Flying Cars Predicted In Two Years: What Then?

The age of the Jetsons is almost here.  Terrafugia, a Massachusetts-based company, has made a car-plane hybrid called the Transition, which is set to launch in 2016 and retail at $279,000.

This futuristic vehicle is a street-legal car with wings that fold out to make an FAA-approved airplane.  It fits into your average single-car garage and drives with controls familiar to anyone with a driver’s license.  However, you won’t see people taking flight in the middle of the highway.  Takeoff can only happen at a public airport, and to do so you need a pilot’s license.  But because it’s classified as a “light sport aircraft” the requirements for a license aren’t that hefty—for example, you only have to be 16 years old and log a mere 15 hours of flight time with a qualified instructor.  

 While incredible, this miracle of technology also poses some inherent risks.  Crashes by amateur pilots happen all the time, and the Transition is targeted specifically at part-time fliers.  However, Terrafugia CEO says the plane’s ease of use and safety feature will protect against pilot error.  Worst case scenario, the Transition also comes with a rocket-deployed parachute that can be released when you pull a handle and float you—and your vehicle—to safety. 


#futuristic #cooltech

Your Jawbone is connected to your…

First off, this isn’t a rant on wearables, more a explanation on why I don’t have one*
You’d think I would, as every meeting with a tech agency requires at least someone to be smugly wearing a Jawbone (in much the way I cradled the first iPhone in 2007). They are nearly ubiquitously male, slim, media-types. Oh hang on. That’s me, isn’t it?
You wouldn’t be wrong. As someone who’s been a Creative Technologist at a number of Digital agencies, you’d think I’d have been first in the wearables-line; only swapping my Nike Fuelband at the launch of the Jawbone, before dumping that for the latest FitBit or Garmin’s Vivofit, whilst salivating over the impending Razr Nabu (the API is already open to developers). 
You know, maybe it’s sour grapes and I’m still smarting about not scrimping the cash together to fund Pebble on KickStarter… 


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#wearable technology #insights #technology #wearables

IKEA won’t put up with any more of this brand fandom.

I’m all for innovation in marketing, but IKEA might be taking it a bit far: they seem to be running the world’s first customer disloyalty campaign. They’ve threatened legal action against their most active brand fans and customer champions, in the form of IKEAHackers.net and IKEAFANS.com, in large part for using the IKEA name and marque (in the course of celebrating and praising the brand).

It’s not like those sites have only just come to light. In fact, IKEA and IKEAFANS have been working together since 2007. In return for advance product info and exclusive access/interviews, IKEAFANS provided customer feedback and data. Oh, and created and managed a massive community of IKEA fans out of sheer passion and enthusiasm. IKEAHackers, in case you don’t know, is a wonderful, crowd-sourced compendium of ingenious hacks for IKEA furniture, giving entirely new uses and personality to the BILLYs, EXPEDITs and RIBBAs of this world.


Taking legal action against one of your biggest and most popular fan sites is an error. Going after two? That points to a deeper problem. And it’s that, as we’ve said before, IKEA need to learn that you can’t have complete control over how people act online. IKEA launched Share Space in 2011, which takes the walled garden approach: use our products to be creative, in the way that we want you to, in the manner we decide. And that’s not how the online world is. Which probably explains why, in June 2014, (according to Alexa) Share Space was getting 2,200 daily visits, compared to 44,000 for IKEAFANS and 110,000 for IKEAHackers. Of course, all of those are dwarfed by IKEA.com's staggering 5.2m visits per day, which makes you wonder why they're bothering. Not least because the traffic on the two fan sites represents the most ardent, vocal, connected fans they have…so the backlash was inevitable and the subsequent backtrack over IKEAHackers was not a big shock.

What this really shows is something we’ve said for a while now: your brand is what you do, not what you say. You can make as many lovely, emotional stories about customers using your products as you like, you can give away all the free pencils in existence…but it gets cancelled out when you attack your biggest fans for short-term gain. If your words, actions and touch-points aren’t aligned, you’re in trouble. 

So the less-than-radical takeout from this episode is this: if someone is celebrating your brand, if they’re building your community, encouraging participation and enabling new ways of using your products…maybe don’t try to stop them. You heard it here first.

#ikea #community manageme #experiencebrands #Brand Experience #culture

What do you get when you strap a GoPro to a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter and fly it into a fireworks display? Something pretty amazing, that’s what. There’s tech for tech’s sake…and then there’s combining it with a little bit of ingenuity to make something truly special*.

*which may or may not be illegal. Do not try this at home.

