Cashless Carol Singing

I live in a cashless world…mostly due to a lack of money…but I tend to not carry cash around with me. So the days of loose change, for me, are few and far between. I have posted before about how awful I feel in the supermarket at the weekend and there is a bag pack on and I can’t give any money (coz I jsut use my laser). The same thing is happening me now when I go past people singing Christmas carols – I have no cash so can’t donate.

So I really liked the look of this.  Christmas shoppers in Covent Garden were given pre-paid contactless cards to make a donation. For every time someone donated with a card through the payment system, £5 went to Help a Capital Child.

Ok, so you had to have a card, and you didnt make the donation, but this is the way forward. So we need to think about how this can be rolled out and the impact it will have on you and your organisation (for and not for profits)

 

Tree powered by Christmas Spirit

(via Brandflakes for Breakfast)

Six Social Media Trends for 2012

Ah yes it’s all about the 2012 predictions. I really enjoy reading these pieces so hope you don’t mind me sharing. The good news is, these aren’t my predictions, so probably have some chance of coming through. These are from David Armano EVP, Global Innovation & Integration, at Edelman Digital, posted on Harvard Business Review….so pretty good stuff!

Enjoy

Each year at this time, I look forward and predict trends in social media for the coming year. But first, I look back at mypredictions from last year. How’d I do? Not bad.

Social media continues to move forward toward business integration, a trend that I identified last year. In a joint studyfrom Booz Allen and social platform developer Buddy Media, 57 percent of businesses surveyed plan to increase social media spending, while 38 percent of CEO’s label social as a high priority.

I was also partially accurate in predicting that Google would “strike back” in 2011. They did, with Google Plus, a formidable initiative that acts as Google’s “social layer” to the Web. Part social network and part social search, Google Plus has industry observers scratching their heads, wondering if Facebook will be given a run for their money or if the service evolves into something complimentary in a highly social Web.

I had one big swing-and-miss on Facebook’s intrusion in the location-based services war. While Facebook still supports location tracking in a number of ways, it has not put Foursquare out of business. Foursquare still enjoys a niche audience of highly active participants who enjoy telling the world where they are and post pictures to prove it. It is however worth noting that Facebook recently acquired location based network Gowalla, so continue to watch this space.

So what can we expect in 2012 in a world that seems to grow ever connected by the hour? Here are six predictions to ponder, in no particular order:

Convergence Emergence. For a glimpse into how social will further integrate with “real life,” we can look at what Coca Cola experimented with all the way back in 2010. Coke created an amusement park where participants could “swipe” their RFID-equipped wristbands at kiosks, which posted to their Facebook account what they were doing and where. Also, as part of a marketing campaign, Domino’s Pizza posted feedback — unfiltered feedback — on a large billboard in Times Square, bringing together real opinions from real people pulled from a digital source and displayed in the real world. These types of “trans-media” experiences are likely to define “social” in the year to come.

The Cult of Influence. In much the same way that Google has defined a system that rewards those who produce findable content, there is a race on to develop a system that will reward those who wield the most social influence. One particular player has emerged, Klout, determined to establish their platform as the authority of digital influence. Klout’s attempt to convert digital influence into business value underscores a much bigger movement which we’ll continue to see play out in the next year. To some degree everyone now has some digital influence (not just celebrities, academics, policy makers or those who sway public opinion). But for the next year, the cult of influence becomes less about consumer plays like Klout and more about the tools and techniques professionals use to “score” digital influence and actually harness, scale and measure the results of it.

Gamification Nation. No we’re not taking about video games. Rather, game-like qualities are emerging within a number of social apps in your browser or mobile device. From levels, to leaderboards, to badges or points, rewards for participation abound. It’s likely that the trend will have to evolve given how competition for our time and attention this gaming creates. Primarily, gamification has been used in consumer settings, but look for it in other areas from HR, to government, healthcare and even business management. Perhaps negotiating your next raise will be tied to your position on the company’s digital leaderboard.

Social Sharing. Ideas, opinions, media, status updates are all part of what makes social media a powerful and often disruptive force. The media industry was one of the first to understand this, adding sharing options to content, which led to more page views and better status in search results. What comes next in social sharing is more closely aligned with e-commerce or web transactions. For example, Sears allows a user to share a product or review with their networks directly from the site. Sharing that vacation you just booked, or recommending a product, or service from any site to a social network is where sharing goes next. We probably don’t know what we are willing to share until we see the option to do it.

Social Television. For many of us, watching television is already a social act, whether it’s talking to the person next to you, or texting, tweeting, and calling friends about what you’re watching. But television is about to become a social experience in a bigger and broader sense. The X Factor nowallows voting via Twitter and highlights other social promotions, which encourages viewers to tap social networks while they watch. Another way media consumption is becoming social comes from a network called Get Glue which acts as something of a Foursquare for media. Participants can “check-in” to their favorite shows (or other forms of media) and collect stickers to tell the world what programs they love. Watch for more of this this year as ratings rise for socially integrated shows.

The Micro Economy. Lastly as we roll into 2012, watch for a more social approach to solving business problems through a sort of micro-economy. Kickstarter gives anyone with a project, the opportunity to get that initiative funded by those who choose to (and patrons receive something in return). A crowdsourcing platform for would be inventors called Quirky lets the best product ideas rise to the top and then helps them get produced and sold while the “inventor” takes a cut. Air BnB turns homes into hotels and travelers into guests, providing both parties with an opportunity to make and save money. These examples may point to a new future reality where economic value is directly negotiated and exchanged between individuals over institutions.

These are a few emerging trends which come to mind. As with anything, looking to the past often gives us clues for what may come in the future. Please weigh in with your thoughts: where do you see “social” going in 2012?

