Natural Light Claims the Title of First Beer In Space

Natural Light becomes first beer in spaceIt’s hard to believe that not one of Canada’s 12 astronauts figured out a way to use space shuttle’s Canada Arm to pop open a cool can of beer in space. Instead it appears that the title of ‘first beer in space’ goes to Danny and Rich who sent a can of Natural Light into the ‘Nattrosphere’ above rural Missouri.

It’s certainly not the first time that someone has sent an object with a camcorder into space attached to a weather balloon. Danny and Rich, inspired by YouTube videos of these projects, and a few cans of ‘Natty Light’ decided that they would be the ones to step up and send the first can of beer into space. They approached the brand with the idea; got the thumbs up, then the planning and preparation began at Mission Control in Danny’s parents’ garage.

On May 27th, with clearance and approval from the FAA, the two launched their spacecraft (dubbed the Aluminum Fullcan by one of Natural Light’s Facebook fans). The craft consisted of a styrofoam cooler containing a full can of beer, GPS tracking device, handwarmers (it’s cold in space) and a HD video camera pointed at an externally-mounted ’empty’ can of Natural Light.

The spacecraft took nearly 2 hours and ascended to a height of over 90,000 feet before the weather balloon finally popped. It then fell back to earth landing 60 miles from the launch site where Danny and Rich located it using the on-board GPS. The full can of beer escaped unharmed, and Natural Light is looking for suggestions about what to do with it.

via Brand Channel

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eBay Taps QR Codes for Interactive ‘Give-a-Toy’ Christmas Store Windows

eBay Give a Toy StoreA few weeks ago eBay introduced their a new mobile app with ‘The Inspiration Shop’, an interactive window shopping experience curated by artist and interior designer Jonathan Adler. Passersby could scan the QR codes associated with each of the displayed items to be directed to the eBay mobile listing where the items could be purchased.

The same mobile app is being used by eBay to power the ‘Give-A-Toy‘ Holiday campaign for Toys for Tots. Interactive store windows in New York and San Francisco feature a lively environment of animated toy trains, teddy bears, robots and more. Visitors can interact with the display, changing it from dark to night or making it snow and ultimately make their donation by scanning the QR codes displayed on the screen.

For the people not in New York or San Francisco who would like to donate, they can visit to make their donation.

EBay’s Facebook fans can personalize one of the toys from the interactive window and share with their friends. For every completed toy, eBay will donate $1 to Toys for Tots (up to $50,000) and a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win a $1000 shopping spree on eBay.

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Volkswagen Netherlands Builds the Social Media Fanwagen for Facebook Fan

Volkswagen Fanwagen EditionVolkswagen Netherlands is going to build and give away the world’s most social car, and they’re asking their Facebook fans to select which classic Volkswagen; the Beetle or the T1, becomes the ‘VW Fanwagen’.

Each vehicle will feature a dashboard-mounted Feed-o-Matic that prints out the latest updates from your newsfeed; a ‘poke button’ (actually the horn) sits on the steering wheel and a manually updated relationship status indicator below the rear license plate that’ll keep other driver’s informed of your intentions.

Privacy settings are included in the form of window-curtains, a note pad enables instant updates that can be pinned to your (corkboard) wall. The car comes in Social Blue, Cool Comment Grey, Zuckerberg Silver and Winterkorn White (named after Dr. Winterkorn, VW CEO). Check out the Owner’s Manual for the T1 and Beetle yourselves.

The first vehicle that reaches 20,000 ‘Likes’ will become the Fanwagen (so far the T1 is leading the Beetle with 68% of the ‘likes’), and upon completion the first eligible participant (you have to be 18 and have a Dutch driver’s license) to claim the vehicle gets to drive it away.

The campaign was created by Dutch agency Achtung!

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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 for a cocktail. Will Send You Running to Lock Your Doors

NOTE: The original site has been disabled. The video trailer embedded above gives you a brief glimpse of the experience.

Take This LollipopIf you’ve ever been concerned that weirdos are stalking your Facebook profiles, this interactive experience will do nothing to help you sleep easier at night. The site features a grungy background with a blue lollipop and the words ‘I Dare You’ displayed underneath and a button to ‘Connect to Facebook’.

Once you’ve ‘allowed’ the site to access your Facebook profile, you’ll find yourself viewing the hallway of a dirty, dark hallway of a spooky looking building. The camera moves into a room and approaches a creepy-looking man tapping away at a computer keyboard. As you see a closeup of his screen, he is logging into Facebook… your Facebook!

I’ll let you experience what happens next for yourself, but you may end up logging off Facebook, locking the doors and hiding in the closet for a few days.

