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Backseat driver: enjoy the ride

14 Jul

I’m blaming my lack of blogging of late on the lack of contagious ideas. But this iPhone app from ToyToyota caught my eye today. Cue cheesy Japanese demo.



Backseat driver lets kids enjoy driving from the back seat of their car via an iPhone game. Here’s the smart bit – the app uses GPS technology to mirror the route of the real car in which the player is riding. Score points by steering “My Car” left and right to follow “Papa Car’s” path and pick up objects. After you’ve gained some points, you can customise your car with your own designs.

Er, when’s the adult version coming out? Is it weird that I’d quite like it for road trips? Nope, didn’t think so.


Pepsi’s telly-tagging iPhone app

3 May

Riding on the back of the growing “check-in” culture, Pepsi Max are rewarding their customers with free fizzy pop for “checking-in” to their new ad spot. Once you’ve gone through the trouble of downloading the app, tagging the spot will generate a unique virtual coupon which can be redeemed at selected stores in the US. But only for the first lucky 50,000. While others are gushing over this use of social technology, the jury’s still out for me.

On the plus side…

Rewarding your customers for interacting with your brand is a good thing.

It bridges the gap between the telly and the real-world.

It has the potential to create buzz.

On the down side…

People like to check-in to places, not telly ads. This isn’t something people naturally do.

The fact that you have to download the app, before idly awaiting for the ad to appear, is a huge barrier.

The only reward is free Pepsi. Meh. Unimaginative. And is the experience itself rewarding? I doubt it.

Apart from the fact they’re giving away Pepsi, I struggle to see what is uniquely Pepsi about this idea. It’s an interesting use of social technology, but what does this actually say about Pepsi as a brand? Other than that they’re willing to experiment with all things social. See Pepsi’s new social vending machines over here for more on this.

So what’s the verdict? Social hero or social suicide? Answers on a postcard please.

The Nissan Juke iAd Demo

7 Dec

Really like this iPhone app demo from Nissan. It takes you through the whole user journey, right from the iAd to the in-app experience. Not only that. It’s pretty fucking funny. And best of all, it’s actually consumer-facing (unlike most app demos).

Via my new enthusiastic AMV grad.



30 Apr

Obviously I would never promote this app, but it did make me chuckle 🙂

iNap – never miss your stop again

30 Sep

Ever nod off and miss your stop? iNap means there’s no longer a need to worry.

iNap taps into your phone’s location sensors and sounds the alarm when you get close to your destination. You can even determine how much warning you need. If you’re a slow riser, you can tell it to wake you up 10 miles early. If you wake up fast, you can give yourself less warning.

Awesome, soon I won’t even have to think for myself.

Augmented iPhone – the real world and digital world is colliding

21 Aug

This is pretty cool for you fellow geeks out there (hello?). Using augmented reality technology, this application allows you to overlay 3D graphics over your real life mobile view of the world. Check out the demo below and you’ll see what I mean.

Smart technology such as this creates huge opportunities for brands to enhance our real-world experiences, or simply create engaging brand experiences. This technology isn’t radically new, it’s evolving, and yet very few brands are grabbing such opportunities. Perhaps this sort of thing is still too close to the geek world, and yet to enter the cultural vernacular.

Radio 1 played around with this technology back in May which allowed people to have their favourite band playing live in the palm of their hands – check out my post here. I also posted something very similar to this particular mobile application back in February 2007 here – so it’s certainly nothing new, but hopefully it’ll catch on soon enough…

Found via Rubbishcorp (R) – who’s blog I recently discovered and simply can’t get enough of!

The Carling iPint – keep it simple, stupid

20 Aug

The Carling iPint iPhone application has been making the rounds recently, and it seems to be getting mixed reactions (simple and smart vs. simply stupid). Check out the demo below if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

It’s definitely generating word-of-mouth, what’s more, punters are actually playing around with this (branded content) in pubs – so it’s ticking a lot of boxes for me already. While the entertainment is short-lived, it is somewhat engaging and certainly poses the talkability factor. The iPint spoofs are already in full swing, take iMunchies for example.

Despite the idiocy of drinking a ‘virtual’ pint, the application actually uses ground-breaking technology. And yet the creative execution is so simple. So simple that I would argue it’s actually rather smart.

And to those marketers who think it’s just plain stupid – I can only bet you’re secretely annoyed you didn’t think of it first! Carling have leveraged the popularity of the iPhone, and they have the sucessful results to prove it.

Digital isn’t just banners ya’know. Technology is a huge part of the world we live in, whether we’re vastly aware of it or not. And we’re sharing engaging digital experiences with our friends. We live in exciting times! And brands need to realise the role they can play and value they can add in this exciting world.

My verdict – simply genius.

More info here.

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