Interactive In-Cinema Advertising: Part 1

Japan cinema going is becoming more and more popular. You may not know but some of the most frightening films originated in Japan; The Ring, The Grudge, One Missed Call.
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Cinema actually is the oldest mass audio-visual medium. But it is also as passive as media consumption gets.The imaginative application of digital technology by Sairis and Activate may change this in Japan.

An innovative proprietary technology combines mobile and social-networking applications to interact with consumers in Japanese movie theaters.

“In-cinema advertising gives us an opportunity to create a dialogue with the audience who is there, present and ready to be entertained,” said Ty Giuliani director of Activate.

Theater advertising is one of the fastest growing in paid media. Overall, cinema ad revenues saw a double-digit increase last year, jumping nearly 19 percent.

Advertisers are poised to take advantage of the full movie going experience, from theater lobbies to concession stands, producing a sizeable growth in integrated campaigns. “This can, literally, double or triple the impact a brand can make on the movie-goer,” said Tim Smith of Sairis group.

One goal is to keep consumers engaged long after the final credits roll. “What you start to do is you raise the engagement level of your movie-goer,” said Takeshi Abe of Japan’s Media Box”

Media Box is testing Audience Game, The intent is to create a “well-planned, well-calculated interactive component that enhances the experience, is a lot of fun and doesn’t get in the way of the [bigger] picture –no pun intended.

“We believe that interactivity will enhance the movie-going experience, offer brands an interesting way to engage consumers and create a fun atmosphere in the cinemas,” said Abe, “We are hopeful that it will bring incremental media dollars to the medium too.”
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“I think it will definitely drive ad sales. I could imagine it changing the pricing models with a premium for interactive campaigns. The cinemas that support this functionality would have higher rates and the demand for available inventory would become extremely competitive.”

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Honda Clarity, ZERO Emissions

Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle in 2007 and plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle this summer.
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Jaimie Lee Curtis taking delivery of her new Clarity in LA

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack.

FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

“The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we’ve made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. “Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles.”

How It Works

The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda’s V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle’s electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle’s main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed.
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The FCX Clarity’s only emission is water.

Based on its vision of, “Blue Skies for our Children”, Honda has worked for forty years at reducing the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future.

If this exists now why manufacture anything else? Forgot to mention it gets 270 miles per one charge and is quite powerful because of its drive train …it is no golf cart!

The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II

Consider the following edited from an old colleague of mine Peter Kim’s post: I have many great case histories of word of mouth marketing that has really been successful so i wanted to pass this along.
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Dave Balter is a word-of-mouth guru. He founded the word-of-mouth media network BzzAgent and has written two books on the subject of word-of-mouth marketing. Dave launched a great hero marketing campaign recently to promote his second book, The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II.
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Dave reached out to a network of big thinkers and asked them to show some generosity in promoting the book. Who did Dave a favor? Seth Godin. Jackie Huba. Chris Brogan. John Moore. Greg Verdino. And 15 others. If you look at the related posts, almost all of these bloggers are promoting Dave’s book out of generosity to a fellow big thinker.
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So why did it work? The offer was limited. It was relevant to the bloggers and their readers. And it was a motorcade of generosity, from the bloggers to Dave and on to their readers.

Do you learn as much from a “hero marketing” example as an explanation of an “ego trap?” Do these words matter to you? Let me give you something else to consider:

On July 29th, an invitation was extended to the readers of a prominent blogger to join a “members-only tribe.” It’s invitation only until this blogger’s new book publishes in October and early members get “privileges and bragging rights” including “a chance to contribute to a new jointly-authored e-book, with full credit and links to the contributors.”

To join this tribe, you must pre-order the author’s book three months in advance for about US$11 – but this isn’t about selling more books; it’s intended to filter out the tire-kickers from more serious community members.

Does this sound like hero marketing or an ego trap to you?

Activate Brings Real Interactivity to Mobile

This is only a test using simple flash animation but imagine playing a video game using your mobile phone on a LED screen in the city or even the screen at a movie theater before the main feature…I will share more with you later but this tech takes your mobile phone to a whole new level.

The Old Athletes Versus the Young in Beijing

I realize that there is lots of controversy regarding the young gymnasts from China but one of the things I loved best about these Olympics was also a blow struck for the “old folk”. You know what I mean, those Olympians who were foolishly thought to be over the hill.

I will try and relate their performances to to my business where it seems like the young have a perceived edge in creativity.

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Dara Torres

41-year-old Dara Torres with her 1/100th of a second behind Silver Medal; Oksana Chusovitina with her Silver in the vault; and Constantina Tomescu-Dita with her Gold Medal in the marathon, were each the oldest person competing for their event, and came away winners in what’s typically seen as a young person’s game.

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Oksana Chusovitina

You hear a lot about the perils of age discrimination and let’s face it, it’s real and it does exist. But let’s take a page from these Olympians, and think about how you can turn your age into an advantage:

Great attitude. When Dara came up just short of the Gold Medal in each of her events, who would have blamed her for being upset, bummed out, or bitterly disappointed at missing her chance for the top rung?

But instead, she was a runner-up with grace.

She beamed. She laughed. She congratulated the winners. And she showed what sportsmanship at the highest levels is all about.

A great attitude like Dara’s is going to see you through the near-misses and the almost-had-its, and that, is going to make you the champion in the long run.

