Archive for February, 2013
Photo Credit: social-gen.com/AJXX8
In 1988, Michael Jordan ran the length of the court, took off from the free throw line and soared through the air, cocking the ball back as he delivered a perfect 50 in the final round of the dunk contest. That dunk that will forever be frozen in time; MJ suspended in air, igniting the fantasy that Jordan himself could fly. When Michael began his last round of the contest, the commentator announced: “Mission Control, ready for launch…”
This iconic image of MJ taking Flight created the logo and backbone of the Jordan brand, and brought increased attention to the line of Air Jordan’s. The Air Jordan has a long legacy within the basketball community but, this year, Jordan brand took it to a whole new level. After 2 years of innovation design, tests, reviews, and much more, the Air Jordan XX8 launched in Houston on the first day of All-Star Weekend.
Inspired by the AJXX8’s sense of stealth and night vision, an innovative and interactive trialing experience designed specifically for the AJXX8 was erected in the Houston Galleria. Consumers could step into the shoe, feel how comfortable and light it was and give it a test run through a series of challenges. The last challenge tested out the new Flight Plate technology; enabling the consumer to literally “Take Flight.” The comfort and flexibility of the shoe were clear to every consumer after trying it on, leading many of them to the Galleria Foot Locker to purchase their own pair.
The experience didn’t stop at the shoe trial; completion of the trial challenges unlocked the next opportunity for consumers, The Flight Deck. This unique build-out gave consumers a sneak peek at the complete Jordan line of 1 – 27 with the history associated with each design as well as some of the future designs that will launch for the AJXX8. The experience was hidden behind frosted doors with a bouncer out front, further creating a sense of exclusivity. Consumers never knew who they might see inside – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Carmelo Anthony & Russell Westbrook all came through, in addition to artists Trae tha Truth, Bun B., and Fabolous.
The Jordan experiences at the Houston Galleria became the place to be at All-Star Weekend, a victory in itself that cannot be overstated in a market known for its star-power and overall cool factor. MKTG INC & Jordan brand were able to leave an indelible mark on consumers with the launch of the AJXX8, ensuring that it will remain culturally relevant for years to come.
In short, mission accomplished.
What’s the biggest comeback of 2013? No, not Justin Timberlake. No, not Ben Affleck. Not even William Shatner, who’s had more comebacks in his career than David Hasselhoff.
Nope, the biggest comeback of 2013 hasn’t been a ‘who’ at all, but a ‘what’ — a social network that quietly overtook Twitter and Youtube in January to become the world’s second largest digital community, slowly gaining traction on that social Goliath known as Facebook. It’s your old acquaintance…Google+.
You remember Google+, don’t you? Many of us rushed to join the social network two years ago, which at the time was poised to overtake Facebook as THE digital community. Then it died (or so we thought). Now suddenly, it’s back, like the William Shatner of the social sphere.
And just like Captain Kirk, it wiggled its way into Oscar night, creating a destination hub for viewers to engage in both the awards and one another for a truly immersive experience.
In fact, Google+ attracted 343 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 27% from the year before. Part of its recent success can be attributed to Google tying Google+ to its other services. Now, when you sign up for a Gmail account, you’re also creating a Google+ profile.
It’s too soon to say whether Google+ will overtake Facebook, but with a comeback this big, it could be accepting the award for Best Social Network this time next year.
Photo Credit: Komonews.com
We’ve seen QR codes. They might look awful, but they pack loads of information into a tiny space. Regardless, properly implemented QR codes help enhance a consumer’s experience—particularly in retail.
Hointer, a men’s premium denim store based in Seattle, integrates QR codes to create a unique consumer shopping experience. Instead of displaying a full size run, the store only features a pair of denim from each style. Each pair is suspended from the ceiling in an upright position, which eliminates shelves in the store and allows shoppers to get a full look at the denim. The highlight of the Hointer experience is its automated service. Each pair of denim has a QR code that a shopper can scan via a bespoke Hointer app. The denim selected can either be purchased or automatically sent to a fitting room through behind-the-scene robotics and chutes. The Hointer experience eliminates having to dig through piles of clothes to find a size or having to carry multiple items around the store. The video attached shows the Hointer experience.
Hointer is tech-powered retail. Tech-powered retail not only creates a unique and seamless shopping experience, but also reduces the cost to retailers. Also, it provides hassle-free solutions such as direct-to-fitting-room system and mobile checkout.
Hointer is only one of the many examples of technology integrated into traditional retail spaces. Brands that adopt new in-store technologies enable consumers to discover new things and explore on their own terms. Thanks to tech like Hointer’s, a shopping spree takes a whole new meaning.
These are the names of (some of) my childhood heroes. Nowadays, these cats are all the rage, but once upon a time (way) back in the 90’s, things weren’t so awesome for comic book kids like me.
