Posts

UK Retailers Adopt Beacons Technology in Shopping Centre First

A shopping centre on the south coast has become the first in the UK to adopt the proximity-based marketing tool Beacons, offering retailers the opportunity to target customers with messages in-store by sending push notifications to their mobile phones.

Brands including WHSmiths, Game and Nandos have signed up to use the technology at the Swan Centre in Eastleigh, Hampshire to deliver targeted ads to shoppers’ mobile phones. The Beacons tool means retailers will be able to send shoppers discounts and offers straight to their phones when they visit the centre, without them having to open an app or browse a website.
The service was developed by technology start-up TagPoints. It incorporated the Beacons tool into the Swan Centre’s “SmartRewards” loyalty app, which it says has already had more than 1,200 downloads despite “limited” marketing of the app to shoppers.
Users now will receive a welcome message when they enter the centre, along with 10 loyalty points that can be used in conjunction with retailers’ discount offers in a bid to get people to sign up to the service. Seven brands with stores in the shopping centre have already signed up to use the Beacons technology, with campaigns expected to roll out in the coming weeks.
Sue Hillyer, WH Smith’s Swan Centre store manager, says: “Being able to offer real-time rewards and incentives based on a customer’s location is very exciting. It has already driven shoppers into store and we can only see it being more successful as targeting gets more accurate.”
High-profile US brands such as Macy’s, Timberland and Clarks are actively testing the tool, but UK advertisers have adopted more of a “wait and see” approach to using Beacons. However, food chain Eat recently became the first brand to trial Weve’s new loyalty app, Pouch, which uses Beacons.
Via: Marketing Week

Duracell – Moments of Warmth in Canadian winter

During this winter of ice storms and a polar vortex, moments of warmth are few and far between. Duracell wanted to see if they could change that.
They set up a heating unit in a bus shelter- the only catch was that you had to join hands and complete a human chain in order to turn on the overhead heater system. Each person on either end of the chain places their hands on the wall of the bus stop to complete the circuit.
[youtube width=”300px” height=”200px”]-mQZqKLiMIg[/youtube]
 

QR Codes Are Alive and Well and Living in China

In China, those checkerboard-like codes are enjoying a renaissance.
That’s thanks to WeChat, Tencent’s hot mobile app, which has 272 million monthly active users and features a QR code scanner. WeChat blends elements of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and it’s branching into e-commerce.
QR codes – which let people scan a code using their smartphone to enter contests, connect with brands on social media or buy products — have long been prominent in Japan and South Korea.
When WeChat started pushing QR codes in China, suddenly a technology dating back to 1990s Japan had new potential, and some wondered if Western advertisers had missed something.
“We’re always pursuing new technologies, but we shouldn’t be so dismissive of old ones – sometimes all we need is to find a new use for those technologies to give them a new lease of life,” said Kestrel Lee, executive creative director of Zeno Asia, who points out that RFID or radio frequency identity technology now used in tagging retail goods was first used during World War II to identify aircraft.
One likely reason for QR codes’ success in China, the world’s No. 1 smartphone market, is that many consumers are more accustomed to mobile internet than desktop computers. To them, using a phone to scan a code comes more naturally than typing a web address.
Numbers on usage are hard to come by, but mobile coupon company Imageco tallied 113.6 million QR codes scanned in China in October 2013, up more than 38% from the month before.
Some in China use personal QR codes to identify themselves on social media. The codes are also at the heart of a price-comparison app called Wochacha, with 140 million users.
Western brands feature them prominently. Shanghai car lovers scanned a QR code for a chance to test drive an Audi Q3; runners use them to join a Nike+ running club in their area.
We-Chat’s rival, e-commerce giant Alibaba, turned to QR codes to encourage offline-to-online shopping during a mega-sale on Nov. 11. People visited brick-and-mortar stores, selected purchases and scanned QRs code to stash items in their online shopping cart ahead of the sale.
A month later, during a Dec. 12 shopping event, Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace put a QR code on its website. Shoppers scanned the code 200,000 times in just one minute to try to win a lottery ticket, Alibaba said.
As in the West, QR codes don’t work unless the creative is good and people have an incentive to scan them. Sticking a QR code onto an ad isn’t enough.
More sophisticated augmented reality technologies might break through in China. But as long as WeChat backs QR codes they are here to stay, and there are efforts to beautify them.
Israel-based Visualead, which has a heavy China focus and won a startup competition here, lets businesses and designers blend QR codes with photos or art. It also can integrate QR codes into videos or animation for digital screens.
“Visual QR codes don’t have to be static, they can be animated — or even embedded in a video — to include a visual call to action, like someone inviting you to scan or an avatar winking at you,” said Oded Israeli, Visualead’s VP for marketing. “Animation is very popular in China, and we think it will bring another edge to QR codes.”
Via: AdAge

