The next time you shop, take a close look at the mannequins in the store. They may be taking a close look at you, too.
A handful of retailers are employing $5,000 bionic mannequins from Italy’s Almax called EyeSee, that have a camera installed with facial recognition software in its eye socket. The technology allows it to log the gender, age and race of passers-by, according to Bloomberg. Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp., told Bloomberg that the mannequins “could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers.”
Sure, you could do the same with in-store security cameras, but Almax argues the dummies provide an eye-level view and draws more interaction from customers. Using EyeSee showed one unnamed retailer that kids made up more than half of its afternoon traffic. Acting on that data, the company introduced a kids’ clothing line. Another Almax customer introduced a Chinese-speaking staff by the entrance after the EyeSee dummies showed that one-third of its patrons after 4 p.m. were Asian, according to Almax.
However, adoption for the dummies is stil low: Max Catanese, CEO of Almax, told Bloomberg that five companies are using “a few dozen” of the mannequins though they have more on order. However, at least one U.S. retailer, Nordstrom, told the news service that using facial recognition software in stores crosses privacy boundaries with customers.
PumaPulseCurated By ZenithOptimedia, The ROI AgencyFind out more at http://puma-pulse.blogspot.com These videos are a great little snapshot of whats going on in Social Media
Well, here we go again! The super world famous Socialnomics “Social Media Revolution” video #4 is here and has been updated with all the latest 2012 stats. Created by the social guru, Erik Qualman from Socialnomics, the video is an animated infographic telling the story of how social is taking over the world through an array current statistics…
Trains are dangerous things. And if you’re not careful around them, you could end up dying in the dumbest way possible.
That’s the message behind a new ad campaign for Melbourne, Australia’s Metro Trains. They’ve tapped a local artist to record a catchy little tune and set it too the cutest little death animations you’ll ever see. The result is “Dumb Way to Die.” Check out the video and be prepared, it will get stuck in your head.
Perhaps the most ridiculous yet fantastic and halarious piece of 8-bit advergame madness I’ve seen this year, is this piece from Old Spice called ‘Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World’ game which starts on YouTube and is played out on a microsite here. Weirdly, the entire thing is tied into a live streaming countdown of a machine carving out an ancient Mayan ring!
Here is it. The highly anticipated new Nike+ game for Xbox that is powered by the Kinect, allowing you to train at home as part of the game, earn fuel points and track your performance as part of the Nike+ platform with the Kinect measuring your every move.
The game provides an initial test to judge your fitness levels and then builds a custom program designed by their pro-coaches to get you fit.
There have been some pretty cool window shopping examples over the last year, but this easily takes the cake, with a completely interactive in-window experience that lets customers flick through clothing racks, individual garments and play with a model (getting them to try on every item) to see exactly how the clothes look, no matter the position/stance of the model…
Perhaps the best feature, is being able to connect your phone to the installation and drag everything play with into a shopping bag that transfers the items to your phone with no app required!
Nestlé have created an utterly brilliant competition entitled ’We Will Find You’. They’ve placed GPS chips in KitKat 4 Finger, KitKat Chunky, Aero Peppermint Medium and Yorkie Milk chocolate bars that once activated will reveal the winners location.
To add to the razzmatazz once the chip is activated a team will board a helicopter and track the winner down within 24 hours. Once located the team will hand over a briefcase containing £10,000 in cash!!!
Zenith Comment: This is just start of Fcommerce. I think once they introduce the Want button they'll have a lot of brands wanting to link into the "FB shop" to allow users to buy products direct through FB for themselves or their friends and family.
Facebook’s $80 million+ post-IPO acquisition of Karma was enough to raise questions as to what would happen next, considering that Facebook made it clear that this was not merely a talent acquisition. Now, the future of Facebook may change.
