How to improve your outdoor campaign with Virgin Media WiFi on the Underground

Example one (real)

The Look for Longer campaign is a neat little competition from CBS Outdoor to encourage interaction with outdoor advertising. The game itself is quite cute, there’s 75 different tube stations hidden on a poster and you have to guess them all. Simple, right? Perfect brain fodder for London’s challenge-hungry commuters.

You can see the full poster on the campaign website, the version that I’m showing above however highlights quite a nice piece of joined-up thinking from the chaps behind the activity. Conversations around this sort of thing would normally go like this:

‘OK, so we’ve got our posters’


‘Do they have a clear call to action? Something like, ‘Text us on this number now!’ or similar?’


‘OK, so where are these posters going again?’

‘On the Underground.’

‘OK. Then make sure we add a QR code too…’

‘Straight away!’

—- I’m not kidding.

But not this time ’round, oh no. This time the copywriters and creatives have actually applied context to their work and seeing this kind of relevant and in situ call to action actually put a smile on my face. Smart thinking tends to have that affect on me.

More of this please.

Example two (not real)

Walking onto the platform at Maida Vale back in July earlier this year, I was greeted with this fairly awesome poster for The Amazing Spider-Man. Now while the film wasn’t exactly awesome, the outdoor campaign really could’ve been.

Literally the first thing I thought when I saw this poster was ‘How cool would it be if this was an augmented reality (AR) execution?’. I walk onto the platform and the poster is exactly how you see it now except there’s no Spider-Man in it.

Instead, you download the AR app, hold up your cameraphone and voila, there’s Spidey, crawling around the other side of the platform on the underground.

Wouldn’t be ace if the call to action was something like ‘Seen The Amazing Spider-Man yet? Connect to Virgin Wifi and download app X to see him on this poster right now’ or, better yet, have the app on the Virgin Wi-Fi splash page.

I know a little bit about a little bit when it comes to AR markers (and marker-less markers too) and I’ve always thought you could do something cool with the actual tracks themselves (health and safety, what?) but now there’s internet down there, a whole new world of integrated marketing is wide open.

WiFi on the Underground is free until the end of this year.

Who’s going to innovate next?


1000heads: Facebook facial recognition: do you care?

Today’s headlines:

The news is out this morning that literally overnight, Facebook has switched on facial recognition for tagging by default. Typically of the gargantuan social network, the onus is on the user to opt-out of this ‘upgrade’.

A few things on this -  first, for the super-private, here’s how to do just that –

Step 1.
From the Facebook ‘Home‘ page, go to ‘Account‘ and then ‘Privacy Settings

Step 2.
From there, scroll down to ‘Customise Settings

Step 3.
Scroll down again until you find a section entitled ‘Things others share

You’ll find the setting you need to adjust (it’ll be the one automatically switched to ‘enabled’) right next to the above section. Done that? Right. Good.

To my second, and leading point/question – do you actually care?

Yes it’s easy to get annoyed about Facebook not asking permission to switch this on, as well as automatically assigning you the default setting of ‘Yes, I want this’. However, surely if you’re not an idiot when it comes to privacy, you’ve already got a certain amount of barriers and settings in place that prevent unwanted friends and tags taking place, right?

Surely, if you’re smart with your photo tagging (and with your friend requests for that matter), this new feature (whisper it) actually makes life easier.

Yes, tagging your friends in photos is fun, but it can take ages. Having Facebook SUGGEST [yes – ‘suggest’ – not ‘automatically tag’] to YOUR FRIENDS that you might be in one of their photos really isn’t such a big deal.

Moreover, with marketeers increasingly looking for new ways to interact with your relationships, there might even actually be some room here for some real life, campaign-based innovation. Amazing.

So, for me at least, the question still stands: when it comes to Facebook’s new facial recognition, do you care?

Answers on a postcard (or in the comments below).

Not one, but 2Screen

According to the website

We are watching more TV than at any time in the last five years.
That statistic is usually followed by ‘despite the rise of the Internet’. We’re in the opposite camp. We believe TV viewing is increasing because of the Internet. The social web turns TV into an event, a shared experience.
And as the social web becomes increasingly central to our lives, these events become more and more important. It becomes the nationwide, and sometimes worldwide water-cooler.
Where’s it all going? And what’s the next cool thing going to be?
Join us 14 October 2010 evening at Conway Hall.

