digital moves

Volkswagen Fine-Tunes Auto Repair Service with Help From Augmented-Reality App

Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2013 06:08 PM

Every automaker wants to make it easier, cheaper and more fun for customers to visit dealer service departments. In this era of pretty much equalized quality levels for cars, such aspects of the "customer experience" are one way that brands can still stand out from one another.

Strike a blow for Volkswagen in that regard. Dealership employees now are moving closer to using "augmented reality" to service cars, with the introduction of a system that is set to be demonstrated at an augmented-reality conference in Munich next week, according to Advertising Age.

The initial MARTA app will be for the 2014 XL1 hybrid diesel that VW debuted earlier this year. It's a limited-production, technologically advanced car that is due out next year.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Era of Wearable Computers Seems Imminent as Apple, Google Explore Ideas

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2013 02:45 PM

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died before seeing two of his big ideas – an iCar and an iWatch – become reality. But word is that one of those visions may be coming to fruition in the near future.

The computer giant “is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass,” according to The New York Times. The watch will have some of the same functions as a smartphone, but the bulk of information about the gadget – when it might appear, cost, features – remains a mystery.

“Apple’s certainly made a lot of hiring in that area,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing and smartphones, told The Times. “Apple is already in the wearable space through its ecosystem partners that make accessories that connect to the iPhone."

She cautioned that an iWatch probably wouldn't be landing on store shelves anytime soon, though.Continue reading...

digital moves

Move Over, NikeFuel: Disney Launches MyMagic+ Wristband

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 7, 2013 03:18 PM

Just as CES is getting underway in Las Vegas comes word that Disney is considering getting into the video-game-console market. UberGizmo reports that Disney has patented a gaming console that “will focus on providing a 3D augmented reality experience with its titles, similar to what the Nintendo 3DS does.”

While a video-game world of Disney is still a (new and improved) Fantasyland scenario, the estimated 30 million people that will pour through the gates of Disney World this year in Orlando will find themselves in a more game-like experience.

That's because Disney's digital marketing mavens are introducing a new method of payment and admission to ease navigating the park's attractions and venues: a bracelet called MyMagic+.Continue reading...

kidding around

Untoys for Tots: Inspiring Kids With Augmented Reality and a Cardboard Box

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 09:54 AM

Last year, Americans spent nearly $135 billion on gifts during the holiday season, with video games ranking most popular for kids. So this holiday season, Energy BBDO and Xi Chicago decided to remind kids the simple joys of play with the opposite of a video game: a cardboard box. 

Remember Caine's Arcade, the touching video of a boy who made a cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store in East Los Angeles? Cue "Mister Imagine's Toy Store," a pop-up shop selling nothing but cardboard in Chicago’s Wicker Park, to promote real play and creativity, as part of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s current “Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard” exhibit.

As Adweek notes, “Children can select a box (a donation is requested) and then head to the art room to create their own unique creation. If kids are having trouble figuring out what to make, they can step up to an augmented reality station and see options appear on their box, ask a handy art facilitator on staff, or simply look around at the stunning artworks that make up the decor.”Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Cisco Replaces "The Human Network" With "Tomorrow Starts Here"

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 10, 2012 04:29 PM

Cisco wants to be more than the largest manufacturer of computer networking equipment. It wants to guide customers through the myriad possibilities of the Internet of Everything, a phrase it's co-opting in service of its new brand positioning.

The tech brand has shut down its six-year-old tagline, "The Human Network." Its new tagline, unveiled today in a $100 million campaign — "Tomorrow Starts Here," a phrase you'll find, fittingly, all over the Internet and beyond: on its homepage and on social media as a promoted hashtag on Twitter, on its Facebook page, in a new TV campaign, in an infographic, in a series of blog posts, and in a new print campaign that comes to life via augmented reality and Cisco's mobile app.

The brand's chief marketing officer, Blair Christie, told TheStreet.com that it's more than just a campaign and new tagline.Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Augmented Reality Hits Kenya's Presidential Election

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2012 12:02 PM

Barack Obama isn't the only presidential incumbent to leverage mobile, social and digital technology in his re-election campaign. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is using augmented reality technology in his presidential re-election campaign's mobile app.

The 'Raila for President' app, built by London based agency Blue Storm Solutions, includes information on the Kenyan election process, current news and videos, and advanced image recognition technology from Aurasma. The deal takes the UK-based brand into its 100th foreign territory with the Aurasma-enabled app to bring election posters and literature to life real-time, and encourage click-through to donate to the campaign.

With penetration of smartphones at 7% and growing fast in Kenya, Odinga’s campaign is looking to the African nation's mobile-savvy influencers to help in his re-election bid, which has been challenged by charges of police harassment of the country's ethnic minority population.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Pop Branding: Taylor Swift Augments Rep, Colgate Brushes in One Direction

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2012 05:14 PM

One Direction stormed the Today Show this morning, with a concert in NBC's New York digs in Rockefeller Square and news of a 3D concert film slated for next year (directed by product placement foe-turned-champion Morgan Spurlock). Hot on the Heelys of its Pepsi "Live for Now" US TV campaign with NFL star Drew Brees, the band is extending its brand to Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste: 1D Colgate Max Fresh. The collection of three oral care products, available in the U.S. only, is designed "to add some fun to teens' and tweens' brushing regimens," said Philip Durocher, VP and GM of U.S. Oral Care for Colgate-Palmolive. Hopefully fans will be inspired to brush their teeth in one direction (roll that brush, kids!) too.

While Taylor Swift is slightly older, at the ripe old age of 22, she's also quick to embrace novel ways to promote her albums, including partnering with Keds and Papa John's for her latest release, Red. Next up: her mobile app (available in iTunes and Google Play) is incorporating augmented reality so fans can access exclusive content related to Red. By opening the app's AR feature and pointing the device's viewfinder at a still image on the "Red" album cover (and on in-store displays at select Walmart stores), fans will see the images come to life. The app also works on the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck fragrance packaging from Elizabeth Arden.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's CEO Has High Hopes for McRib and Cheddar Bacon Onion Sandwiches

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 02:23 PM

As global economic bellwethers go, McDonald's sales results probably rank right up there with oil prices and consumer-confidence measures. So its shareholders, analysts and executives aren't exactly lovin' it when the company reports lackluster results, as it did for the third quarter.

The fast-food leader reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the period as it battled a weak global economy and accommodated more budget-minded consumers from Europe to China. Both sales and profits fell during the quarter, a rarity for McDonald's.

Of course, McDonald's results aren't directly synonymous with the status of the world's appetite for quick fare. The stronger dollar hurt international sales too. Also, competitors in many markets have been upping their game lately, including both Burger King and Wendy's in the United States, and the new strains from rivals also are reflected in McDonald's results.Continue reading...

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