Category Archives: Big Idea

Trend Document Research: QR Codes (Julia)

Calvin Klein activates billboards with QR codes pushing mobile video ad

By Giselle Tsirulnik, July 29, 2010

Calvin Klein
The QR codes were found on billboards in NYC and LA

Calvin Klein incorporated QR codes on select billboards throughout New York and Los Angeles as part of an advertising campaign promoting the brand’s jeans.

Billboards at Houston and Lafayette Street and West 20th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, and one in Los Angeles at Sunset Boulevard and Havenhurst Drive, displayed a Calvin Klein QR code that gave device users access to a mobile video featuring model Lara Stone with male models A.J. Sid Ellisdon, Grayson Vaughan and Eric Anderson. Ace Group created the QR code aspect of the campaign.

“It was very successful and you will see QR codes continue to be integrated into our upcoming campaigns,” said Jennifer Crawford, vice president of corporate communications at Calvin Klein, New York.

Calls to Ace Group were not returned in time for press.

Skinny jeans

The Calvin Klein advertising campaign was centered around the company’s latest introduction, Calvin Klein Jeans X.

Both the billboard and the mobile video emphasized that the jeans are engineered to enhance and maximize aesthetics in a sultry way, with a lean and slim silhouette.

Mobile bar codes served as a means of connecting consumers to the campaign’s video, which was created by consulting creative director Fabien Baron of Baron & Baron.

Here is the video ad:

The brands’ Fall 2010 global print and outdoor advertising campaign was photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, also working in conjunction with Baron & Baron and CRK.

“Mobile bar codes are becoming a necessary element for brands to integrate into their cross-media initiatives whether out of home, online, television or print,” said Laura Marriott, board member at NeoMedia and former president of the Mobile Marketing Association.

“Mobile bar codes, whether QR or Datamatrix, allow a brand to energize their traditional or digital media buys,” she said. “For example, by embedding a mobile bar code on a billboard, they are able to activate the advertisement and engage the consumer on the go.”

NeoMedia was not involved in the Calvin Klein campaign. Ms. Marriott commented on the campaign as a third-party source.

Ms. Marriott said that analytics based on the consumer scan of a code could include time of day and location.

QR codes can help brands such as Calvin Klein make better purchase decisions around their advertising and ensure optimal use and communication of message. Although in their infancy, the potential for brands to leverage mobile bar codes in all of their initiatives is enormous.

Calvin’s code

The QR code included in Calvin Klein’s billboard allowed consumers to scan at street level to view the exclusive :40 spot on their mobile device.

Once the video played, viewers could share the QR code with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

The use of a special QR code to access this exclusive Calvin Klein Jeans video is another way for the brand to deliver engaging content to consumers in an interactive way.

Advantages of QR codes

One of the biggest advantages of QR codes is brand activation.

QR codes activate traditional and digital media by providing an opportunity for the consumer to engage directly with the brand at time of viewing.

The ease of consumer experience is another advantage.

By leveraging mobile bar codes, consumers are simply able to scan the code and immediately be directed to their desired information, application, call center, coupon or video without having to enter long URLs or phone numbers from their mobile device.

In the case of Calvin Klein, the QR codes were a means of optimizing advertising real estate.

By embedding a mobile bar code on the billboards, Calvin Klein was able to include more information in a single visual code than it would if it had to include the product information.

“The analytics which are available to the brand through the bar code campaign will also enable them to measure statistics around the consumer’s interaction with the product or advertisement,” Ms. Marriott said.


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Trend Document Research: Diesel Be Stupid (Julia)

Diesel and Argentinian beer ads share top prize at Cannes

Mark, Wednesday 23 June 2010 07.07

  • A flesh-baring campaign for Diesel and a wheeze by an Argentinian beer brand to keep bar-loving men out of relationship trouble last night shared the top prize in the outdoor category at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
  • However, for the first time since the radio advertising category was introduced in 2005, the judges at the Cannes event have decided that no campaign was worthy of being awarded grand prix status.
  • In the outdoor advertising category the grand prix award was shared by clothing brand Diesel and Inbev-owned Argentinian beer Andes.
  • Fashion-brand Diesel, no stranger to risqué advertising, ran a campaign called “Be Stupid”.
  • A number of the ad executions, by ad agency Anomaly New York, featured more than a little flesh from models. One ad featured a girl on a ladder flashing her breasts at a CCTV camera, running with the line “Smart may have the brains, but stupid has balls”.