While no one is sure exactly what (if anything) the experience is promoting yet, the creative mind behind it, TV, digital and music video director Jason Zada did reveal himself on Twitter. Jason was the creative mind behind EVB and spearheaded such innovative interactive campaigns such as Office Depot’s Elf Yourself and David on Demand. He’s now with the production company Tool America.

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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 for a cocktail.

Volkswagen Canada Creates Art Heist Promo for 2012 Jetta GLI

The Great Volkswagen Art HeistThe cool folks over at Toronto ad agency Red Urban are consistently hitting home runs with their work for Volkswagen Canada. Just last week I published a post about their augmented reality experience for the 2012 Beetle. The latest is the ‘Great Volkswagen Art Heist’, a bold experiential campaign unleashed across Canada for the launch of the 2012 Jetta GLI.

A few months ago Red Urban introduced the 2012 VW Jetta GLI with a TV commercial directed by Hubert Davis of Untitled Films. The shoot used a combination of traditional and long exposure videography to pain light trails using the headlights and taillights of a Jetta GLI. To see how they created the ‘Driving Beautiful’ ad check out the great ‘making of’ video.

Last week Volkswagen Canada began to reveal pop-up street galleries in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver where the public could find (and take) framed prints of the photography from the commercial shoot. The would-be thieves have been asked to post their ‘hot art’ in an album on the Volkswagen Canada page.

Follow the Volkswagen Canada Twitter page for next week’s locations.

Nice Rack! UK Fashion Retailer Promotes Fall/Winter Collection with Rutting Season Photo Contest

Ted Baker - Rutting Season CampaignLondon fashion retailer Ted Baker is promoting its ‘Worn to be Wild’ autumn/winter collection with the ‘It’s Rutting Season’ campaign. Where I grew up the fashion choice during Rutting Season was as much eye-catching hunter’s orange as you could find.

Participants are asked to visit Ted Baker stores in Glasgow (Sat Oct.15th), Manchester (Sat Oct.15th) and London (Sat Oct.22nd) to try on an item from the collection. Oh, there’s one more thing; you have to wear a deer mask and have your picture taken to participate. It is a celebration of rutting season after all. The photos will be taken by a different fashion blogger in each city using the iPhone Instagram app.

You can check out the photos using Webstagram, or on Ted’s Rutting Gallery on their Facebook page.

The photos are then posted in the Rutting Season gallery where participants tag themselves, then share the photo with their Facebook friends. The stag and doe in each city with the most Likes, each will receive £500 worth of Ted Baker vouchers.

The campaign was created London agency Guilded Collective.

RFID Wristbands Help French Surf Fans Post Facebook Pics

French Surf Fans Check-In to Facebook Using RFID wristbandsWhen surf fans arrived at the beach in Biarritz for the Roxy Pro Women’s World Surfing Championships this past July, they found more than just ‘sweet’ waves. Event sponsor partner, Orange distributed ‘RFID wristbands’ that enabled wearers to interact at special terminals located around the event site.

People were able to connect the wristbands to their Facebook accounts allowing them to win free gifts or take photos which were then posted ‘automagically’ to their walls. For every 100 Likes (or check-ins) one surfing lesson was donated to Surf Insertion, a program that provides the surfing experience to rural and urban youth in France.

Let this be a lesson to the people that tell you QR codes are the wave of the future. This is an example of creating an easy experience connecting mobile (in this case not their phone) without burdening users with app downloads and awkwardness of using your camera phone in a public space. There will be a variety of technologies available to connect offline to online, choosing the right one will be dependent on a careful understanding the environment and audience.

Similar RFID bracelet initiatives have been used by Coca-Cola recently at the Rock’n Coke Festival in Instanbul and Coca-Cola Village Amusement Park in Israel

ABC’s Pan Am Social Media Efforts Help Show Take Flight

ABC Pan-Am Social Media SitesIt’s the traditional fall TV premiere season and the networks are pulling out all the stops to promote their new crop of shows. Audiences are by no means guaranteed anymore as the TV viewing public is faced with hundreds of options in each time slot, as well as other activities such as video games, internet content and especially social media to distract their eyeballs. TV shows hoping to connect with an audience in 2011 must look to social media to not only promote, but to provide a second and third screen experience on laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

In January, 2011 Neilson and Yahoo revealed survey results (to little surprise) that indicated that 86% of mobile phone users use the internet on their device while watching TV. Of those people, 33% were using mobile apps, 37% were browsing the internet and 40% were interacting with their friends on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Pan Am debuts this Sunday
Sunday marks the premiere of ABC’s highly-anticipated and heavily marketed show Pan Am (I even received a physical postcard in the mail, the ‘real’ mail!). The show is based on the experiences of Nancy Hult Ganis who worked as a Pan Am stewardess for the airline from 1968 to 1975. However, the show will first go back to the year 1963, touching upon the music and style of that time, as well as the significant political and cultural events.

