Who Can Tell You How to Get to Sesame Street? Ernie & Bert Now Provide GPS Directions

Ernie and Bert voices now available on Tom TomFamous Sesame Street roommates and long-time bros Ernie and Bert are the latest voices available to TomTom GPS device users. They along with other celebrity voices such as Mr.T, Homer Simpson and even Darth Vader should make getting to your destination a lot more interesting and fun.

The ageless characters of Ernie and Bert (I guess felt doesn’t wrinkle much) were one of the first muppets to make an appearance on Sesame Street, debuting together on the original pilot in 1969. The two muppets were originally voiced by Jim Henson himself, as the fun-loving Ernie and longtime partner Frank Oz as the more serious Bert. The characters are currently performed by Muppeteers Eric Jacobson and Steve Whitmire.

You can listen to a preview of Ernie and Bert’s driving directions at the TomTom website. As for other Sesame Street characters, wouldn’t it be fun to hear the voices of Grover, Oscar or maybe the Cookie Monster who could help you locate the best cookie shops along your route.

Starbucks’ New Mobile App Will Bring Your Coffee Cup to Life

Starbucks Cup Magic - Augmented RealityIt’s still only early November and while Christmas is still over 6 weeks away you can walk into any store and find the sights (and maybe sounds) of the holiday season all around you. I’m not sure of the exact day it started, but the Starbucks in our building has had their red Christmas cups out for a few weeks, along with the usual window decorations, and of course the Christmas coffee blend.

Starting November 15, you’ll be able to bring those red cups (and apparently 47 other Starbucks products) to life using the Starbucks Magic Cup app. Use your camera phone to focus the app on the cup and you’ll see short animated clips appear on your screen. If you’ve been in a Starbucks recently you’ll recognize the characters (an ice skater, a boy and dog sledding, a fox and my favorite a squirrel) from the door clings, cups and packaging. Tap on the screen and you can interact with the characters. Collect all five characters and you qualify for a prize. The app also features holiday ecards and special offers from Starbucks.

The Starbucks Cup Magic app was created by Blast Radius and will be available for iPhone and Android on November 15.

Via Agency Spy

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Randy MathesonI am a Nova Scotia raised Creative Guy, currently Director of Emerging Media at Delvinia, a Digital Strategy & Customer Experience Design Firm in Toronto. I’m a huge fan of the creative use of digital technologies in social media, marketing, sports and entertainment. I use this blog to share the more interesting examples that I find. If you’re in need of a break, join me over at Madtini.com for a cocktail.

Don’t Miss a Mile With the ING New York Marathon Mobile Spectator App

New York Marathon Spectator AppNo matter where you are, you don’t have to miss a single mile of the 2011 ING New York City Marathon with the Official Spectator App created by the New York Road Runners MapMyRun. The app provides all the maps, guides and information that anyone will need to get up to speed before the event, and if you’re near the course in one of the 5 boroughs the app will help you find the nearest Subway (the app’s sponsor) for a quick snack.

With the $2.99 in-app purchase (on iPhone) you’ll be able to watch the live NBC Channel 4 broadcast or feeds of the men’s and women’s leaders. The upgraded version of the app also gives you the ability to follow the progress – including unofficial and split times – of up to ten of the 47,000 runners or wheelchair athletes entered the race.

If you’re running in the event, you can use the app to automatically post your splits and progress to Facebook or Twitter, or enable GPS to broadcast your exact location to your fans, friends and family.

The ING New York City Marathon by MapMyFitness is available in the iPhone app store and Android Market.

eBay Uses QR Codes to Connect Window Shoppers to Mobile Commerce

Ebay Inspiration RoomOnline shopping and auction site eBay has partnered with artist and interior designer Jonathan Adler to create ‘The Inspiration Shop’, a series of real-life shop windows located on Park Avenue in New York City.

Adler has filled the windows with items from the wish lists of more than 20 celebrity tastemakers. Each of the items features a QR code that can be scanned using the eBay app. The shopper is then linked to the eBay mobile site where they can purchase the item. Shoppers from outside the city can view the collection of items on the eBay Facebook page or by visiting the mobile site

The Inspiration Shop was created as a way for eBay to promote it’s mobile commerce capabilities. Shoppers now have the potential to research, choose and purchase an item from wherever they are. Emerging technologies such as Near-Field Communications and frictionless mobile payment systems will soon be in place to further remove more barriers to purchase.

Clever Ad Concept Uses Customized QR Codes to Connect to Mobile Users to App Store

QR Code Ad Concepts

This series of ad concepts created by UK digital agency Stupid showcase just how creative you can be when using a QR code in an ad or poster. The QR code itself is constructed of of elements from Angry Birds and Instagram in these examples.

When developing a campaign using QR Code (especially a creative solution such as these) you must remember the following;

  • Maintain a contrast between the darker and light areas of the QR Code so that it can still be easily read
  • Know your environment. Is it well lit? How far will your user be from the creative? Knowing this will help you understand what the ideal size is for your QR code.
  • Test with multiple apps on different mobile devices

Remember that the QR code itself is simply a trigger to activate a mobile experience. Whether it’s RFID, NFC, SMS or your user is tapping in a URL your destination should be optimized for mobile users. I know it seems logical, but everyday I find QR codes that drive unfortunate users to traditional web pages where a user is forced to scroll their way around.

These concepts are great examples of using QR codes to complete a simple end-to-end mobile experience.

Via Ad Goodness

Related Posts

Randy MathesonI am a Nova Scotia raised Creative Guy, currently Director of Emerging Media at Delvinia, a Digital Strategy & Customer Experience Design Firm in Toronto. I’m a huge fan of the creative use of digital technologies in social media, marketing, sports and entertainment. I use this blog to share the more interesting examples that I find. If you’re in need of a break, join me over at Madtini.com for a cocktail.