Many folks today forget the embarrassing on-screen antics of George Clooney in his glossy, nipple-clad bat-suit in the 1997 bomb, “Batman & Robin”, or the twisted weirdness of Tim Burton’s goth-thriller, “Batman Returns” in 1992. Sadly, at the time, that’s all we had to look forward to, and as fans, we bore the the brunt of the laughter as we stubbornly refused to hang up our Batman pajamas.
For years, the comic book community yearned for Hollywood to stop treating our idols like cheap cartoons, but it seemed our prayers had fallen on deaf ears.
Then in 2005, along came a filmmaker named Christopher Nolan (or St. Christopher, to some bat-fans). Nolan’s aim was to take the character seriously and expose the gritty nature of the caped crusader’s war on crime. The result was the mega-hit, “Batman Begins“, which gave way to film classic, “The Dark Knight“.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, TDK stars Heath Ledger as one of the most sinister villains in the history of pop culture; Batman’s arch-nemisis, “The Joker”. Not to be overlooked, Christian Bale’s performance as a more soulful Bruce Wayne/vengeful Batman also gave credibility to the now exploding genre of superhero cinema. There was a time when Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton weren’t proud of their stints as on-screen heroes. Now? A-List actors are chomping at the bit to wear a cape.
Thanks to the critical success of Nolan’s Bat-films, major studios are green-lighting some of the comic book world’s biggest names for their moment in the sun. Just one look at this year’s lineup is undeniable proof that the golden age of comics is experiencing an unfathomable renaissance. As Iron Man would say, “let’s do a headcount”:
Iron Man 3 – May 3rd
The Wolverine – July 26th
Thor: The Dark World – November 8
The Lone Ranger – July 3rd
Kick Ass 2 – June 28th
Man of Steel – June 14th
Star Trek: Into Darkness – (Not a comic book film, but still a cornerstone of nerd culture) May 17th
So kids, dust off those Superman pajamas and wear them proudly! Bust open those old comic books and recall those epic tales! Put on your costumes! Ignite your lightsabers! Skip work to go to Comic-Con! Why?
Because geek truly is the new chic!
New Orleans. The Big Easy. Home of the beignet, live jazz, crawfish, and daiquiri slurping tourists. A city where the credo is “laissez les bons temps rouler” (for you non-French speakers, “Let the good times roll”). Known for the annual Mardi Gras Festival, this year New Orleans welcomed the 2013 Superbowl (aka the Harbowl) and the Nike New Orleans Football Combine. Nike Football and SPARQ Training hosted the Combine at the new Victory Field at Joe Brown Park. Victory Field (built in conjuction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Brees Dream Foundation) shows Nike’s commitment to sports and youth by bringing new energy to the New Orleans East area.
Top high school athletes from Orleans and Jefferson Parish were invited down for a showcase of speed and skill in front of family, coaches, and professional athletes. Combine participants were put through a series of drills with the SPARQ rating system measuring overall performance. The goal – build better athletes.
MKTG INC provided a unique trial experience with a photo/video training component with Nike coaches on-site. Athletes had the choice between trialing the Nike Vapor Talons or the pre-released CJ81 Elites. Once cleated up, athletes were directed to the Nike Dynamic Shuttle where their 5-10-5 shuttle was captured by three cameras and one high-definition video camera. Photos were printed and emailed while the videos were displayed on the monitor wall for coaching analysis. Athletes left with unique takeaways (photos and videos to share on social media) and more importantly, tips for improving their speed and performance.
As the sun went down and the stadium lights kicked on, players took the field for the 2013 Lake Pontchartrain All-Star Football Classic between Orleans and Jefferson. Nike helped to make this a memorable night by providing new Nike uniforms for both teams.
Thank you Nike and thank you New Orleans, a city where Fast is Faster.
Written by: Andrew Ward
Going back to the dotcom boom of the late ‘90s there has been a constantly evolving race to the top of the internet food chain, and recently it has become clear we have entered a new chapter in the struggle. The Silicon Valley-led revolution is defined by super-connected young millionaires and billionaires, two of whom find themselves at the center of the fray.
Enter heavyweight CEO’s Larry Page (Google) & Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), leaders of the first two true internet super powers. Facebook, Foreman to Google’s Ali, withstood the first volley of the rivalry when Google+ failed (so far) to take a significant bite out of Facebook’s social networking pie. Facebook’s counter offensive has since taken the form of Graph Search, a direct challenge to Google’s stranglehold on the search market.
