Mercedes Benz together with FHV/BBDO (idea), Pixplicity (technical), and Momkai (design) developed an app for your phone that centrally manages your energy usage, thus extending your battery life. Quite a nice brand utility, spreading the intelligence of Mercedes’ Blue Efficiency. On the other hand, to us it feels a little superfluous. We know how to extend the battery life of our phones – e.g. by turning off the data exchange. And 20% doesn’t make a world of difference. If you’re the kind of person that is often low on battery, you’d be better off buying an extra battery. Anyway, the app is only available for Android – probably because Apple doesn’t allow apps to mess with their settings.
Mobile provider Hi and FHV/BBDO add yet another humorous commercial to the 3-friends series – earlier we featured ‘Who needs phone calls?’ and ‘Hi Likes Facebook.’ A good example of a relatively simple (in the positive meaning of the word) concept that rises above itself through the awesome (art) direction – kudos for director Jeroen Annokkee (CZAR). Minor deception is the final scene, possibly dragged in by the client; the chef chopping the mobile phone in pieces. Another – more serious – deception is the fact that ‘All you can eat’ is not really all you can eat; the subscription comes with a data limit. Which typically is the most limiting element in todays mobile subscriptions. So what’s new in this proposition? Reminds us of the saying: “Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product.”
Some people joke about the possibilities of their smart phone; “it can do anything, it even makes phone calls.” You can say the same about Samsung’s new Galaxy camera (with built in WiFi and 3G), except that it doesn’t make phone calls. To promote this camera Saatchi Amsterdam claimed the existing hashtag #goedverhaal (‘good story’), based on the insight that an image tells more than a thousand words. So, why not socially share what you’re doing through an image? The best tweets using the hashtag #goedverhaal are translated into an image by the improv comedians of Boom Chicago. Image above: “@GalaxycameraNL My granddad once more beat me up with Wordfeud. I hope there are more like him in Europe. #Goedverhaal” On top of that the best four tweets win a… *tada* … Galaxy camera! Tomorrow and the Thursday after are the last ‘live’ days during which Boom Chicago does its thing. With a live stream on the dedicated website, showing how the images are made – all from one single location.
This online film, created by Khanna \ Reidinga (K\R) and directed by Willem Gerritsen (CZAR), announces the arrival of TomTom’s navigation software for Android OS. It was the iconic Android robot that inspired the agency to let TomTom ‘do the robot’ – ironically enough to humanize the navigation brand. The last time TomTom tried to make its brand more likeable, it painfully failed with a dancing John Cleese. This one, with real (!) TomTom employees and a very distinctive, catchy track, works a lot better. The film also features the Danish ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ winners Nick and Jeppe – whoever that may be. According Hesling Reidinga, the short and tall guy were used in the moodfilm and looked so credibly ‘office-like’ that they decided to use them in the commercial as well. With or without them, an attractive film.
As we all know the mobile market is as busy and versatile as a colony of ants. That’s why providers come up with new jargon and contracts regularly – to be able to say ‘new and improved.’ Take mobile provider KPN; in this online film it talks about ‘leasing, charging, and letting go’ your phone/plan. Leasing means less costs and more service and ‘charging/letting go’ means more flexibility. O.k., so that was the client talking. What we found more interesting – especially for a brand like KPN – is the form. Since this film is only distributed online it was given a lot more freedom than what KPN shows on TV. It seems as if the colour green was the only corporate given. Other than that it was able to rid itself as much as possible from all the distractible bull. But it’s not just the film. On the webpage you can very easily and intuitively follow the three steps to lease your phone. We like it. Created by TAXI Amsterdam – website in-house. Film directed by Crabsalad and produced by 100% Halal.
