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Mobile Matters

March 09, 2012
Richard Metcalf, Business Development Director at Kinetic, provides an incisive update on the mobile advertising industry, showcasing creative uses of mobile in Out of Home campaigns and trends emerging across the globe.

Big news this week is not the launch of a new iPad but the announcement that Dan Rosen will be joining Joule as CEO for EMEA. This is a marquee signing for Joule. Dan is regarded as thought leader in mobile marketing and his achievements at AKQA are well-known, including winning a Cannes Lion Award. We are very pleased to welcome him to Kinetic. Read the full story.

Having said that, the iPad 3, not its official name - confusingly, has been introduced to the market to a torrent of mixed reviews. There are enthusiastic reports that give high praise to the new high-definition Retina screen, describing it as ‘glorious’ and ‘genuinely beautiful’. And the new quad-core graphics A5X processor has been noted as a nod from Apple to the thriving world of gaming. The critics, though, bemoan the slightly heavier weight, bulkier feel and lack of battery performance enhancement; giving a succinct conclusion that the new iPad is more ‘evolutionary than revolutionary’. 

Mobile World Congress
Last week was Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where every big player in the mobile eco-system, except Apple and now Samsung, gathered in a giant trade park to showcase their new technology and make any announcements. One exciting announcement at the congress was Unilever’s decision to refocus their communication strategy to mobile. One of their first moves is to let consumers shop its Dove, Tresemmé and Nexxus products via mobile bar codes featured on the company’s static ads in Glamour magazine. Kinetic’s partner, Joule, is Unilever’s preferred mobile agency and we’re looking forward to creating some more innovative work together. It is also hoped that Unilever’s new focus on mobile will provide the justification for other brands to follow their lead. 

Campaign of the week: Tic Tac’s ‘Shake it up’ mobile AR campaign
Tic Tac has created a fun interactive billboard in Times Square that allows pedestrians to use their smartphones to put themselves in the ad. A brand awareness campaign and engagement via mobile and OOH are perfect for Tic Tac’s target audience. A great way to further this campaign would be to develop a branded mini game that could be easily accessed and played on mobiles, with users encouraged to upload scores to the big screens and across social networks.  

Humorous QR code fails
We found this blog dedicated to examples of the worst use of QR codes very amusing, http://wtfqrcodes.com. However, don’t be put off by these anomalies, there have been and remain many creative uses for the 2D barcodes, when mixed with real imagination and user-focused content. A perfect example of what powerful tools they can be is demonstrated in this campaign from India, where QR codes replaced the normal nightclub admittance stamps. It’s quirky, but also contextual and useful. Watch the video.  

A glamorous international Snap-to-Buy campaign in the back of a cab  
A mobile taxi-shop concept, developed by Glamour magazine in partnership with L'Oréal, ran beauty spots featuring various products on the miniature TV-screens in 50 selected cabs in NYC during fashion week. Passengers who wanted to purchase something they saw on the screen had to simply point their mobile at the item and snap, using a specially downloaded app. Participants were then rewarded with the extra bonus of a free NYC cab ride.    

Mid-town Augmented Reality shooting range
OOH is increasingly using mobile to engage on-the-go consumers. Check out this campaign in Spain by Fox Crime that combines special build, mobile, real life and Augmented Reality to create a target practice shooting game right in the middle of town. It proved to be very effective, with over 200,000 spectators. So why are we seeing so many of these types of integrated gaming campaigns on TV and OOH? Smart marketers are realising that as we now live in a hyper-connected smart device environment there is the opportunity to adopt strategies that entertain and engage, increase lines of communication, and create intimacy between the brand and the consumer. Also, marketers see gamification as fulfilling the human need for achievement, status and reward by playing on our desire to compete.   

A look at our future through a digital screen perspective
A Day Made of Glass 2 is a thought provoking video on the future of digital screens. Produced by Corning, the world’s leading high-tech glass manufacturer, who produce millions of screens for Smartphones. It cleverly depicts the potential of how we will use digital screens in the future. A movement towards this depicted future can be seen in the activity of a number of brands who have incorporated the new multi-screening trend into their TV ads. Last year Honda Jazz ran an ad that used audio watermarking to allow a mobile app to interact with the TV ad. Since then we have seen a number of interactive games appear, including the ‘RBS 6 Nations Live Challenger’ from RBS, released for this year’s 6 Nations rugby. The interactive game encourages viewers to predict scores, participate in polls and answer related quiz questions. This growing trend has prompted Zeebox to launch a TV ad to promote its social TV app. The rumour is that it is being downloaded at a rate of 15,000 per hour as a result of the ad being aired.   

The rise of mobile versus desktop usage
With the release of its S-1 filing, the mighty Facebook announced that it received over 425million monthly active mobile users and 845million monthly active users overall in December 2011; almost fifty-percent of Facebook users are accessing the site via their mobiles. This supports the contention made by Morgan Stanley in 2010 that there will be more mobile internet users by 2013 than desktop internet users. 

2012 the year of NFC
Another prediction that 2012 will be the year of NFC may also be proved right with Visa and Vodafone announcing their mobile wallet collaboration and rumours that the iPhone 5 will be supporting Mastercard PayPass NFC payments. If mobile payment is going to be mainstream then all major handset manufacturers need to be involved. 

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