Rethink Cancer Launches ‘Your Man Reminder’ Mobile App

Rethink Breast Cancer - Your Man Reminder AppOctober is breast cancer awareness month, and the folks at Rethink Breast Cancer have launched a new mobile app to help remind young women to be breast cancer aware. The app created by Toronto ad agency John St and developed by Endloop Studios offers women a choice of 6 hot guys who will pop-up regularly (you can set the time, day, etc.) with a reminder to give your breasts some TLC.


  • TOUCH your breasts. Feel anything unusual?
  • LOOK for changes. Be aware of their shape or texture.
  • CHECK anything unusual with your doctor.

Oh, and make sure you watch the whole video above, you wouldn’t want to miss the guys getting down with some serious dance moves.

The ‘Your Man Reminder’ app can be downloaded for free now in the Apple App store. An Android version should be out later in October.

Sony Ericsson Needs Someone to Build a Minecraft Dreamworld for Kristen Schaal

Sony Ericsson XPeria PLAY - Build for KristenI first learned about Minecraft a year or so ago when a colleague mentioned that his 12 year old son was engrossed with it. The game focuses on creativity and building skills as players build items using blocks made of different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and wood to create whatever they imagine. It can be played in two different ways, in the classic Creative mode or the more popular Survival mode. As of October, 2011, Minecraft has 14 million registered users.

To promote Minecraft:Pocket Edition for Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY gaming platform, comedian Kristen Schaal is looking for (in her words) “a super-genius Minecraft wizard to slave away and build her something so extraordinary that she goes into a coma for half a year”. To enter Minecraft builders are asked to post a video of their creation for Kristen on the Sony Ericsson Facebook page. Surely a few of those 14 million users will step up and make Kristen’s dreams come true.

An early entry (the contest is open until November 7) from Josh W. comes complete with a heart-shaped jacuzzi powered by lava from a volcano, as well as a Mount Rushmore featuring both his and Kristen’s face.

The contest is open to entries from all 50 Unites States as well as Canada (excluding Quebec). The winner receives a trip for two to New York to New York to meet Jessica Schall in person.

Monopolize Your City One Check-in at a Time with the Metropoli App

MetropoliThe creative minds behind the Foursquaropoly mobile game concept have re-branded as Metropoli (for obvious trademark issues), but the concept is exactly the same.

Once the concept is released players will be able to download the iPhone or Android version of the app, connect it to their Foursquare account. If a player is the first person to check into a ‘location’ they can buy it with the available money in their Metropoli account. All other players who check-in to that location must pay the owner rent, and the player’s earnings increase as long as they keep paying the bills on their property.

The group has turned to Kickstarter to fund Metropoli and they are looking for $12,000 by October 26. With the help of 46 backers they’ve raised nearly $1800 so far (Oct 9).

The game is obviously built for urban areas like New York, London, Amsterdam and Toronto that have the required concentration of hip mobile users with both the time and attention to dedicate to social game play within their daily tasks of commuting, work and nights out on the town. As I found out in August when I tried to check in to a restaurant in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – mobile check-ins are not top-of-mind for most people outside of the major cities.

LEGO’s ‘The Life of George’ Connects Physical and Virtual Gameplay

LEGO - Life of GeorgeI can’t remember a time where I didn’t have LEGO around. There have been more than 400 billion LEGO bricks produced since 1958, that makes 58 Lego bricks per person on Earth if my math is reasonable correct. There must be at least that many still stuffed down between the couch cushions at my parent’s house.

LEGO has always been a leader in incorporating technology into the product. They created a Lego website in 1996 in the very early days on the web. They created a line of programmable robotic bricks and bit called Mindstorms, which it developed in partnership with MIT Media Labs. LEGO’s Digital Designer software lets budding designers create models using virtual bricks, then post the results online at LEGO Design ByMe and purchase the real bricks to make the design in real life.

On October 1, LEGO released it’s latest product ‘The Life of George‘, an interactive game that requires the player to recreate the items that appear in George’s vacation photographs using LEGO bricks assembled and placed on a special gridded gaming mat. Players use the free iPhone app to score to time and capture an image to test the accuracy of your LEGO building skills. The game features 12 levels of play with 10 group of photos in each level. The game begins with images from George’s trip to Hawaii including sunglasses, palm trees, a crab, even a cocktail glass(??). You can challenge yourself or battle against one of your brick-building buddies for LEGO dominance.

‘The Life of George’ kit is available for $30 at LEGO stores now. The free ‘Life of George’ app is available in the Apple app store.

HarperCollins Canada Launch In-Store Augmented Reality Experience at Indigo Bookstores

HarperCollins and Indigo Books Host In-Store AR Experience for The Dark EndeavorHarperCollins Canada has launched an augmented reality experience in conjunction with the launch of Kenneth Oppel’s latest young adult novel ‘This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frakenstein’.

The large bookshelf installation pictured here can be found at Indigo locations in Toronto (Eaton’s Centre), Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa. Android users can use the ‘This Dark Endeavor’ app to scan the shelves looking for the mystery book that will bring the animated secrets to life. Smaller posters and bookmarks that also trigger the AR experience can be found at more than 300 other locations of Indigo, Chapters and Coles Bookstores across Canada.

When I visited the installation at the Indigo Books store at the Eaton’s Centre in downtown Toronto, I was disappointed that the two available Android phones were out of commission. One was waiting for a software update and the other had been unplugged and the battery was dead (I own an iPhone and I was without my Android toting friends). Thankfully, I was able to experience the AR on Kenneth Hoppel’s web site using my laptop’s webcam and a printed marker.

The project was brought to life by the Toronto office of Dentsu.

The ‘Dark Endeavor‘ app is available as a free download in the Android app Market.