Long-term users will remember that Facebook has tried to launch gifts in the past, but only with essentially worthless, digital goods. Today’s move is an entirely different animal, however, as the company is stepping foot into new territory by way of its Karma acquisition, with hundreds of physical goods already for sale. Facebook is now taking advantage of the growing popularity of social commerce trends (which it essentially caused), with a centralized gifting platform that lets the social giant gather countless addresses, credit card details and relationship data, all while further roping in 3rd party brands and skimming a little off the top.
As Facebook explains, its gifts are intended as a new way for “millions of people” to celebrate moments together. Users can now send gifts from birthday reminders, or from their friend’s timeline. Gifts can be public or private. Facebook even makes the process relatively frictionless, allowing you to pay right away or alterately add your card details later. Then, whomever receives the gift simply unwraps it digitally, enters in their address and finds it on their doorstep days later. Aunts, uncles and grandparents are about to have a field day, and kids will finally understand why it’s not such a bad idea to have their relatives on the social network.
Facebook will likely target which gifts it recommends as time goes on. For example, pricer, high-end products could be targeted towards users with (what look to be) higher paying jobs, while current college students could be targeted for more novel gifts like Dave Matthews Band tickets or beer posters. Of course, this could all feed into Facebook’s advertising network too, where as long as the gifting inventory eventually expands, users will be able to purchase whatever’s advertised withoutever leaving Facebook. That’s where the obvious Facebook VS Amazon comparison comes into play.
If this gifting practice becomes a standard activity for users, you can bet that Facebook’s entire monetization strategy will adapt — as we’ve said, there’s a $100 billion market in the US for pre-paid gift cards alone. The best part, however, is that this doesn’t even need to become common for the company to do extremely well. If every Facebook user receives just one gift for their birthday over the next year, Facebook will have sold 955 million gifts. Selling just a miniscule portion of that number could even be considered a success.
Now, we’re left wondering what will happen to the likes of Wrapp, Wantful, DropGifts and Give.it. It’s clear that Facebook is on track to taking up Apple’s old habits; letting creators innovate onto its platform, only to replicate those same features natively. Considering how deep Facebook Gifts will be integrated, this is pretty much a black spot for everyone else in the social gifting space.
How aggressively Facebook plans to pursue today’s launch has yet to be shown, but there’s no doubt that the potential is absolutely massive. Users, hide your credit cards. Investors, get those mouths watering. This is a big deal.
PumaPulseCurated By ZenithOptimedia, The ROI AgencyFind out more at http://puma-pulse.blogspot.com Very cool piece of ambient work. ‘Live’ frozen moment from Nike’s ‘Jordan’ range of products for the new CP3.IV shoe, telling the story of how the new CP3 literally cuts through LA. Create by the guys at Wieden + Kennedy, the ambient ‘frozen’ art installation is ‘real’, in that it uses an entire chain of Chris Paul body doubles along Venice Beach.
PumaPulseCurated By ZenithOptimedia, The ROI AgencyFind out more at http://puma-pulse.blogspot.com It was pretty surprising to hear the iPhone 5 doesn’t offer NFC or a payment solution to compete with Google Wallet. But after some consideration, I think it might be a very smart play by Apple, which does have a history of doing smart things.
Today I want to work through why Passbook, as a voucher/coupon platform, is the right play for Apple right now, and why brands should be looking to leverage it and others in this space.
Why? Because we need brands to invest in this technology to make it available, and to justify investment, brands need to be able to increase revenue. Coupons/vouchers can drive in-store (online and offline) transactions quickly and measurably. Because price is one of the last influencers in completing a purchase, discounts, savings, special offers, and limited-time only deals help us finalize our decision and act. Price is much more influential in our decision than which payment service we use, whether it be credit card, PayPal, Google, or cash.
And of course, there are lots of important steps a brand must take in the lead up to a purchase decision, but this is one very valuable step in influencing customer behavior.
First let’s look at the path to purchase.
There are many ways of categorizing a consumer’s journey but they all tell the same story. For today, I’ll use awareness, consideration, shortlisting, intention, purchase, and post. Customers broadly move through this process in some order using a range of channels to get to the end purchase.
