Thursday, May 21, 2015

Jessie @ - Digital Shoreditch...................................

By: Jessie Frahm

Hi digital people,

As a Digital Project Manager here at Gravity Thinking I was one of the lucky ones who got to attend last week’s Digital Shoreditch festival to explore some of the latest market trends within creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent of the UK, Europe and beyond.

All pumped on sunshine, coffee and a chocolate muffin I went to the following events. Here are the key insights from the talks I went to.

  “Can Wearables give you Wings?
 Speaker: Carlos Thomas | Audiowings // Founder | @carlosdajackal   
Ever since the first human walked on Earth, we as a species have been fascinated about the world that seems beyond reach for human capabilities. We explore what seems impossible and this is the root of the “I want to become a Super Hero” syndrome!

“Who here has a Smart Watch?” In a room of 40 people, 3 raises their hands. Why did this highly anticipated item fail to appeal to so many? We have all watched films such as I Robot and The Terminator; the idea of machines interfering with, and taking over our lives is not an appealing thought, but this might never the less be the feeling a smart watch provokes.

Web 3.0 - the “Internet of Things”, however, goes far beyond a smart watch, and wearables should be re-defined as technology solutions, used to boost our emotions and human experiences in the real world. Earphones are a brilliant example of this, as it is a wearable technology used to create beyond sound experience layover to the real world.

In our search for unreal experiences to be real, we are lead online where each of us can explore and develop our own pseudo reality in a variety of communities. This allows us to create a reality in the in the digital world where we can be exactly that superhero we previously could only dream about…..

Research found however, that the average person spends more time online in their virtual worlds than they do sleeping. If this is true I’ll be tempted to ask – what really is reality?

Designing experiences for sound; the next great challenge coming our way
George Webster | Critical mass // Director of Content Strategy | @georgew1971
One of the things we will see an increased focus on in the coming year is the focus on sound. Audio is a previously untapped aspect to being digital and an app such as Yappie, which is a mobile social network counterpart to Instagram allows its users to record up to 60 sec of sound testify its growing rise.  

"The sound of a bicycle bell ringing."

Listen and you will visualise this in a split second. The London Boris bikes send you off with a smile on your face, and manage to utilise the emotions people naturally connect to this sound.

Sound is a powerful tool. Have a look at UNMAS “Sweeper” app project, which uses sound as its core and thereby creates a powerful awareness campaign around the danger of landmines.

UNMAS "Sweeper"

But what if we managed to take the use of sound even further, and virtualise its ability to connect sound to other senses, such as taste and smell?
Could the next big thing be Starbucks personalized coffee tracks?
The sound of the Trombone is proved to be related to bitter taste but what would you imagine being on your playlist for the taste of coffee, wine or vanilla ice cream?

Superfans and Power users: the future of audience engagement 
Juliana Meyer | SupaPass // CEO and Founder | @julianameyer        
Superfans are key to every start-up – they are there when you are up and coming and they are there in times where your business faces the challenges of being yesterday’s news.  In this 30 minute speech the audience were taken through the below 12 points, which focus on winning and nurturing your Superfans.

  1. Make it awesome: Yes, you need an awesome and relevant product that people cannot live without. 
  2. Start small: Be prepared to start small and win one fan at a time, they all need to feel special.
  3. Identity: Superfans are like tribes and you need to add to their tribe. Take a look at “Beleibers” (Justin Bieber fans) “Directioners” (One Direction fans) and “Little Monsters” (Lady Gaga fans) and you get the point. 
  4.  Make them feel important: Show your Superfans that they matter, trust them and ask them questions, at the end of the day, they probably know your product and their needs better than yourself.
  5. Community: people need to feel that they belong to somewhere, this is why you create the tribe. 
  6. Be first in line: People want to be first.
  7. Reward: Lady Gaga went viral when she invited Maria Aragon to sing with her on stage; consider how you reward your Superfans. 
  8. FOMO, “Fear of missing out”: people are willing to wait days in front of Apple Stores to become first owners of the newest Iphone. 
  9. Incentivise your product: Be creative and create competitions for your fans that make them talk about you. Games (Gamification) are proven to be an efficient tool.
  10. Listen: Superfans are smart, they know all about your product so utilize that.
  11. Never forget: Don’t forget your Superfans, they will be there until the end. 
  12. The product: Yes this is point 1. Superfans come back for more, so be sure to give them what they want.

