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The Social Explorer: The Mini Countryman Campaign

16 May

Grand Theft Auto LIVE in Stockholm…get your carjacking skills at the ready.

Every so often, I see something that completely changes the way I think about how technology can connect us. Something new, exciting, relevant and impactful usually fits the bill and the Mini Countryman campaign ticks all the boxes (and more!)

The New Mini Countryman

There isn’t a great deal I need to say about this, the wrap up in the video pretty much does the talking. But it does present a completely new way of marketing a new  product. It seems almost like a 21st century version of the ‘touch the truck‘ competition’ but a jump in technology means that thousands people can interact with each other – leading to a lot of positive things to say about Mini as a brand. That the average person playing this game spends over 5 hours doing so says a lot about how far people will go to win something as big as a car – when the mechanic is right. One of the last things said about the campaign…’it’s so social’ and it is. Bringing people from an online game environment to interact with each other in the real world is no mean feat, and something that I would LOVE to see develop…perhaps this is one way to deal with obesity in children? Where do you see this tech fitting in to marketing campaigns and beyond?

– The Social Explorer

The Social Explorer: QR codes; the revolution…

14 May

QR codes might be the future…but careful where you put that thing!

QR codes, to me, are one of the more exciting technologies to have arrived in the last year or so. The reason they ‘float my boat’ is because of the combination of platforms and link between channels – physical location > smartphone > QR Code > destination. This sequence is something that can be altered (QR codes at a POS for example) but essentially the use of a physical printed code to take you off to a website it brilliant marketing.

Though I’ve seen a rather odd example of the humble QR code (being used underground – this is confusing and rather pointless!) most end uses have been fairly good and quite standard. A code will take you to a website to explain more about that advertisement you’ve just seen. This is all well and good but if marketeers really think about how this technology can be harnessed and used to their advantage, a whole world of opportunity opens up…

Odd use of a QR code underground…lazy marketing?

So what could be done to bring QR codes to their full potential? Let’s kick off with the look of these things. Though at the moment, the uniform black and white box is best because that’s what people recognise as a QR code (and its new technology) , when the time comes and people are super aware of these little graphics, we can start to change them around. BBC have already done this, inserting their logo into the code and giving a more integrated professional look to the whole thing.

A fine example of a QR code slightly altered...

And this isn’t hard – the whole code doesn’t need to be seen…you can play around with them (it’s a bit trial and error) but colour can be influenced, you can put images, wording etc – all just using a QR code generator such as this one, and good old  Photoshop.

A bit much...for now?

So the exciting prospect is the future – what’s next for QR code integration? My thoughts are that it will, in time, be part of the marketing process almost like a *terms and conditions apply* message, QR codes will go onto all branded communications – I mean, why not? But the clever stuff is still to come. Imagine you’ve just got off of the underground, you want a coffee but you’re not sure where to go. There’s a Café Nero poster opposite you with a QR code, telling you to scan it. Once scanned, you’re taken to a map to the nearest Café Nero and an incentive 10% voucher for your coffee. This is a simple and quick journey, helping to convert someone who may have gone straight to Starbucks for convenience into a new customer for your business. There’s a million and one uses for these gems and I, for one, am very excited to see how clever we can get when integrating these into marketing campaigns.

Have you seen some great examples of QR codes that you love? Link me up in the comments section! 

– The Social Explorer