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Esquire: Augmented reality puts the new spirit into old media

Esquire magazine uses an innovative approach to revive, make sexy again the media doomed by many – a paper magazine. Naturally, this is a specific situation, as Esquire target will not migrate completely to the Internet – not like in the case of traditional newspapers. Nevertheless they are paying effort to create some media buzz, so people will start talking again about something as familiar as a magazine. Video does explain most of the things, I also recommend checking Behind the Scenes of Augmented Esquire.  AR is basically live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery – creating a mixed reality.  So, by showing certain image to our camera, we are gaining access to some content. Here is an example how an image from a pizza box unlocked part of a website:

How does it work here? After installing the software, assuming we have a webcam, it is enough to launch the application and place the magazine cover in front of a camera. Software should recognize the code, in this case located below Robert Downey Jr., and the fun can begin. Interactive elements are located in the whole magazine (I wonder where is the legend to that, so the user will not miss a single thing), often celebrities are used in these interactions.  Definitely funny and new for the potential client. Surely, this is a one-to-few times action. Not only because of the work preparation of such feature consume, but also if it would have become a standard part of the magazine, people would simply got used to it.

I do see some potential downsides, like how sophisticated that recognition is – will it work in case of the low-end webcams? Sign (code) is rather big, but still, who knows. If it will not work,  some users may get annoyed.  It is a step in the right direction, user has to be engaged, take part in something new and exciting. This also does harmonize with the upcoming Microsoft Natal, also a camera-movement recognition solution, where player will control video games using whole body as a controller. So, there is a future in such ideas.

Inspiration: Adverblog

Sofia Bank: Wealth, it is about attitude

Above examples of a new campaign by Finnish Sofia Bank . Wealth, it is about attitude or as on their website Wealth. It’s an Attitude. I do like the concept – to take some ordinary people in their normal environment, add some upper class nuances, like the exotic fruits, and the most important thing – place them in graceful poses, one may say classic portrait poses. It is not important whether you are rich or not. It is enough that you do feel so. At least I see it so. From the bank point o view, the communicate here the fact that they are treating all clients in the same way, and the only thing that limits them, is their attitude. So, with the right one, you also will be rich.

Inspiration: Ads of the World

Timberland: Mockage of the financial institutions by a shoe company, nicely done

Crisis and problems of the financial institutions are a great source of themes for promotional usage. You can literally mock them with impunity, and that’s basically what Timberland a well known manufacturer of the outdoor wears does. With some interesting catch phrases too:

‘We build things to last, maybe we should start a bank’, implied nowadays banks are not durable/reliable

‘One American institution that won’t fall apart’, implied all other major financial institutions failed

‘You’re never going to be able to retire, why should your boots?’, implied due to the crisis, or the fact that your savings evaporated, you should own some good boots…

‘How revolutionary, a jacket that can keep two people dry‘, implied saving, but the true meaning is the discount, and charity action. When you’ll return an old Timberland jacket while buying new, you’ll get 20% discount, as well as your jacket will be donated.

Advertising by negative comparison is cruel, but effective. Situation around us creates opportunities never considered earlier. Boots and banks in one advert? C’mon, this can not work. Very nice job.

Inspiration: Ads of the World

Liberia Pocho: Ratzinger, you too can become the Pope (with some Marketing)

‘Your books change so do you’, nicely done, but quite controversial. But, in the other hand, if the truth is controversial, what time we are living in? People can change, true. According to my Spanish Liberia Pocho is a sort of a book publisher/importer, as well vendor. Not only new, but also used, so it is affordable. This advert is not only showing us, that people can change, but also suggesting, that this particular vendor has a broad offer range. I like the last one, through the power of marketing a priest become a Pope – I’m surprised that they haven’t caleed it a blasphemy in Uruguay, but it only shows, how false our perception of certain countries/regions can be.

Inspiration: Scaryideas

Standard Bank Chip & Pin, thieves are among us

Very funny print campaign which is explaining the benefits of Chip payment cards. Transactions made with this card always require confirmation by PIN code. Itmakes them more secure, but this is only the theory nicely debunked here by Chris Skinner (also don’t forget who is responsible for eventual unauthorized withdrawals with such card…). Maybe it is because of the late time, but on the first sight I was under the impression, that Clients were presented as thieves. I’ve immediately though – oh crap, this is a bad idea to equate retail clients with criminals… But the second look made it all clear. Vendors are the bad guys ;-). This is even better, and the idea here is that when we’re giving someone our old-fashioned magnetic it can be easily copied and used in a malicious way. To properly evaluate this campaign you have to remember of which country does the Standard Bank originates from. It’s South Africa, a country with tremendous crime rate. But their message is universal everywhere on the globe:
‘If only they were this easy to spot’

Inspiration: Ads of the World