Tag Archives | Magazine

Edible Survival Guide Helps Land Rover Owners Survive

Everyone knows that “the medium is the message”, but no ad that I’ve seen in recent memory proves that point more than this print ad from Land Rover, called the Edible Survival Guide:

Land Rover Survival Guide

The guide aims to emphasize the exotic adventures that Land Rover owners are supposed to undertake, and includes the tools and information needed to survive in the desert:

  • The cover is made with the same reflective material used by the army, and can be used to signal for help.
  • The metal binding of the guide can be made into skewers, so stranded drivers can spear and cook any animals they’ve hunted.
  • The 28 page guide details all of the indigenous animals and plants in the area that are safe to eat.
  • The pages of the guide also include information on how to make a shelter, build a fire, and a map in case drivers wish to try and walk their way out of the desert.
  • Plus, if needed, the book itself can be eaten to provide the owner with a few additional calories. The pages are made of potato-based starch paper and printed with glycerin based ink, resulting in something that’s 100% safe to eat, with relatively the same nutritional value as a cheeseburger. (Though probably not the same taste.)

The ad was created by Y&R Dubai, who described the idea as follows:

While Land Rover vehicles can take on any obstacles in the desert, it cannot be said the same of their owners. Sandstorms, deadly animals and sinkholes are just a few things they might encounter. And when they venture deep into the desert, even the most experienced drivers can quickly succumb to the harshness of the desert. This book teaches them the basics to staying alive in the Arabian Desert, hence reinforcing what Land Rover stands for in a fun and engaging way.

The campaign was so successful that all 5,000 of the original books were quickly claimed, and Land Rover decided to print an additional 70,000 copies to include as an insert in a popular print magazine.

Sounds like a winning idea to me!

Augmented Reality Will Change Advertising

Vuzix Wrap 920AV

In the spring of 2009, Vuzix will release a product that could forever change the way we think about advertising: the Wrap 920AV.

Vuzix is a leading manufacturer of video eye wear for the consumer, medical, and defense & industrial markets, and their Wrap 920AV sunglasses will be the first to feature ‘see-thru’ Quantum optics technology, allowing you to see the world around you in addition to the screen in front of you. With this new technology, as well as with their optional six degrees of freedom head tracking system and stereo camera accessories, augmented and virtual reality experiences will be possible that redefine the way we interact with information.

Since this is all very conceptual, perhaps it’s best to look at a few examples of how this new technology could be used in the world of advertising. Previously, we looked at Mini’s Augmented Reality Magazine Advertisement, and how it allowed consumers to interact with a 3D model of the Mini vehicle using existing technologies that almost every new computer owner has access to. While this was great for demonstrating proof of concept, there was still a disconnect between holding the magazine in front of a webcam and then moving the magazine around to view the Mini from different angles, and actually interacting with the Mini as if it were a physical model.

Vuzix Wrap 920AV Accessories

Now imagine viewing that same advertisement, but through a pair of the Vuzix glasses. By using the stereo camera attachment, each screen in the Vuzix glasses would be a live video of what was located directly in front of the glasses, and because you could see around the video screen as well, it would blend into your field of view, adding to your overall experience in a very natural way, rather than removing you from it. Thus, what you would see in front of you would appear to be the ad as if you were looking at it with your very own eyes, but you would actually be seeing a video of the ad being relayed through the cameras.

Unlike your own eyes, the cameras would be feeding through a computer, and that computer could then display a 3D model of the car into your field of view using the screens in front of you. Now though, instead of moving the magazine around to interact with the augmented reality, you could simply move your head around to view the car from different angles as if you were looking at a physical model of the car. Want to look inside or see the car from a different angle? Just move your head as if the car really existed. With almost no learning curve, it would be a very natural and intuitive thing to do.

What separates augmented reality from actual reality though would be the ability to quickly and easily change any part of the car to suit your taste. Want to see how a different set of wheels would look with your favorite color of paint? Just click, and the new wheels would instantly appear on the 3D model. Taking the idea even further into the future, now imagine that you can control the 3D model on your desk using your keyboard. Instead of just viewing the car from different angles, you can now drive it around your desk like a video game, interacting with it as if it were a real toy in front of you.

Wrist Watch

For another example, imagine a watch company that creates an augmented reality tag that can be included in its magazine ads. By simply placing that tag onto your wrist and then viewing it through the Vuzix glasses, a virtual representation of the watch would appear on your wrist. Sure, you could technically do that now by creating a paper cut out of the watch and placing that on your wrist, but with augmented reality, the watch could instantly transform into any model that the company makes. Plus, instead of just laying on your wrist like a static representation, a watch viewed through augmented reality could actually tick away like a real watch, showing the current time and giving you a very accurate idea of what the real watch would look like on your wrist.

The Possibilities Are Endless

In addition to their stereo camera accessory, their head tracking system would also allow you to move and rotate your viewing perspective forward and backward, up and down, and left and right by just moving your head in the desired direction. To see how this could change the way we think about advertising, imagine a realtor that allows you to take virtual tours of their homes from the comfort of your own home without ever leaving the couch. Or how about an auto company that lets you sit in front of your computer and view the interior of their car as if you were sitting in one on the showroom floor.

