Archive for the ‘Hot or Not’ Category

Pokémon Go & All That: Is Your Live Event Digitally Optimized?

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Photo courtesy of Event Magazine

MKTG UK Managing Director Michael Brown pens his views on the Pokémon Go craze and digitally optimized live events.  He explores what a new experiential agency should look like if it set up business right now.

Head to Event Magazine for the article here

 

Article by: Michael Brown for Event Magazine

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

September 12th, 2016 at 4:54 pm

The Couture of Wearable Tech

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Photo credits: Melissa Chow and Smartpjs.com

Prada, Gucci, Versace or Google? Yep, these days your clothes could be designed by Armani, Apple or both depending on if you want the latest fashions … or the latest smart fashions. Wearable tech is emerging at lightning speed, so much so that Google Glass now seems like a classic pair of Levi Jeans — even before it hits the market.

But what about the weirder gadgets at the forefront of fashion? We’ve rounded up five of the strangest trends — the couture of wearable tech:

Taser Bra: This bra gives new meaning to Girl Power. Designed by aeronautical engineering student Manisha Mohan, it has the ability to shock attackers. One grope and the bra activates pressure sensors that deliver an electric charge of 3800kv. Ouch. It can also send a text message to police with GPS coordinates.

Smart PJs: With these interactive pajamas, your kids may actually volunteer to go to bed. They feature dot designs that act as QR codes. Parents can scan a code with their smartphone to unlock a different bedtime story every night. Because, you know, Mom, Kindles are sooooo last year!

Like-a-Hug: Who needs a real hug from a real person? This extra poofy jacket gives you a great big squeeze every time someone likes a post on your Facebook page. The perfect gift for someone who was neglected as a child, or those suffering from anthropophobia (the fear of human company).

Transparent Dress: Talk about a hot date! A dress created by the brand Intimacy becomes increasingly transparent based on close and personal encounters with other people. In other words, it becomes see-through when you’re turned on. Let’s just hope it doesn’t activate before you get home from dinner.

Stink-Free Undies: Yep, they exist. They’re called Shreddies and they’re specifically designed with a carbon back panel to filter the smell of gas, so people around you can’t smell it. Now we can all fearlessly eat refried beans at the office for lunch — ah, the smell of progress!

 

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

September 19th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

You’re So Vain

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Selfie

You probably think this post is about you, don’t you? Let’s admit it—you’ve taken at least one #selfie. Selfies entered our social vocabulary around the early 2000s, the MySpace (remember Tom?) era, and included awful glares from the bathroom mirror. But thanks to front-facing camera and filters (thanks, Instagram!), selfies have been looking a lot better, with people from around the world posing, pouting and tilting their heads in front of a camera and sharing it online.

Selfies have become a sociological phenomenon — so much so that research projects have sprouted up around the topic. Selfiecity is one such project, analyzing over 120,000 selfies online from New York, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Bangkok and Moscow. The project investigated the style of selfies and other demographic differences.

Selfiecity’s findings reveal that people take less selfies than assumed; only about 3-5% of the images Selfiecity analyzed were considered selfies. Women share more selfies than men; and particularly stronger in Moscow than in any other cities covered by the project. However, selfies from Moscow feature fewer smiling faces than those from Bangkok (what’s up with that?).

With life-logging easier than ever, the selfie phenomenon will not likely fade anytime soon. So, take one today—you won’t be the only one!

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Written by Alayne Luistro
Alayne Luistro

February 27th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Movember Survey: Meet MKTG INC’s Hairiest Hero

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UnknownMKTG INC’s Gregory Lorenzo & Javier Cubria

We’d like to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in Movember this month! We had great support across all MKTG INC offices and, win or lose, money raised for charity – and overall awareness of men’s health issues – makes those itchy upper lips worth it. In last month’s newsletter, we did a survey on who would deliver the best ‘Mo, and in a landslide, NYC’s Javier Cubria was declared the winner.

“It’s a hollow victory, to be honest,” said Cubria. “I took the easy way out and went for a fairly respectable beard. Some of my MKTG INC brothers sacrificed much more, leasing valuable facial real estate for mustaches usually only seen on Uber drivers and 1980’s cop shows. So I share this recognition with them, and we were all relieved when the razors came out on December 1.”

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Written by Katie Kirby
Katie Kirby

December 3rd, 2013 at 4:32 pm

The Latest Trend: Email

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hearblack_nathan_desktopPhoto Credit: hearblack.com

Once upon a time, like ten years ago, email was everything. Before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, friends would forward baby photos, wedding announcements and jokes about menopause (those were emails from my mother).

In 2007, Nora Ephron wrote a column on “The Six Stages of Email” for The New York Times. “I just got email! I can’t believe it! It’s so great!” the essay began. It ends with “Call me.”

Email is the subject line of the conversation between artist Miranda July and Buzzfeed creator Jonah Peretti on a T  Magazine blog. “E-mail has returned to being more intimate,” says Peretti, “where you might be IMing or messaging or texting with your friend, but when you want to send something that is longer and more meaningful, you use e-mail. I think it’s becoming increasingly important for personal relationships.” (Hear that marketers? Email is practically a love note.)

Miranda July’s latest art project We Think Alone sends subscribers (100,000 so far) an email every Monday from the in-box of one of 20 people July has brought together, like Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst and Kareem Abdul-Jabber. For July, reading other people’s emails is a revelation. As she told T, “I’m always like, ‘Oh – so that’s how other people behave in the world.’ You know?”

