Smartphone App

Kontor, “Back to Vinyl” Smartphone App.

In an ever increasing digital world bridging the gap between analog and digital can be tough. Coming up with a direct mail piece that grabs the attention of time starved creative directors can be just as hard if not more so. The video below actually dropped on YouTube back in May, but I just got an email about it last night from a friend. Kontor Records, the worlds largest dance label wanted to promote the new Boris Dlugosch to ad agencies.

Rather than send them a promo CD, or an email with a link to MP3 tracks on the album, they created “Back To Vinyl”, a physical record that you play with your smartphone. Housed in a well designed sleeve, that folds into a physical record player, “Back To Vinyl” generated some impressive results for a direct marketing piece. It actually got 71% of the recipients to scan the QR code and activate the player. From that they got a 42% click through rate to the Kontor online store. Not bad at all for direct mail.

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Adidas Interactive Store Front at the Nürnberg NEO Store.

I’ve seen a number of interactive shopping windows in the last few years, but this one from Adidas is a step in the right direction. The window has a fully integrated shopping path via your phone. The window doesn’t require a dedicated smartphone app, so it is platform agnostic allowing it to reach the greatest number of users. In addition to the shopping experience, the window is completely interactive letting customers browse clothing racks, examine individual garments,  interact with the virtual model by posing her and having her try on clothes.

The adidas Window Shopping experience was developed by adidas and TBWA Helsinki. if you happen to be in Nürnberg, swing by the NEO store at Breite Gasse 46 to see it and play with it live.

The Parking Douche App.

I want this app for the good old US of A. Why? Not because parking is an issue so much (even though there are plenty of jackwagons here that have no clue how to park their gas guzzling planet killing SUV’s and giant trucks). I want an app like this for all the other things I see like “Lets exit the freeway from the far left lane”, or “Yellow doesn’t mean get ready to stop, it means stomp on the gas and run that light”, or “I don’t need to stay in my lane while I’m texting and driving”. It would appear that this app had some effect on Russian drivers. Perhaps a similar app would have an effect on driving in America. Here is a quick fact for you. Less than 40% of American drivers use their turn signal, and it jumps to more than 60% when changing lanes. Yes we need an app like this.

The app was developed by the Russian newspaper “The Village”, and it works by using image recognition to identify the car, and social media like Facebook to shame the bad driver. All of this happens in real-time, and is proximity limited so you don’t end up spamming your Facebook friends in far away places. The image recognition component reads the plate number to find the driver,then allows you to shame them across banners and media placements on popular websites in Russia. What a  great example of how user created content is integrated into paid online media locations in real time.I really love the fact that the way you remove the annoying popup is to share the offender via social networking. It is a viral loop with hooks to the newspaper, and it is creating positive social action at the same time.

Not Everything Needs an App.

This is a great example of “Not everything needs a Smartphone app”. Mercedes has introduced “SL Bodywork – Your personalized Workout.” An iPhone and Android app that helps you work out while promoting the new body styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SL.

Hmmmmm. Really?

The application looks nice, and so does the car. The model in the the videos is attractive, but I just don’t get the point of this application. I keep looking at it and thinking to myself was this really a good use of marketing funds?

According to the copy on YouTube, you do get access to more content, the more you work out, and there are the typical hooks to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The problem is, what does this application bring to the table, that other fitness applications don’t? What is the real compelling reason to use this application?

Aside from hardcore Mercedes fans, I don’t see much of real use for this app. It is simply a novelty marketing vehicle (pun intended) for Mercedes. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Not everything needs to be a smartphone app. Not everything needs a Facebook, or Twitter presence. There is a certain “Grasping at straws” mentality that surrounds this kind of thing. I just keep thinking that this cost a lot of money to produce, and the ROI from the app is going to be minimal. Brands like Mercedes, or really any large brand, need to really think about this kind of thing before they produce it. Perhaps the money and effort would be better spent elsewhere.

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