Potpourri: iAd Redux, Brand Flash Cards, An Infinite Trailer, And Elvis Too

My mobile devices runneth over. It is midsummer. I am getting more away messages than responses from most of my contacts. And I had at least two interviews with executives this week in which I am sure I heard surf in the background. It is time to take a brief break from long-form column writing and empty out the devices of those small but interesting mobile marketing notions that never seemed rich enough to merit a column on their own.

iAd Part Deux?

Apple somehow got Land Rover and Mindshare/Y&R to tout the iAd in a new video and case study the company is pushing at its site. The executives gush over how accommodating and creative the Apple team was in helping them craft the insanely deep and rich iAd for the Range Rover Evoque campaign. Credit where credit is due.

The ad, which puts the user into the cockpit of the car for a 360-degree experience, is pretty cool. Land Rover Communications Manager Ken Bracht marveled over the network’s ability to target and profile users even according to musical tastes and app use. The campaign was in acquisition mode, aiming to attract up to 80% who had never considered the brand before. It is not surprising that the unit earned an 80-second hang time whenever it was engaged.



No mention of the diminutive banner ad on which the entire enterprise hangs. But ya know -- the unit is in the iad Gallery app and well worth playing.

Brand Recognition: The Game

Anyone in the ad/marketing/media field will have to try this simple trivia game at least once. Brain Rice Games has a Brands and Logos mobile game for iOS that has you ID logos and brand typefaces from partial images. It is great fun, and suddenly gets hard when they throw the basketball teams at you. There is a leaderboard and trophy/badge awards.

For real hardcore creative, however, I am waiting for the typeface ID game. It was a real-world game from back in the day, when I worked in my father’s one-man creative shop in Northern NJ. Yep, all those cartoon superhero versions of used car dealers in the back of the Sports section of the Star Ledger and Herald News circa 1973 were my Dad’s. He would quiz me on typefaces. Somewhere in there is the geekiest mobile game imaginable for advertising and design dweebs.

Elvis Sighting

Bet you didn’t realize it was Elvis Week next week. Apparently August 10-18 is a celebration of The King at Graceland and in Memphis. The official iOS and Android app is a real-time guide to the festivities. How else would you know that there is an Elvis 5K run? Or a morning walk to meditate on Elvis? Or an Elvis Rugby tournament. Not only does it give you news updates and videos, but the app has a virtual candle you can use at vigils.

The Trailer Without End

"The Expendables" is the kind of movie that may or may not have been in theaters already this summer. I couldn’t tell you for sure, because it is the sort of film that is just invisible to me no matter how many times I am perusing Fandango looking for a prospect. But kudos to the marketers on the iPad app. They let you record your own action sequence with superimposed grenades, screen shatter effect, splatters, etc. and then weave them into the app’s movie trailer. It is a good example of a media provider creating the polished and fun frame within which user-generated media becomes closer to enjoyable content than tedium.

They Had Faces Then

Another fond memory of my childhood was the coffee table book. We actually had a coffee table that seemed designed to handle those massive Rizzoli and Abrams art tomes that filled your sight line with hi-res, pin-sharp imagery.

Some of that effect is starting to come to the iPad. A new app called "Glamour of the Gods: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation," from MAPPEditions, collects some of the most stunning Hollywood glamour photography of the century. Talk about Elvis, by the way. The Virgil Apger image of him in 1957 -- at once sad, contemplative and simmering -- is incredible. But so are all of these portraits.The combination of glamour aesthetics, the intimacy of this Hollywood portrait style and the new intimacy of the personal device all add up to a curious effect. The design of the book is unimaginative (more of a port than anything else), but the imagery on this platform is a fascinating marriage of the last century’s great medium with this century’s newest one. 

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