Use Wisdom. Constantina Tomescu-Dita out-thought the pack in the marathon.

Her strategic gamble to break away at the mid-point of the marathon paid off when her younger competitors thought, “Hey, she’s gotta be bluffing.”

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Constantina Tomescu-Dita

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, exploit your opponents’ youth and inexperience. Open up a wide gap when they think you’re taking it easy, and laugh your way to the Gold.

You’ve had a lot more years to train so you should be better!

Dara Torres broke a world record in the 50 mm freestyle that she first broke 26 years ago as a 15-year-old. Those two-dozen-plus years of training paid off for Dara, her stroke, her technique, and her mental discipline all improved.

Take advantage of the lessons you’ve learned over your life, you’re sharper, you’ve seen it all, and you’ve got a lot of learning to bring to bear on the business problems of your clients. Put your best foot forward and really showcase that expertise after all, it’s been a long time in the making!

OK, folks, those, at least, were the lessons that I picked up from watching the “Old Olympics.” I hope you found something similarly inspiring in all the performances these past two weeks that will help you raise your game.

Sony Ericsson Launches DRM-Free Music Store

All Xanga readers love to download music…here is the latest about downloading to your phones from your PCs.

Sony Ericsson has rolled out its PlayNow arena, an over-the-air download service that will sell DRM-free music as well as games and applications.
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The expanded mobile music service will go live in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway on Aug. 25. Each country will have localized content in the relevant language.

The London based joint venture between Sony and Ericsson has secured the global rights to five million tracks. Universal Music Group is the only major not to sign up the service and the company says it is in discussions with UMG as well as 30 other labels.
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Around one million tracks will be available from Aug. 25 in the Nordic markets with the rest to be added at a later date. Sony Ericsson says the service will launch in other European markets this year followed by Latin America and the Asia Pacific region in 2009.

In Sweden, full track downloads will cost 9 kronor ($1.42). In Finland, tracks will cost €0.99 ($1.46).

Sony Ericsson’s Walkman and MP3-enabled phones from the 2006 K800 model will be compatible with the service, a total of 25 handsets.

Customers will get a high quality DRM-free MP3 delivered to their computer and a protected lower quality file sent directly to their phone. The PlayNow arena can also be accessed via a computer and MP3 purchases could then be transferred to music players or other MP3-enabled devices.

PlayNow first launched in 2004 to provide polyphonic ringtones and later added mastertones, games and some full music tracks.

Dudes Don’t Diet

When pitching to men, weight-loss companies don’t use the d-word

“Men have their own vocabulary for cutting calories, and it does not include the word ‘diet,'” says Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer at Weight Watchers International and the author of She Loses, He Loses: The Truth About Men, Women, and Weight Loss.
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“Women love the word ‘diet,’ but you don’t hear men saying, ‘My diet starts Monday,'” says Miller-Kovach. “Men tend to say they need ‘to get in shape.'”

Men’s aversion to the word diet is not lost on the soft-drink industry. When introducing a new diet soda targeted at men, Coca-Cola called it Coke Zero, which some in Europe dubbed “bloke Coke.” Similarly, Pepsi One is also sugar-free, targeted to men and scrupulously avoids the d-word.
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Less ostracized for being overweight, men tend to be slower to acknowledge it. “Generally a man has to be obese before he considers himself even a little overweight,” Miller-Kovach says. “And men diet less often.

“Men are oblivious that their weight is even a problem, but when they realize it, it’s like the invasion of Normandy,” she continues. “Men are problem solvers and very dogmatic about weight loss.”

Men also tend to emphasize exercise, stressing not that they want to be “skinny” or “thin” but rather “fit” or “lean,” she says.

Miller-Kovach does see men’s attitudes about dieting beginning to shift, though. There is, of course, Jared Fogle, the spokesman hired by Subway after he lost more than 240 pounds on a strict diet of their sandwiches. But she says the bigger shift came with the popularity a few years ago of the Atkins diet. Men found eating the recommended steak, chicken and bacon agreed not just with their palates but their machismo — and dieted more openly then ever.
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Although the Atkins diet drove the low-carb craze in 2003 and 2004, its popularity has dropped precipitously. But, according to Kim Evenson, svp of marketing and sales at eDiets.com, “we still see a really strong appeal for Atkins with men.”

Founded in 1996, eDiets.com helps clients choose from among more than 20 weight-loss plans, an approach the company calls “nondenominational dieting,” Evenson says. And the site recently added the eDiets’ meal delivery plan, which resembles NutriSystem and Jenny Direct, a new option from Jenny Craig.

“A lot of times women are looking for more community support and engagement, whether online or offline,” Evenson says. “But men don’t say, ‘So Bob, how’s it going? How can I better support you?’ That’s not locker-room talk. Men like meal delivery, where there’s a simple approach that they’re able to follow.”

About 10 percent of eDiets’ customers are men, a number Evenson says has grown steadily from 1,000 men in 1998 to nearly 10,000 today. Although the company hasn’t designed ads for men per se, it does advertise in some male-skewing media, including Discovery’s Science Channel, whose audience is about two-thirds male.

Along with low-carb diets, the most popular category with men on eDiets is what the company calls “medical/special condition plans.” Such programs, prompted by a finger-wagging physician, are designed to lower cholesterol, improve the heart or manage diabetes.