May 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
‘Try before you buy‘ is a well established approach to allow potential customers experience the product before the actual purchase.
ECO furniture designer COCO MAT from Greece takes the concept a step further creating hotel like show rooms where people can take an extended nap of several hours. Taking a brake from the huzzle and buzzle of NYC’s busy street’s in such a comforting and inviting environment allows you to get a real sense of the quality of the product. Furthermore the founder, Paul Efmorfidis doesn’t mind if “nappers” don’t turn into buyers, but aims to increase top of mind awareness and positive word-of-mouth for COCO MAT with this intervention. The free orange juice, espresso and Greek foods complement the experience, speaking to all 5 senses and making it so much more inviting, without the need or pressure to close a deal.
An expereince that’s totally on brand while generating lot’s of earned media for the company.
April 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
Need to send an email but have no WiFi? Take your pooch for a walk in the park and you’re on your way to free global Interweb, at least in Mexico.
Well of course this is no daily challenge for most of us as we work in the park, but the Mexican internet portal Terra still managed to delight passers-by with this funny intervention and created a short clip to further explain the (not so serious) thinking behind it.
For every gram of dog poo that owners dispose in the allocated containers, a certain amount of free WiFi minutes are being offered generously for anybody in the park who is looking for internet access. Seems to me that everybody is happy because it works on three levels: we all enjoy a poo free park (which should be the case anyways with responsible dog owners, like myself), dog owners can contribute by “paying it forward” (lol) and those looking for free internet access benefit from the responsible dog owners. What a great idea, bounded to attract a lot of media attention!
With this intervention, Terra delights, entertains and solves two problems at the same time, while communicating their core service (internet access) in a hilarious way, making everybody smile. I wonder if there was a social media component to transport the event to others.
April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Imagine you’re 6 years old, you don’t feel well and your mom takes you to a hospital for the first time.
On top of really not feeling well, you’re in this unfamiliar and big scary place, not knowing what will happen to you. As you sit down in the waiting room you notice some colorful lines that move over the wall and you want to find out what this is all about. You discover you can actually play with the lines, move them around, and as you do that you hear sounds. Before you know it you make music and another kid you did not know before joins you and together you discover a new and exciting way to play and have fun with music. Suddenly the hospital doesn’t seem to scary anymore and you also think you feel much better.
Something along those lines must have been the thinking behind a new interactive wall at the Saint-Justine, a mother-children’s Hospital here in Montreal. In an attempt to make the waiting room area more inviting and less boring or scary, Montreal-based Moment Factory (who were also responsible for the spectacular visuals and stage design of Madonna’s half time show at the Super Bowl) conceived this interactive wall, inviting children to discover their creative side, playing with sight, sounds, colors and movement. All this can be done by several children at the same time, enabling them to explore, discover and create together.
What a great way to engage children around art in an environment that most of us associate with discomfort and suffering, creating new associations, potentially turning a hospital visit into a more positive and playful expereince, at least partly. Another inspiring example where art can improve the quality of life, and in return help the Saint-Justine Hospital to offer better services.
March 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
If you like chocolate (I do!), you will probably like what the Danish chocolate brand Anthon Berg recently did.
To bring their tag line “you can never be to generous” to life, they opened a pop-up chocolate store for only one day. But instead of hard earned cash, you had to pay with the promise of a good deed. For every product you bought you could pick from a catalog of mostly fun and sometimes cheeky promises, such as cleaning a friend’s house or garden, serving breakfast in bed for your loved one, not talking behind your girlfriends back for a month, etc. Facebook was used to document the promise using iPads made available in store.
As you can see in the video people lined up for hours to be able to pay some chocolate with a good deed.
I love this event because it encourages people to “pay it forward”. We have seen brands engaging in”random acts of kindness“, but the agency Robert/Boisen & Like-minded, who conceived the idea, takes it to another level, turning Anthon Berg into the facilitator that encourages the consumer him/herself to engage in random acts of kindness. What a great way to communicate your values employing an event that is talk worthy, yet social and fun enough for the the audience to wait over an hour ot be able to participate.
March 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
I never thought of a prison as a subject I would write about in my blog, but here we are…
The German artist Markus Linnenbrink created an incredibly colorful journey in a tunnel in a prison in Duesseldorf (Germany), where visitors pass through to see their friends and loved ones.
If you take a took at the images you get a sense of the space. Imagine what the tunnel must have been like before the transformation: a claustrophobic, long winding space with monochrome white walls and those ultra functional yet hideous neon lights. What a depressing expereince it must have been for the visitors.
The new tunnel is so much more interesting, inviting and playful. It nearly makes you forget where you are. I like especially the juxtaposition of the graphical use of the colour with the the roughness of the dripping paint. The paint drips feel like imperfections that really make the experience more human, and playful, and less “academic”, allowing visitors who might otherwise be intimidated by the art work, access to the piece more easily. And even if you don’t care at all about art, these new walls are bound to improve the overall prison experience for the visitor. It must be hard enough having to go through this ordeal. Why not look for ways to improve a dire situation using art as a catalyst. I love it when art improves people’s live with such simple means.
I hope this example will inspire other decision makers to think of ways to improve an often neglected environment. If you have any other examples, comparable to this one, please let us know.
March 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
The National Maritime Museum in London commissioned United Visual Artists (UVA), also widely know for their installation “Volume” in front of the Victor and Albert Museum, to develop the installation High Arctic “to understand, visualize and gain insight on the steadily vanishing region”. The result is an interactive experience that simulates various effects of climate change in an abstract environment. Set in the year 2100, the environment invites visitors to explore the sculptural landscape and a torch like device enables to direct interaction with installation and confronts the visitor with the negative impact humanity is having on this unique and highly sensitive eco-system.
As I might have mentioned before, I’m a sucker for this kind of impressive, high tech installations (although I also enjoy long walks on the beach and striking kittens). The futuristic and abstract character of the experience is definitely a welcome change and allows an entirely new access to the subject. Instead of focusing on sympathy, using pictures of cute animals to warn about the imminent destruction of this precious eco-system, the museum has opted for a presentation surface that’s much more daring and “out there”. It opens the discussion to a different audience and attracts visitors that might otherwise not care about a subject like the Arctic, if a more conventional approach (such as impressive photos) been chosen.
Maybe the impressive photo bit is part of the exhibition and can be found in another room. If somebody visits the exhibition, please let me know and leave a comment. I’m curious to know. Thanks!