Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's a Billboard. It's a Store. It's Brilliant.

I was looking at this year's Cannes Lion award winners and was struck by one idea so simple, innovative, and transformational, it's no wonder it won the Grand Prix for media. 

Tesco, a leading supermarket and general merchandise store just about everywhere but here in the U.S., wanted to increase its share in South Korea (where the brand is called HomePlus and is ranked number 2), but without investing in real estate.

The company found that South Koreans are the 2nd busiest, hardest-working people in the world. These folks need a break. After all that work, who wants to spend time shopping?

So instead of making these busy people find time to go to the store, Tesco brought the store right to where the busiest people are: the subway.

It placed backlit transit posters throughout the Seoul subway system that look amazingly like grocery store shelves. Dairy case shelves. Produce shelves. Butcher shelves. 

The "products" on these "shelves" are perfectly to scale, and perfectly realistic. And on each  product is a QR code, the graphic stamp that is starting to replace the bar code around the world (even here in the U.S.).

When a commuter/shopper snaps a picture of a product with the QR code reader app on his or her smartphone, it is ordered, paid for, and delivered soon after he or she gets home.

What we have here is a perfect combination of understanding the target, finding a way to bring value to his or her life, transforming a billboard into store, and a commute home from work into a painless trip to the supermarket.

Nice job.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

At Least For One Extrovert, the Quake Was Earth Shaking

Copy Extrovert, Jamie Silverman reflects on the Great East Coast Quake of 2011. Just as I discovered in Rome back in 2009, the first real reverberations were felt online.


Technical prowess, digital capability and Internet advancement have changed the way we experience and share news with one another. In olden days, people would sit down with a newspaper to learn the latest goings on (okay, so this is one trend that's still hanging by a thread for the moment – you get the point). But seriously, way back when, a man arriving on horseback shouting about what was going on over yonder in the next town used to be the expected mode of getting news. Word from abroad took weeks to arrive. Fast forward a few hundred years and we are receiving news updates up to the second. 

Why my current obsession with the news? Because of Tuesday's earthquake, that’s why. 

While sitting at my desk in the corner of the Extrovertic office, I felt the ground shake. I looked up and asked my coworkers if they felt anything. Once the tremors stopped, we all wanted to know if we truly had felt an earthquake or if it was all our imagination. So everyone tuned in to the local news websites.

I on the other hand, logged on to Facebook and Twitter.

Within minutes, I had received confirmation from the social-media sphere, that we had in fact experienced an earthquake of a 5.9 magnitude. Some of my favorite posts:

Credibility be damned, my first inclination was not to check out the New York Times or, but rather to assume that the tweeters of the world would be the best source of information.

Though I do think Twitter, Facebook and the like are great sources of information, I have to wonder if it’s sort of a modern-day Wikipedia. Chock full of information, some of it credible, some not, all requiring an open mind and critical eye upon reading.

What do you think?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Social Media Overload?

Some of these names, you might recognize. Others, you probably don’t.

All of them are various iterations of social networking sites; a phenomenon of the last ten years or so, that has changed the way we interact with one another.

When it comes to social networking, the list of viable tools is endless. Whether you are interested in finding someone who shares your passion of small dogs or jade plants, future husbands, job opportunities or frustrations with parking spots in New York City, you can log on, sign in and find someone who fits the bill.

For some, these endless opportunities to meet and interact with people is highly enticing. For others, completely and utterly overwhelming.

Which is the right site for you? How can you work a job, have a family and friends, and simultaneously be expected to be ridiculously plugged in?

In a recent NY Times article about strategizing for those people who are “digitally fatigued,” it was reported that one in every four-and-a-half minutes spent on the Web is spent on a social networking site or blog.

So what’s the answer: Should you log in more? Less? Find new sites? Stick with the old ones?

As suggested by the article, one solution is find one or two sites that really work for you and stick with them.  For the socialites, perhaps Facebook is your best bet. Looking for job opportunities? Join LinkedIn.

Or maybe the choice is to rotate your networking sites. Join Yackit discussions for the first half of the year and then begin tweeting in the second half.

With so many choices, the possibilities are endless. All you have to do is find your personal networking groove.