The new Neiman Marcus app is a fine state of the art retail app in many respects. But by linking the user directly to sales associates in their local store, it makes a human connection between virtual and retail experiences that is rare and interesting.
With its new movies app, Disney is trying to move to tablets a DVD collection experience that transformed TV viewing long ago. It recognizes that the TV itself is not the totem it once was. Kids don't care what screen they use now.
Chasing a hipness that is quickly fleeing the social network, Facebook has dropped a boatload of money on leading messaging app WhatsApp. Whether the price tag was reasonable may be less relevant than the fact that the purchase was necessary.
Both publishers and advertisers greatly accelerated their use of mobile activation codes in 2013. the number of titles using the print2mobile method editorially was up more than 200%. So readers really want to "second screen" their magazines?
A technically innovative and creative use of one-to-many mobile broadcasting allows users to control the color of a Nashville agency's corporate signage. More than clever, it points to some interesting ways of personalizing and empowering the most impersonal marketing tool -- public, static signage.
Amex turned over its Instagram feed to a customer a week ago to post his everyday personal use of the card. When it works, such a campaign succeeds in reminding us why brands should stop trying to sound like people.
Citi issued a major revision to its banking app this week, focusing on streamlining the basics rather than dazzling us with new ATM functions. As people's priorities in choosing a bank brand shift, frictionless mobile utility could play a role in deciding the great bank brand wars.
Second-screen apps appear to be in a period of retrenchment. After a first stage of enthusiasm over the concept but underwhelming usage, we may be discovering that TV's "mass audience" was never really much of a "mass" in the first place.