Friday, September 10, 2010

Does This Guerilla Marketing Campaign Help or Hurt?

Guerilla marketing is a tricky, but coveted thing in the world of advertising. It can be a highly effective tool, but it in this particular case I'm not so sure. In the grand tradition of shock value PSAs in foreign countries, Canada has this latest one attempting to keep people from speeding.

I first saw this via a friend's facebook post asking a similar question, and if you go by the comments on the Boing Boing post, most people think this campaign will actually have the opposite effect. Speculation ranged from The Boy Who Cried Wolf to possible accidents occurring from someone trying to avoid the girl in the street.

What do you think? Would it cause you to slow down?

**UPDATE: Apparently the decal was removed after one week**

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Promise of HTML5

I'm not a developer. I learned some HTML and CSS back in school in the days of HTML tables and Flash was the only way to break out of that. Oh, how long ago that was. Now we have CSS3 and @fontface and the web's design capabilities keep growing. I try to keep up on the latest developments since they are really quite exciting, but without getting your hands dirty it's hard to always understand the details and implications of new advancements in web capabilities until you actually see them in use. For awhile now, however, I've been hearing over and over again about how HTML5 is going to change the face of web, and if you listen to Steve Jobs, make Flash a dinosaur. People go back and forth on that argument, but regardless, HTML5 will change web design significantly and I've just seen the first real example pointing that direction.

A friend posted this music video on his blog saying it was the coolest music video of all time, so I clicked of course. To my disappointment, it only runs on Google Chrome, which I had not yet installed (in protest to Google for waiting months to release a Mac version after the initial PC-only release).  So I went, downloaded Chrome and in that download time, promptly forgot about it until this morning when I noticed the Google Chrome icon sitting there in my dock. So I finally clicked through to the site and watched the video. It's quite cool—and well worth the extra steps of downloading Chrome. I suggest you go watch it here (sorry, it's just too unique to embed in this blog).

Have you watched it? I love two aspects of this video. One is the customization and coordination with Google Earth—not totally unexpected since you have to enter the address, but still, the animation being incorporated into the custom Google Earth imagery is awesome. Second, the choreographed windows opening and closing as the video plays is a really dynamic way to present. Plus the animation is Can you imagine the possibilities with online presentations in the future?

The animation is built in HTML5 too, not Flash, using HTML5 Canvas 3D, it interacts with you mouse and the music. Ridiculous. You can read about the behind the scenes here, but this makes me very excited for the future of web design.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pepsi's Successful CSR Program

Earlier this year, Pepsi announced a $20 million corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign, in lieu of its traditional Super Bowl sponsorship, called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The program essentially gives monthly grants to different organizations or ideas that are chosen via online voting by the general public. It's like a social responsibility idea generation site funded by a major soft drink company. Anyone can submit an idea and anyone can vote. Pretty cool. There are a four different monetary categories that an idea can compete in from $5,000 to $250,000 and Pepsi awards the top winners in each category—how many top ideas depends on the monetary amount (i.e. many more $5,000 idea projects are funded than $250,000 projects).

So far the level of engagement is huge! It's a challenge just to get your idea in the running (they only accept so many ideas per month for voting) and then the voting competition is fierce. It's great to see so much engagement between a company, it's consumers and a wide variety of charities and community projects.

Okay, I'm gushing a little, but I'm a fan of CSR programs. Some people write them off as merely green washing large corporations to make them feel friendlier, and sure, most companies aren't going to participate in such a program unless they see some sort of ROI, but even so, don't you like seeing corporate money going to good causes? I do.

Shameless Plug
So I've never done this on the blog before, but I am going to give a shameless plug for a cause competing in the Pepsi Refresh Project this month. I know some of the people involved with the Global Genes Project, which is working with the Children's Rare Disease Network for their Pepsi Refresh idea. Essentially, the Global Genes Project aspires to serve as an awareness and funding platform for rare diseases. Rare diseases suffer in these areas simply because they're each so rare, but if you add up all of the rare diseases and the number of people affected by them, you start to get more significant numbers. Therefore the Global Genes Project is a way for many smaller rare disease charities to work together toward mutual goals. Pretty cool idea honestly and it's up for the $250,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant to help jump start it (the Global Genes initiative is only about a year old). If you're so inclined, please check out where they'll show you three different ways you can vote in the Pepsi Refresh Project for the idea. It's currently around #23 and only the top two ideas get the grant. You get up to 10 votes per day, so you can vote for other ideas too. Check it out!