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Is your mobile a mouse for the real world?

I was listening to the the BeanCast marketing podcast this week and the panel were having a really interesting conversation about the way mobile is transforming the way we interact with things, particularly brands.

A clever metaphor that was offered was that our phones are a ‘mouse for the real world’. In the same way we click using a mouse on a desktop to interact with our programmes, the internet etc., our mobile becomes the tool to interact with the physical world. But brands could go a lot further to utilise this especially bringing your physical browsing activity into your digital experience. Some brands are definitely doing it but I am interested to see further innovation which creates such a seamless experience that you want to use your mobile in a brand’s store for example. Being able to scan a product, check stock, get special offers, save for later, save to a wishlist… the list goes on.

My issue around these branded experiences is that they are often so specific to that brand or a particular app that it’s a task in itself to remember all of the individual apps and what they can do. For me, I want my brand apps to link into the other tools that I already use online. If lots of different brands were all using the same wishlist functionality for example, that I could access outside of those brands’ apps, then I would be much more likely to use them.

I just upgraded my phone to the Samsung Galaxy S4 from the S2 and I am certain I will only use my phone more. It’s the reason I prioritised a plan with unlimited data – I don’t want to pay for the data I use, I just want to use it whenever I need to. Again, it needs to be seamless for it to be truly useful and the Samsung’s beautiful big screen means I don’t need a kindle or a tablet or an MP3 player. Convenience is key and the more my mobile can help me navigate everyday life the better.

How I have used my mobile already today (8.05am)…

  • Woke up using my mobile’s alarm
  • Listened to Beancast podcast via BeyondPod
  • Downloaded the WordPress app
  • Drafted this post
  • Checked Twitter via Hootsuite
  • Added yesterday’s workout to Fitocracy app

What about you? How many ways have you used your phone today?

Points digital signpost

This also got me thinking back to Points, the digital signpost that got picked up in news a little while back. The idea being that it would use real time data and information to help tourists, and locals, navigate an area. e.g. it might show tips from Foursquare of local places or highlight a particular event taking place right now. It’s such a good idea. I thought digital bus timetable updates were a great idea and this just extends that thinking and puts the information we can get on our phone into the physical world – even more useful for tourists who don’t want to pay for using their mobile abroad.

Read more about Points here.

Fashion and Food in marketing

When the video for the Feasting on Fashion campaign in Schön! above arrived in my inbox I was transfixed. It’s shot so stylishly, and I couldn’t help but admire the skill of the crew for not getting those expensive clothes covered in any number of oozing, gooey or splattering food and drink. The team behind the shoot were  Dionne Loftus and Frankie Pike, Dionne directing and editing and Pike on photography while styling credits go to Tomas. C. Toth.

Fashion and food seem to be a combination that’s in vogue. Harrods ran a digital campaign towards the end of last year which saw fine food and designer clothing sharing space on their website’s homepage. The stunning shots named were set in various Harrods’ cafes including The Georgian Restaurant, Ladurée and the Ice Cream Parlour.

Harrods fashion and food

Harrods fashion and food


The difference between this and the Schön! version is the calibre of the foodstuffs used, but the execution is not too dissimilar, particularly in video format. For Harrods of course there is a commercial benefit. If those customers who come into store after seeing the campaign are more likely to then eat in a cafe or buy food from the food hall then they’ve successfully killed two birds with one stone.

These executions are very literal, but plenty of retailers who sell both fashion and food are recognising that they can tap into the customer mindset and promote both at once. The retailer wants to sell you the dress to host the garden party, but also the food and wine to serve, the table and chairs to sit on etc. If you get the mindset right then the rewards from add-on sales can be great. Why let the customer go elsewhere when you sell the goods they’re looking for? The downside is that you can’t cover all customers at once. The mindset for a particular segment of your market may be one thing but another may be thinking about something completely different. The key is in knowing where the biggest wins are and not alienating those that don’t quite fit.

I wonder if we will tire of this approach in time as more and more retailers all clamber to market to us in this way. For example, I don’t like tennis and, even if I did, a hundred emails telling me why I should buy white clothes because some pro athletes at Wimbledon are wearing white to work… well that doesn’t really make me want to buy. What about you?

Paddington, sometimes prettier than you’d think

I work in Paddington, near the top of Edgware Road and it’s a bit of a concrete jungle around there. There’s a big flyover, lots of ugly office buildings and a big hospital. But on the plus side we do have the canal which can occasionally provide a lovely scene – what with ducks, barges and sun-dappled water. Sunshine always helps of course, because when it’s grey in Paddington the concrete and sky blend into  monotony.

