Month: September 2010

Smart-Phone Payments Gaining Momentum

Another indication this week that making payments through your smart-phone is the way of the future. Visa has begun piloting a new program in New York that allows users to pay subway, bus and train fares with just a wave of their iPhones.

This follows similar instances of companies embracing smart-phone payments like Starbucks, who recently rolled out their Starbucks Card mobile App which enables users to reload their Starbucks payment cards and pay for their purchases instore through their iPhones and Blackberry’s.

The fact that the likes of Bank of America and Visa are teaming up to help companies adapt to accepting smart-phone payments suggests that it’s only a matter of time until it becomes the norm for people to use smart-phones as a payment tool. As smart-phone ownership increases, expect to see more and more companies trying to facilitate smart-phone payment.

Posted by Rob in Tech

McDonalds Increases Check-ins By 33% With Foursquare Incentive

According to Rick Wion, McDonalds head of Social Media, the company were able to increase Foursquare check-ins in stores by 33% with a Foursquare campaign this Spring. The campaign coincided with ‘Foursquare Day’ in April and gave restaurant goers the chance of winning $5 and $10 giftcards when they checked into McDonalds with Foursquare.

The chance of getting something free can be enough of an incentive to get people through the doors and Foursquare seems to be becoming a great way of providing these incentives. The one day campaign cost a grand total of $1,000 which, for a company the size of McDonalds, is evidence that location-based campaigns can be relatively cheap.

There are a lot of sceptics out there who think that there is not much scope for location-based services to actually increase a business’s visitors or sales, that its uses are purely social, but I disagree.

I think there are some great opportunities out there for businesses, both big and small, to increase traffic to their stores by offering freebies or running competitions through location-based services. The chance of a free coffee etc. could provide that little nudge that a customer needs to pick your business over a competitors.

Posted by Rob in Tech

The Top 10 Viral Ads Of All Time

The arrival of YouTube in 2005 not only dramatically changed the way people viewed video content online, it had a significant impact on the world of advertising. YouTube allowed people to search for their favourite ads and share them with their friends. The most entertaining and creative ads could be passed around in huge numbers gaining significantly more exposure than before, thus the viral ad was born.

The viral ad is the Holy Grail for ad agencies. If you can successful make a video ‘viral’ you can bypass the traditional (and very expensive) medium of television advertising while also giving your ad a potentially unlimited reach. Also, as these ads are actively searched for and recommended between friends, they are likely to have a lot more of an impact than if they were just viewed on TV.

Here is a list, complied by Visible Measures, of the the top viral ad campaigns of all time based on total views. You can view the videos themselves by Clicking Here

  1. Blendtec, “Will It Blend?” 134,256,499 Views
  2. Evian, “Live Young” 103,867,704 Views
  3. Old Spice, “Responses” 57,132,669 Views
  4. Pepsi, “Gladiator” 46,742,892 Views
  5. Microsoft, “Xbox Project Natal” 42,698,599 Views
  6. Dove, “Evolution” 41,100,418 Views
  7. T-Mobile, “T-Mobile Dance” 35,487,575 Views
  8. Doritos, “Crash The Super Bowl” 34,168,845 Views
  9. Old Spice, “Odor Blocker” 33,986,750 Views
  10. DC Shoes, “Gymkhana Two” 32,872,531 Views
Posted by Rob in Tech

Shopkick Brings Mobile Technology To The Shop Floor

Shopkick is a new iPhone app just released in the States that sends users special offers and information tailored to their interests as soon as they walk into their favourite stores. This is a great example of how mobile technology can be used on the shop floor in retail outlets to target customers directly.

Shopkick not only allows retailers to offer users targeted information and promotions but also lets them track customer shopping habits. Shopkick users can also collect bonus points for regular visits to their favourite stores and there is also scope for offering individual customers promotions that are exclusive to them.

Macy’s, Best Buy and American Eagle Outfitters are the first brands to take up Shopkick and it will be heading to restaurants and coffee shops in the US soon. It’s good to see big retailers embracing mobile technology in this way and it demonstrates the potential for getting customers to engage with brands in a very real way using using their smart phones.

Posted by Rob in Tech