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Trend Document Research: The Only Way Is Essex (Julia)

Is Essex really the only way?

Many of our panellists are unimpressed with new ITV2 reality drama The Only Way is Essex, which burst on to our screens earlier this month complete with orange tans, fake boobs and sparkly vagazzles (yes, you read that right). While the show clearly takes much glee in playing up to the ‘Essex stereotype’, it would appear that its portrayal of the type hasn’t gone down well with everyone.

Of the nearly-750 panellists we asked on the issue, some thought that the typical stereotype of an Essex person was true to life.

  • One Essex dweller said she could ‘confirm’ these stereotypes exist and that ‘typical’ Essex residents are ‘keen to live up to that image’.
  • Another person not only thought the Essex reputation was correct but that people ‘only have themselves to blame for portraying this image’.

A few of our panellists thought the stereotypical ‘Essex’ person could be found anywhere in Britain.

  • One person pointed out that the stereotype ‘is applicable to all areas of deprivation throughout the UK’
  • Another said ‘I agree that the Essex stereotype applies to other areas of the county but Essex does it best’.
  • A couple of respondents ranted that ‘unfortunately there are an ever increasing amount of people who are preoccupied by false everything (hair, nails, boobs etc)’ and ‘show an appalling ignorance about current affairs’ but are able to ‘tell you everything’ about theThe X Factor and Victoria Beckham. One said these people even made them ‘embarrassed to be English’.

The show itself did not get many positive responses from those we asked.

  • A lot of our panellists blasted the show for being ‘another piece of rubbishy reality television’.

The The Only Way is Essex follows in the pattern of US shows such as The Hills, following the intertwined lives of young, supposedly ‘typical’ individuals of the area.

Narrated by former Essex girl Denise Van Outen, it follows six Essex guys and gals through the romantic entanglements and quest for celebrity that characterise their daily lives.

The show has been strongly criticised for the stereotypes it portrays, and despite achieving viewing figures of nearly one million viewers on its first airing, it seems the show leaves a lot of be desired among those we asked, one of whom emphatically noted, ‘I wouldn’t watch it if you put a gun to my head’.

The Only Way is Essex is on Wednesdays and Sundays on ITV2 at 10pm.

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Trend Document Research: Lynx Excite Augmented Reality Angels (Julia)

Lynx turns to outdoor augmented reality

by Maisie McCabe, 21 March 2011, 4:25pm

Unilever brand Lynx has used augmented reality “angels” on digital outdoor sites in London and Birmingham, as part of a campaign for its brand Lynx Excite that stars Kelly Brook.

Consumers looking at the digital screens at London Victoria rail station and outside the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, were able to interact with digital angels imposed into live footage of the consumers, being shown on digital screens.

On each outdoor site, on the station concourse at Victoria and on New Street in Birmingham, a halo image was drawn on the pedestrian zone in front of the billboard, with a notice encouraging people to stand in it.

When consumers stood in the halo, they saw themselves appear on the digital outdoor screen in front of them, alongside a virtual angel, which they could interact with (as seen in the video above).The outdoor activity involved WPP media agency Mindshare and out-of-home agency Kinetic, with production agency Grand Visual and JCDecaux in Victoria, and Ocean Outdoor in Birmingham.

The activity accompanies the “Even angels will fall” campaign created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and the Tullo Marshall Warren-created game, which allows consumers to tempt Kelly Brook, the only angel left in heaven, down to earth.

The idea behind the campaign is that the attraction of the Excite spray is so strong, that the angels grab their halos and fling them to the ground and the first TV ad, made by BBH, appeared last month.

The Lynx Excite range includes a body spray, APA deodorant, shower gel and eau de toilette, and is being backed by an £8.3m advertising and marketing campaign that includes TV, press, outdoor and digital.

