In the outside world: week ending May 10th

Our usual collection of interesting media links from around the world:


In India, Unilever’s Active Wheel detergent had to reach a rural audience with low levels of literacy. They used SMS and humour to cut through very successfully.

active wheel

Why: Shows how working with constraints leads to real creativity.

Amnesty used Facebook Timeline to give people a glimpse into what their online activities could mean in different parts of the world (thanks to Richard Desforges for the link).

Why: Uses personalisation to good effect.

Volkswagen uses YouTube’s ticker in an unusual way to promote its new Side Assist feature.

Why: Cuts through usual VOD ads by encouraging interaction.

O2 launched an interactive ad in the Skype app which gives people access to the UK’s Top 40 songs from the O2 Tracks App. Users can enter their mobile numbers to receive 8 weeks free access.

Why: Unusual use of the interactive online media format, with a benefit to the customer – not just an ad for ad’s sake.


Isobar have created a tool that allows people to browse entire product lines within Facebook.

Why: Speaks to where people spend a lot of time anyway.

Pizza Compass is an app that directs you to your nearest pizzeria based on location. You never know when hunger will strike…

Why: If you’re reading this bit then you’re clearly not a pizza lover. Next!

Target in the US is launching a new digital savings programme called Cartwheel: when users claim offers they generate auto-posts on Facebook (but they can be turned off). People can also curate and share deals which can be redeemed in-store.

Why: Helps the brand reach a large audience at low cost.

Barclaycard launches a new initiative called Bespoke Offers this week to counter what they see as ‘offer fatigue’. It will have a heavy digital spend to promote it which will include Bespoke Ballads, personalised ballads performed and recorded for Twitter users, each time ending with a deal relevant to their past tweets.

Why: Giving the customer flexibility in levels of engagement and using personalisation in an interesting way.


What small retailers can learn from the success of Apple.

Why: Understanding the importance of the customer experience

Cups is a start-up in Israel that gives people the opportunity to access unlimited, all-you-can-drink coffee for a monthly subscription paid via a proprietary smartphone app.

Why: A cheaper, quicker alternative for regular coffee drinkers that also gives manufacturers access to data.

This article looks at the ‘retro-innovation’ trend in marketing.

Why: Read it to learn about a number of interesting current examples that use exclusivity and nostalgia to attract business.


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