Category Archives: Media

Tech and Experience 2015

It’s January so trends are like totally over. However, way back in December they weren’t over and we posted a number of great examples of things we think will impact on the experience world in 2015 on the Imagination Labs blog. Here are our punts:

Clunky watches that look like they came out of 1978 and are an extra in The Prisoner? That’s so 2014, darling. 2015 is the year that wearables break out of the smartphone industry and into other sectors, notably fashion. You can already buy Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech Shirt which tracks and streams real-time biometric data from your workout shirt to your phone. And next November sees the launch of the crowd-funded Olive bracelet that helps monitor your stress levels and then provides solutions. The product is beautiful and the science behind it is robust. Or what about Smart Wallet? Smart Wallet is connected to your phone and includes GPS so you won’t lose it, an app enabled tracker so you can find it when it’s lost in the bottom of your bag…ahem…and a charger for your iPhone.

These wearables are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what major companies are creating and what is being developed via crowd funding sites like Indiegogo. Beauty and usability are coming together in the human space and 2015 will see their use escalating in the early adopter segment.

How might this impact on experiences?
Networking badges for events, personalised visits to experience spaces,

Internet of Things
Of course in many ways Wearables are just one expression of the Internet of Things (IoT) – objects connected to the internet in the same way that phones, laptops or iPads are. Gartner predicts that by 2020 there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things from heart monitoring implants to biochip transponders on animals. Perhaps the key development for 2015 is the adoption and spread of iBeacon technology.

iBeacon is a technology from Apple that works with both iPhone and Android systems or other device to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon. There are already brands using this IoT technology to deliver enhanced experiences, brands like Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic have set up a network of iBeacons that offer a variety of services to users with more planned, For example, Upper Class passengers approaching the Upper Class security channel can receive a notification for their phone to open their electronic boarding pass ready to be scanned by security. In the airport proper, passengers may receive special partner offers, such as 0% commission as they pass the Money Corp currency exchange booth. BA and KLM are experimenting with the similar technology, NFC to implement luggage tags that enable 35 second bag drops.

But IoT goes beyond this to home management tools like Google’s Nest which can help manage not simply temperature but also security via your smartphone, connected cars and car services like Car2Go that allow you to track and pay for car sharing time via your phone or smart outlets like Belkin’s plug that enables you to switch appliances on and off in your home remotely.

How might this impact on experiences?

Spaces can become intelligent, trackable and tailored to each individual’s experience. We will see the beginnings of this in 2015.

Intelligent spaces
Finally, the previous trends find one of their key expressions inside a larger trend, that of Intelligent spaces.

When you can fix up your visitors with elegant and informed wearables and load up your space with objects that talk to the internet and each other you can create the conditions to deliver spaces that respond to the use of the participants. Visitors can move from being passive users who take what they’re given to actively engaged users who impact on the space by taking us up on our offer for more engagement, picking and choosing only what they want or passively impactively the space through their emotions and arousal levels. Saatchi and Saatchi’s New Directors Show case at Cannes this year used technology to assess the audience reaction to the films they were watching and then displayed that real time on wearables and in displays around the auditorium. Imagine emotions of visitors influencing the lighting displays, heat or even smells in the space. At a low level this kind of responsive experience will definitely be offered up in 2015, how far it goes is dependent on the bravery of brands and agencies as they work together.

Bobbi Brown gets millenials

Slowly, slowly brands are coming round to the idea that sharing their social media channel with other brands, providing free information and allowing for self-discovery is the way to an engaged, interested and loyal audience in social. And this is particularly true of millennials.

Here’s a great example – Bobbi Brown has launched (on Sep 9th) a new channel on YouTube that combines all these factors, and adding editorial voice from well-known beauty bloggers.

There is so much great video content on YouTube around creating looks, basic beauty etc from interesting voices like Lauren Luke and it’s all part of a trend towards a more experience based conversation between brands and individuals. I’ve been reading Joseph Pine’s book  The Experience Economy  which makes exactly this point. Consider the change in McDonalds from Commodity (cheap street burger) to Service (best burger fast) to Experience (burger + green coffee-style, linger-longer environment). Take a look at their latest ad. It focuses not on the product but on the allegedly lovely unifying community experience that eating a McDonalds brings to the world (ok you can sense my cynicism here…)

And now for those of you who clicked to get real Bobbi Brown inside info, here’s her key tutorial on creating the perfect face…



Things, films and going live in social – Part 2 Killa Kela

As you know, t’s been all go for social media at work recently. Not least because in around 2 weeks flat we filmed edited and launched a film with the sounds of Killa Kela,the beatboxer, and the Focus ST.

