QR codes are just about everywhere now, so the challenge for marketers is rising above the black-and-white noise. In "Tailgate for Tickets," a recently concluded campaign with 2ergo, U.S. Cellular got college students to snap 2D mobile codes emblazoned on Seqways to discover if they were instant winners. In this novel combination of mobile and human-powered one-to-one marketing, the U.S. Cellular representatives driving the Segways could engage the students with more information.
Someone at Google has a good eye for cool apps. The company Clever Sense barely got its fascinating recommendation app Alfred out the door before Google came a-knocking to acquire the company, the two parties announced yesterday.
It's on! As the holiday shopping season races to a conclusion, the reading device and tablet manufacturers are scrambling for position in any way they can. Before the Amazon Kindle Fire arrived last month, there was already an Android-powered tablet with training wheels in the market called the Nook Color. When Barnes & Noble rolled out its higher-end tablet, the Nook Table, last month, it moved the pricing and positioning of the Nook Color to the $199 middle of its pack. But B&N is still pressing the features and affordability of the unit as it goes head to head with …
When Google first introduced its Android operating system and the G1 phone that ran it several years ago, I included it in a college lecture I was giving on emerging technology. Before I began, 1 tired-eyed young man in the front row was polishing off a bottle of Diet Coke. I asked him to hold onto it for me to use during the lecture. As I wound down the talk, I ended with what was then a bold prediction that mobile platforms would do what two decades of the Web had failed to do: activate data in our everyday lives. …
No one seems to know who really calls the editorial shots inside Apple. Who determines how apps get into those coveted featured slots, App or Game of the Week? All anyone knows for sure is that getting any kind of association with Apple, from a millisecond exposure in one of its iPhone or iPad ads, to a few days' rotation in the carousel of highlighted apps, is a quick path to popularity. And every year, whoever those folks are who make these calls pull together their Rewind look back at the best of the year.
We told you all along that this was going to get ugly. Once you put a smartphone into store aisles armed with price comparison engines and e-tailers, there is little to stop all-out war among merchants and between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sellers. On Dec. 10, Amazon ups the ante by offering app users a one-day 5% discount if they scan codes from a retailer but then buy something from Amazon.
As every book publisher and record label knows, the latest and greatest hits may bring in the big profits, but it is that back catalog that keeps the cash flow level and predictable. The age of digital downloads has made all music more easily discoverable, but how does a publisher really use the new media tools best to revive that old catalog? In what you might call an app-age version of a greatest hits album reissue, Sony music is promoting the legendary guitarist in a new "Jimi Hendrix: The Complete Experience" app for iPhones and iPad.
So much attention is being paid to the new Xbox 360 and Kinect platform's TV partnerships that it is easy to overlook another critical component also rolling out in today's big refresh. Now that the Xbox 360 is starting to act like a set-top TV box, it is also reaching out to the same mobile platform that is also so appealing to the likes of Turner Cable and Comcast. In tandem with the big Xbox 360 update that will bring more TV/DVR-like functionality to the game console, Microsoft is also releasing an Xbox Companion app that will interact directly with …
We have been saying all year in these pages and at our OMMA events that 2011 has not been the "year of mobile" so much as the "year of playing mobile catch-up." User adoption of smartphones and the sheer velocity of post-PC use have been flying off the charts. Retailers scrambled to get a viable strategy for capturing mobilized shoppers this holiday. Almost everyone is racing onto the mobile Web and exploring their brand's mobile search and discovery strategies. But what about Facebook?
On one level, the Kindle Fire had me at hello. Literally, the device came out of the box already knowing my identity. It brought forward that massive database of material Amazon has collected on me over the last decade. The seven-inch device started up and called me by name, even met me with the Kindle purchases I already had made on previous iterations of their device. You have to admit, this is pretty neighborly of them and something that pulls you into their grasp quickly.