#experiencebrands #Brand Experience #gopro #inspiration

Time Spent Is the Metric of the Moment as Upworthy Opens Its 'Attention Minutes' Code

On Monday, Upworthy announced that they’re going to be embracing ‘time spent’ as a better metric of reader engagement instead of more traditional statistics like page views or clicks.  While these other metrics capture traffic to a webpage, they don’t do a good job of showing whether or not the reader is actually engaged with the content once they get there.  

Time spent isn’t the newest metric out there but its starting to be widely used.  The Financial Times has said they can utilize time spent as a way to get more value for advertisers, and might even begin selling ads on a time-based model, letting digital advertisers purchase blocks of time.

 Upworthy employs time spent by determining a consumer’s attention minutes (the minutes they spend engaging with content).  Data on attention minutes comes from a variety of signals, such as a video player showing that someone is watching the video, or mouse movements or even which browser tab they have open.  

It remains to be seen whether time spent will become the most accepted metric for determining digital advertising effectiveness, and even if it does, advertisers can game the system to make their work seem more effective than it is.  But in an age where marketers are fighting for consumers’ attention, attention minutes and time spent seem pretty on point.  

Let’s just hope we don’t reach a place where we no longer care about what we’re saying, just whether we can capture someone’s attention for several milliseconds longer than our competitor can.  

#metrics #attentionspan

Interesting experiment from Opel Denmark which set out to change drivers’ perception of the brand – by hypnotising them.

#brand experience #hypnosis #automotive #opel #denmark #experiment #testdrive

Have been part of the Sydney Social Media week advisory board ( top geezers, yes that’s me at 1.21)) helping craft how we can explore our theme of The Future of Now: Always On Always Connected.

For me creativity, and  the future are inextricably linked.  We just won’t make the future as shiny as it could be unless we fully harness the limitless resource of our creative potential. And our latest global research on this (on Slideshare here) has been a huge gift in this journey.

Some of the key outtakes of that research (Collaboration, Play, Freedom to fail, Ego support, Space to think, and Idea Collection)  are building my approach to the panel session, and these are the notions I’m looking at:

  • How can we achieve more through collaboration and co-creation?
  • How can we facilitate meaningful conversations, practices for devoting time to creative thinking and mindful contemplation?
  • How can we balance and preserve humanness — meaning the ability to listen, empathize, engage, focus and be present in the moment — despite the constant disruption that technology enables?

Am looking forward to my own Eureka moment. All anecdotes welcome!

Getting bit by Luis Suarez probably wasn’t the best thing that’s ever happened to Italian soccer player Giorgio Chiellini, but it did make for a unique marketing opportunity for several quick-thinking brands.  

Among them are Bud Light and Listerine, who bought Promoted Tweets around the hashtag #Suarez.  Snickers and Cinnamon Toast Crunch had some clever tweets on the subject as well.  

Twitter can be an incredible resource for marketers who think on their feet, and this is a powerful example, along with the Oreo Dunk in the Dark tweet during the 2013 Superbowl blackout.  

#luissuarez #clever #opportunity

Here's Why Brands Are Speaking Spanish in General Market Ads

Dish, ESPN, Hyundai and others are mainstreaming their Hispanic marketing campaigns instead of purely using Spanish language advertising on Spanish language TV networks, radio stations, etc.  Why, you might ask?  In part because of the World Cup, but that’s not the whole story.

Today, there is high crossover appeal for general market TV ads run in English and Spanish.  Hispanic consumers aren’t just watching Spanish language television, and appreciate seeing bilingual ads on mainstream channels.   Also, millennial consumers are multicultural and respond better to advertising when it reflects the world around them.  

This shift toward mainstreaming Hispanic marketing also coincides with large population and spending growth among Hispanic Americans.  Hispanics now make up 17% of the US population and spend around 1.3 trillion dollars every year.  This new bilingual marketing effort allows advertisers to speak to them through multiple vehicles.  For example, Dish Network blended English and Hispanic marketing by producing an ad that combined both languages into a single execution.

#multicultural #crossover #millennials #spanish

Tiny Rebellion Is Doing Well by Doing Good

Tiny Rebellion, a Santa Monica-based agency, is setting out to prove that affecting positive change can be profitable.  This agency only works with companies that do good, and they seek to help visionaries bring their brands to the public.  Their client roster includes TrueCar, a brand trying to bring transparency to automotive retail, and BoltHouse Farms, a juice company dedicated to healthy living.  

It’s great to see an agency trying to be a force for positive change, and while doing good and making a profit may seem to be incongruous goals, Tiny Rebellion proves otherwise.  They identify the right for-profit companies to work with, and amplify their impact to further their clients’ world-changing missions.