Home Alone 2.0

One of our favorite movies growing up was Home Alone. I still remember loading those DVD’s up, sitting in a circle with a group of my girlfriends and laughing so loudly at all the mischief when you are “home alone”.

I loved how Google re-created Home Alone just when the main protagonist – Macaulay Culkin is now 38 years old instead. He still seems familiar, the scenes of the house are exactly re-created and bring back a gush on nostalgic hormones running through your skin.

There is only one difference – The house is integrated with the Google Home Mini, Home Pub and Pixel Smartphone.  HA! Genius!

Memories <3

We need to chat about WeChat

Slide1I have realised that we have chatted (&blogged) about so many great campaigns, trends and upcoming fab-jazz, but we still haven’t chatted enough about the biggest wave in that is being driven right here – the land where the sun rises (i.e. the East).

Here are the top 5 reason why WeChat is the mega universe of everything that defines ‘magic of your touch screen phone’ –

  1. Make instore payments through QR codes
  2. Send bitcoins to a friend
  3. Manage a personal wealth fund
  4. Pay Utility bills
  5. Check how much a product costs instore by scanning a code

PS: My favourite one that should be at the top of this list – You can book a karaoke through the app. Hello WeChat, Karaoke is my eternal weakness. Oops, did I just reveal my Kkk-Kryptonite to the world?

 

 

Co-roading with Cars and Bikes

Road Peace. Finally?

Cyclists vs cars.

Green vs pollution.

Danger vs Safety.

A lot of people want to go green, and ride bikes to work. But everyone is scared. Road safety for cyclists isn’t a thing if you don’t have separate bike lanes.

Co-existing safely on the roads was a myth. But maybe, AXA’s Smart bells might change that.

AXA created it’s first-ever “bike insurance,” – it’s basically a bell that transmits a signal through car radios to alert drivers about approaching bicycles. Therefore, keeping cyclists safe even over the loud Spotify playlists that is playing in the car.

Seems like cycles are heading in the right direction > 15 km/hour.

It’s snowing in Asia.

The winning formula: Copy + Paste + Localise

Snapchat’s cloned brother – Snow is crystallising 50 million flowing users every month.

How does it work? Well – it’s exactly like Snapchat – expect with a lot more relevant filters: Soju bottles, cats running around in clouds and with motion stickers that will make you crack up.

It’s surely snowing like cray in China, Japan and Korea in just one year. I am a huge Snapchat fan (read: addict) but I would strongly consider moving to Snow just for their Soju stickers.

And come on, do our Snapchat friends really think that we care about using Joker and Bob Marley filters? Asia is tired of being an afterthought. Localise quickly or compete with faster, stronger and more relevant clones.

It’s a frankenstein’s circus out here.

<ends with dramatic music>

snow2

 

 

 

 

Facebook’s Fake News? -_-

First of all, let’s cut people some slack.

People are upset after the elections. I get it. But that doesn’t mean that we put the ‘closest possible target’ in the line of fire.

There are numerous accusations that Facebook promoted fake news and that played a part in the US elections results. (Seriously?)

Let’s get the basics straight – Facebook is not a media company. It’s a tech company – that connects all kinds of publishers to the audience that is most interested in consuming that content. (Read: level playing field)

How does the Facebook algorithm work? Well, the algorithm shows you content that your friends are sharing that you are most likely to engage with. So if you dislike a certain political party, you will either see negative news about that party or positive news about the party you support. It’s really as logical as that.

I just don’t understand how Facebook landed in this line of fire? And for no fault, at all?

Sure, there are things that can be improved –

  1. Hiring journalists to vet through the news feed
  2. Adding a feature to switch off personalised content
  3. Or even – segmenting friends based on their affinity to create a basket of opinions

Fancy stuff. Well, sounds great.

But here is a reality check:

We read what we read, because we make a choice. The onus is on us to make informed decisions based on information we gather from multiple sources and our relative weightage of the authenticity of those sources. If we can’t be cognisant of multiple sources of media, to make our own choices – then well, well. Let’s stop blaming media, and start blaming ourselves.

And for god’s sake – Stop reading the Onion. It makes my eyes tear up.

 

Like new, new? #pixelish

Full Disclosure: My Iphone and I are in a committed relationship. But when I saw the new launch video of the Pixel, I found myself winking at that hot guy that just walked by. (so #pixelish)

Phones are functional, but some aspirational. Brands do that to products. <3

As a consumer, I don’t think that Google really thought much of their brand a few years ago. Their products spoke for themselves and the adoption curve has been exponential. But with the Nexus et. al, the ‘sex appeal’ of the Iphone was missing. I think that’s changing now.

Introducing, the pixel.

The new, new phone in the market.

3.5mm headphone jack, satisfyingly not new.

Cheeky, eh? Who knew?

Check out the launch video below:

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-2-57-41-pm

 

 

Light up my world (with Drones)

drone.jpg

Guess who took over the Palm Springs desert in California recently? Yes, an army of 100 drones. This was the first of such a show, an aerial display of lights over the US night sky. Beautifully orchestrated by cutting edge software, the drones make magnificent formations in the dark, clear skies. Intel continues to position itself as a leader in innovation and cutting edge technology

This is a step forward for all unmanned air vehicle technology industries that are sprouting everywhere across the globe. This was one of the first initiatives to be approved by the Fed. Aviation Authority and have announced certain exemptions for UAV’s for education and research purposes.

intel.JPG

Seems like it would not be too far until we embark on our Jetsons life.

 

 

Did you toast your phone today?

Gmarket Green Toaster_Thumbnail

We toast bread. Now imagine – toasting your phone?

Our smartphones travel with us everywhere and are often kept in the worst conditions. Without a doubt, our smartphone can collect a lot of bacteria & dirt. But do we ever bother brushing it like we brush our teeth? No.

GMarket came up with a cool & funky way to get people to clean their phones. Create a UV Light intensive cleaner in the shape of a toaster. So when people are buying their coffee, their phones can be sterilized in about 5 minutes.

Cool? Watch the video here:

Cookies, Do We Part?

cookiemonster

The basic assumptions of online advertising have always been so simple.

1) The foundation of all online ads are Cookies.

2) For the sites we love, we cannot escape Cookies.

3) Advertisers gather meta-information from these Cookies and push out interest based ads.

The question is, are these assumptions changing? Consumers are voicing out their concerns regarding privacy policies, people are only browsing in Incognito mode and technology-geeks are coming up with Cookie-confusers to mess data up. To me, it almost seems like activism against the ways of Digital Marketing. To be fair, there is still so much room for evolution and change.

The Network Advertising Initiative, a leading non-profit self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and use for digital advertising, recently published Guidance for NAI Members: Use of Non-Cookie Technologies for Interest Based Advertising Consistent with the NAI Code of Conduct.  The Guidance provides clarity on how their members can comply with the NAI Code of Conduct when they use non-cookie technologies for interest-based advertising and reflects NAI’s commitment to supporting a free and thriving internet while protecting consumer privacy in the modern digital ecosystem.

Compliance to new privacy standards is essential. So the question is how do we change our current ways to adapt to the new ones? Will there still be interest based targeting through cookies or will we all eventually become Cookie Monsters?