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Trend Document Research: The Only Way Is Essex (Julia)

The Only Way Is Essex: beyond trash TV

I’m confused by the success of ITV2’s The Only Way Is Essex. What makes the show’s mix of staged dialogue, vajazzling and missing consonants so popular.

The Only Way Is Essex: Sam, Harry and Amy

Some of you may have been looking forward to the return of The Only Way is Essex last night. You may have greeted the cast like old friends, cheering at the likes of Amy and Mark with joy and wild abandon. You may have even bought the official The Only Way Is Essex single and played it on a loop all weekend, bobbing up and down and intermittently chortling at the word “vajazzle”.

Because, make no mistake, The Only Way Is Essex is a phenomenon. The stars have become tabloid staples. The official The Only Way Is Essex Facebook page has close to 200,000 fans – almost 50 times the number that Question Time has. Last night’s episode was so highly anticipated that ITV2 prefaced it with an hour of highlights and a shriekingly awful music video. People seem to genuinely love The Only Way Is Essex.

But here’s a confession: I’m not one of those people. It’s not that I object to the trashiness of The Only Way Is Essex. I love trash. I devour it to the extent that I’ve got My Dog Ate What? – a show about dogs that eat unusual things – on series link. It’s more that I just don’t understand it. Put me in front of The Only Way Is Essex and I turn into your gran trying to programme a VCR. It’s embarrassing.

Perhaps the most off-putting aspect of the show is its staginess. Not so much its much-discussed lack of fly-on-the-wall realism, but everyone’s uncomfortably stilted delivery. All the conversations on The Only Way Is Essex are full of weird little pauses, as if they’re all communicating via a faulty 1970s satellite link-up. It’s like watching an old Open University programme on Advanced Pointlessness.

I’m also slightly hamstrung by the fact that I don’t understand anything that anyone says. Maybe there’s an inexplicably heavy tax on hard consonants in Essex and that’s the reason people say “arrrra?” instead of “hello” and “shaaaaaap” instead of “be quiet”. At one point last series a character said “naaaloooor” and it took me about five minutes to work out that they meant “nightclub.” Between this and the pauses, The Only Way Is Essex comes off like a nightmarish Teletubbies update starring several flourescent Bratz dolls (vajazzled, of course).

Last night’s episode didn’t help matters. Narratively speaking it had a structure that was somewhere between scattershot and nonexistent. A couple got lost in the woods, an old lady went swimming, a Playboy model got a spray tan, a boy legitimately decided that he wanted to be known as Joey Essex, a woman asked where south London was and a pig urinated on the floor and then started drinking it. In fact I’ve made it sound much more exciting than it actually was. Nothing was captivating enough to make you want to tune in for a second 45 minutes, unless you harbour an inexplicable fascination with incontinent pigs. If things keep up at this rate, I’ll be no closer to understanding the show than I was during the first series.

So if you watched and enjoyed The Only Way Is Essex last night, then please explain it to me. Am I supposed to be rooting for these people? Or does the pleasure come from judging them? Is it supposed to be good, or do people watch it because it’s terrible? And, if so, is it terrible by accident or design? Honestly, I’m so confused.

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Trend Document Research: Puma Social Viral Video (Julia)

PUMA has taken a charming new angel on the passion of athletes in this video that honors the After Hours Athlete. The video is part of the new “PUMA Social” integrated campaign in which they “applaud the champions of late night games, from ping pong to foosball to phone numbers, and they wholeheartedly encourage the 5AM cab over the 5AM run.” The focus on everyday people which are just as dedicated as traditional sports athletes is both fun and refreshing.
Agency: Droga5


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Trend Document Research: The Only Way Is Essex (Julia)

TV ratings – Sunday 20 March: The Only Way is Essex struts back with almost 1m viewers

Jason Deans, Monday 21 March 2011 17.36 GMT


The Only Way is Essex: ITV2, 10pm – the UK’s answer to Jersey Shore blasted back for its second series with 990,000 viewers – the biggest rating non-sports show in multichannel on Sunday. This was also well above the 661,000 viewers who watched the last episode of the first run back in November.

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