Ex-Lover Blocker App Saves the Heartbroken From Themselves

Guaraná Antarctica Ex Lover Blocker

Guaraná Antarctica, the second best-selling soft drink brand in Brazil (second only to Coca-Cola) wants to save the newly heartbroken from a moment of weakness. With tongue planted firmly in cheek and a focus on it’s young male target audience, Guaraná Antarctica and it’s ad agency have come up with the Ex-Lover Blocker mobile app.

The app seeks to help friends protect their heartbroken friend from calling the ‘ex’. The user starts by blocking the contact number of the ‘ex’ (in the case of this demo her name is ‘Maria’), then selecting the contact information of close friends to help keep an eye on him. Then when he tries to call the ‘ex’, the app alerts his friends instead. If he declines their support and continues on with the fateful call, a message is posted on his Facebook wall highlighting his moment of weakness.

Yes, of course the app juvenile and when you think about it, Maria is probably way better off without this knucklehead and his buddies anyway.

The ex-Lover Blocker was created by DDB Brazil, and can be downloaded free from the Apple App store.


Pepsi uses IntoNow App to Reward Ad Viewers

Pepsi MAX promoIntoNow, the iPhone app featuring cutting edge audio fingerprinting technology, is being used by Pepsi to distribute 50,000 free bottles of Pepsi MAX to viewers of the ‘Clubhouse in the Corn’ ad creative (featured below). In this example the IntoNow app recognizes the audio in the ad and instantly provides the user with a barcode on their mobile device which can then be redeemed at a checkout at any CVS or Target location.

IntoNow works very much like Shazam or SoundHound, apps used to identify music tracks – except IntoNow identifies TV programs and movies using its patented Soundprint technology. In fact, Shazam itself was used recently in an Old Navy campaign that recognized a song used in their commercial to give away 1000 free pairs of jeans.

Soundprint analyzes the audio coming from your televsion (or any device that is broadcasting audio) in 3-second increments creating an audio fingerprint. The fingerprint is then compared to their reference database made up of 130 channels of live broadcasting going back 5 years. I wrote about IntoNow and their MTV/Jersey Shore promotion back in February.

Adam Cahan CEO and Founder of IntoNow stated:

“At IntoNow we’re focused on using the companion devices we have in our lives as a way to connect with your friends, content and now brands. This is the first time where consumers can close the funnel between a brand experience on a TV commercial right down to a real world drink you can consume. That’s a really exciting first that opens the doors for advertising partners. We’re thrilled to be creating a new consumer experience with a brand like Pepsi MAX.”

The great thing about this technology is that advertisers do not have to make any changes to their broadcast creative. The IntoNow app simply requires 15 seconds of audio to compare against its database, then a user can experience any number of triggered events.

One limitation against these types of audio triggers in TV ads is of course their length – in this case the ad was a minute long, enough time to turn on your mobile device, activate the app and record the audio. A brand could simply sponsor the entire show allowing users to ‘check-in’ via the app to obtain the deal or interact with additional content. ABC is doing this with their Grey’s Anatomy iPad experience.

One thing I am looking into is how viewers of the ad are prompted to use the app. I discovered this via a story in AdAge this morning. Certainly this campaign is not driven only by word of mouth and mentions on the Pepsi MAX Facebook wall.

Instagram’s Success Lures Brands into the Picture

Instagram: NPR, Starbucks, Levi's BraziliPhone app Instagram is one of the hottest tech properties out there right now despite its lack of a traditional web presence. It does display a page images shared by its users on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr. Virtually all the interaction takes place in the iOS-only app, where users stylize their own photos and follow the stream of others.

The application was launched in the early fall of 2010 by Kevin Systrom of Burbn, Inc. and became an instant hit gaining over 100,000 users in just it’s first week. In late December that user number grew to 1 million, and by last week (Feb 14) that figure has doubled to 2 million users.

Instagram is a simple application, you take a picture using the camera phone or select an existing one from your library. Next, you select one of its 12 retro-look  filters, then share it to your Instagram followers as well as to Twitter or Facebook if you choose. You can follow the shared images of other Instragram users, adding likes and comments as you go.

Here are examples of how brands and news services have started to explore ways to use Instagram to enhance their own photo sharing, or to solicit photos from users for contests.

  • Levi’s Brasil are sharing imagery of their new products line.
  • NH Hotels are hosting a contest asking consumers to share Instragram images on Twitter with the hashtag #WakeUpPics.
  • CNN iReport and NPR are supplementing their existing news with Instagram and are getting comments and dozens and ‘likes’ on each photo they share.
  • Starbucks is sharing images of products and asking followers opinions of new store signage ideas.
  • Brisk is crowdsourcing an Instagram photo shared with the hashtag #briskpics to appear on a new can to be introduced at SXSW.

So,what are these brands and organizations hoping to achieve by using Instagram? In most cases they are simply dipping their toes and testing the waters by sharing a few photos here and there. However, NPR and CNN have built up large followings of 13,000 and 8000 respectively, and images frequently receive dozens of comments and likes. UPDATE: On February 24, Instagram announced a new real-time API that would allow developers to create new web applications and services from its user’s uploaded content.

It will interesting where Instagram goes from here. Similar apps like PicPlz and Hipstamatic are providing some competition plus a rumour is making the rounds that Facebook may add their own ‘retro-look’  filters to user’s photo albums. With big brands experimenting and a user base of 2 million and growing, the only way is forward. One hopes that Instragram will be able to maintain its simplicity as it grows.

As our digital cameras get more sophisticated, the more popular it becomes to make them look like they were taken in another era.

Is Your iPhone Listening to What You’re Watching?

IntoNow iPhone AppIf you’re a fan of Snooki and The Situation you’ll want to check out MTV’s new campaign for Jersey Shore. You can earn a chance to win a trip to the Season 4 Premiere party by checking into the 6 remaining episodes in Season 3 using the iPhone app IntoNow.

IntoNow, which works much like the song identifying app Shazam, can identify 2.6 million broadcast airings using its patented platform Soundprint. Soundprint analyzes the audio coming from your televsion in 3-second increments creating an audio fingerprint.

The fingerprint is then compared to their reference set made up of 130 channels of live broadcasting going back 5 years. The system then returns the metadata that goes with the show, including title, cast and links to IMDB. With a tap the show can be added to your Netflix queue or shared on your Twitter or Facebook profile.

Other sites such as Miso and GetGlue are built on check-ins, rewards and sharing, but the convenient part of IntoNow is the Soundprint feature identifying the exact episode of a series.

Unfortunately for us here in Canada, the IntoNow app is only available in the US iTunes store.