Augmented Reality (AR) turns cereal box into interactive game

4 05 2010

I tend to snicker at the shiny new thing until it reaches that point where its clear that there is both momentum and market enough to go someplace. Though I’m not sure AR is there yet, here is a fine example of why I’m pretty sure it will.

This is a cereal box campaign produced for Nestle and used here to promote a kids movie Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard. It ran on cereal boxes in France this past November. It was a huge hit. Watch the video to see how a smart phone camera with AR can turn a cereal box into a video game. How cool is that? Many many more applications of this technology to come.

Here’s the press release on it with more info

Advertisements’s success signals potential of Vermont’s growing interactive sector

23 04 2010 announced today their plans to stay in Vermont, and to add 200 new jobs to its over 300 current by 2012. provides website and online marketing services to the auto dealership sector, and their success puts a positive spotlight on Vermont’s growing interactive sector.

Even though we compete for a very limited workforce, I’m very happy to see them prosper (besides, my wife works there). I say this because their success signals bankers, investors, politicians, educators, and those making career choices that the interactive sector in Vermont is hot and a good investment.

Will anyone doubt what this sector can do after looking at what is doing? After all, they’ve managed to build overwhelming market growth in a sector most crippled by this horrid economic time. If they can grow serving auto, we all have enormous potential as well.

For bankers and investors serves as a reference to consider when other interactive shops come looking for investment. Based on the number of politicians attending today’s announcement, Montpelier should be even getting it and might hopefully envision Vermont’s potential as a mecca for this growing clean, green, good paying industry. Matt Dunne of Google certainly does. Schools are hopefully hearing this to adjust their curriculum faster to meet the workforce gap (follow Champlain’s lead).

So I’m relieved that is staying here to grow and feed our sector here in Vermont. Rock it

Youtube starts auto-captioning videos – influence on SEO?

22 04 2010

I’ve been seeing a continuous increase of SEO value of video. The impact of translating the audio of YouTube’s massive volume of video content into indexible text is new and huge. Huge for online marketing and SEO specialists especially…. oh and hearing impaired as well. More thoughts on the influence of video on seo organic search and online marketing at

Foursquare | Social marketing tool for hospitality

10 04 2010

After catching a recent story on our local channel 3 about Foursquare, I took it as a sign that Foursquare is going mainstream. While I’ve been seeing Foursquare being focused on clubs and restaurants, I think we’ll see this as an important tool for any location-based service company… especially those in travel and hospitality. So marketers for golf, ski, spa resorts take note… [read my post about Foursquare as a marketing tool for ski, golf, spa resorts and hospitality at]

Should I be using Social Media?

15 01 2010

My old Camp Lincoln friend, Ken, recently became communications director for an organization that hosts an annual retreat focused on global poverty.

He wrote (with edits:) “As such, I need to build buzz and get people talking about us on blogs, twitter, etc. In your mind, does social media really work? (Our core audience is for-profit and nonprofit execs who have access to capital and power.) In your experience, what’s the best approach to blogging, twitter, etc (is there a newer twitter? Am I so 2008?) to generate interest?”

As I wrote my response, I became aware that a) yes, there are still many people in marketing/PR/communications that are still assessing the value of social media, and b) rather than old-school my response in email, I had better share it socially via my blog… walk the walk.

So Ken, let me share my response with you and all….


Social Media provides common channels for connection and communication for communities – or people with like interests. For PR/Marketers looking to extend brand or voice for an org, they are key for both demonstrating thought leadership and for providing the fodder for those interested in your topic (which you have in common :ie: reducing poverty) to help spread your common message – and the link back to your org’s blog/video/homepage…

So take Twitter… and yes, you need to jump on. On Twitter, you don’t share what you ate, you share what ideas are engaging and what other media (vids, websites, articles) support those ideas. You “tag” your posts with a hash tag (#poverty) – or whatever is common to the topic, to connect groups. Others will then “retweet” your message to spread it to their network – and remember, what works here is to post good resources that are sharable.

Setup a Twitter account, and when you do, consider the name. Also make them consistent – check to see that the username you use is available across other social channels. You can either speak as the organization, as Ken, or as a combo… Ken/Org. There are a number of tools that extend Twitter’s capabilities – such as to follow multiple subjects and to schedule Tweets. I recommend Begin by creating a search thread for the hashtag subjects in your category… #poverty or perhaps #endpoverty… These evolve organically and nobody regulates them. Find others and “follow” them. As you follow others, they in turn will follow you. You build following both this way and by Tweeting useful content that others share.

Next, start blogging. Setup a WordPress blog, pick a theme, customize it, and start writing. This can take you as little as 3 hours. Write about the event, about the subject and about the people. You’re the most awesome writer, so this will be cake.

Last is Facebook/LinkedIn. This is an event where people will meet and connect. Photos and videos will be taken by participants. They will want to share their experience, and you will want that sharing to stimulate participants in the future. Participants will want that place to do that and to remain connected with others. Facebook enables all of that. LinkedIn provides the professional connections to be made.

Overall, social media is exactly where your organization should be focusing attention to both build buzz and awareness, and to leverage participants and others eager to see you/the topic succeed.

Good luck Ken and connect with me when you do

More later. Love Pop.

2010 Crystal ball: Social + Mobile… + AR?

27 12 2009

In considering what will really impact marketing in the next year, it won’t be just one thing. It won’t be just mobile or social, or this crazy cool thing called augmented reality, which I’m just learning about. Combine those three though… and… wait for it….


The first to come is the convergence of our GPS location/maps with our social networks, and that is already here. Want to see where all your Facebook or Twitter friends are? Some will some will not – but we have the controls to publish our location or not. I was at Stowe alone last week and wondered who might be here that I know. While on the gondola yanked out my Droid, pulled up the Google Map app and discovered Latitude. Through Latitude I can connect with people on my contacts list who accept my invitation (which pulls from my Gmail) and see where they are in relationship to my GPS position on Google Maps. Take this to the next level to see where my Facebook friends are. Twitter has a similar Needless to say there are privacy issues, but that’s easy to solve.

The next level of cool is to layer augmented reality over what you see through your phone’s camera view. This is already here. An app called Layar enables this on iPhone and Droid lets you take your GPS web enabled phone and as it takes in images from your camera’s preview screen, it layers data or graphics over it based on your location, phone angle, and image input. Best example is a real estate AR app, which gives you all the property stats as you point your phone’s camera to a house for sale. There are hundreds of “layers” ranging from views of Twitter users over maps view, Yelp reviews over restaurants facades/maps, best beach reviews over maps…. it goes on and on.

Layar Demo

Shooter Game Demo

As GPS web enabled smart phones propagate, expect this to really grow.