The role of the CMO is growing. As David Berkowitz from 360i puts it, “before long marketers will need to hire a new CSO - Chief Strategy Officer – just to manage the incoming.” He means a role that is responsible for tracking which new social platforms and technologies matter. For now, it’s in the hands of the CMO.
Brands are turning to specialized partners to help think through the complexities of the social landscape and execute advanced social/mobile technology initiatives. These are partners who function as the conduit between the “tools” and the brand.
While media companies devote teams to help brands advertise, tech start-ups focus on product and offer APIs. As a result, new platforms are building user-bases, and brands are left to fend for themselves or rely on their big agencies to take on the learning curve ride.
As Dave Knox, CMO of digital agency Rockfish and co-founder of The Brandery, a seed-stage incubator, said in a recent Mashable Connect event, “A lot of people talk about, “Well Foursquare will never call me back.” Well that’s because people started calling Foursquare once they were already in the mass media, the trade press was covering them and they were overloaded. It was too late for a nimble, smart brand to talk to them early on.”
In this technology driven world, engineers serve a creative function and some of the best, innovative work is coming from the start-up space. Where current agencies are broader and thinner in offerings, creative technology shops are nimble and focused in fewer areas. As marketing dollars are shifting to more product development than advertising, there is a unique need for strategic, specialized development partners that can think creatively but also build the solution.
As Dave Knox summarized it, “I see startups as the canary in the marketing coal mine … [developing the] types of things marketers need to be versed in today in order to connect with [the] consumers [of] tomorrow. I think that’s the big reason for brands to work with them.” It just takes the right creative technology partner that can work with the myriad of platforms and guide brands.
I don’t think it’s far fetched to imagine the media landscape of the late 21st century will have something of a steampunk soul: the social organization of the 19th century, with the tools and technology of 2050.
I just posted a rant about why the best way to get HBO Go without a cable subscription is to make your own over-the-top television.
Mobile application adoption and internet usage continues to accelerate in 2012. The Apple App Store now drives over 46 million downloads per day. According to a report from Distimo, 91% of the top 100 brands in America have a branded mobile application. Leading brands such as Disney and Sony have published 636 and 285 apps respectively, with the average top brand having at least 15.
Brands are realizing there is more to life than collecting Likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, or churning out mobile apps. Instead, they’re looking to build branded social and mobile platforms that are proprietary, scalable and integrated with the technologies their customers already use.
These companies have invested significantly to conquer mobile. They recognize that they can make better products and experiences for their customers by connecting to the mobile and social platforms that users engage with on a daily basis.. They’ve also sought the benefits of network effects by connecting users through increasingly powerful 3rd party platforms.
But the shift is broader than integrating older properties with the latest social network or fighting for the top spot in the app store listings. It’s a change in how consumers experience brands in their daily lives — and these new brand experiences are now as important as the brand identity.
To call this new paradigm the “app–internet” is to belittle it. Simply put, these are products: consumer-focused technologies that solve business problems - distribution, awareness, engagement, community and customer service – and take on the voice of the brand, deliver unique value, and foster a persistent and deep connection with customers.
In the next post, we’ll explore how brands are embracing a more sophisticated vision of emerging technologies, and the new marketing approaches they enable. Specifically, we’ll dive deeper into the world of internet start-ups and how brands interact with the fast-growing and increasingly complex internet technology industry.
“Meanwhile, the August 19 premiere of Copper — which already reigns as BBC AMERICA’s highest-rated series premiere ever — has now broken another record. With a full week’s worth of DVR viewing accounted for, the premiere is now the channel’s highest-rated telecast within “Live+7″ viewership, scoring 1.805 million total viewers and 859,000 within the demo. (With re-airs factored in, Copper‘s first episode cumulatively delivered 2.754 million total viewers and 1.273 million in the 25-54 demo.) More than a million viewers watch the series each week, making it the channel’s highest-rated drama.”
“While you’re looking for meaning in the shadows of an Apple press invite, you’re missing something important: Apple is producing content for its own distribution channel.”
Notably, the Apple TV app appeared over the air, without any (visible) software update. One day it was just there, and will likely just disappear once the festival is over. This is powerful, and very unlike how apps work on iPhones and iPads. It’s more like traditional television.
