Sharp Twitter Hashtag Advertising. #thisiswhy

While trolling the internet last night looking for news about Social Media advertising, I came across a campaign that shows “Hashtags” being added to the end of football commercials in the UK. The concept isn’t new, and it isn’t exclusive to Europe, although from what I can tell the Europeans seem to be engaging in this much more than the US of A.

While the principal of tagging your TV spot with a Facebook or Twitter adresses has made huge inroads world wide, Twitter hashtags have lagged behind. Some advertisers are starting to experiment with them, most recently Audi and the movie Horrible Bosses, but the practice is still fairly young.

What I saw last night intrigued me the most so far though. Sharp, (a primary sponsor for ITV live football coverage in Europe) were running lower thirds and bumpers during the England vs Wales that had direct hashtag calls for #thisiswhy:

The hashtag was designed to prompt additional conversation about the game on Twitter, and to develop viral buzz about the game with additional tweets that used the “#thisiswhy” tag. If you look at the tweets that ran throughout the game, the commentary ran the gamut from team support to feedback on the game coverage itself. Where this really begins to pay off is by developing user involvement with the brand in a very organic fashion. Through this kind of participation, the brand becomes owned via contributions from the fan base. This is another great example of an advertiser pushing viewers to contribute rather than just hoping they will follow.

to see the Twitter feed check it out here:!/search/%23thisiswhy

This Video Blew Me Away. Seriously.

One of the things that I love about Japanese adverting is the fact that the product often takes a back seat to a memorable production, and in some cases the product is just a faint reference at the end of a commercial.

This beautifully made video, was uploaded one day before the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a month ago. If you watch to the very end you will see it is actually an ad for Sharp’s wood-encased SH-08C mobile phone. The production of this commercial is just amazing, from the construction of the marimba, to the calculations that had to be made to get it to play Johann Sebastian Bach’s, “Jesus, bleibet meine Freude” from the Cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben”.

It looks like the entire piece was shot with either a Canon 5D or 7D, on an RRM rig with a rail system attached. And it looks like they are maybe using a Jimmy Jib as a camera crane to get some of the shots. The overall look is hands down amazing, and there is no telling how many takes they had to get all of the footage used. The look of this is a testament to the camera crane operator’s skills. Who ever was on the rig pulled some absolutely gorgeous looking shots.

Nice concept, great execution.

Marimekko and Sharp Design a Cell Phone.

Textile manufacturer Marimekko ( see my design Friday post here ), has teamed up with Sharp to produce this Japan only cell phone. The phone is basically a Sharp SH-08B available on the NTT Docomo network.

I like Marimekko fabrics, they are a classic design company that always produces fantastic textile designs which adhere to the Marimekko tradition, so when I saw that they had teamed up with tech giant Sharp I was pleasantly surprised. Even though the phone is a fairly standard flip phone.

Marimekko has done an excellent job of controlling the use of the floral pattern that Sharp has chosen to use, integrating seamlessly it into the packaging and display materials, as well as the phone itself. While I would never own this phone, you have to admit it is a beautiful design that appeals to a very specific target audience. “Fashion forward Japanese young women”. I could see this being a big success for both Sharp and NTT Docomo.

Another thing I find interesting here is that Marimekko was willing to make such a partnership. Ultimately this could be huge for the Marimekko brand. It opens an entire new area for the company to expand its visual design aesthetic into.