Friday, 22 February 2013

Best Bus Shelter ever. Simple integrated mobile marketing that really works. Great thinking.

Sorry but I love these because I know the work that goes into them and I know the thinking behind them. And it's fabulous to see that thinking rewarded when it works.

This is for Qualcomm a mobile phone Operator. 

They put up Bus Shelter Posters and had a www address on the posters, asking bus users to use their mobile to text in. Need a lift? And along comes a...well, watch it. Or in a hurry? And there's a....yeah, have a look.

It's a piece of integrated marketing. Digital mobile marketing, SMS, Bus Shelter advertising, experiential activity, viral on has it all at a low, low cost. And then we're talking about Qualcomm aren't we?

"We make life better on mobile" goes the copyline. And they do.

Simple things makes great advertising. 
And good ideas needn't cost.

Bit of thinking needed, nothing more.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Google Glasses. Want to see what they look like on? Video here and pretty spec-tacular all round. The future smartphone replacement.....

A Video demo of Google's Glass (Google Goggles) has just been released.

It gives a good sense as to how the glasses work and pretty spectacularly. The headset doesn't actually have a screen in front but rather a small screen in the top right and with very excellent functionality - as you can see.

Photo taking, video making, looking up answers on Google, sharing on social, weather, email and so on, is all here but interestingly, we didn't know about voice command. By saying, "OK Glass" it activates the menu hands-free and gets the glasses listening for commands. Now that is, cool.

Google have also launched a competition to get a view as to how the Glasses can be used creatively. Ideas should go to Twitter at hashtag, ifihadglass. 

Here too is the Glass website

Pretty exceptional the whole idea, which I think anyway and it's being brilliantly executed step-by-step. 

It's going to be the "next big thing", no doubt. A potential replacement for the smartphone.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hotmail is a gonner. It's now There's money in mail.

Hotmail, the world's largest web-based email service, is no longer and is now

Microsoft who bought Hotmail in 1997, have had in beta testing for the past 7 months and now the takeover is complete. The changeover will take place gradually and users won't be forced to switch their Hotmail address to an outlook one, but new users will. So there will no disruption in service to existing users.

I have often wondered why the world's postal services brands, never got into online mail? Another example of big companies watching their business go by online? I think so.....

60 million people are using Outlook mail with 350 million using Hotmail and the new service will have many advanced features. The layout looks brighter and breezier with much more simplified tasks - so it has been designed with the user in mind.

It also allows easy interaction and integration with Social Media.

Hotmail was launched in 1996 and probably one of the first email addresses. Advertising overloaded then, the Ads have been streamlined to more direct, relevant text "google" style ads so they're less intrusive.

Generally, is being viewed as "better" than Gmail but at the end of the day, mail is mail. However, it's interesting in that email services with large users who use it regularly daily, has not yet had the real business push? It seems to me a cool, good email brand is a winner and perhaps this is what Microsoft see too. There's no doubt too, that if me or you were asked to pay only a dollar or a euro a month for a mail service, we would.

In the case of Hotmail, that would bring in 350 million...a month. Even at 10 cents a month, it would rocket! So there's opportunity here.

But goodbye Hotmail. 
A founding Internet brand bites the dust.
As the Post Office watches it all happen.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Google to open retail stores. Just in time for Google Glasses?

Rumours abound, strong rumours, of Google opening its own high-street retail stores, starting in the US main cities this year.

As Apple know, having shops, can bring customers into contact with your brand in a real personal, helpful way. Especially when you're a Google and largely only known for Search. It's interesting too, a company moving from Web into retail stores - kind of like Amazon opening book stores - but this could be a plan just in time for Google Glass (or "Google Goggles" as most of us know them).

In retail you can touch, see, hold, demo the product and for something so new, it could be a great sales channel for glasses. Or indeed, a new world of wearable computing which is ahead of us.

They're likely too to come at the end of the year, "coincidentally" in time for the launch of Google Glass. They could also sell Chrome computing and of course, Nexus smartphones and tablets moving perceptions of Google from software to hardware. Google also owns the Motorola handset business.

Indeed following in the footsteps of both Apple and Microsoft who have their own retail operations, this would bring the Google brand into a new arena and reaching out to new consumers. High street, high profile retail, is a great Ad for a brand. Google already has a "sort of a" retail presence in the 'Best Buy' stores.

It may not be just about money short-term, but building a real brand long-term. Shops are one good way to do that.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dropbox floatation likely soon. Bono made more money in Facebook's float first 24 hours than a lifetime of music. He's invested in this as well.

Dropbox are in talks to go IPO shortly and it's sure to be the next high-tech flotation. Dropbox are in the cloud storage/file transfer business and typically used to share video, something which we do a lot of in Streamabout, a couple of times a day.

So if you want to send of receive a large file, Dropbox would be one answer. Mind you, we don't use it but prefer a competitive product 'Wetransfer' which honestly, we find better and quicker than 'Dropbox'. But that has nothing to do with it.

Dropbox's value is in the 4 billion usd range with 200 million users and frankly, was one of the first to get into this space. So it has benefited from 'first mover advantage'. Founded in 2007 - imagine, 6 years later it's worth 4 Billion (!) - it's one of those sites still banned in China and Ireland's own, U2's The Edge and Bono, are investors.

Mind you, both of them did well out of the Facebook float. Imagine...Bono earned more money in one day with Facebook than he has from a lifetime of music! 

Based on San Fran, Dropbox seems to be ready and ripe for a floatation, making billionaires out of its 2 founders and then other investors. File transfer and cloud storage is a good business to be in with a good future and Dropbox are at the front of that - like them or not.

It will be a good opportunity when it's announced and probably the next big high tech IPO. Which a lot of companies are opting for these days rather than staying private. It seems to be a "quick fix" get-rich scheme rather than what the business requires and early inventors/investors seem to want to "get in and get out".

Frankly having given the business all the pain a young tech start-up requires, I'm not surprised that once there is an opportunity to cash-in, they take it. An IPO is a good fast way to achieve that.