Why a beatboxer with an ST?  Well, cars lend themselves so well to videos of “hooning” beauty shots and the engine revving. But this car has a special “sound symposer” that has been developed from Mustang technology so you can see why we’d want to make a feature out of that. And then of course there is the target audience magic that has to be applied which makes Killa Kela’s vocal stylings a perfect match to demonstrate precision and power.

Enough of the strategy stuff already. It’s a great film! Hope you enjoy it. And of course, if you do please don’t feel backward about coming forward to share it!

Things, films and going live in social – Part 1

It’s been all go for social media at work recently. What with social media week last week and the Paris autoshow starting immediately after that finished I could be described as pooped. In a nice way…

So I thought I would give a little run down in chronological order backwards of the stuff we’ve been up to starting with FordLIVE.

Yes, Zoe and the team are back and they are reporting from the Ford stand at the Paris autoshow. It’s important to us that the stand experience reaches further than the stand itself. Socialising Ford’s content in this way allows people who might never otherwise attend and enjoy a stand to get a flavour of the experience. Hope you enjoy the latest installment!

an ingenious illusion

Those who read the blog regularly will know that I received a hologram from the nice folks at B-MAX as part of an awareness campaign around the coming launch. The next step in the pre-launch activity is now out there in the world and has been done by my company, Imagination. Hope you enjoy the illusion and if you have an iPhone maybe download the app so you can do an ingenious illusion yourself!

NFC NVG (not very good)

NFC enabled bus stop in London I am very proud of my new NFC enabled phone, in fact I specifically chose it over a slightly earlier model because I think NFC is going get bigger and more important in the next  couple of years and I like to be in with the in-crowd. So imagine my delight when I discovered that the bus stop at the top of Tottenham Court Road, which I use to catch buses back to Marylebone, has an NFC touchpoint on it.

The touchpoint promises – Travel information and extra information from brands.  And curious I tried it out. All it offers is a link to the TFL mobile site.

Ok, that is travel information, but that’s not extra information from brands. I was disappointed.

I don’t know, but I suspect that Clear Channel are charging brands to put content onto the NFC touch points which is why there was absolutely nothing from brands there.  I would suggest that brands are offered free access and the opportunity to provide any content they want – even a tv ad I’ve already seen would be better than promising everything and delivering nothing. In that way a growing audience will be built. Of course you can argue that these things take time, but why waste time? It doesn’t make sense to offer more than you are going to deliver because my expectation from now on will be that the content behind ad funded NFC will be thin at best and non-existant at worst.

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

sand blasting can cause a slow and painful death

Imagination rolls on to new heights. We came first in the top 100 design agencies this year and there was special mention of our digital offer, so congrats to everyone and may I say I am proud – typically it happened while I have been on maternity leave… Boasting over.

I’ve been interested to follow the Labour behind the Label campaign running this week. It’s using a combination of guerilla marketing and social media to get the message out that sand blasting jeans causes fatal lung illness.

The week started predictably and appropriately with putting an image on facebook to drum up awareness of the issue and moved on to directly messaging big brands questions about sandblasting via Facebook. Yesterday the same tactic was employed on Twitter and today the action is to pop leaflets in the pockets of jeans in shops – brilliant. Crowd source your activists, motivate them and give them all the tools they need to be effective in their own social graph.

Charities are well placed to use social media as they can garner a “love marks” kind of support for their brand and an activist following by the very nature of their identity, but I think that this is a particularly good example of how a social media campaign for any brand or organisation should be run, where online feeds offline and vice versa.

And it’s already been sucessful. Diesel have committed to stopping the use of sand blasting for their products immediately – originally they were going to wait until 2012.

Go Labour Behind the Label!

Something new and interesting for Friday

I received a rather interesting comment post, transcript below. They seem genuine and actually if they aren’t I don’t care – I’d rather be a wide-eyed sucker than a cynical and hard bitten old bag (I may be the latter already -discuss)

Here is the post!

“We are Robin of Shoreditch, an anonymous group of creative outlaws looking to take from the rich and give to the poor. In this particular instance, the people of Haiti.

How? Well, we’re not rescue workers. And we’d be no good on a celebrity single. But what we can do is provide creative ideas that can add value to businesses and brands. So we’re providing every one of Brand Z’s Top 100 brands with just such a creative idea. In return, all we’re asking for is 1/10,000,000 (that’s one ten-millionth) of the value of those brands as a fee. Not for us. 100% of that fee will be going to the continued relief efforts in Haiti.

So why should you care? Well, we’d like to ask a little favour. You see, the more people who know about this project, the more pressure will build on the brands to pay their ‘invoices’ and the more money will be sent to Haiti. So we’d really appreciate it if you could put the word out on your blog and send people along to Hopefully that way news of the project will spread so that the brands in question see that it’s in their best interests to pay up.”

They asked me to post a link and I have. I watch with interest.