Youth Marketing Insights » Adidas http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg 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 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Augmented Reality – will it make your 2010 plan? http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2010/02/04/augmentedreality/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2010/02/04/augmentedreality/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/?p=177 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.

BEATLES AR TOUR
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!

ADIDAS LAUNCHES FIRST AR SNEAKER
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 www.hallmark.com/extra 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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Top brands for teens globally: may the most relevant win http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/05/top-brands-for-teens-globally/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/05/top-brands-for-teens-globally/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2009 06:00:58 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/?p=63 I was reading an interesting (or is it expected?) press release on a study that has surveyed and identified the “Top Brands for Teens Globally” (TRU Global Teen Study)…to no surprise all the world’s biggest names were there, including Coca-Cola, Nike, and Adidas. Deservedly so, those brands have for years been setting standards in best in practice youth-marketing, and I am certainly a fan of all three. However the topic of the survey got me thinking generally…being one of the “world’s biggest” brands isn’t neccesarily the same as being “global”?

Splitting hairs in diction maybe, but I think there is a significant difference between the two – only one builds relevance. This is when I question to what extent “awareness” is important, potentially a lot of our affiliations with big brands is residual from mass-media days where the biggest that bought the most media, had the most retail space won.

But those days are over, and the times, they are a changin’….so is awareness alone enough to sustain  appeal among youth? I think not, and this could potentially be too much of a shock for some big giants if they can’t learn to adapt.

To today’s teens and early 20-somethings, niche’s are important, grass roots campaigns influence, consumers expect companies to hear them – and respond. A small home-grown can be nimble, flexible, they are ingrained in the consumers. That encompasses everything youth marketing is. So where does this leave the big guys that have been driving culture for decades? Well, I think it leaves them in the same place as the little guys, it equals the playing ground.

What it comes down to is any brand that underestimates the importance of engaging their consumer and adapting accordingly is going to struggle to maintain relevance and, while this is a generalization, the bigger the brand, the more difficult they may find it to effect change.

Stop right there however, this isn’t my potentially career-ending theory of a bunch of Davids taking down the Goliath (a fav and unoriginal analogy), it is more a piece of advice for all youth brands, may the most relevant win. If you are “big” you can’t rest on your laurels, if you are “small”, as you grow don’t take for granted your core customer base that helped define you.

Either way it will be interesting when this radical shift in consumer behavior becomes more of a ripple and less of a seismic earthquake to see what big brands have become little, and what little brands have become big, or what value size will have period…. and what will be really interesting will be what, if any, control any of us “marketers” (versus the consumer) had on it anyway.

Full of questions, not answers, that’s always the way.

Photo credit: Barbie turns heads at the launch in Shanghai (Claro Cortes/Reuters)

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