Through the winter it’s usually dark when I leave work, but if it’s also dry then the light-on-water is a prettier picture than the daytime gloom.

In the summer, green spaces become filled with people. They put out deckchairs near our office, burger stands pop up and there is music playing. That’s when it’s not so bad to work in Paddington. And at least I can easily hop on a bus or tube and be back in the centre of London with plenty of great bars, restaurants and shopping.

But sometimes… it’s not so pretty at all. Like when slimy green algae covers the canal…

Where do you work and what’s it like to be there? Busy, quiet, rundown, fancy?

adidas ad campaign with blue goo

I am a red through and through (Charlton Athletic that is) so I certainly wasn’t drawn to this campaign because of any team allegiance. However, the new Adidas ads promoting the Chelsea kit definitely make a statement. With the line ‘It’s blue, what else matters’ you don’t at any point see the kit they are promoting. All you see are several players covered in blue goo. Watch below…

It’s a clever way of saying that a fan will want it no matter what it looks like. It’s also a good way to build some buzz and excitement around the kit and the slow-mo effects, which capture the goo in all sorts of splashes and spurts, are somehow really satisfying to watch. What do you think?

Mark Zibert directed and shot the the ‘its blue. what else matters?’ campaign. More shots below…

adidas campaign

adidas campaign

it's blue what else matters

The Colourist – Yes Yes

I love discovering new music and I recently got an email about a band called The Colourist along with a link to their track ‘Yes Yes’. I played it once and headed straight over to Spotify… where they were nowhere to be found. That always irks me! But I’ll be keeping an eye out for them that’s for sure. Listen below and let me know what you think.


This single follows “Little Games”, their debut release which came out last month (you can listen over on the band’s website). It’s Indie, it’s cool and it is getting me in the mood for summer, that and the tiny dose of sunshine we were treated to today. The California band are playing at Coachella so I’m sure they will be further propelled to stardom after that.

the colourist

“We’d had the idea for “Yes Yes” since the band started,” explains drummer Maya Tuttle, “We knew a friend’s relationship was near the breaking point because of a third wheel that was trying to break the two up by throwing lies into the mix. While in the studio in LA, Adam came up with an upbeat idea for the base of the song–then the four of us hunkered down and completed it. It’s about not falling for the illusion that another person can fix all of your problems.”

An album is promised later this year. I reckon I’ll be buying it!

Standing on the platform

Standing at the busy platform of a London tube station it’s so easy to identify the kind-hearted from the just-plain-rude. Tonight I was standing alongside a mother whose toddler was getting rather restless, awaiting a Northern Line train. As the train arrived, packed to burst, it was clear there wasn’t room for everyone, so I motioned for her to take the small space that was left. I was happy to wait just another minute or two seeing as I wasn’t in too much of a hurry.

She squeezed on and while, the train prepared to depart, a helpful gent ushered her further in as her backpack would have got caught in the closing door. Then, just as the closing-door warning sounded, a huge beast of a man ran right in front of me, shoved me aside and forced his way into the carriage. The poor woman and her child were now completely crushed from all angles and it made me think, what on earth is it that makes some people so glaringly inconsiderate?

We all get frustrated by public transport but attempts to save a mere minute or two of waiting should never come at the expense of common decency. Why not notice the other people around you, smile, and offer your seat or space to someone who needs it just a little bit more than you. It makes the journey a lot less stressful for all of us and it could even make someone’s day.

What does sound mean to you?

“Sound” from SoundCloud on Vimeo.


Love this video for both the content and the visual representations of sound which have been added to the footage.

Candyman 187 & Snoop dog video banned from TV

Candyman 187 and Snoop Dogg’s new music video “High Off the Fame” has been causing a stir resulting to it being BANNED from TV. Apparantly TV execs thought that the purple liquid in the video resembled drugs and promoted use of them. Is that really what it’s about though? The scantily clad women in the video are like most other videos in this genre, and drinking and smoking hasn’t been banned before. I actually like the video myself, I think there are some clever techniques in there that I haven’t really seen before. Plus, I think there is a message to the song about the negative side of celebrity – I guess it’s all open to interpretation. But I do love a bit of Snoop Dog.

Way Out West 2011 video

Love this video capturing the atmosphere at a Swedish music festival.


The best travel video ever…

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

This guy travelled the world and took a snippet of film in each place then stitched it all together to create pure awesome.