Source: Harvard Business Review, Dec 12th, 2011

About David Armano: David Armano is EVP, Global Innovation & Integration, at Edelman Digital, the interactive arm of global communications firm Edelman. You can follow him on Twitter at @armano.

Santa: “I don’t do poor countries”

Shocking to think the most generous man in the world…isn’t all that generous.

This is a spot by UNICEF in Sweden.

I came across it on Ad Week. Im open to being challenged on this, but I like it (with one caveat: it would be broadcast when kids won’t be watching).

The ad is made by by Forsman & Bedenfors. We see a lovely Santa checking out presents and then he comes across a gift of medical supplies and he gets, well, a bit sarky about it.  He insists that he won’t deliver these kinds of gifts.  “I don’t do poor countries,” he says! It ends with a nice line “We go where Santa doesn’t”

Ad Week summarise it nicely:

His brutal honestly may dampen the mood, but that’s the whole point—getting people to remember that Christmas spirit in many ways extends only as far as a family’s economic circumstances allow. The writing could be sharper in the middle, but the spot, which is wonderfully crafted visually, has a universal message that could apply to families in richer countries, too. Santa doesn’t love poor neighborhoods much, either. In the end, it’s a clever way to bring the season’s most elaborate fiction to bear on the realities of poverty around the world. And the donations it brings will be among the greatest gifts of the season.

Take a look and I would love to hear your thoughts:

The Digital Divide – Infographic

Source: Social Media Angels

12 Consumer trends for 2012

In 2012, much as in previous years, some brands may be staring into the abyss, while others will do exuberantly well. And while we can’t offer any help to defaulting nations or bankrupt companies, we do believe that there are more opportunities than ever for creative brands and entrepreneurs to deliver on changing consumer needs. From Canada to Korea. Hence this overview of 12 must-know consumer trends (in random order) for you to run with in the next 12 months. Onwards and upwards:


1.

In 2012, department stores, airlines, hotels, theme parks, museums, if not entire cities and nations around the world will roll out the red carpet for the new emperors, showering Chinese visitors and customers with tailored services and perks, and in general, lavish attention and respect.

Read RED CARPET in full (including examples from Hilton, Starwood and Harrods)

2. DIY HEALTH

Expect to see consumers take advantage of new technologies and apps to discreetly and continuously track, manage and be alerted to, any changes in their personal health.

Read DIY HEALTH in full (including examples from Jawbone, Ford and Lifelens)

3. DEALER-CHIC

In 2012, not only will consumers continue to hunt for deals and discounts, but they will do so with relish if not pride. Deals are now about more than just saving money: it’s the thrill, the pursuit, the control, and the perceived smartness, and thus a source of status too.

Read DEALER-CHIC in full (including examples from American Express, Nokitum and Daitan)

4. ECO-CYCOLOGY

Brands will increasingly take back all of their products for recycling (sometimes forced by new legislation), and recycle them responsibly and innovatively.

Read ECO-CYCOLOGY in full (including examples from Dell, Nike and Garnier)

5. CASH-LESS

Will coins and notes completely disappear in 2012? No. But a cashless future is (finally) upon us, as major players such as MasterCard and Google work to build a whole new eco-system of payments, rewards and offers around new mobile technologies.

Read CASH-LESS in full (including examples from Google, PayPal and Square)

6. BOTTOM OF THE URBAN PYRAMID

The majority of consumers live in cities, yet in much of the world city life is chaotic, cramped and often none too pleasant. However at the same time, the creativity and vibrancy of these aspiring consumers, means that the global opportunities for brands which cater to the hundreds of millions of lower-income CITYSUMERS are unprecedented.

Read BOUP in full (including examples from PepsiCo, NCR and Aakash)

7. IDLE SOURCING

Anything that makes it downright simple- if not completely effortless- for consumers to contribute to something will be more popular than ever in 2012. Unlocked by the spread of ever smarter sensors in mobile phones, people will not only be able but increasingly willing, to broadcast information about where and what they are doing, to help improve products and services.

Read IDLE SOURCING in full (including examples from Street Bump and Waze)

8. FLAWSOME

Why to consumers, brands that behave more humanly, including exposing their flaws, will be awesome.

Read FLAWSOME in fullhere.

9. SCREEN CULTURE

Thanks to the continued explosion of touchscreen smartphones, tablets, and the ‘cloud’, 2012 will see a SCREEN CULTURE that is not only more pervasive, but more personal, more immersive and more interactive than ever.

Read SCREEN CULTURE in full (including examples from Sky, 8ta and Huawei)

10. RECOMMERCE

It’s never been easier for savvy consumers to resell or trade in past purchases, and unlock the value in their current possessions. In 2012, ‘trading in’ is the new buying.

Read RECOMMERCE in full (including examples from Decathlon, Amazon and Levi’s)

11. EMERGING MATURIALISM

While cultural differences will continue to shape consumer desires, middle-class and/or younger consumers in almost everymarket will embrace brands that push the boundaries. Expect frank, risqué or non-corporate products, services and campaigns from emerging markets to be on the rise in 2012.

Read EMERGING MATURIALISM in full(including examples from Diesel, Johnson & Johnson and Sanitol)

12. POINT & KNOW

Consumers are used to being able to find out just about anything that’s online or text-based, but 2012 will see instant visualinformation gratification brought into the real and visual world with objects and even people.

Read POINT & KNOW in full (including examples from Starbucks, eBay and Amazon)

Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide in 9 languages.

O2 Santa Messages

This is a nice campaign by O2 in the UK. You tweet your message to @o2 using the hashtag #o2santa and then they post a personalised message on their you tube channel like this