So I did.

Before we start, this post might look quite long but it’s not. Not really anyway, there’s just a lot of pictures…
Let’s crack on.

Up first, Matt Locke, Head of Cross Platform for Channel 4. For this session I thought I’d crack open my Moleskine and give ‘mind-mapping’ a go. Something I’d seen Charlie Osmond do at SXSWi earlier this year, I’d been meaning to try it out for a while, so…

Start at ‘Television: Traditional’ in the middle of the left page and follow the arrows from there (click the image for larger size):

Presentation 1 Mindmap (aka Moleskine scribbles)

As per the right hand page, at 19:35 and 19:40 there were two slides which I loved (and subsequently uploaded). First, the web hits received by Channel 4 when their 2screen show ‘Seven Days‘ went live –

Traffic spike on Channel 4's website for Seven Days... Wow.

Err… WOW. No wonder the site went down on day one.

Second, the Google searches for ‘1066 Channel 4’ which was an online game that Ch4 ran during the showing of their 1066 drama broadcast in the summer earlier this year.

Searches for '1066 Channel 4'

The TX date is the peak at the top. The slide that I didn’t manage to grab was the one after, which showed how their online game carried on this peak long after the TX date. A great learning.

Matt spoke of attention shapes coming in different forms. Priyanka has a great write-up of these and I’d recommend taking a look at her words. The key takeaway for me was that, back in the day, our attention (as consumers) was organised by content creators –

‘It’s our TV show, we’ll broadcast it 7am. You need to be there to see it.’

Today, that is no longer the case and broadcasters are not only having to adjust their models accordingly, but also get over their fear of this changing consumption model.

Presentation two was from Margaret Roberstson, Director of Development at Hide & Seek. Just a couple of quotes from this one (which hopefully speak for themselves);

Twitter / @James Whatley: Much respect for harking b ...

Twitter / @James Whatley:

The irony of ‘focus’ resulting in two choice tweets is not lost on me.

Next up, my good friend Utku Can and his mate Tim Morgan. The former representing LivePitch, one of my favourite iPad apps to date and the latter, talking about Picklive; a way to bet on short amounts of football.

The mindmap for that session is below, start on the bottom page in the middle just above ‘RTRTG’ where it says ‘Picklive + LivePitch’ –

Talk 3 @ #2Screen mindmap - Picklive vs LivePitch

This one was a touch more difficult as there were two speakers, taking it turns to talk about two different products but around one theme (which changed every few minutes). Like before, at 20:15, there was a slide that I really liked and, as such, subsequently uploaded. Take a look –

Screens demand attention

I love this slide.

As mentioned, Utku is a friend of mine and often we talk about distraction vs attention and when he pulled up this slide, suddenly it all clicked.

The point of this slide is demonstrate that television is constantly demanding attention – whether you’re looking at it or not, the iPad on the other hand (with its built-in accelerometer) knows when it’s not being looked at so shouldn’t shout at you when it’s flat down and not moving for example. However when it is picked up or being moved/looked at, it should know that too and then start responding accordingly.

Utku later commented –

One other thing I had mentioned was we don’t necessarily need the devices to have accelerometers. A cruder way of achieving this would be ‘time since last interaction’: if you haven’t tapped or clicked anything in a while, we can scale back how much attention the second screen is demanding.

For the lack of a better phrase, I’m calling it ‘reactive interfaces’.


Finally, Kevin Slavin spoke at length, about crowds creating magic and how that drives us online ‘to 2screen’ with the larger community. Cinema viewings vs TV viewings, concerts vs radio… it adds up.

See 'Limbic Resonance'

It’s an odd sense of wonder, being aware that there are thousands, nay millions, of others sharing your experiences.

Limbic resonance, who knew?

At the end of it all, 2screen turned out to be one of my favourite events of recent years and – if you’re interested in the future of television, broadcast or consumer entertainment behaviour then I would definitely suggest reading up on 2screening right now; it’s already happening.

Be a part of it.