How great would it be if one day an “Olympics” app just appeared, or a “DNC” app? How long until Apple starts directly acquiring distribution rights to events like that?
The occasion of BBC America joining the ranks of original programmers certainly called for a blow-out social media campaign, and yet that’s somewhat at odds with the nature of the show itself. Copper is set in 1864 New York, and centers around the rough underworld of Five Points, those who would exploit it, and those who would try to stop them. It came stocked full of great content, but how best to engage users in that world? How do you make historical crime funwithout devolving into satire?
Working with longtime friend and collaborator Kevin Slavin, we developed the concept based around the work of artist Mark Michaelson, whose Least Wanted collection of vintage mugshots evoked the striking tone we were looking for. In 1864, mugshots were a relatively new concept, but today they’re basically synonymous with high-profile crime. From the now-anonymous faces of the 19th century, to today’s celebrity scandals, they make for astonishingly addictive art and media. And what better way to drop people into the world of Five Points than to give them their own postcard to send back home: their face composited onto a mugshot of an actual 19th century criminal.
How it Works
Though the end result is strikingly simple, getting there is a bit more complex. Our friends at Face.com (recently acquired by Facebook) provide a way to detect the faces - in both the user photos and the Least Wanted originals. Some fancy math helps us choose the right face, in case Scarlett or Samuel try to photobomb you. Once we have that data, we match the proportions of the user’s face to the best match among our Least Wanted rogues. Since there’s so much variety in the size and shape of human heads and faces, this helps ensure that the first mug you see is likely to look recognizable to you.
Once we’ve identified the mugshot, we scale and position your face to match your Least Wanted doppleganger. One particularly fun trick is the rotation - try tilting your head when you snap a pic, and watch what happens. Finally, we apply advanced blending algorithms to combine your facial features with the mugshot, blending the edges of your face, matching skin tone, and adjusting for exposure of the photos. Then, it’s up to you to experiment and share.
Building an Audience
It worked. The twin engines of the internet - ego and stalking - sprang to life as people mugshot themselves and shared their criminal faces all over the internet. Their friends saw them, and wanted their own. Some were beautiful, some were funny, and some were disturbing, but they spread, and quickly. We received such positive feedback that within the first week our organic distribution on Facebook exploded. And within three weeks we were stumbling across internet celebrities and strangers who had seen the app, used the app, had the profile pic to prove it.
Mugshot Yourself has played an instrumental role in launching a new and unproven TV show to a huge audience. While we can’t share specific numbers, they’ve blown everyone away, easily meeting goals, and greatly exceeding every expectation in terms of reach, influence, and engagement. By helping users create an interesting social object, an artifact from the world of the show, and encouraging them to share it, the app quickly became a phenomenon, and helped launch Copper into the arms of an eager fan base.
We’ve looked through thousands of your mugshots generated with our Mugshot Yourself app, and we have been delightedly horrified by some of the faces you’ve made. Here are just a few of the most creative so far. We’ll keep sharing so long as you keep mugshotting.
The award for Best Alias goes to…PUNK DOLPHIN. Way to taunt those marine mammals. Also nice use of dramatic lighting.
The award for Worst Teeth-Fitting-Into-Mouth goes to…MADAME ROSE. It’s pretty obvious how she would get caught.
The award for We’re Glad You Got Caught goes to…MATT GIBSON. Congratulations, Matt! You’ve legitimately made us terrified of anyone named Matt Gibson.
Think you can do a worse job at getting your teeth into a criminal’s mouth? See the original, and Mugshot Yourself. http://bit.ly/Pa0JLv
This past weekend in London, Red Bull Mission Control made its public debut for Empire of Dirt, a two day BMX slopestyle contest that aims to find the most well-rounded rider from the various disciplines of BMX.
Photo credit: Red Bull Media House
Over 20,000 people watched the 36 riders take on over sized features, motocross style jumps and snowboard type hits. Mission Control was along for the ride as players competed to take the coolest big-air pictures for their change to win PlayStation Vita. This was the first Red Bull event to promote Mission Contol in the UK and we’re looking forward more throughout the summer.