In advertising mobile is still not a very dominant medium – only since this year it was introduced in Cannes as a new award category. And that’s surprising, since a mobile phone is the device to unlock SoLoMo (Social Mobile Local), a mix that easily has the potential to add relevance to a brand. Here’s an example, by Olmeca Tequila and its agency Amsterdam Worldwide; the ‘NightTag’ app – click picture to enlarge. What it does is combining a photo upload, geo-tagging and, last but not least, music recognition – through Facebook. Basically it thus adds another layer to Facebook; music. Making social sharing a richer experience. A nice step in the right direction of SoLoMo.
MobyPicture and Tribal DDB Amsterdam have launched Feed the Lions, an online content platform that brings together all social media buzz during Cannes Lions – afterwards it will continue as ‘Feed the Creatives’ at other large advertising festivals. The platform gathers content from Twitter and Facebook, highlighting the best stories generated by the crowd, bloggers and festival jury. And of course the upload tool that needs to be used is MobyPicture – a smart way of making the service better known among the influential crowd that visits Cannes. What’s interesting is that if you register upfront you get the chance to become an ‘ambassador’ of the festival and win one of the 50 ‘Droam MiFi’ (portable WiFi’s). This device makes content sharing a lot easier and, more importantly, free - no roaming required. The ambassadors will also receive tickets to the hottest parties in Cannes, so that they can share the experience; a win/win for all parties involved.
For those of you who don’t know who the characters in this picture are; Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler. The only reason we can think of for choosing them as the icons of this Euro2012 penalty kick app (both on mobile and Facebook), is that Rijkaard spit Völler in the hair during the World Cup 1990 – which was, to say the least, not very chique. In other words, for some, they are the epitome of Dutch-German football rivalry. The app allows the Dutch and Germans to take penalties against each other. For every shoot out, a Dutch player is linked to a German player – via a complicated back-end that ensures a similar experience as playing with your Playstation Network. Quite impressively 45,000 players already played 210,000 penalty shoot-outs. So far Holland is leading with 115,000 against 105,000. Oh, and not for forget, you can also win a Volkswagen Up, somehow. Created by Achtung! and built by Superhero Cheesecake.
We like the idea of using Layar, the 3D augemented reality browser, as a virtual guerrilla layer on top of some of the most famous paintings in the Rijksmuseum. It shows you that the Nightwatch is “also available as a placemat” – see other examples here. It’s basically the same thing as all the internet memes we see on our Facebook pages on a daily basis. ‘Paint Job’ however – as this initiative created by Brilliant after Breakfast is called – wants to raise questions on how to bridge the gap between ‘ancient works of art’ and ‘modern society’ and on the meaning of a copyright today. We didn’t really find the answer in the app as the press release promises, but it’s a nice way to experiment with Layar nevertheless – and a way to create some PR, for that matter.
One Big Agency created this handy ‘Live with it!’ app. But as you quickly find out, it’s not made in collaboration with Shell, but with Friends of the Earth (or: Milieudefensie). In fact, it’s not even an app; the URL at the end leads you to ‘Worse than bad.’ The locals of the Niger Delta can use the fictional app to earn Shell points (that can be exchanged for “helpful survival gear”) by being the first to spot oil spills. The same goes for reporting contaminated water. The app also indicates where the locals can find alternative water sources and it maps gas flares and pipelines. It will be interesting to see what Shell will do against this spoof. Will they act against it – “David Ruse is not our Chief Facade Officer – we have someone else for that!” Or will they sit still until the storm is over? Probably (and wisely) the latter. In any case, the spoof made us think of Chevron’s ‘We Agree’ campaign that was hijacked in 2010; immediately after the release ‘The Yes Men’ launched their own ‘We Agree’ campaign. Their spoof used phrases like “Oil companies should clean up their messes,” instead of Chevron’s copy saying “The world needs more than oil.” One Big Agency’s app also reminded us of this column on Amsterdam Ad Blog (“Shell and clean don’t match in advertising”). It’s good to see that oil companies cannot get away anymore with trying to come across as environmentally constructive – let alone friendly.
Update (May 25th 2012): A follow up film, again with David Ruse, the Chief Facade Officer: http://youtu.be/hjvm-emeK20