The Amazing Foursquare Race

Endemol USA has levelled up to become the mayor of reality TV.

According to Variety, they are partnering with Foursquare to created a new show that is “likely to have an ‘Amazing Race’-style competitive element, in which participants travel to various sites.”

This could signal a deeper level of engagement between users of emerging technology and television programming. For example, a Foursquare user could leave clues for participants in the race at various locations. Or users could vie for the right to be mayor of a venue that racers must check in at and be the local person greeting them as they come running through the venue.

Branded Entertainment: It’s a Journey

The mipblog has great coverage of the MIPTV session “Branded Entertainment Across All Platforms”.

I love the point made by Charlie Crowe of C Squared: “A brand can be built over generations, but destroyed in 140 characters.”

Definitely worth keeping in mind!

The most poignant comment, though, was made by Kamel Oudi, Digital Media Director for Louise Vuitton France: “Each brand has a heart, a DNA.”

He urged brand custodians to follow their brand’s DNA ‘down the natural evolutionary path of your story, your brand and your people.’

He discussed the recent Journeys Awards, a crowdsourced campaign in which Louis Vuitton showcased emerging filmmakers following a brief from Wong Kar Wai. As pointed out on the mipblog:

The work was particularly meaningful because it demonstrates there’s a use for social media by luxury brands, which sometimes worry there’s no way to maintain exclusivity and cachet on democratic media. But with clear boundaries in place (for example, the same “journeys” text appeared in all film festival videos) and a clear communications strategy, users followed the tone set by Vuitton, speaking in the same artistic, ephemeral accent that the brand used.


Here’s the video of Sho Tsukikawa, which won the jury prize. Well worth watching:

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Apple’s iPad: Changing Business Models from April 3rd…

This is a game changer:

If you haven’t factored this into your business yet, you’re already on the endangered list!

Four People Is All It Takes To Change The World

I have a huge amount of respect for Robert Scoble. His intellect, his dedication to his task of curating trends and his personable approach make him a stand out in the Silicon Valley community…, no wider than that: globally!

That’s why I wanted to share with you his talk at Stanford University last month. In it he talks about how people like Scott Monty are humanizing the brands they work with, how new Zappos employees are forced to tweet to connect them to their brand and the concept of doubling pennies.

He finishes in true Scoble style with an understated truism – we all have a burning desire not to connect with thousands of ‘friends’ that we hardly know, but with just four people, the right four people…and that is all it takes to change the world, just four connected, passionate people.

Connect the dots – the right four people who have cracked the formula for building doubling pennies – an extremely powerful combination.

Definitely worth watching:

Augmented Reality Goes Viral

dailyaztecLink to site

Re-architecting the business paradigm through social business design

Shropshire BridgeThe current enterprise branding/marketing outflows and monitoring systems are not designed for engagement. Instead they are asynchronous push mechanisms -

“Look at me, I’m the cool brand you need to identify with”;

“Hey guy, you really need to buy me, I’m the product that will make you whole again”.

The challenge for anyone working in the social business design arena is not being complacent and accepting the parameters set by clients -

“We have a total budget of $500k, how can you use this to push us in our market using these new social media tools”.

The challenge is convincing a client to change their entire product development, marketing, sales and distribution cycles to become more integrated around a synchronously engaged model, a model that goes way beyond retrofitting.

The challenge as well is telling them that far from making their business more cutting edge, in fact, this radical redesign will make them far more like the businesses that existed pre-industrial revolution.

In putting forward these re-architecting challenges, I am building on a thesis put forward by Luke Harvey-Palmer:

So much of the theory and practice that resides at the core of Social Business Design sounds like the same principles that successful villages and communities existed upon largely up until the early 18th Century.  For these villages, commerce was very much about the community, and conversations and relationships.  With the Industrial Revolution and the rise of globalisation most recently, corporations have forgotten the notions of community, collaboration and consultation.  Before the advent of advertising and the ‘agency’ people were persuaded to buy products by the people who made and distributed the products…and this all took place on local markets, where everyone gathered to enjoy the social aspects of business!

and continued by Robin Hamman of the Dachis Group:

Whilst it’s true that, at present, most social media monitoring is being used to protect existing mass processes, I remain enthusiastic about it’s potential to help genuinely social businesses gain a foothold by helping them identify opportunities, make contact with those with a need (“the market”) and build awareness of their ability and eagerness to fulfill that need. That, however, requires more than just a monitoring solution – it requires a consumer focused strategy, utilising a variety of social tools to support consumer involvement in every step of the process, including product or service definition, testing, refinement and marketing.

Being bold with clients about re-architecting rather than retrofitting will ultimately deliver far greater return on (change) investment.

[pic courtesy of Burwash Calligrapher]