Disclaimer: Steps in the purchase process vary dramatically by category. If you’re buying a car they are all fundamental, if you’re buying milk, the process is very different.
(Here’s a different path to purchase model created by Nielsen)
Awareness: The goal is to be on our customers’ consideration list. There is a plethora of ways a brand can do this, and Apple already owns the mobile, which is a great way for brands to drive awareness.
Consideration: The goal is to be on our customers’ long list, as per above. Apple is already helping brands influence this step.
Shortlisting: Our goal here is to be one of a couple of brands someone is looking to purchase. They’re using sources like Google search, reviews, ratings, friends’ recommendations, and maybe price, to help them shortlist. Again, Apple is dominant in this space, allowing users to browse the web, talk to friends, and use apps to narrow down their search to a final two or three.
Intention: At this point, our goal is to be the brand/product our customer wants to buy. While there are lots of influences at this point, price is a big one. There are few great ways for brands to offer deals; Facebook is trying, Google provides coupons in search, daily deals kind of help. In short, this is an average experience; one that Apple has a good chance of capturing because it’s a dominant mobile player. If it does it well, it’ll help brands drive intention and very likely purchase.
Purchase: At this point, it’s very functional, and not necessarily rational. A customer simply wants to pay with ease, and at a low cost, so they can get on with using their product. There are so many ways to make the purchase – cash, credit card, digital wallets, Square, store card, PayPal. Also it’s a space that’s very heavily invested in and the banks won’t be giving up control easily. So in short it’s a high risk space for Apple, and low value for brands.
Now let’s look at discounts, coupons, and vouchers - every country has a different label for it.
Everyone’s trying but nobody’s nailed deals yet. Here are a few:
Google has been rolling out deals for search, but hasn’t changed the world.
While it doesn’t prove success, lots of big brands are jumping into Passbook (for different reasons).Virgin in Australia, Starbucks, American Airlines, United, MLB, Live Nation, Walgreens, and Fandango in the U.S. are just a few getting on board.
From what I see, Target is setting the benchmark. It’s stayed on brand and integrated it into the customer experience properly, so watch this space.
GAP in Japan has launched a “Passbook only” offer to redeem merchandise only promoted via social media (Twitter, mixi, and tumblr) and the initial results are very positive.
We’ve already seen examples of terrible user experience, but check out this very average example from a cinema chain in the U.S. reported by TechCrunch.
How do brands utilize Passbook as a voucher/coupon tool – the basic version?
More importantly, brands need to ensure the experience is seamless. It needs to integrate with your systems, ensure staff can easily and confidently work with the vouchers and customers, and it must deliver real value to the customer. My suggestion: trial it first.
Once you’re ready to launch, it’s about promoting it clearly from iOS apps, websites, CRM programs, social media, print, TV, or any other channel you see fit.
Remember to make it simple and easy to understand; this is a new space for consumers too.
In short, it’s a pretty smart play by Apple and brands should investigate because:
It’s a tool to drive purchases
No other platform has nailed discounts/coupons/deals
Initial results are positive, but be wary
Success is 100 percent dependent on good user experience
If you’re a bit of a fashionista, you might like this piece from Topshop, who have created a live-streaming customisable catwalk experience for the Topshop Unique SS13 fashion show. It takes a live-stream of the show, and syncs it to the website that delivers a real-time customisable catwalk experience where users can instantly buy the look that is walking down the runway, flick through the various colour options for that same outfit, see the makeup of each of the models are wearing, share live photos of each model/outfit as they walk down the runway and even download the music playlist.
Advertising for White Collars quiz: How do you get the attention of someone who works 80 hours per week and spends most of his/her time in front of a computer or in a meeting? Answer: you need to get the message right in front of their eyes, reaching them in their very own offices. You can try a banner or a viral video, but that doesn’t seem to work that well lately. If you’re short of idea, you might be inspired by Ultimat Vodka who tried the “window washer” option.
