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Amazon Taps Crowdsourcing for Upgrade to Facebook Gifting

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 20, 2013 10:38 AM

Amazon is extending its gifting presence on Facebook with its new Birthday Gift. The e-commerce/social tie-in allows Facebook friends to crowdsource a gift card to be sent over the social network. 

The online retailer already allows Facebook users to buy and share gift cards through Facebook, but the new initiative is the first of its kind that takes advantage of the socialization of gift-giving. 

Once users link their Amazon and Facebook accounts, they can choose a recipient and enter a message, and select a denomination of $1 to $25 before sharing it with other Facebook friends, who can add to the amount of the gift card.Continue reading...


Microsoft Leverages Crowdfunding for Back-To-School Promotion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 5, 2013 10:22 AM

The latest brand to hop on the crowdfunding bandwagon is giving students a unique way to get geared up for college.

On Tuesday, Microsoft launched Chip In, its innovative platform that lets students with an .edu email address pay for their Windows PC purchases. Included in the promotion are some of Windows' top offerings, including its Surface Pro. To get things rolling, Microsoft contributed 10 percent of the cost as the first donation, leaving the rest up to family and friends, who donate via a personalized campaign page. 

When a campaign is fully funded, the student receives a promotional coupon code to buy the device from MicrosoftStore.com, redeemable only with an .edu college e-mail address or international student identity card. To make the platform more enticing, Microsoft is offering free four-year subscriptions to Office 365 University edition for the first 10,000 students who sign up.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke's New Digital Effort Pursues Youth—and So Does its Board

Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2013 05:57 PM

Coke has always been a brand skewed toward youth, but it's always been popular with the baby-boomer cohort and Generation Y that aged along with the brand. Now, Coca-Cola is attempting to repel itself away from its aging base in two dramatic ways—with a heavily teen-skewed new digital advertising campaign, and with a changing of the guard on its relatively ancient board of directors.

First, the exciting stuff: Coke has launched a new overall ad strategy for this year, and for years to come, under the tag line "The Ahh Effect," created by Wieden & Kennedy. The idea is to emphasize digitized content on mobile screens, as well as some crowdsourcing, to engage younger consumers in a myriad of ways in the experience of what it's like to drink a Coke—and say "ahh."

"Coke is the ultimate in refreshment, and ... your first response when drinking Coke should be a hearty 'Aah,'" Pio Schunker, Coca-Cola's vice president of integrated marketing communications, explained to reporters, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...

place branding

Philadelphia Goes Local for New Tourism Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 10, 2013 01:47 PM

Benjamin Franklin, Dr. J and the fictional Rocky Balboa have all resided in completely different versions of Philadelphia, but each showcases a different part of the City of Brotherly Love. Now, Philly’s tourism gurus are looking to showcase a slew of different views of the city to potential visitors by showcasing different neighborhoods.

It used to be that colonial-America relics, the Art Museum steps and images of soft pretzels and cheesesteaks were what sold Philly to outsiders, but consumers are a bit more discerning now, so Philly’s tourism board is using its varied neighborhoods to help draw people there. The city has launched its Philadelphia Neighborhoods site, which highlights 14 different areas of the city. According to a press release, the site features “600 new pages of content, photography, mapping, videos and a consumer-generated Instagram feed.”Continue reading...


Space Engineers Launch Crowdfunding Campaign for NASA PSA Movie Trailer

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2013 03:36 PM

When it comes to crowdfunding NASA, the sky's the limit. 

At least that's what a group from the aerospace industry was hoping for when it created an IndieGoGo campaign to fund a NASA PSA to be aired before showings of this summer's Star Trek Into Darkness

“NASA recently made an inspiring new online video narrated by Mr. Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, to show the progress being made on these new systems, but the agency is barred by law from buying advertising time for such a spot,” states the campaign page. “Today we’re running a crowdfunding campaign to edit this video into a 30-second spot, and place it in over 50 movie theater screens around the country.”Continue reading...

health matters

Gates Foundation Looking To Bring Pleasure and Protection to the World

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 12:28 PM

Condoms already come in plenty of forms. You’ve got your ribbed, you glow-in-the-dark, your cola-flavored, your French ticklers and your textured and studded ones. But Bill and Melinda Gates would like to see one that hasn’t been invented yet—and they are willing to fork over more than $1 million for it.

That's why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up the cash to anyone who can design such a thing in the hopes of stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS, CNN reports.

The contraceptive they’d like to see is a "next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure" and promotes "regular use" as part of the foundation's commitment to addressing the global HIV and AIDS crisis.

"Male condoms are cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to distribute, and available globally, including in resource-poor settings, through numerous well-developed distribution channels," the Foundation says, according to CNN. So what’s the problem? Well, people complain that condoms get in the way of intimacy and pleasure, which are generally the goal of most people having intercourse.Continue reading...


My Starbucks Idea Turns 5, Sparking a Latte Innovations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2013 11:01 AM

My Starbucks Idea is now five years-old and remains the gold standard of crowdsourced tip boxes that have actually worked for a brand and delivered ideas from customers (150,00 plus) with innovations (277) that have actually been implemented.

Customers today can order a “skinny” beverage and a cake pop, garner digital rewards for using their Starbucks Card and enjoy free Wi-Fi – all thanks to suggestions from fans.

“For five years, our passionate customers and partners have been sharing their ideas with us on My Starbucks Idea, and we have listened and acted upon many amazing innovations that we have received from this online community,” said Alex Wheeler, VP global digital marketing for Starbucks.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Heineken Pours Out Brand Initiatives As It Sets Bottle-Design Judging for Milan

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2013 06:56 PM

Heineken marketing and design types are huddling these days to prepare for the final phase of this year's annual Your Future Bottle Design Challenge. A team of brand people and design experts are planning to select a single winning bottle design at Milan Design Week next month as Heineken uses the second consecutive year of the crowdsourcing initiative to mark the company's 140th year in the beer business.

The brand also is fielding new advertising videos under its two-year-old "Open Your World" campaign, unveiling a new multi-media advertising effort called "Get in the Game" around rugby's Heineken Cup tournament in Europe, looking for volume gains in central and eastern Europe by positioning Heineken as a "five-minute luxury," and enjoying a new designation as the winner of a "Digital IQ Index" for beer brands.

Heineken seems to be all over the place—all over the world, really—with these new branding efforts and mini-campaigns, which of course is the idea.Continue reading...

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