milind Pant, president and chief operating officer for Yum! China, wrote in an email that “urban Chinese are becoming the most digital savvy group in the world, offering opportunities for brands to innovate and communicate.”

The menu revamp is part of what KFC has labeled its “restage,” which includes new product packaging, uniforms, store designs, a mobile app, an e-menu and a prepay takeout offering.

And of course, not forgetting that bigger companies comes with a heavier inertia and requires longer time to maneuver effectively.

“I think it’s very difficult to steer such a big chain in a new direction,” he said. “And it took this situation with the antibiotics to really force them into making some fairly dramatic changes … A complete revamp of the brand is a good idea.”

It’s pizza time!

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The proliferation of hilarious pictures with pepperoni pizza was seen around the internet lately. Jonpaul Douglass, a photographer from Los Angeles got motivated to start a rather peculiar series of photography after seeing a funny pizza graffiti tag at the place where he stayed. He then began taking pictures with actual pepperoni pizzas and have them placed at random locations, objects and surroundings. Coined the humorous “Pizza In The Wild” project, the photographer took pains to hunt for the most suitable looking pizzas around, which he managed to source for at Little Caesars pizzeria at US$5 for a large pizza. Check out more from this interesting photographer by following Douglass on Instagram or check out the hashtag “#pizzainthewild”.

There is a group everywhere

Something you and I would least expect – Facebook with killer ads. Apparently, Facebook had been producing notable marketing materials lately. This recent ad by Facebook features people assembling in movie characters, taking photos while they mingle around camera. See, the fact that marketing sometimes cannot be a linear effort sees it diverse its application using unique approaches. In this context, we still see very real, very down to earth creative direction accompanied by a rather straightforward message: “We are not alone.” I believe the message they are trying to commute hasn’t dilute at all. Instead, it emphasizes that every minute, every second, there are someone out there who is the exact fit for you or your community. And that is happening all on Facebook.

Social Media Guard

Don’t you just love it when you get interrupted from your socially interruptive behavior? All is summarized in this video alone. Check out Ogilvy’s social media guard for Coca-Cola. Amazingly outlandish and unconventional solution to get us back to our humane senses. I wonder if this really is a solution or a funny ad purely for the sake of an award?

You should try mine.

There was a time when agencies would work closely with clients and through bilateral working relationships, developed an implicit chemistry for marketing products and services. When social marketing begin ploughing through the way we advertise brands, it changes the mechanics of how we see ourselves believing in brands again. Despite word of mouth marketing being a widely used method of convincing consumers, not many has taken a deep thought as to why it is possess such viral effectivity. The reason has always been ‘trust’. With trust, people loosen their guard and they tend to allow brands to actually ‘interrupt’ and begin the cognitive selling process. Toyota came out with the ‘Try my Hybrid’ campaign in Norway, leveraging on social media via the mobile environment. Showing real Toyota Hybrid owners, they allowed others to take their Toyota Hybrid for a ride with no strings attached. This generated massive traction and instantly became a hit. I guess nothing beats a real test drive from a sincere ‘salesman’. In this case, a real Toyota Hybrid driver. Realvertising.

 

‘Paper’

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Before there were social media, people scuffle to pen down messages, attempting to capture moments of details on paper and then evolved towards sending text messages and photo images through smartphones. Despite taking social media for granted now, these experiences still impinged upon us as if it happened yesterday. So, when you combine that nostalgia with current social media technology, the formula is suffice to deliver an app so simple, so original yet functional. The new mobile app by Facebook allows us to browse content on Facebook with breeze, filtering the alphabet soup of buttons and controls. Known as Paper, this app will be available for download starting February 3, 2014. Interestingly, this Facebook reader app has such a fluid yet simple layout that lets you share and browse content effortlessly. We could see how the app functions from the video below. The video is almost so placid, so direct, almost like an integration to our daily lives. A strong user interface backed by really solid user experience design, Paper might just set the benchmark for a new category of user oriented app design.