“In the online movie, directed by Disturbia director D.J Caruso and produced out of RSA Films, actress Emmy Rossum plays the role of Christina, a woman trapped in a room with only a laptop and an untraceable Internet connection.”

Sounds interesting?

What if I tell you that the laptop is an Intel-powered Toshiba, and that the protagonist interacts through social media to find out where she is and how to escape?

From July 25, audiences will be encouraged to connect with the protagonist, tweet clues and share information on her FB page. There is currently also an open casting call for someone to submit a video of themself reading a couple of lines – one winner will be chosen to be featured in the film & included in the credits. 

Awesomeness: 3.5 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: providing they’ve done the right push for it, this could be very cool. It would be interesting to see the extent to which they involve the social media audience in this film. At first glance, this looks like it could be well executed.

Hmm… factor: They’re currently sitting on about 20,000 fans on FB, and 1,500 followers on Twitter. A touch low if you ask me; but it would be interesting to see if this starts to grow once the ‘experience’ kicks off.

Pringles Crunch Band

Awesomeness: 4 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: It’s perfect for their target audience; also, it gets people to not only buy the product, but to trial new flavours. The tie-in with Facebook and badges is a nice touch, it’s quite interesting what people are willing to do to obtain badges (or Mayorships, for that matter) which are of no consequence “in the real world”.

Hmm… factor: It would’ve been good to see the integrated campaign to understand how they are promoting this.

Awesomeness: 3.5 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: It’s interactive, the content also talks to the product benefits. Intel continues to do a good job of branding their boring commodity to customers (put your hand up if bum-bum-ba-bum played in your head when you read Intel – no? Just me then).

Hmm… factor: 440k+ views is quite low for something like this (think how much the production would’ve costed). Except for some activity on YouTube homepage, there wasn’t a lot of media booked to promote this. Unfortunately, sometimes people get into a ‘build it and they will come’ mindset, which is not a good idea – there’s no point building an amazing piece of content if no one (or not enough people) knows about it.

In Other News…

Book Depository was bought by Amazon (no changes at this stage to free delivery), Heineken signs a global ad deal with Google, and Zynga files for a $1billion IPO (FarmVille sells a lot of virtual cows). The latter is strong evidence of network effect in play – gaming companies that currently rely on FB to reach their target audience has a vested interest to keep FB the dominant social network.

3LiveShop

Awesomeness: 4 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: This creates an excellent shopping experience for consumers, particularly useful for high involvement products which require more assistance. Not only does this create a great experience for the customer, I believe it would also serve to reduce the tyre-kicking factor for online (people find it much harder to say no to someone “in person”). The system serves up the appropriate plan and handset options/ pricing, along with suitable cross-sell opportunities.

Hmm… factor: There is obviously a fair bit of infrastructure required to make this work, not to mention reliable, fast Internet – particularly if you consider who this would be most useful for – people for whom it is a hassle to make it into stores. Australia lags behind other developed countries in terms of connectivity and speed, but with the NBN implementation, I think we will begin to see more innovative uses of the infrastructure.

Awesomeness: 3 out of 5
Why it’s awesome: The execution fits the brand really well, and because it encourages people to interact with the creative, it’s much more likely to get cut through.  
Hmm… factor: interactive banners are expensive propositions, often requiring higher media, creative and ad-serving costs; which often means it’s more an awareness tool. However, with the right creative and strong media negotiation, it is still possible to achieve good ROI.

Awesomeness: 3 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: The execution fits the brand really well, and because it encourages people to interact with the creative, it’s much more likely to get cut through.  

Hmm… factor: interactive banners are expensive propositions, often requiring higher media, creative and ad-serving costs; which often means it’s more an awareness tool. However, with the right creative and strong media negotiation, it is still possible to achieve good ROI.

I already posted this earlier last week, but it’s so good it deserves commentary.

Awesomeness: 4.5 out of 5

Why it’s awesome: The campaign is driven from research, but more importantly, the insights delivered by the research – the understanding around how their consumers shop and generally live their lives.

Hmm… factor: While 10,000+ uptake seems impressive, my guess would be that they were restrained by the media buy. It would be interesting to know the traffic volume of that particular station, which will then give us some sort of conversion figure. If this execution was mobile (i.e. can be moved around to key places), they probably would’ve gotten an even higher figure. However, overall it’s a very impressive campaign.

All your brand needs is three little words

An insightful (as usual) opinion piece from Mark Ritson. The comment trail is interesting also. I agree with Ian that marketers do often feel the need to over-complicate & present paradigms etc that are confusing, and (worse yet) ineffective.

A succinct brand DNA does not mean that the brand is over-simplified. In branding (as in life), it is impossible to be all things to all people. Unless, of course, you’re operating in a market that favours you with a natural monopoly. In which case you seem to be able to do whatever the heck you like. But I digress.