Facebook is seeking to reinvent the effectiveness of the internet search by factoring in the recommendations, likes and check-ins of everyone in a user’s network. For example, you could search for ‘Restaurants my friends like in San Francisco’ and be presented with a page of friend-endorsed options. But the search capability, while an exciting tool, is just the beginning. Owning search and the data it generates would also give Facebook the kind of information needed to mount a true challenge to Google AdWords, highly effective ads that target tendencies a user generates over time. For marketers, it will mean the chance to better understand our consumers as they continue to funnel more and more data into one central location.
And as the Kenyan proverb goes, ‘when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.’ Expect the Yelps, Spotifys and Foursquares of the world to face an uphill battle as Facebook and Google continue to duke it out.
Photo Credit: ©Thomas Concordia/WireImage
Contrary to popular opinion (and the overwrought female stereotype), the month of February isn’t all chocolate hearts and bright red roses.
Thanks to the social media that never stops sharing, we’re all well aware that New York Fashion Week is officially upon us. And in true NYC style, celebrities took to the runway to help kick off the event in a major way.
Daunting a myriad of red designer gowns, A-listers strutted down the catwalk in honor of The 11th Annual Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, held last week at Hammerstein Ballroom. The event was hosted and sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and promotes heart health awareness among women.
Celebrity runway appearances included the infamous trifeKta, Kendall, Kylie, and Kris Jenner, actress Minka Kelly, TV personality Kelly Osbourne, U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas, personal trainer Jillian Michaels, and many more.
Like I said, there’s more to February than raspberry truffles. Although, a little Dove never hurt anyone.
After dominating MetLife Stadium in the Fall, Nike Training Club (NTC) headed to the home of hipsters, skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors to take on New York’s hottest new arena and the home of the Brooklyn (please forget we ever came from Jersey) Nets. The event signaled the launch of a new campaign from Nike around the #letsturnitup message in the world of Women’s Training.
On 1.31.13, 200+ ladies packed the brand-new Barclays Center for a full-on VIP experience. After arriving via pre-arranged transportation to the VIP doors, guests were led into the heart of Barclays to the Vault Suites, where they were seeded with NTC tanks while standing amongst gold plated champagne bars and the suite of one Mr. Z himself (yes, they really call him that).
After stopping to say #HelloBrooklyn, guests ran on out on to the hardwood for a running-inspired NTC experience led by Nike Master Trainer Lacey Stone. As participants worked out and earned Fuel via Nike+ FuelBands, the Barclays Center transformed from red to green as they hit their goal and set off fireworks inside the arena.
As Mr. Z would say, can’t knock the hustle.
Say it ain’t so, Ahmad!
Alas, the runner who brought two Superbowl trophies back to the Meadowlands has been asked to clean out his locker and find a new job. That’s just cold, man!
Thankfully, Giants fans can rest assured as the team has a more than capable replacement in the young gun, David Wilson, who showed flashes of his big play potential during last year’s rookie campaign.
I love David Wilson’s potential, but (oh boy…here come the waterworks…) Ahmad Bradshaw was a warrior. Undersized, but never overwhelmed, Ahmad ran with a stubbornness that embodied the never say die attitude of the New York Giants. A central ingredient to the mix that brought two Superbowl championships home to New York, and the heart and soul of an offense that wove together improbable victories, Bradshaw has built a legacy for himself with the likes of Strahan, Simms and Gifford. He will undoubtedly be missed by Giants fans everywhere, but especially this fan, who at the moment is feeling rather blue himself…(sniff).
(Written By: Andrew Canlon)
Image Credit: Tia Farnetti & google.com
What did the MKTG INC team learn from the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) this year? Your phone, tablet and laptop will never be naked again. Bombarded with an endless variety of cases, it was hard not to think that 2013 could be the “Year of the Case.” Thankfully, this was not the case (no pun intended).
Walking through 37 football fields worth of space and encountering 3,000 exhibitors, our team got to see what brands had in store for the world of electronics. Rather than “case” – this was definitely the year of “more.” More pixels (Ultra HD TVs), more connections (connected homes, cars, people), more apps (all your apps, everywhere, and all your devices), more inches (displays), more sensors (self-organizing robots), more me (customizable everything).
Parrot AR Drones – A four-prop remote-controlled drone with an HD camera and a wide-angle lens
Hapilabs HapiFork – Smart silverware dedicated to help people lose weight by vibrating when they are eating too fast
FitBit Flex Bracelet – A water-resistant activity tracker that rivals Nike’s FuelBand by syncing with the iPhone
Best exhibit: Hands-down choice was Samsung’s choreographed TV garden display of jaw-dropping, impressive imagery that left our team in awe.
Now that the MKTG INC team has the intel on all the latest and greatest to be found in the world of electronics, it might be time for the company to make its mark with its first product — maybe an MKTG INC case? Hey, if Snooki can do it with her couture headphones, so can we.
Written by: Tia Farnetti