Media and Mediums

The New York Times Goes Pay to Play.

20130626-154603.jpgWhat do you do when you are in a dying business as a print based content provider; when your reader base is shifting to all digital, and primarily mobile and tablet driven resources? In the case of the New York Times, you restrict access to your content and try to drive people back to reading your physical newspaper. Say what? Yes you read that right. Apparently the New York Times thinks this won’t drive any readers away.

Starting June 27th the New York Times is going to limit the number of articles any non-paper subscriber can read on iOS, Android and Windows powered devices. The strategy is to try and encourage readers to subscribe to the print version. If you do, you get full access to all articles on the New York Times site at no extra charge. I say good luck with that, because your readership has left the print world behind. (Doesn’t a newspaper make more money off of ads than through subscriptions anyway? Hmmmm.)

Under the new set up, non subscribers will be able to read a maximum of three articles per day, from twenty five sections of the online paper including blogs and slideshows. Once the limit has been reached, users will be asked to pay for a subscription to further access content.

Up till the 27th, readers who have not subscribed have complete freedom of the “Top News” sections. After the 27th you’ll have an increase in choices of sections, but a lessened allowance of accessible content. Video content for all areas of the site still remains available and free for all.

To ease users into this change, the publication is planning a seven day free trial run when downloading the updated version of the Android or iOS app. I’d really like to see the numbers on how this shakes out for the New York Times over the next year. I’d bet they get very few converts, and possibly lose readership overall.

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The BMW iWindow.

I’m currently on location in Santa Barbara filming and such, but while taking a break I thought I’d post this interesting video from BMW. This isn’t new, the event actually happened last November. I missed it when it dropped on YouTube and my friend Paul happened to show it to me today. This is a great use of video, and technology to promote a product that won’t even arrive for another 12 months.

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The State of Social Media, 2013.

Once again Erik Qualman has posted an animated infographic about the power of Social media. While many of the stats remain the same as last years, one factoid jumped out at me. The Ford Escape Facebook launch generated more traffic than the Super Bowl TV ad. Love it, or hate it you can’t escape the impact that Social Media is having on the world of marketing and advertising.

The Art of Packing, by Louis Vuitton.

I pride myself on the ability to pack a suitcase for a trip in the most space efficient way. I also pride myself on the ability to pack the minimum amount of items needed for a trip. Case in point, when I went to South Africa for 14 days, I packed a small duffel bag for the trip. Seriously, I put 14 days worth of stuff into what was basically a gym bag.

This morning when I was going through RSS feeds, emails, and other sources of information, I came across a link to the Louis Vuitton micro site “The Art of Packing“. While I will probably never own a Louis Vuitton suitcase, the site was worth a visit.

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This Flash based interactive site showcases 3 of Louis Vuitton’s luxury suitcases, Alzer, Pégase and Keepall. (please note that none of these bags are large. If you are the kind of person that packs your entire closet for a weekend trip, you can move on.) The micro site shows potential customers how to pack in the most efficient way allowing you to get the most out of the space, with a less wrinkly results. In addition to space saving tips, the site actually shows you how to pack your clothes in the best way. Yes there is an art to it.

 

Time To Bend Your Noodle and Fight Hunger in America.

CP+B have created a desktop and iPad experience for KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese designed to stop food waste, promote creativity, and help stop hunger in America. The application was built using flash and cross compiled to work on iOS. (I’m kind of surprised hey don’t have an Android version of this available as well since the desktop app was developed using Adobe Flash.)

KRAFT’s ‘Dinner Not Art‘ application donates 10 noodles to Feeding America for every virtual noodle saved in the macaroni art that you create. While this number seems small, think about the number of pieces used on average by a kid when making a macaroni masterpiece. It ads up fast. The application is easy to use and a little addictive. So long term, this could create a large payout for Feeding America if the application takes off.

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The application features a fun easy to use interface that is intuitive for younger children, and actually rather fun for adults. The bright colorful UI reflects the KRAFT Mac and Cheese box and branding colors, but does it in a way that never feels like Kraft is promoting their product. It’s this subtle balance that really wins here. Throughout the experience the participant is shown a counter that increases with each noodle added. (The feel good factor). At the same time the KRAFT brand is represented in an unobtrusive way, and subtly promotes the product. At the end of the experience you have the option of saving and sharing your creations. (another feel good factor).

Appshaker’s Frozen Planet Invades American Shopping Malls.

I seem to be on a bit of an Augmented Reality kick today. The video below is a really nice execution of the technology from the folks at Appshaker.

Produced for BBC Home Entertainment “BBC Frozen Planet Augmented Reality” was hosted in three key markets in the United States to introduce the TV program that was produced in conjunction with the Discovery Channel. The three market tour ran from April 19 – April 22 in New Jersey, Illinois and California after the television series Frozen Planet first aired to more than 20 million viewers on March 19th.

Appshaker is getting a solid reputation for this kind of augmented installation in both Europe and the United States. With work like this it’s no wonder.

Creative Direction: Alex Poulson / Kevin Jackson
Art Direction: Barnabas Nanay
Production Direction: Szabolcs Turanyi-Vadnay
Technical Direction: Adam Trost
3D Design: Vertigo Digital

Sound of Vision.

In the last 5 years film making has undergone a revolution. Camera technologies have improved. Editing and compositing software has gotten so good and so easy to use that anyone with a good eye and design sensibility can produce a pretty solid film with a digital camera, and a laptop. This is something that would have been really hard to do a few years back. I’m not saying that everyone can do this. There is plenty of junk on the internet, but when the right tools are in the right hands, magic happens.

A great example of this is from Konstantin Syomin and “20Coop”. Their documentary film, “Sound of Vision” was shot entirely on a Panasonic GH2 micro four-thirds camera. The film won the International Documentary Challenge in Toronto. I tried to embed the video below but couldn’t instead click on the image below to be taken to the film page. Here you can see this wonderful film, plus the rest of the finalist.

The film won

— Best Film
— PBS’ POV award
— Best cinematography
— Best editing
— Best use of Genre