Youth Marketing Insights » Cool Stuff Inspiring best in practice youth marketing through sharing of ideas, strategy, trends and conversations about cool stuff Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 en hourly 1 Augmented Reality – will it make your 2010 plan? Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg Hello – I’m back, it’s been a long time. Please excuse my absence. I took some time to re-group over the holiday season – and it worked. I am refreshed!

One of my projects as soon as I returned this year was an extensive research project to benchmark best practice online engagement models. Obviously content is king, but good content with no engagement strategy is a shameful waste. Therefore I also analyzed web site designs, tools, social utility applications, widgets, and more. Interesting piece of work that was both broad and very specific at the same time. Ultimately I was able to extract insight in order to interpret the effectiveness and corresponding drivers for success. I am laughing at myself reviewing this intro as it is says so much, and yet so little at the same time…. Anyway, I am only trying to give context to my topic today – Augmented Realty – or more specifically how it is advancing rapidly in both utility and innovation in a way that I have to agree with the many 2010 social web predictions it is the ‘trend’ to watch for.

Quick overview on Augmented Reality (AR). As described by Wikipedia, AR “is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) Computer-generated imagery”. In more concise words, it is the real world with an added virtual layer. Here is an example of an interesting Lego point of sale display which showcases how it works:

While not new in social media or youth marketing, until tail end of the 2009 it was only really championed by early adopters, and certainly was not considered part of a mainstream consumer consciousness. Developers have nailed the cool factor which we know builds credibility with a youth audience, but experience tells us innovation must drive utility and function, and therefore word of mouth appeal, otherwise it can quickly die. I feel this is in a large part due to the time it requires to engage with these new advancements, high barrier of entry needs to deliver high return.

However many argue the barriers are breaking down, the Lego video above is an example as everything you need to experience it is right there at the point of purchase. You might also recall a Dec 2009 AdWeek feature which outlines predictions on how the advancements in GPS-enabled smartphones could propel this technology in 2010. My own prediction is that to really take off a big brand needs to come in and create awareness and educate consumers about the technology….bring in some recent announcements.

To help get us thinking about the possibilities, I have included recent AR examples including some big brand names, to help you decide for yourself if you think this is going to become a major player in marketing – or just another gimmick.

So I think tourism and travel seems to be an obvious functional use for AR. Inevitably once we see one great example, many more grasp the capabilities and the technology takes off. In this case some clever people at AugmentReality were invited to beta test Layar 3.0 for Android and launched The AR Beatles Tour in December. Users can follow the story of the Beatles around London, including the iconic Abbey Road. The pic here shows if you point your enabled-smartphone over the crossing at Abbey Road you can actually see caricatures of Ringo, Paul, John and George – the app suggests to get your friend in and take a photo. The virtual walking tour covers 42 locations, and the next destination only appears after the previous location has been visited (if they haven’t already I think Lonely planet should get onto this….). I should add I am not in London to test this one for myself….but looks cool!

Ok, maybe not the most contested race to market, but still newsworthy. The most recent – and highly publicized – example of AR is the new adidas Original sneaker line which unlocks a world of 3-D games (note while I am not associated adidas is a client of my agency in other markets). The say “adidas Originals AR Game Pack is a set of 5 shoes, each printed with an AR code on the tongue. When you hold the code in front of your webcam, you’ll gain access to a virtual version of the adidas Originals Neighborhood. Each month between February and April, we’ll launch a new interactive game within the Neighborhood and your shoe will be the game controller.” What’s interesting about a leading brand getting involved is that it has the resources to also develop the education campaign for new users, which otherwise could be a barrier. Check out the hype video here, which showcases the design style they are going for.

Hallmark Launches Webcam Greetings with Augmented Reality
Hallmark also recently announced the release of webcam greetings, new cards that use augmented reality technology to bring the card to life on a computer screen. The person receiving the card can visit and follow the directions to view a 3D animated feature. You can sample the technology on the site as well. Again, the combination of the education campaign and a mix of younger generations encouraging their parents and even grandparents to join the fun might help mainstream awareness.

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YouTube Summer School – Literally…. Fri, 03 Jul 2009 05:29:32 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg

I have often written about the role of technology in education – I think it’s an important topic that does not get enough attention. However there is a reverse side of this – and that’s educating youth about relevant (and safe) uses for technology. I think having not just basic but advanced skills with a variety of formats, channels and technology is a must.

Needless to say there is a huge opportunity for technology brands to embrace the young generation, providing the educational resources that are relevant, and in turn develop advocacy at an important stage. This is adding value 101.

That said today I have seen an interesting Apple initiative today –“From you to YouTube” – a training program on the evolution of creation of video content. The site says it’s “an intensive hands-on summer workshop for young adults in writing, shooting, directing, editing and even distributing work.” Awesome. I find it really interesting and an amazing sign of the times that “distribution” is an area of study. It got me thinking that before they just send these kids on their way, I hope as a Master Class they offer advice on Personal Branding and how to manage and maintain your reputation online. We all know the dangers of public vs private spaces, but what about how to maximise your online brand. Seems a natural next step here.