Westfield to Trial NFC Technology Within the Next 9 Months

Westfield, the shopping centre group, is looking to trial geolocation and NFC technology within the next six to nine months, revealed Myf Ryan, Director of Marketing UK & Europe for Westfield, at the British Retail Consortium’s omni-channel conference.
Following a presentation on what bricks and mortar retailers need to do to connect with the ever changing habits of consumers, Ryan was asked what Westfield was doing around NFC technology.
While Westfield London has hosted NFC initiatives from other media owners like CBS Outdoor UK, she admitted that Wesfield itself hasn’t done a lot, citing the “very interesting debate” happening around brands harnessing the data transmitted by devices and using it to target consumers in a specific area with messaging around offers or in-store deals.
“We haven’t specifically trialled geolocation or NFC technology yet but we are working with our digital team in San Francisco and it is something we are looking to trial within the next six to nine months,” she said.
Discussing more widely what bricks and mortar retailers need to be doing to connect with the digitally minded consumer, Ryan added that creating a destination is key to success.
“There is a much bigger focus on the experience, focussing on fewer but bigger flagship destinations. Creative destinations are also being delivered by immersive experiences, they are a means of capturing the consumers’ attention but it is important that they are placed at the centre of the action,” she said, later adding that technology is an enabler of this.
“The next stage of the digital and physical convergence is to enable highly immersive shopping experiences in whatever environment they are in and whatever device they may be using. One reason for doing this may be financial, omni-channnel consumers spend four times as much as people shopping through traditional channels,” she said.
She went on to discuss research commissioned by Westfield which found that, at minimum, having a decent mobile signal when shopping is important for more than 80 per cent of its shoppers and added that free WiFi results in a considerable uplift in engagement, although it has not been made mandatory for Westfield retailers.
This is all the more important in the UK where Ryan believes consumers are much more sophisticated when it comes to navigating a brand’s mobile offering.
“Looking at the Western global world – so UK, USA, and Australia – UK consumers are far more advanced. They are more at ease in the digital world,” she said.
Ryan praised a number of brands for their efforts in bringing the physical and online worlds together, including luxury retailers like Burberry and Louis Vuitton, but ended by saying that for her John Lewis is one of the stand out retailers with its compelling in-store, online, mobile and click and collect offering.
Via: The Drum

Google Launches Project Tango to Build 3D Capable Smartphone

Google has developed early prototypes of smartphones that have the ability to sense 3D motion and geometry, and is calling on professional developers to “push the technology forward” and build user experiences on top of this platform.
The phone, which Google describes as “experimental devices intended only for the adventurous,” for now, is a five inch handset that runs Android and contains customised hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment.
Google said the aim of this project, dubbed “Project Tango,” is to “give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion,” because “we are physical beings that live in a 3D world – yet our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen”.
The sensors in the phone allow it to make over a quarter of a million 3D measurements every second, updating its position and orientation in real-time, combining the data into a single 3D model of the space around people.
The company said it has 200 prototype development kits and have allocated some devices for projects in the areas of indoor navigation and mapping, single and multiplayer games that use physical space, and new algorithms for processing sensor data.
The company said it expects to have distributed all its available units by 14 March this year.
Via: BrandRepublic

Topshop Engages VR Technology to Live-Stream Fashion Show to Oxford Circus Shoppers

Topshop is to live-stream a virtual reality (VR) experience of its London Fashion Week show taking place at the Tate Modern, giving fashion fans the chance to virtually view the proceedings from its landmark Oxford Circus store.
Working with 3D specialist agency Inition, Topshop will give shoppers at its store VR headsets to don, enabling them to experience a 360-degree virtual world comprising a live-feed of the catwalk show, backstage goings-on, VIP arrivals, set design and animated features.
The Topshop Unique Show will be available to view by shoppers on the 16, 17 and 18 February during store opening hours.
The show itself will take place in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, with an open-set design that will allow visitors to the venue to view the proceedings from various viewpoints around the gallery.
Topshop will also stream the show and content to its website. Activity will include a live Twitter gallery on its homepage from the morning of the show and the retailer has asked fashion insiders to tweet content from the front row of the show. Topshop will also post Vine videos.
Sir Philip Green, owner of Topshop parent Arcadia Group, said: “This season’s live stream in virtual reality between two iconic London destinations, the Tate Modern and our flagship store in Oxford Circus, takes the idea of the traditional fashion show to a new dimension, as we continually look for new ways to engage, excite and involve our customers.”
Andy Milns, co-founder and creative director of Inition, added: “We are excited that Topshop have the vision to explore the next revolution in mass media – virtual reality. VR is the ultimate interface to the digital world with the power to transport the user to another place as soon as they put on a special display.”
[youtube width=”300px” height=”200px”]3aziaqC26JE[/youtube]
Via: BrandRepublic

Tablet automatically transfers drawings from paper to screen

Debuting at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Qualcomm’s new Ultra Sound NotePad has one of the most original concepts recently released. The Snapdragon 85 is able to transfer written notes in real ink on a notepad to a tablet screen simultaneously.
Inside the tablet are microscopic microphones that can hear ultrasonic vibrations from the digital pen. The processor then uses this data to figure out what you’re writing even if you’re not touching the screen.
Writing directly onto a touch screen is old news, yet this new product has a different focus; it enables artists, especially animators to draw in the classic medium on pen and paper without having to give a second thought to digital transfer. Users can play around with colours and effects, deleting and editing as they go. Most importantly it saves time as this industry has, until now, relied on a multi-step process to transfer designs from paper to online.
[youtube width=”300px” height=”200px”]C9w2oEWZ-mY[/youtube]
Via: psfk

QR code alternative turns printed content into a library of links

Imaging and electronics company, Ricoh, have created a new technology called ‘Clickable Paper’ which could change the way we interact with OOH advertising.
The technology lets you click on an image without zooming in on a code or logo first, after which you’re directed to a range of options, such as an Amazon link, a YouTube video or a website…you can also tweet or share the information on Facebook.
[youtube width=”300px” height=”200px”]Pah_VCsKvo8[/youtube]
Via: psfk

Portfolio Items