ABC’s offcial Pan Am website features video, photos, cast bios and a discussion area featuring user and official tweets and Facebook status updates. The site links to their social media outposts on Facebook, Twitter and Pandora as well as partner sites such as

Your Facebook Flight Crew
The ‘My Flight Crew‘ application on the show’s Facebook page allows fans to create their own Pan-Am ID (despite my best efforts, mine looks super-creepy), choose a destination and assemble a flight crew including their friends to unlock exclusive content.

Pandora Pan-Am Station
My favorite part of the show’s social media effort is the Pandora Pan-Am Station, featuring selections of great pop, soul and jazz music from the 60s including Tony Bennett, Ricky Nelson, James Brown and of course the iconic Frank Sinatra. It’s been playing all morning and I haven’t hit the skip arrow on any of the tracks.

Tweet Powered Flights
Fans of the show can enter to win an exclusive Pan-Am travel bag by sending a tweet with the #PanAm hashtag on the Pan Am Tweet Flight site. Each tweet advances the airplane 1000 feet towards its stop on a trip around the world, awarding prizes at random intervals. Each week sees the flight heading off to a different destination from a short London to Paris jaunt to a long haul to Hong Kong.

Unlock Limited Stickers on GetGlue
Earn exclusive stickers on GetGlue by checking in to the show. It seems odd to let users ‘check-in’ to the show before it airs, but over 55,000 GetGlue users have done just that. FYI, yes GetGlue does send you actual stickers if you want – when you have unlocked 20 stickers you can make a request to have physical stickers mailed to you.

Travel Deals
If you’re feeling the itch to travel the one of the exotic locations featured on the show, starting Sunday at 11pm EST travel site will begin to offer weekly deals based on the episode.

Travel Accessories
If all this Pan-Am content makes you want to take on a stylish retro look when you travel, check out US retailer Brookstone’s stylish bags and accessories.

It’s good to see the efforts that ABC is putting into social media to promote the show. The Pan Am brand has a nostalgic appeal to a 1960s lifestyle and style that has already been proven successful to shows like Mad Men.

Glamour Uses SnapTag Technology in September Issue

Glamour MagazineThe September issue of Glamour features an issue-wide test of SnapTags; Spyderlynk’s 2D mobile barcode technology used by such companies as Toyota and Office Depot. SnapTags are featured on 25 pages of the issue including ads for Lancome, Bebe, Land’s End and Smashbox as well as special deals on Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and French Connection.

Other SnapTags will link users to exclusive sessions featuring cover model Rihanna, Andy Cohen, Kate Bosworth and the Kardashian sisters, where they’ll answer questions on the Glamour Facebook page.

To scan and manage all the scans, readers are instructed to download the Glamour ‘Friends & Fans’ Android or iPhone app. The app contains instuctions, the SnapTag scanner and an special section to save the links to coupons and content for future reference.

A quick flip through the magazine (you know I’m always looking for style tips) shows that other advertisers are also using other 2D mobile barcode technologies including Tissot, and Merle Norman who are using QR codes. Garnier, Style & Co and Revlon are using Microsoft’s Tags to link users to additional content.

Glamour explains they don’t have plans to extend the use of the SnapTag in the October issue. It’ll be interesting to see if this use of 2D barcode technology will help push it to more widespread use by the public.

GE’s Facebook Air Show Features 3D Printed Planes

GE Airshow - Maketbot 3D PrintingEach year since 1970 the Wisconsin town of Oshkosh has served as host for the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture, America’s largest gathering of aviation enthiusiasts and aircraft.

This year’s EAA AirVenture took place July 25 to 31, however sponsor GE is hosting their own unique version of an Air Show on their Facebook page.

They’ve even asked their fans to request what type of aircraft they want to see at the air show. Their fans have responded, requesting everything from a flying saucer to the plane of the Red Baron. To bring the air show to life GE partnered with agency Evolution Bureau to actually create the various aircraft using a MakerBot Thing-o-matic 3D printer.

The Makerbot Thing-o-Matic uses a form of additive manufacturing creating a three dimensional object from a CAD file laying down successive layers of material with each pass. We had one of these machines in our boardroom for a Lunch & Learn session back in the spring and it was amazing to watch it build an object right before our eyes.

The videos that Evolution Bureau produced for the GE Air Show look like everyone had loads of fun playing with the toy planes. I love seeing the green spaceship life-off with the cotton batting trailing behind it looking like smoke. I can’t wait to see the collection of helicopters coming up next week.

Aug 4: Lift Off: Flying Saucer, B-2 Spirit & one of those planes that land on water
Aug 18: The Final Frontier: Spaceships!
Aug 25: P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress and the Red Baron