Not only do I applaud Apple for having a presence and taking a role in this space (note this is only one of many education initatives for them), I heart the grass roots foundation they have. Sounds like Summer School of my dreams!

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Photos from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland Thu, 25 Jun 2009 02:07:04 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg The ultimate Gen X, Gen Y mash up – Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. If you don’t know, Alice in this version has just turned 17 which opens the character to some interesting interpretations. Previous quotes I have read of Burton’s explain the film is going to delve into some teen psychology in a fresh and engaging way….

Check out these recently release press photos, coming to theaters on March 5, 2010…

(photo credit: Coming Soon)

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DUDE, Carl’s Jr taps into mysteriously hungry gen-y skateboarders Thu, 19 Mar 2009 01:41:01 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg American quick-service chain, Carl’s Jr., has revealed more details of their BFF partnership with skateboarding star Rob Dyrdek, aimed to engage “hungry” Gen-Y and Gen-Z guys, as explained by Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants in a recent NY Times article.

Background – the partnership is an integrated campaign with retail elements, sponsorship of a new charitable skate park in downtown Los Angeles, YouTube videos, all the social media sites and featuring the brand and CEO Mr Puzder on “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,” the skateboarder’s MTV show. For those not familiar, Carl’s Jr. is the QSR that brought us pop-culture marketing campaigns such as EAT MEAT (my first bumper-sticker BTW), and the infamous bikini-clad Paris Hilton car washing video. So needless to say they have been pretty successful at creating campaigns with WOM appeal among that meat-loving, fast food eating, young male population. Oh, and me to but I am probably an anomaly.

I have always been loyal to Carl’s, in LA they were my guilty, late-night pleasure. So I am all for this campaign. Of course as the article references it is great to see companies continuing to invest in “experimental” marketing initiatives – although at what point will we stop calling them experimental, maybe at the same time we stop using traditional vs non-traditional to describe media. In my opinion and without access to any evidence of this, I would think Carl’s would already have a relationship with this audience, therefore already have a level of involvement. Something about the “hungry” male and Carl’s Jr. seem to go hand in hand. Can’t stop myself from calling out the not-so-subtle reference of the super-hungry, skateboarder – is it skateboarding that makes them sooooo hungry?

Moving on….what I think is really interesting is the involvement CKE CEO Andrew Puzder in the partnership. I think it’s a solid move to integrate him into the show, press images and other channels. This says to me Carl’s values the relationships they have with its audiences, and could signal a shift in its marketing into more of a business model. If he could only become a pro skateboarder that would be the pinnacle, in the meantime I appreciate that he physically delivered food to the skateboarding posse as the first point of contact.

One note of caution, I think this will be a big test of authenticity for the brand. The skateboarding community has been notoriously difficult to tap. However defined, this specific tribe is hard on brands that try to market to them as “skateboarders”. In some cases we have seen that they even use the cool insert-service/product-here that companies flog them, and then they turn around and bag them out for it. Grass roots approaches seem to resonate here more than other sports-tribes such as snowboarding or surfing. That is why it took Nike so long to crack, and why Red Bull and others have dabbled but not dropped in. Maybe as high-profile figures such as the Tony Hawk, Bam Margera and Rob Dyrdek continue to bridge the mainstream divide, they will be able to do the same for the brands they work with.

While sometimes difficult to make a corporate brand messages skateboarder-esque, the videos are funny, the food is good, they donated to an inner-city charity and it has some good examples of multi-channel executions –– so, DUDE, I like it!

Photo credit: NY Times, Rob Dyrdek, left, and Andrew F. Puzder, CKE CEO, united to promote the sport and sell burgers.

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The Pixel Generation’s music video: Chairlift’s “Evident Utensil” Mon, 02 Mar 2009 03:44:45 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg For a dreary Monday thought this “pixel nation” video would provide a little inspiration.

Chairlift’s music video “Evident Utensil” uses an editing effect known as “datamoshing” to create this throw-back, psychedelic feel. According to Wikipedia this is “visual style is produced by an exploit of the different ways video codecs process motion and color information”….whatever that means….

Why I like it – I like anything that challenges conventional interpretation. From a youth marketing perspective, I think it highlights the visual cues that appeal to the Pixel Generation. It also has a not-so-subtle sense of visual irony that is relevant to kids who are growing up on computers – the band is frolicking in nature fields, but the video is this uber-synthetic visual mashup.

Whatever the meaning behind the message, it is creative and unique. So sit back and enjoy (and don’t adjust your screen)…hopefully it provides you with some inspiration as well.


Chairlift, “Evident Utensil”
Video directed by Ray Tintori
Cinematography by Rob Leitzell
Datamoshery by Bob Weisz

Oh, and watch the How To here:

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