Saturday, 30 January 2010


PREMIER LEAGUE football's biggest stars have entered the realm of Augmented Reality (AR) in 2010 thanks to a new deal between Topps Europe, the publishers of Premier League sticker albums and trading cards, and AR pioneers Total Immersion.

For the first time, Premier League football collectors' cards include an Augmented Reality (AR)  element, with Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Frank Lampard featured on three special collectors' cards. Football fans can watch each player showcase special moves in AR animation and even challenge them in a free-kick game via the Topps' website.

The Topps Total Football 2009/10 series features more than 450 collectors stickers, including the three 3D Live stickers. To use the interactive animation technology, fans log on to the website and select the player on the sticker. Once the programme has started, users simply place the sticker under their web cam and the player comes to life.
Once activated, each of the AR players can be rotated around and their movements controlled with a single keystroke.

To accompany the 2009/10 Total Football series, Topps have created a special collector album with an augmented reality front cover.

Friday, 29 January 2010


Our prehistoric ancestors spent much of their waking hours foraging for and consuming food, an instinct that obviously paid off. Today this instinct is no less powerful, but for billions of us it’s satisfied in the minutes it takes to swing by the store and pop a meal in the microwave. With our physical needs sated and time on our hands, increasingly we’re finding psychological outlets for this drive, by seeking out and consuming concepts.

Conceptual consumption strongly influences physical consumption. Keeping up with the Joneses is an obvious example. The SUV in the driveway is only partly about the need for transport; the concept consumed is status. Dozens of studies tease out the many ways in which concepts influence people’s consumption, independent of the physical thing being consumed. Here are just three of the classes of conceptual consumption that we and others have identified.

Consuming expectations
People’s expectation about the value of what they’re consuming profoundly affects their experience. We know that people have favorite beverage brands, for instance, but in blind taste tests they frequently can’t tell one from another: The value that marketers attach to the brand, rather than the drink’s flavor, is often what truly adds to the taste experience. Recent brain-imaging studies show that when people believe they’re drinking expensive wine, their reward circuitry is more active than when they think they’re drinking cheap wine—even when the wines are identical. Similarly, when people believe they’re taking cheap painkillers, they experience less relief than when they take the same but higher-priced pills.

Consuming goals
Pursuing a goal can be a powerful trigger for consumption. At a convenience store where the average purchase was $4, researchers gave some customers coupons that offered $1 off any purchase of $6, and others coupons that offered $1 off any purchase of at least $2. Customers who received the coupon that required a $6 purchase increased their spending in an effort to receive their dollar off; more interestingly, those customers who received the coupon that required only a $2 purchase to receive the dollar off actually decreased their spending from their typical $4, though of course they would have received their dollar off had they spent $4. Consuming the specific goal implied by the coupon—receiving a savings on a purchase of a designated amount—trumped people’s initial inclinations. Customers who received the $2 coupon left the store with fewer items than they had intended to buy.

Consuming memories
One study of how memories influence consumption explored the phenomenon whereby people who have truly enjoyed an experience, such as a special evening out, sometimes prefer not to repeat it. We might expect that they would want to experience such an evening again; but by forgoing repeat visits, they are preserving their ability to consume the pure memory—the concept—of that evening forever, without the risk of polluting it with a less-special evening.

So concepts not only can influence people to consume more physical stuff, but also can encourage them to consume less. Offering people a chance to trade undesirable physical consumption for conceptual consumption is one way to help them make wiser choices. In Sacramento, for example, if people use less energy than their neighbors, they get a smiley face on their utility bill (or two if they’re really good)—a tactic that has reduced energy use in the district and is now being employed in Chicago, Seattle, and eight other cities. In this case, people forgo energy consumption in order to consume the concept of being greener than their neighbors.

We suggest that examining people’s motivations through the lens of conceptual consumption can help policy makers, marketers, and managers craft incentives to drive desired behavior—for better or for worse.