The campaign message “Stop Working. Start Drinking.” isn’t exactly educational nor politically correct but, what the heck, this idea is brilliant!
Zaraguza are claiming to have created the world’s first real time Facebook cover image, which updates at what looks like every minute or so, by posting a new image into a Facebook album which is sucked into the Cover image automatically, and is refreshed when new people hit the page or click the refresh button. Kinda cool, I suspect this will start trending.
PumaPulseCurated By ZenithOptimedia, The ROI AgencyFind out more at http://puma-pulse.blogspot.com NFC or Near Field Communication is the big buzz word at the moment and everybody is talking about it. The truth is that the technology is nothing new and it has been around for a long time. Nokia had an NFC enabled phone in 2007, it was called the Nokia 6131.
Google has made the term mainstream with their announcement of Google Wallet and most people think of NFC as a way to pay with their mobile device. But that is not all.
So what else can you do with NFC apart from using it for payments? There are already plenty of examples out there. Below you can find 6 examples on how NFC can be used right now. 1. Use your NFC enabled phone as the key to your hotel room For the recent Olympics in London a Holiday Inn Hotel gave their VIP customers a Samsung Galaxy S3 as part of their 40 VIP rooms. The guests were able to check in and out of the hotel, as well as change the AC, control the TV, and unlock their rooms with the phone. Using NFC in your phone as a key to open doors has been used in the Enterprise world as well. The phones were used to enable physical access systems in buildings and track employee time-clock check-ins and attendance, access staff parking areas or cafeterias and pay for services. NFC tags could be placed inside meeting or conference rooms, and attendees could tap their compatible devices to silence them or to turn on Wi-Fi, for example. 2. Use it as your travel pass NFC in your phone could replace the paper train or bus passes that we carry around with us. The principal would be very similar to the Oyster card in London, but it would be on your phone. You can easily recharge it when it runs low and you always have it with you. The City of Nice has already started to roll out NFC based bus and train tickets as well as the possibility to get information on routes and time tables, simple by tapping an NFC tag 3. Use it as a way finder GPS is great, but it has one major drawback and that is that is doesn’t work indoors. NFC tags placed all around a shopping mall could simply be tapped and would open a map that accurately pinpoints where you are at the moment because it knows where the tag was tapped. The city of Sydney has placed NFC tags all around the Rocks to help guide tourists around one of its most popular landmark. 4. Use it to enhance your shopping experience NFC tags placed next to items in a shopping environment can give the customer more information, nutritional or general, it could let them like a product or add it to their virtual basket. It could give them specials or coupons for direct redemption in store etc. NFC mobile application could remember your previous purchases allowing you to make a purchase in the convenience of your home. There have been successful pilot programs being conducted in several countries such as France, Spain, UK, Australia and Korea. Major retailers have adopted NFC to improve sales conversion, up-selling, loyalty programs, couponing etc. 5. Easy device to device sharing Remember setting up a Bluetooth connection between phones or trying to send a large video file via email? NFC makes that a thing of the past and sharing files between NFC enabled devices is like a walk in the park now. Check out Android Beam in action below.
Manufacturers like Samsung went ahead and optimized the technology even further and their S Beam is one of the main features of the new Samsung Galaxy SIII. 6. NFC and marketing When you ask why QR codes never really took off, the answer could be that you still had to have a separate app on your phone to read one of those. If the phones native camera would have been able to decode them I believe they would have been very popular. NFC in NFC enabled phones is native and comes out of the box and all you have to do is tap the tag and the information gets transferred. Users with NFC phones can quickly wave their devices over NFC-enabled flyers, advertisements, billboards or movie posters to instantly collect additional information on products or service, collect awards, get brochures or movie trailers. NFC is evolving on a daily basis and we can see prototypes and pilot programs everywhere: The University of San Francisco is currently using an NFC-based system called One Card