In the outside world: May 9th

Things we noticed this week, links via Anjali Ramachandran, Head of Innovation.

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Interesting read in AdAge on how technology is affecting the advertising industry, rooted in the words of key Procter & Gamble executives through the years. We all know it’s about the customer – but ‘old ways will matter less’ as brands search for ways to make advertising meaningful.

Swedish broadband provider Umea Energi have used the Oculus Rift to show how slow broadband speeds can affect your daily routine. The important thing is that technology didn’t become the master here, the focus stays on the product. If you want a more intriguing look at how the Oculus Rift is changing things, read about how the Norwegian Army is using it to see through tanks!

Lynx asked 5 artists to design limited edition t-shirts for £10, based on the theme of Peace, for Lynx’s new Peace fragrance. More here. They’re doing it in support of the global movement to spread peace around the world, Peace One Day, with the products being sold on ASOS. The necessary audience participation mechanism is on Instagram, with the chance to win an iPhone 5S. This campaign is very different from Lynx’s usual tone of voice, and will culminate on September 21, the global day of peace. Quite a departure for the brand, but seems to be executed rather well.

Speaking of ASOS, they are partnering with Microsoft Ventures in the UK to identify interesting new technologies in the retail space.  I’ll be keeping an eye on the companies that make it to the Microsoft Accelerator programme in September.

We’ve heard about Sky making it possible to record a TV show using a hashtag so it was only a matter of time before someone like Amazon did something similar. And they have. If you use #AmazonCart in reply to an Amazon tweet (#AmazonBasket in the UK), the product will automatically be added to your list. Last year, Chirpify raised a lot of money doing exactly this for other brands.

Philips is going to speak to a completely new audience, influencers in their mid-30’s, as they look to rebuild the brand as being involved in ‘meaningful innovation’, not just a TV manufacturer. One of the more interesting re-brands I’ve seen lately.

Contextual advertising is going to be a key part of the mobile web in the future. Google’s already popular Google Now cards are now set to pull in your product searches into your location: if you’ve searched for a product online and a nearby store sells that product, then Google Now will let you know. Amazing. Of course there’s no guarantee the product will be in stock – that’s for a future project!

Last year you might have heard about the billboard which purified water, now the University of Technology & Engineering in Peru have created one that can purify air! While on the water bit though, how about a book that purifies water through its pages? That exists too, done by DDB for the Water is Life campaign. This is what I love about media – who said a book had to be a book, or a billboard a static billboard?!

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