- - -
Dan Ariely  is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and the author of Predictably Irrational.

Michael I. Norton is an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

The full paper on which this article is based is available at norton 2009.pdf.

Original article

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Need some help becoming more Social? ;)


The PUMA Index is a real stock ticker, with a twist. When the market goes down, our models' clothes come off, all the way to their PUMA Bodywear.  PUMA created a free-to-download app and site called the PUMA INDEX which provides cheer to investors whose stocks are nose-diving by giving them hot male and female models clad only in Puma underwear to lift their spirits.  

The Puma Index reacts to the fortunes of the Dow, German (DAX) and Australian (ASX) stock markets: the lower the stock market falls, the more clothes they take off, so it’s targeting those who check their stocks as often as they check their mobile devices. 

Once you’ve installed the free app you can choose between a male or female guide to your index of choice, by shaking the iPhone. The market numbers will be updated automatically through the day and when it gets good enough, or bad enough, the models will be called into action.

It gets better.  If you show your iPhone with the app installed to a PUMA sales rep, you even get a 20% discount on your next purchase.  

Check out the video overview, check out the free Mobile App, or visit the PUMA Index Site.


2010 CaT: Creativity and Technology | NYC

Tired of hearing the same things over and over again at events or conferences?  We know how you feel.   The gap today between those on the cutting edge (of emerging technology and creativity) like YOU, and the rest of the world, has obviously never been wider.

So, if you NEED to attend one conference this year that will position you at the front of the pack (and our entire team agreed on this one) you should really check out the CaT: Creativity and Technology Conference. 

To our knowledge, there are only CaT events in NYC and London, but our trip to NYC last summer exposed us to some of the best and brightest minds in the world.  Moreover, the list of attendees and speakers read like a “who’s who” list in our space; a summit for the convergence of creativity and technology.  This show was exceptional, dare we say even inspirational. 

We hope to see you in NYC this summer. ;)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Audi has created a series of social media programs to buttress its third Super Bowl ad. Both the ad and the social media elements will introduce the Green Police, an enforcement team created to “protect and conserve the environment.”  Video's are partial spoof, partial social awareness. 

Fans can also take part in a Green Police Quiz, apparently conceived to help the public understand how to become better global citizens. 

These videos are now live on a dedicated Green Police YouTube channel. 

iPlatform develops McDonalds “The Flavourhood” for Razorfish

iPlatform develops McDonalds UK's  “The Flavourhood” for Razorfish (for McDonalds first major Facebook campaign).   The campaign includes several game-like applications aimed at building a fan-base.  The campaign also includes a central application connected to multiple games and fan pages related to each product.  Unit 9 created the introduction flash.

Read full article

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


The latest iteration in the Refresh Everything campaign sees Pepsi pull its entire Superbowl budget - a staggering US$20 million - in favour of a CSR initiative.  The move will mark the end of a 23 year investment in the game. The Refresh Project is a US-based campaign set up to reward those with big ideas for improving communities across the areas of health, arts and culture, charity, ecology, neighbourhood and education.

The campaign website will launch officially on January 13th on which users can submit their big ideas. From February 1st the public can cast their vote to decide the most worthy causes. Grants will then be awarded up to the total value of $1.3m per month over the course of the year.

The project will also be closely tied with an online reality show titled 'If I Can Dream' which will track five youngsters trying to crack Hollywood. Frank Cooper, SVP and chief consumer engagement officer, Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages said the show, which will be aired across Hulu and MySpace 'is one of many innovative ways the Pepsi Refresh Project will be featured in the digital space'.

The campaign follows the announcement by Pepsi that it will increase online advertising by 60% from 2009 expenditure. Cooper went on to say 'In 2010, each of our beverage brands has a strategy and marketing platform that will be less about a singular event, less about a moment, more about a movement'.

Check out the site at or watch the Pepsi Refresh Project: $50K Inspirational Video.