Saturday, 28 January 2012

Exploring our geeky sides

A fallen angel from the Lynx Excite campaign
This module, I was most impressed by Augmented Reality (AR). The sci-fi quality of that type of application really appeals to the geek in me and I can imagine it has almost limitless potential.  I came across many impressive ways it was used for public relations activities.
To start, I saw how Adidas had launched its new Scotland Football Shirt in a mall in Glasgow, allowing people to put themselves on screen with their favorite players. What a way to create publicity and give a few people a thrill. Those who interacted with the set up in the Buchanan Mall, really seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

The Youtube video for Layar. an AR browser for mobile, shows how easy it could be to shop for houses using their service. One can identify houses for sale, then call up information and even call the realtor. That would be a fabulous service for a local BIA or tourist board.  View it here.
I tried a watch on here, an interesting way to capture attention and potentially, bring a consumer a step closer to a purchase.
Finally,  I found the Lynx Excite campaign using fallen angels.  View the response to them at a London tube station. They left a pretty big impression.
The competing aps this week were QR codes, LBS aps and a discovery engine like Stumbleupon.
QR codes or Quick Response codes (photo) work the same way as barcodes, but are two dimensional and hold much more information. They work by having the user take a photo of the code with a mobile phone, which initiates action such as:
Connection to a web address
Download a MP3
Dialing a telephone number
Prompting your email client with a sender address
They can be read from any angle and can be used in multiples to hold a great deal of data. Now next time you see a realty ad with one of these babies, you'll know what you're missing.
Location Based Services (LBS) can be used like maps to show you where the nearest corporate or savvy service has provided data. If you don't happen to know where the nearest Starbucks is, don't fret. Many of the services will offer perks if users in the area "check in" with them, which also lets their friends keep up with them.
One of the largest LBS,' Foursquare, invites feedback about the local services, so if you trust what others have said, you may avoid a bad experience somewhere. Seems a little sketchy to me...
In terms of PR applications, if your service generates good feedback, it's helpful. LBS check ins can also trigger local advertisements.ON a practical note, it has been said that LBS' can help users keep track of their mileage (if they continually check in as they go through their routes).
Discovery engines have been created as a means for beleaguered internet and mobile users to cope with the bombardment of information that all this new technology is offering them. User preferences are provided and thereafter, the engine provides content to match the profile. It sounds a little creepy, but is actually kind of fun. Its hard not to like something that consistently pops up with info to match your interests.
Of course the searches are not completely innocent. A rating system drives competition between companies and Stumbleupon offers paying option to help them your "engaged" mind. It sounds like a viable marketing tool.


  1. Thanks, Shannon, for identifying -- for me, at least -- the so-called quick response code. I've increasingly seen them on subway ads and the like. But up until now, I never knew what they were called. That fact would make me believe the social media community hasn't done a good enough job educating the public about the codes' existence and purpose!

    1. p.s. Phil, where is your blog? I can't find it.

  2. I feel the same, Phil. There they were, on the realty ads. If not for this class, I would still have no idea what they are. I think individuals who place them on ads are a little over-reliant on them. But I am still clinging on to the good old days, five years ago...

  3. This course finally inspired me to download a QR scanner app on my phone too. I do wonder about the bus ads that just direct you to the home page of the business. Why bother? If your page doesn't have some kind of value added mobile aspect to it (i.e. a searchable database of nearby stores so I can shop right now or local sales information) then you've just had me waste my precious data plan on a website that I could view more easily at home.

  4. Hi Julie, that's interesting to hear. People are jumping on the bandwagon, but not always thinking it through. I wonder how many people are using the technology to its full potential and how many are wasting their money and people's time? Nasty.