While all of the above may have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago, we’ve finally reached the point where it’s both economically and technologically feasible to create virtual and augmented reality worlds that the average person can interact with and understand. Of course, like any new technology, it’s going to need a huge amount of adoption to break into the mainstream, but considering the potential that a device like this would enable, I don’t think they’ll have a hard time convincing people to give it a try. The question is, will advertising be ready to utilize this new medium to its full potential?

The Good:

  • Augmented and virtual reality is a technology that already exists.
  • Video glasses will allow the average consumer to interact with this technology in a very natural way.
  • Price will be affordable for most consumers.

The Bad:

  • Needs a large amount of adoption to be economically feasible for advertisers.

The Future:

  • Interactive ads viewed through augmented reality glasses allow consumers to interact with virtual products as if they were physical objects.

Vuzix – Wrap 920AV

Watch Image Via Caitlinator

Channel Six Lets LeBron James Speak Directly To Customers

The Six

When you’re advertising shoes that retail for $140 a pair, you need to think big, and Nike is no stranger to that type of large scale, high production value advertising. For the release of Six, a new pair of signature shoes for LeBron James, Nike created a custom YouTube Channel called Channel Six, and filled it with LeBron themed videos, including Chalk, The Story of the Six, and Six Tips.

Channel Six

Unfortunately, while they created some great content for the channel, they also missed the mark with many of the videos, so now it’s time to dive in and take a look at what makes a video successful on YouTube, and what makes a video fall flat.

The Story of the Six is a definite winner. It gives you a behind the scenes look at the features of the shoe and how those features relate to the way that LeBron plays ball. It also gives a face to the shoe as Design Director Ken Link and LeBron narrate their way through the history of the Six, and you can see the personality and the passion that went into each little detail. Sure, you could read all about those features in a magazine or play around with the nifty Flash Demo that they put together on the Nike site, but wouldn’t you rather just hear it from Ken and LeBron directly?

In addition, this ‘features designed to fit the player’ idea continues the trend that Nike started with the Be Like Mike campaign. Want ‘the best performing basketball shoe on the market’ that gives you explosiveness and the ability to switch lanes just like LeBron? Then you better get the shoe that was designed by Nike specifically for LeBron and those types of moves. How do you know that the shoe was specifically designed for those types of moves? Because LeBron is in the video telling you that it was, that’s how.

LeBron James

At just over two minutes, the video is long enough to provide valuable information about the shoe, but short enough to keep your attention throughout. Visually, The Story of the Six is also a nice mix of interesting shots and unique angles with stop motion, brightly lit product shots against a dark background, LeBron clips, well-framed shots of the shoe as Ken Link walks you through the different features, concept drawings and shots of LeBron filling the frame that all come together to keep you interested.

Whether intentional or not, Nike managed to sneak in additional information about the shoe without taking away from the focus on the features by using previous versions of the LeBron shoe as a backdrop, giving you a feel for the history of the shoe without having it forced upon you and extending the length of the video. Plus, as with other good behind the scenes videos, The Story of the Six gives plenty of additional information without over-selling or forcing the brand on you. It’s added value for those that are interested, and Nike understands that when someone’s watching a video about the history of a shoe, they’re already sold, and just looking for a little bit of extra information.

In contrast, the Six Tips series is a definite looser. It consists of thirty second clips that feature LeBron reciting Haiku style ‘words of wisdom’, and provides little to no additional value for the viewer. While these types of kitschy clips might work well as television commercials that are watched one at a time over the course of a few days, it’s not the type of content that a YouTube viewer wants to watch, and the evidence of that fact is seen in the abysmal viewership numbers that keep dropping with each new iteration of the series.

A better option would have been to provide valuable tips from LeBron James on how to play basketball like he does (and thus continuing the trend of ‘be like LeBron by buying his shoes’), which would have built up a dedicated following of viewers that were anxious for each new video so that they could further expand their own skills, but Nike tried to repurpose content that was better suited for other channels, and the online market reacted accordingly.

Six Tips

In addition, the first thirteen seconds of each clip are just the shoe spinning above LeBron’s head, three seconds of each clip are taken up by the video’s title, and another ten seconds are filled with yet another product shot of the shoe on a chair, leaving just three seconds for each tip. Sure, you’re guaranteed plenty of audience time spent staring at the shoe, but will anyone in that audience want to watch another video when ninety percent of each one is taken up by product shots and title slides? I think not.

Overall, it’s great to see companies embrace YouTube and its potential for a gigantic audience of dedicated viewers, but it’s important for those companies to realize that YouTube is its own unique advertising channel, and needs to be treated as such.

The Good:

  • Behind the scenes clip gives interesting and valuable insight into the shoe’s design.
  • Length was kept short to match a typical YouTube viewer’s attention span.
  • The Story of the Six doesn’t over-sell or over-brand.

The Bad:

  • Six Tips didn’t provide any useful information.
  • Repeat watch-ability and pass-along were decreased by the kitschy-ness of the Six Tips videos.
  • Six Tips were over-branded and tried to over-sell the shoes.

The Future:

  • YouTube becomes a unique channel as brands create content that matches the interests and needs of a typical YouTube viewer and doesn’t over-sell or over-brand the product.

YouTube – Channel Six