Why beacons matter? And what it means for your sector?
Ege Akpinar | Pointr // Founder & CEO | @egeakpinar                                                                           

For those of you who don’t know it, Beacons are a device designed to navigate around specific locations. So why do we need Beacons when we have Google maps? The short answer to this is that beacons work indoor and are incredibly precise, cheap and adaptable to all sorts of projects.
Using beacons gives you the ability to collect data surrounding people’s behaviour,for instance what is their preferred route, where do they spend time and what do they search for?

Beacons are agile and up to date, have been used to track people working under ground in mines, follow people’s behaviour at big locations. In near future beacons will be developed to interact with a task specific app which help people navigate in a big stadium, helping them to find their seat, toilets and the bar area, for example.

The Louvre currently uses beacons to capture visitors and created itinerates with suggested navigation to maximize space. Bigger airports are developing apps where people can get exact details on how to find their gate and how much time it will take them to get there. This is very useful considering that 20% of the revenue from an airport comes from the duty-free area, it is worth keeping people there as long as possible. 

Another cool example of the use for beacons is in hospitals where beacons have been used to find expensive lost items by tracking them around the building.

On the advertising side, Nivea created a Bluetooth tag to put on kids while going to the beach so they wouldn’t get lost from their parents. 

Beacons are evidently an important development and it is probably just a matter of time before we see even more creative apps developed based on the usefulness of these cheap navigation points.
Sunday, May 17, 2015

#Win&Tonic - Hendrick’s gin appoints Gravity Thinking

We are delighted to announce that Hendrick’s gin have appointed  us as their digital and social agency to manage and deliver their upcoming UK digital and social activation campaign for 2015.

The appointment, following a 5 way pitch, means we will be working alongside an inter-agency team including The Village Communications, W Communications and DotLabel, to develop an immersive experience that will connect with new audiences and that will bring the brand to life in digital channels.

Stephen Firth, Managing Partner at Gravity Thinking, said:

“Hendrick’s gin is such a rich and interesting brand to work with, we’ve been really focused on how we can do something truly innovative to meet the expectations of their passionate consumers whilst connecting with new drinkers too. Without giving away the idea, we’re working with ground-breaking technology to deliver something different and unexpected for the category.”

Sam Bovill, Senior Brand Manager for Hendrick’s at William Grant & Sons UK, said:

“We were impressed with how Gravity Thinking very quickly got to grips with our unique brand world and we’re excited to see the campaign come to life over the coming months, invoking a sense of curiosity amongst our consumers. It was important for us to find a brave agency who can deliver on technology firsts whilst staying true to our unusual brand, as well demonstrate a keen understanding that brands are built in digital and social channels in today’s world.”

Watch this space !
Friday, May 15, 2015

The Race for Facial Recognition Payment

By Terence Jou

Japan has always been known as tech leader since the 80s. Fax machines for a time was the leading way to communicate, gaming systems like Nintendo led the landscape for video game geeks in the 90s. This week, telecom giant NTT Docomo has showcased a new phone in its summer lineup called the Arrow NX F-04G. No, it’s not a fighter jet, but it is quite impressive – it’ll be the world’s first smartphone that can use iris recognition technology along with fingerprint identification to allow users to unlock their phone and pay through mobile.

Security is always an issue with mobile payment and experts say that with iris recognition, it is seen (no pun intended) as a very secure form of payment. Everyone has their own unique iris configuration and paired along with your unique fingerprint, the combination is as authentic in verifying your identity as if you walked up to a counter with your photo ID to pay. Other companies have explored aspects of facial recognition payments in the past year – Alibaba is pursuing a payment method based off your smile. 

What was once the domain of science fiction is slowly becoming science fact. In Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s character has to get his eyes removed to avoid the detection of police and eye scanners that are used for marketing purposes. But have we started going too far with making payment for purchases more convenient? With data security being such a big concern over the last two years, are people really willing to give up their fingerprints and eye scans knowing that there is the possibility that even that could be stolen by criminals?

Personally, I’m not too fussed when having to step through one or two additional pages to fill out my credit card information via mobile. Sure, my fat fingers do cause some frustration at times, but as someone who wears contacts / glasses and has always had issues with getting the facial recognition function for my Global Entry access at the airport to work, I see more inconvenience with this technology during the early years than what we currently deal with for payment. 
Monday, March 9, 2015

Let’s Not Make “Femvertising” A Permanent Thing

By Georgia Zervudachi

Graffiti on a Bus Shelter 

TL;DR Stop marketing to “women”, market to people.



