In the outside world: 24th January

Interesting media-related news this week from Head of Innovation Anjali Ramachandran:

Autographer is an intelligent, wearable camera that can detect the right time to take photos and is hands-free to boot. BBH are partnering with them to launch a competition inviting creatives to take pictures that represent the product proposition, with the winner getting the chance to feature in a BBH print ad. It isn’t often that agencies feature themselves with a client on a campaign, but I think this is going to be become more and more common in the future as agencies and brands alike tap into the power of crowdsourcing.

Virgin Media Business is collaborating with Contagious Magazine’s Insider division to run a competition inviting people to submit technology ideas that can change a business. The campaign is called Three New Things. These could be existing startups or brand new ideas and the winner will get time with Richard Branson, £25000 in Virgin Media Business support and an introduction to their network. If anyone wondered how important tech businesses are to big brands, wonder no longer…

Native advertising is one of the most popular buzzwords in the media industry today, but it is getting more and more difficult to get it right. Forrester Research has a useful blog post with a checklist that can help marketers get it right. In an age where brands like Axe gets it point-blank wrong like this, you can never be too careful. Also worth reading this interview with Bruce Daisley from Twitter on the subject.

Michael Gove is considering introducing MOOCs (massive open online courses) in UK classrooms. From big academic institutions like Harvard and Princeton to popular platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera, expect this to be just the beginning of open education and the education revolution. You can even earn an elite MBA for free simply by taking courses online. Good luck!

T-Mobile in the US is getting into a business that one wouldn’t normally associate with a telecoms company: they’re becoming a bank. Having identified that there’s a sizable audience spending money to, in effect, manage their money, T-Mobile are using a combination of a smartphone and a prepaid debit card to offer many services that a bank normally would, including bill pay, depositing cheques and cashing cheques. This is an interesting example of a business reinventing itself by applying market insight to drive new revenue sources – one to watch. Last year they were an industry leader in offering free roaming to their customers, which was followed in December by the UK’s Three network doing the same. So maybe we can expect more telecoms providers to turn into banks. The finance industry would do well to watch this space as much as telecoms!

And one for the planners: an examination of supermarkets in the UK, specifically Aldi & Waitrose and how the shifting sands of time affect supermarket class and consequently patronage.

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