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Hello There, “Hello, Again!”

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landing_mediumPhoto Credit: lincoln.com

Abraham Lincoln is to David Bowie as … well, I’m not quite sure to be honest.  But according to the marketing team at Lincoln Motors, it was the memory of the former president that inspired their latest campaign – “Hello, Again.”  Though deliberately vague in revealing details, Lincoln Motors describes “Hello, Again” as a year-long program during which Lincoln Motors will align themselves with progressive artists across a series of projects and fields all celebrating the spirit of re-imagination.

The initiative recently launched with an online digital experience that showcases a live performance by Beck: a re-imagination of David Bowie’s iconic “Sound and Vision.” A fully immersive, 360 degree experience, the content was recorded by microphones and cameras lining every inch and potential angle in the room.  The result: online viewers can both watch and hear the show from ANY vantage point, including what Beck and his 160+ supporting band themselves are each hearing and seeing.

You may ask yourself: “What does a 360 degree Beck concert have to do with selling cars and Lincoln as a brand?” Now, now – dear reader – don’t we all know better than to ask such naïve questions?! I mean, let’s be real.  Who wasn’t lusting after a Carl’s Jr. Southwest Patty Melt after Kate Upton and her ample beauty writhed around in a hot rod stuffing her face with said-sandwich?  In all seriousness, however, Lincoln Motors makes a rather valid claim for relevancy.  The director describes the whole undertaking of “Hello, Again” as a larger “metaphor” that embodies “the personal and surprising differences in product and client experience.” Basically, much like the “Hello, Again” concert was designed with the audience in mind and can be experienced from extremely diverse perspectives, so too does Lincoln Motors seek embrace a more diverse consumer demographic via “creative empathy” – i.e. designing with the audience in mind and pushing this customized experience to new heights.

Call me a sucker for a good metaphor, but I’m actually buying this one.  Not only did the larger campaign make sense to me as a consumer, but I both watched the concert, and then took the time to peruse Lincoln Motor’s website to learn more about the larger initiative.  Keep in mind: I am simply a music lover who doesn’t even own / need a car.  Yet, Lincoln’s marketing plan successfully attracted me to their website, and then provided enough compelling content that I stayed there.  Grand sweeping metaphor and Beck on their side – I only mildly cringed at the brand messaging that is not-so subtly intertwined with the post-modern pastiche / “art is everything” hipster-speak us Gen-Y’ers live by.

The very act itself of revisiting the past and reinventing old classics is a rather brilliant way to reintroduce a brand to a younger audience without totally isolating the older demographic that remains their bread and butter.  And ultimately… if that isn’t the equivalent of President Lincoln uniting the North and South under one nation, then I don’t know what it is.

Judge for yourself here.

P.S. David Bowie is a god, thank you very much.

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Everyone loves a comeback

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He's the Google+ of Hollywood. Copyright: PA Images Chris Pizzello / AP

He's the Google+ of Hollywood. Copyright: PA Images Chris Pizzello / AP

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.

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

February 25th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

THE GOLDEN AGE OF ‘GEEK-DOM’

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Photo Credit: Latino-Review.com

Batman, Superman, Iron Man, oh my!

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!

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Feeling Blue

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(Photo Credit: zimbio.com)

(Photo Credit: zimbio.com)

Say it ain’t so, Ahmad!

The New York Football Giants have officially released their starting running back and fan favorite, Ahmad Bradshaw. From Manhattan to Hoboken, I can already hear Giants’ fans sobbing with grief.

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)

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Written by Andrew Canlon
Andrew Canlon

February 7th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Beyoncé Bowl

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Beyonce3Photo Credit: beyonce.com

So I’ve been a 49ers fan since I was a kid growing up in the Bay Area.  Who wouldnt’t be a fan when the team consisted of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig?  Of course, I’m excited to see the home team make it to the Super Bowl, but what I’m more excited about is this year’s half time performance by Beyoncé.  Now, I’m not a Beyoncé “stan” (obsessed fan), but I must say all the hype and promotion is making me look forward to what Queen Bey will bring to NOLA.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Beyoncé’s infamous lip-syncing performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the inauguration.  After horrible headlines (Beyoncé-gate…REALLY?!) and hilarious memes (Milli Vanilli comparisons), enough is enough. I think everyone would agree that she gave a great performance and could care less whether she lip-synced or sang live.

So, it’s not surprising that Beyoncé sang the national anthem a cappella during the NFL press conference. With that performance she squashed any doubts of her ability to sing and her love for America.  It was just another example “B” being a flawless performer, which I can attest to from witnessing her Roseland Ballroom concert for the album 4 where she was running across the stage and jumping on top of a piano all while belting out song after song (impressive? yes).

That being said, it will be exciting to see what’s in store for Sunday’s game. Will Beyoncé’s performance slay the stage? I’m pretty confident she will give people something to talk about leave them wanting more (oh wait, she’s announcing a tour soon!)–of course. But more importantly, will the Niners bring home their 6th Super Bowl ring (yes…count them!) home to the Bay? My money is on the Red and Gold.

Bonus: A little treat for my 49er’s fans. http://youtu.be/lo8wWpxJi4s

Written by: Jawara Delane

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Written by Admin
Admin

February 2nd, 2013 at 4:51 pm