Seeping into usage at the end of late 2014, it’s been used to describe how brands have been jumping on the bandwagon with the digital wave of feminism that has hit the headlines numerous times in the past year or so (See also “pink washing”). Defined by Adweek as “pro-female messaging within advertising it’s been heralded as a Great Thing, with Always #LikeAGirl, Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches and Under Armour “I Will I Want” being held up as the paragons of promoting a pro-female message.

“Femvertising” may have rapidly raised the profile of the issue, which is great for stats for PTAT (People talking about this), but I don’t think the term is for the long game, in the digital age where everything happens at an exponential rate. It’s been done now. I think it might even be passé and labouring the point.

To me, as a female millennial who is totally unique but probably identifies with every millennial trend, it has become a fad, off the back of a very important and exciting trend. Yes, there is a need for a positive portrayal of women in all spheres of the media and a breakdown of gender stereotypes, but since Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, I’ve become a bit bored, and lately irritated, by my razor telling me I shouldn’t accept being pigeonholed. 


Don’t get me wrong, the insight is spot on and incredibly rich and exciting territory, I’m just not sure the link to the Venus brand is strong enough to have the credibility to say it. Bare in mind that this is a brand which had “I’m your Venus/I’m your Fire/your Desire” playing in all of it’s TV spots until very recently. While I’m all in favour of repositioning Venus to the more “She’s Got It” end of the scale, having seen the ad on YouTube pre-roll and not come across any ATL support or been targeted by any other digital execution (and I am the prime profile for targeting) it seems unsubstantiated and it’s a bit of a jump, in my opinion. You shouldn’t feel the need to release a video justifying and explaining such a repositioning. Which is a shame, because if there had been a run up of some sort, to build the credibility of the connection, then it could have been so on point.

Always #LikeAGirl Campaign 

Of course there are stories that work perfectly and connect perfectly to a brand’s proposition. But, playing to stereotype isn’t acceptable anymore, and when it is overt, there is an increasing likelihood of backlash.

As marketing trends move further into the sphere of content marketing and the op-eds of the best of the best praise the efficacy of targeting lifestyle and attitude, surely the way to speak to consumers  people has to reflect that. Countless trend reports tell us that equality and tolerance are increasingly important, especially (but not exclusively) to younger audiences.

Fundamentally, women don’t need to be told that they CAN DO IT, they need to be SHOWN that it is perfectly normal. Maybe even challenged and asked “Why aren’t you?” 

Why can’t adverts just reflect the norms of society where women play rugby and where men do the washing up? where women order Guiness as their usual and men enjoy a Baileys?

This week it was announced that this year a new category was going to be added to the Oscars of the Advertising world, Cannes. The Glass Lion for Social Change, specifically “for work addressing the misrepresentation of gender in marketing.” This is sponsored by one of the most prominent spokespersons for women in Business, Sheryl Sandberg. In a statement announcing the award she said:  

 "You can't be what you can't see - and how we market to women is critically important … If our messages to women - and men - portray equality, we will help create a more equal world. LeanIn.Org is thrilled that Cannes Lions is making the Glass Lion a reality so we can all applaud advertising that is more representative of the world as it should be."

Promotional Art for The Glass Lion

I’m sorry Ms Sandberg, but I disagree. By making a significant point to target women and EMPOWER THEM through 30-second spots, you are by definition not demonstrating equality. Give a Glass Lion to the agencies and companies where the percentage of women in executive positions (or in creative teams, or in planning…) reflects that of the industry. Give a Glass Lion to the script without specified genders, abilities, ages, ethnicities or sexual orientations (because it is a Lion for Change, and there are a lot of other Adland norms which aren’t reflective of society). Give a Glass Lion to the brief that targets “ALL THE PEOPLE who relate to this HUMAN TRUTH”. Isn’t that the point of the human truth – that it is something that EVERYONE relates to?

Traditional demographics are easy to get hold of, and you can generally get away with making assumptions, but it isn’t enough to base a bulletproof strategy on any longer. People are beginning to think differently, and while that presents a helluva challenge to marketeers and strategists, it can only be a good thing.